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Linda Abraham: Hello. My name is Linda Abraham. I am the founder of Accepted.com and the moderator of today’s Q&A. First I want to welcome all applicants to the Q&A today, and I want to congratulate you for taking the time to learn more about both London Business School’s MBA program, as well as its acclaimed MiF (Masters in Finance) Program. It is critical to your decision making process and your admission chances that you know as much as you can about the schools you are applying to. Being here today allows you to ask experts about this top business school.
I also want to give a special welcome to Mary Ferreira and I-Lin Tan, Recruitment and Admissions managers at London Business School’s Full Time MBA Program, as well as Morgane Fores, Admissions Manager for the Masters in Finance Program. Morgane is a native French speaker and, as with many of the teams at London Business School, she really enjoys the chance to travel and meet with candidates from different countries and cultures around the world.
I-Lin not only ensures the application process is smoothly run, but also is a member of the London Business School Degree Program’s FUN Committee, which we’d love to hear more about.
Also joining us is a current 1st year MBA student (Class of 2013) at London Business School, Akansh Khurana. Akansh has just finished his first term of study which culminated in an early December Santa Claus pub tour of London (400 London Business School students dressed up as Santa Claus) and a mid-December weekend of end of term MBA exams! Today is the first day of his winter holidays, and he is kindly taking part in the Accepted.com chat before leaving for some travels and relaxation. Prior to the MBA, Akansh studied Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Hyderabad. He worked with Bain & Company in India before starting his MBA at London Business School in 2011. Akansh is also an MBA student ambassador, and you can read more about him at http://www.london.edu/programmes/mbastudentambassadors.html.
Thanks to everyone for joining.
I am going to take advantage of my position as moderator and ask the first question. What’s new in the MBA program at London Business School?
Mary Ferreira: There are lots of new things going on at the MBA program. We are very excited because we’ve started to roll out some curriculum enhancements. The first term is focused particularly on tools and techniques. Next term the students will look more closely at how organizations are structured. And then in the third term, we’ll round up with students looking more outward, sort of the bigger picture. And that will also include visits within London because we really want to tie in our location to the MBA experience. And so, as part of the MBA experience in London, students in the summer term will be visiting organizations that range from the Bank of England right through to Chelsea Football Club.
Linda Abraham: Morgane, what’s new with the MiF?
Morgane Fores: The MiF was recently ranked first in a ranking at the Financial Times, so that is pretty big news. Otherwise, we’ve been through a massive program review this year. That means that we will undergo a lot of changes, as much as we can, for the next intake.
Linda Abraham: Can you give us a preview of some of those changes?
Morgane Fores: No, not yet because we are currently reviewing, so it is a bit too early to be able to answer that question.
Linda Abraham: Piyush asks, "How useful is a MiF for one who already has an MBA?" And actually before we get to Piyush’s question, Morgane, can you please tell us what the difference is between the MBA and the MiF because I think there sometimes is confusion out there.
Morgane Fores: The Masters in Finance would be good for somebody who is already working in finance and wants to carry on. It’s a post-experience program, exactly the same as the MBA, but it’s really focused on finance. So someone who is not looking to stay in finance, is looking for something more general, would go for an MBA, I suppose. But someone who is really specialized in finance will go for a specialized master’s degree.
Linda Abraham: Now to Piyush’s question, "How useful is a Master’s in Finance for one who already has an MBA?"
Morgane Fores: It’s useful for someone who would like to specialize in one subject in finance. We have different concentrations. So if someone wants to know more maybe about corporate finance or investments or financial accounting, for example, it would be the master’s degree to do then.
Linda Abraham: I got a question asking, "How did London Business School achieve its job numbers?" And I asked him specifically what numbers he was interested in, and he was talking about the 93% of graduates that have jobs within three months of graduation.
Mary Ferreira: We just had our employment profile published, and it’s so new that I haven’t even had a chance to see if it’s out on the external website. But in terms of how students get their jobs, they get them through all sorts of different routes. And the key thing with our students is that we encourage them to be very proactive. We will help in terms of companies coming to campus. For example, we have a corporate recruiter week taking place in January for all the students. There won’t be any classes scheduled, so they’ll be able to concentrate on networking with companies. In addition, the students organize conferences and treks to different regions. So a lot of the placement is achieved from the contacts and the branding of the school, as well as the more traditional routes of companies coming and presenting and interviewing near campus.
Linda Abraham: From a student perspective, Akansh, can you talk about what is new?
Akansh Khurana: I just finished my first term and I’ve had some good highlights from the first term that I’d like to bring up in this conversation. I think the best thing that I enjoyed about the school in the first term was the variety of teaching methods that the professors use. We had core courses, and one of the core courses, strategy, used a lot of case studies in the course. The other course, economics, used a lot of role plays to teach us economics. In corporate finance and finance accounting, we learned using class lectures and the problem statements that the professors brought up. But also because there is so much going on in finance and banking in general, we use real time examples to have discussions in the classroom. So just the variety of teaching methods, I think, was something that’s been a key highlight for the term.
The other good thing that I enjoyed in the first term was that apart from these courses, the school does a very good job at helping us develop our soft skills and leadership skills, because soon after the first term, companies start to come in for the presentations and hold discussion and coffee chats with prospective students as interns. So I think the first term gives us an opportunity, not just to learn the basics nuts and bolts of finance, strategy, and economics, but it also gives us a pretty good hold on developing and honing our leadership skills and soft skills and making sure we know how to develop our pitch. Just a fair balance of developing soft skills and the courses is something that was pretty interesting in the first term.
Linda Abraham: Akansh, can you talk a little about your study group, a very important part of the London Business School experience?
Akansh Khurana: Absolutely. I think one of the things I was looking to get out of London Business School was working with people from across different countries. And as much as I had heard about the diversity from different people, from alums and the admissions committee, I think after getting into the school you actually realize how big the deal of study groups and international diversity is. Because in every way, the school makes an effort for students to interact with the diverse community.
The way it works is that in the first year, most of our assignments and projects are being done in a study group which is made up of 6-7 students, all from different countries and different professions. So I’ll give you an example of my study group. I come from India and I bring consulting experience. There is someone from Argentina who brings accounting experience. He worked with Ernst & Young before coming to London Business School. There is someone who brings operations experience who worked with a renewable energy company in Chicago. So he comes from the US. Then there is someone who comes from Hungary and is a private equity investor. There is somebody who comes from Romania and has been in marketing for a long time. And then finally, there is a girl from China who has been doing project management in London for some time. There are about six people, all of them from different backgrounds and from different cultures. So at any given point of time, there is so much to look forward to in having a conversation and learning from the group that we actually enjoy spending time with each other and learning from each other. It’s been tremendous because you keep hearing about the diversity, but when you are actually put into the situation, you then realize how useful it can be.
Linda Abraham: That really is impressive. Let’s go back to the questions that are being posed by the applicants here. Victor asks, "Can London Business School shed any light on key differentials among candidates in 2012, compared to previous years?" Do you see any differences?
Mary Ferreira: Year on year, we always get batches of very unique candidates. And I think it is very difficult to compare years when they are coming in, because we’ve got about 400 people in the class, and they’re all individuals in their own right, so it’s very difficult to come up with main differences between each year.
Linda Abraham: Apurva asks, "Please let me know the importance of pursing executive education and then applying for an MBA." I suspect that means continuing education between the bachelor’s degree and applying for the MBA.
Mary Ferreira: When we’re looking at applications, we look at the balance of undergrad academics combined with the full-time professional experience and how a candidate might have progressed, or responsibilities they might have had—whether that is the budget or people or particularly interesting projects—or with a view to what they might be able to contribute in class, as well as how they might benefit. In addition to that, probably about half of our MBA class would be educated to master’s degree level, and quite a few of the students might take additional professional qualifications. So we are always interested to see those, but it’s not an absolute prerequisite.
Linda Abraham: Bulat asks a question about admission interviews. "Does London Business School organize interviews only on campus, or are there other places available around the world?" Do you do Skype and that kind of thing?
Mary Ferreira: We understand a large portion of our candidates are based around the globe. We interview everyone who makes it through the initial application stage, and they are all interviewed by our alumni around the world. The reason for this is not only in terms of location, but alumni are the people who really know what London Business School is about. So if the interviewee does have questions, then the alumni is also able to answer those questions and can really give them the background on what it’s like to do an MBA at London Business School.
Linda Abraham: I-Lin, you were going to tell us what FUN stands for and what the FUN committee is.
I-Lin Tan: Just as our student committee has a large variety of extracurricular activities, FUN is very much staff related. We also have our own committee that looks after putting on events that the staff can enjoy. So more recently, we just had a Christmas Karaoke event which we all very much enjoyed last week, and we are looking forward to putting on more events in the future that the staff can enjoy as well.
Linda Abraham: Nicole asks, "Can you please speak to the academic and community aspects in support of a student who is pursuing a family business career path?"
Mary Ferreira: We have students who are looking to change career direction, to accelerate in their careers, we have entrepreneurs, and we have a very important section of students coming from a family business background. That’s also one of the research interests of our faculty, so if people look at our website they’ll be able to find out more about that. It is very helpful for students who at some stage are going to be expected to take on the succession of the family business. In the MBA program typically, 5-8% of the incoming class might come from that background. Maybe Akansh can chip in as well on this.
Akansh Khurana: Given how diverse the class is, the aspirations that students come with initially are very diverse as well. There are a couple of people I’ve already met who are working towards expanding their family business and growing their family business while at London Business School. A specific example is one of the guys in my stream. He is from Korea. They have a huge family business back in Korea, multi-billion dollars, and he is looking to expand the business in London. And one of the reasons why he joined London Business School was to be able to spend time in London, understand this market, and then at the same time, to start setting up his business in this region. So he is spending a lot of time thinking about how to expand his business in London. And the best part is that the course curriculum is so flexible. In the first term, we’ve done the core courses, going forward in the second term. In the third term we have the option of choosing electives, so he can just choose the electives based on his needs and based on where he is looking to expand his business in this region. So the fact that the course curriculum is very flexible and the fact that he is spending time in a city where he could connect with suppliers and connect with potential customers, is a huge opportunity for anybody to support and grow the family business.
The other aspect about family business is that there is a very active club in the school which is called the Family Business Club, and a lot of people who are in London Business School and are looking to grow their family businesses in the future, are part of that club. They host events where they network and discuss specifics on how they can grow their family businesses, not just in their home countries but also outside. So the fact that the core course offers flexibility and the fact that there are clubs are significant advantages to help students who have aspirations of growing family businesses.
Linda Abraham: Piyush asks, "Is the process for placement assistance and career recruiting the same for both the MBA and the MiF program?"
Morgane Fores: The programs are a bit difference and the MiF does not include any placement or internship.
Linda Abraham: What about at the end of the program?
Morgane Fores: Oh, at the end, after graduation?
Linda Abraham: Yes.
Morgane Fores: Well, I’ve not seen the latest report on that, but I would say that pretty close to 90% of our graduates do find positions within the three months of graduation. And we do a lot as well with career services to actually help the students. It’s exactly the same as the MBA program.
Linda Abraham: So they have access to the same career services that the MBA students have?
Morgane Fores: Yes. There will be different people working there, but it is the same services.
Linda Abraham: Apurva asks, "Does London Business School provide placement for students from Accelerated Development programs?"
Mary Ferreira: The Accelerated Development Program on the business school is an executive education program that runs four weeks in total.
Linda Abraham: Nurmukhamed asks, "Do applicants with a low salary have less chance of getting accepted?"
Mary Ferreira: When the admissions committee is looking at a candidate, they will look at all parts of their profiles, so it won’t just be based on their salary. It’s just a very tiny part of an application. You need to submit essays, a CV, two references, there is a whole body of work experience that we would be looking at, and there is GMAT as well. So no, I wouldn’t say that the low salary would affect whether or not you got to reach an interview or not.
Linda Abraham: Bulat asks, "Can you please recall any particularly interesting, challenging group assignment that you worked on during your studies? How did you organize your team work?"
Akansh Khurana: Yes. I guess one point in doing assignments in a study group is to put all of us in difficult situations, and we need to be able to navigate through those challenges. The best part is that we are being put out of our comfort zone and we will learn how to work with people from different cultures and different backgrounds. So there may be challenges.
Some particular challenges that are faced during the term are because different people in the study group have different interests and different professional aspirations. For example, I’ve been involved with the Indian Business Forum Club and with the private equity team here a lot. Another person in my study group has been working on consulting a lot. So for me, it is important that I learn finance during the first term inside out. And for the other person, it is important that they learn strategy inside out. Given that we have different aspirations to develop, there are times when we have conflicts on who is going to do which assignment, how we divide – does one person do the assignment or do we all work together in a group? Sometimes it’s a tradeoff between doing the assignment together and taking more time versus doing the assignment and dividing parts between different members of the study group. So I guess those were some of the challenges that we saw.
We’ve been able to attain a very good relationship between the team in my study group, and I haven’t seen any study group which did not get along. People make an effort to be able to actually get along with the study group because they realize that if they can navigate through this, it will help them work in teams going forward as well.
Linda Abraham: Amandeep asks, "One of the major reasons that I am attracted to London Business School is that it will open global avenues for me that I don’t have access to right now. How do you look at a candidate who doesn’t have prior international experience?"
Mary Ferreira: We obviously have a competitive applicant pool, because physically on the full-time MBA, we can only seek 400 students. As I mentioned before, we are looking at how people might contribute as well as how they might benefit. Lots of the students coming in will have had international experience as part of their roles; whether that is working with a virtual team with people based in different countries and they are interacting with each other on a regular basis, or the students who do a lot of physical travel from country to country. However, not everybody is in that situation and that can sometimes be the motivation for people applying to London Business School. But we will always look at whether or not the applicant is somebody who is going to be coming here with an attitude that they are happy to work and live with people from different cultures. So we want them to have that curiosity and motivation to be in a multi-cultural environment. Because as you can imagine, there are a lot of very strong characters here at the campus, so we want people to come with quite an open mind.
Linda Abraham: Siddharth asks, "My undergraduate university did not hand out a GPA; instead gave out students’ marks in grades based on the same. How would the admissions committee treat a grade like First Class or First Class/ Distinction instead of a GPA?" I am sure you are very familiar with that.
I-Lin Tan: Obviously around the globe, universities will rate and grade students very differently. For instance, in the UK, the grades come out as 2:1 and First, and so on and so forth. So we are quite familiar with grading systems around the world, and we will look at what is appropriate for your country when we are reviewing applications.
Linda Abraham: This is a question for the MBA and the MiF programs. How important is a clear post-MBA goal for you in the admissions process?
Mary Ferreira: For the MBA, when we consider applications, we obviously want people to have thought about why they are interested in coming to London Business School specifically. But that also involves research into the program and considering which aspects of the curriculum and the committee might appeal to an individual to help them with their post business school objectives. Through the essay content, we do probe them about ideas that they have for their future careers, so that at least people have a couple of realistic ideas as to what they might do along the term and why the MBA is going to help them with that route. We don’t ask people to commit to a finite job title, but we do want them to have a sense of direction and be very proactive when they come here with their own career strategy.
Linda Abraham: So you don’t expect them to know the address and the office that they are going to be in, but direction is important.
Mary Ferreira: That’s right. People can take the program from 15-21 months, so that does allow time for reflection and experimentation as well. Throughout the MBA program there are lots of projects the students can get involved with; there is an internship between years one and two, they’re going to have a global business experience where the entire class will go to another country in the second year with some of their professors and work with companies. There are lots of opportunities for putting all that learning into practice in a very applied way.
Linda Abraham: Where is the second-year class going this year?
Mary Ferreira: That would be in September 2012, and there will be the Global Business Experience running each term. So there will be clusters of students going away to countries that include South Africa, India, Turkey, and the United States. These are just a few of the places from the list.
Linda Abraham: Morgane, the same question for you. Is a clear goal important to you as you evaluate applications for the Masters in Finance program?
Morgane Fores: Yes, it is important. It is pretty much the same actually. We do ask the applicant to have a clear picture of what they want to do, and compared to what they were doing before, how the MiF would help to achieve a certain goal. We are definitely going to have a look at that. Obviously, we don’t ask them to give the specific details or tell us where they want to end up, but yes, they must apply for this program with a specific career plan and yes, we do look at that.
Linda Abraham: Amandeep asks, "I applied to London Business School last year. I will be reapplying in round two. Any points I should keep in mind?"
I-Lin Tan: When you are looking at reapplying, you really need to think about what you wrote in your last application and what changes have happened. What the admissions committee will be looking for will be growth since your last application. And there are a lot of changes in a year as well. It may be that you’ve taken on extra projects or you’ve been promoted. Your goals may have even changed. So you need to look at it very much as a fresh application, and also to remember that you will be going against a new pool of people as well, and the competition is always rigorous so you want to make sure you are submitting the strongest application that you can. You can use the same referees if you want. But I would recommend again, as much as you would do with your essays, getting them to refresh their references as well, because things will have changed in a year. For re-applicants, there is also an additional essay question which will give you the chance to highlight any changes in particular that happened since your last application.
Linda Abraham: Every so often I get the question – "I got a new GMAT. Can I just resubmit my essays if my GMAT was low?" Or "I’m going to change one question, but I really told the story well, can I leave the essay?" If the essays didn’t work last year, why do you want to resubmit them again?! And growth clearly is the name of the game. If it didn’t work last year, you have no reason to believe that the experiment will result in different results this year if you don’t change it.
Mary Ferreira: Exactly.
Linda Abraham: Does "hire-ability" play a role in admissions decisions in evaluation of a candidate’s application? And if it does, how does somebody demonstrate "hire-ability" post-MBA?
Mary Ferreira: I think that really goes back to the question about goals. When we are looking at a person’s MBA goals, we want to know that someone has really thought about where they want to be. It doesn’t necessarily need to be concrete, but you need to have a good idea about where you are heading. I think the admissions committee will look at whether they think this person has considered properly this goal and how realistic it will be for them. So it is something that we take into account – is it a realistic direction and realistic goals based on the application that we can see.
Linda Abraham: You all have a front row seat on the European sovereign debt crisis and how it unfolds, in terms of whether the euro is going to stay a unified currency. Is it going to fall apart? Are they going to reach a deal? Aren’t they going to reach a deal? Over on this side of the pond, it’s a little bit more distant. How are the MiF program and the MBA program first reacting to this show? And Akansh, how is it coming into your classroom?
Morgane Fores: It’s a bit difficult to answer that. The situation has been very difficult for the last 5-6 years. So we are just trying to adapt this program accordingly. I’m not too sure in what way you were referring to.
Linda Abraham: Are you having new cases or are professors referencing the events in their lectures?
Morgane Fores: Yes, we tend to adapt the program – the lectures and everything – according to what is going on at the time. So we keep doing that because this program is obviously updated and improved constantly, and it has to be. You have to go in line with what is going on outside, so yes, we do that.
Akansh Khurana: There are a couple of ways in which we keep ourselves informed about what is going on and hold discussions with the community around. As I mentioned earlier, during the core studies we also take up real-time news and what is going on around, and then we use that as a basis for having conversations on what we’ve been studying. To give you an example, we’d discuss changing certain accounting methodology if that is going on around. So just using those examples and seeing the impact. Professors make an effort to help the students understand the impact of various changes that are happening in the industry around. That is one way which is pretty close because we have conversations on that every week.
Another is the fact that a lot of students also come from banking backgrounds, and over the last year they have been in the industry and have seen the industry shifting. They have seen changes happening in front of them. They bring up a lot of experience from their previous jobs and from their previous relationships with the clients. Just the kind of debates and conversations that we have during the classes is very insightful and interesting as well.
I think the third way in which the school makes an extraordinary effort is by inviting guest speakers and inviting professor panelists to have conversations related to the subject. And even if some students are not able to attend, we record those panel discussions and we post them up online for students to access at a later point. So the fact that we hold these discussions is how we keep ourselves informed. They are informative sessions and at the same time experience sharing sessions that keep us posted.
Mary Ferreira: The faculty is obviously enormously interested in this and things are changing day by day currently. But just the other week, several of our faculty, including our dean, Andrew Likierman, were out in China, sharing their insights into things like how successful companies will operate in the 21st century and they discussed some of the challenges facing everybody around the globe. So that particular trip included people like Andrew Scott who is our professor of economics and Rajesh Chandy who is one of our marketing professors. They are living this and researching it every day so a lot of that debate does come through into the classroom.
Linda Abraham: On a related note, on this side of the Atlantic, we have certainly seen a decline in the number of jobs in finance. Obviously there are fewer investment banks. Are you seeing that over there? And Morgane, how is this affecting recruiting and hiring for the Masters in Finance program?
Morgane Fores: At the moment, it is not affecting recruitment for the MiF. Yes, things are not excellent at the moment, but we’ve been there in the past. And I think people are probably hoping, although are not too sure, that it will get better. We’ve not seen a massive difference in the submission of applications at all. Now it’s a bit early to talk about because we’re only in the first stage of the admissions cycle, so we will see that probably towards the end of the cycle.
Linda Abraham: In general, what do you see in terms of recruiting for graduates of the class of 2012?
Mary Ferreira: We’re right at the start of things, but obviously coming to an international school at a time when there is an economic downturn, it’s an ideal time for students to be investing in their own education. What we see with most of the MBA graduates is that they do become very flexible in the way that they think, but also it helps them work across sectors as well as functions. Something that is very common with our students is that they will work in different locations. The MBA does give them that flexibility of moving around the world and going to regions where the job market is particularly buoyant at one time.
I’ve mentioned that we’ve got a corporate partners week running at the beginning of January, with a great range of companies coming to meet with the students. And then the students as well are very proactive and they arrange treks to different parts of the world. Just this week we had a student organized trek to Los Angeles, where students are meeting with businesses particularly focused in the media – TV, film, publishing, and that sort of area. As part of the MBA, we have a very large exchange program with several business schools, one of which is the Anderson School at the university in Los Angeles.
Linda Abraham: Bulat asks, "Can you please dwell a little bit on students with families and partners? What is the percentage of students who come with their families and how does London Business School view these kinds of students?"
I-Lin Tan: I don’t have exact numbers, but I do know that a large proportion of students do come either partnered or with families. We have a large Partners Club which is instrumental in getting people with families settled. They do a lot with families and students. Partners and families are also quite visible on our campus. Partners have access to our gym and to our library so they are very much a part of London Business School life, and we appreciate that people will be thinking of relocating their families. And so the Partners Club in particular is instrumental in helping those people relocate as well.
Akansh Khurana: I am still, unfortunately, a bachelor. But four of my six study group members are actually with partners, and a large proportion of people here are here with partners. The partner community in itself is very close-nit. And I was quite surprised to see that because they help each other, not just in professional aspects, but also in terms of helping each other settle into the city. Given how busy the first term can get, it was quite good to see that partners get along with each other very well. And there is a very active Partners Club that supports the entire partner community, in terms of helping them learn new languages, in terms of helping them join cooking classes, in terms of helping them secure jobs. So in a variety of ways, they actually support each other.
Based on the conversations that I’ve had with people that are here with partners, what I’ve learned from them is that the partners who come to the UK for London Business School, the partners actually have a work permit for the next two years, unlike in the US. People who are looking to go to business school with partners actually preferred UK and the London Business School because of the fact that they have the work permit to work here for the next two years. And there are a lot of part-time projects, a lot of internships, a lot of options that are posted on the portals that partners can apply to and get jobs. And I’ve personally seen a lot of people getting jobs through that. So there is a lot of support for partners. The average age here in London Business School is relatively higher, it’s 29. So a lot of people do actually come with partners, and the level of support that the community offers is amazing.
Linda Abraham: Another question for Akansh. What do you like best at London Business School, and what would you like to see changed?
Akansh Khurana: Good question; I get that asked a lot actually. I think the best thing that I like about the school is actually the flexibility. Since a lot of people come from diverse communities, they obviously have great ambitions in life and have different aspirations. There are people who are looking to change their careers, people who are looking to change their geographies, and people who are looking to change their roles. So people come here with great ambition. For somebody who, for example, is coming from finance and is looking to do a finance job after business school as well, it’s easier because they have vast experience.
London Business School offers you the flexibility in terms of the electives that you choose, in terms of the load of the course curriculum, the format of the course curriculum, and the fact that you can work in groups. I think the flexibility gives everybody an opportunity to spend time on what they’ve come to the school for. To give you an example, I know a lot of second-year students now who just opted for one or two electives during the term and ended up working on part-time projects because they wanted to build experience while at London Business School, and then leverage that for their future careers. Some of them are doing that to leverage their experience during their time at the school; some of them are doing that to actually learn and understand how a particular industry works. So I think flexibility is something that I was very pleasantly surprised about, and I was very happy to see how the school has organized the entire curriculum around this. That’s the good part.
One thing that I would like changed, and I think they are already working on it, is that since the school is in the center of London, the space is definitely a constraint. We have the basic facilities that are required for any business school; we have a library, a gym, a lot of meeting rooms, technology, we have everything that we need. But I’ve spent my undergrad on a larger campus where there are large football grounds and sports facilities, so I guess that is something that the school here lacks. But since the school is in the center of the city, we do have access to those facilities through other routes. I think the school is working towards adding in additional facilities from buildings that are on the campus.
Linda Abraham: How are you doing in terms of application volume this year? We are hearing in general that application volume is down.
Mary Ferreira: It’s quite early for us to tell because we are still in our first stage here so it’s hard for us to comment on numbers because we don’t actually have those numbers yet. It’s something that we’ll be able to answer further along in our admissions cycle.
For the guests who are listening in today, as well as if any are based outside the UK and they get the opportunity to come here, both for the MiF and full-time MBA, we have regular information sessions and drop-in sessions, so we really encourage people to try to attend one of those and come and visit us in person as a follow up.
Akansh Khurana: And one more thing to add to that. On the London.edu website, there is a link under MBA programs which says "Contact a Student". And all the student ambassadors are listed on that website with their contact details. So if anybody has a specific question where they need to reach out to students, please feel free to go there find the contact details and write to us, and we’ll be more than happy to answer questions.
Linda Abraham: And aren’t you are a student ambassador yourself, Akansh?
Akansh Khurana: That’s right. So I am up there as well on that website. There are ambassadors from across different countries, from across different professional backgrounds, so anybody who you feel comfortable relating to, you could write to them or you could write to me, and all of us are very happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Linda Abraham: I want to add that almost exactly a year ago, I had the privilege of visiting London Business School. And it was quite an eye opener because the energy level in the room where we met with some staff people and students was really striking. And yes, I obviously do visit other schools and the students are almost always wonderful and it’s interesting and it’s nice and it’s exciting, but the energy level at London Business School really was a bit different. Maybe it’s because it’s a little bit more crowded (!), but it was something that I really took note of. So that’s my little addition as to how a visit can make a difference and make an impression. So if you can make those info sessions, I would encourage you to do so.
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Mary, I-Lin, Morgane and Akansh, for joining us today. If you have additional questions for the London Business School admissions team, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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