London Business School
Hometown: Perth, Western Australia
Undergraduate School and Major:
University of Western Australia – Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and International Relations
University of Melbourne – Master of International Politics
Australian National University – Master of Public Policy
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government – Executive Officer
Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) – Program Officer
Department of Climate Change, Australian Government – Policy Officer
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), New York Office – Intern
CISV International – Intercultural educator and international NGO board trustee
Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Firstly, I would encourage GMAT applicants to trust in their ability. The GMAT is not designed as a test of past experience, knowledge, or IQ; it is designed to be studied for. No matter your background and experience, be ambitious and approach the GMAT with the confidence that you can and will achieve your goals. Time and commitment are the only pre-requisites.
As a more practical piece of advice, I would advise applicants to be disciplined in their preparation and suggest establishing a schedule that allows at least 10-15 hours of study a week for about three months. I would strongly recommend that applicants consider investing in quality GMAT training software. I personally used The Economist’s GMAT Tutor (though there are many good tools) and found it to be well worth the investment. Remember, a strong GMAT score can enhance your chances for financial support at business schools, so investing at this stage can really reap returns.
Don’t forget to be kind to yourself and try not lose hope when you face challenges. If it’s getting harder, you’re making progress. I’d also recommend reaching out to people in your network who have sat the GMAT previously; you may be surprised how willing they are to help.
Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? For me, the best way to know to which schools to apply to is to know who you are and what you want. What are you seeking to achieve through the programme? What are your values? Where, geographically, do you see your future career focused? What skills/knowledge would be most valuable for you to learn?
Unquestionably, there are dozens of outstanding business schools across the world and each offers its own unique advantages. Prestige, teaching faculty, and location are all worthwhile factors to consider. However, ultimately you are selecting a school for you. And so the more you know about who you are, the more you will be able to identify the school that can help you achieve your goals.
What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? If I could give one piece of advice to those applying to business school it would be to take the time to reflect on and identify what you are motivated by and build a story around it. Every one of us has our own dreams and our unique history. It doesn’t matter if you don’t yet know exactly what you want to do – indeed business school might help provide those answers – but remember that your assessors, interviewers, and referees are looking to invest in you and your story, not your credentials. I personally found the application process really valuable in that it forced me to start putting down on paper what it is I actually wanted to do with my life.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? In the end I chose to apply only to London Business School. Clearly the list of outstanding business schools is as long as it is diverse. I chose London Business School in part because of the school’s ambition, in part because of its world-class faculty, and in part because of its location in a dynamic global city. Ultimately, it was the international diversity of London Business School student cohort that most attracted me. In an increasingly interconnected world, I believe the opportunities and challenges of the future will be discovered and addressed by diverse groups working together to challenge the status quo. I chose London Business School because through its international diversity the school provides a platform for the kind of creative collaboration that will generate the perspectives and ideas that are needed for 21st century.
What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? With my background in the public and non-governmental sectors, I may not be a typical MBA candidate (although I think the idea of a typical MBA student is increasingly breaking down). However I am convinced that creation of inclusive and sustainable development will increasingly require innovation and collaboration across the public-private sector divide. As such, I hope to use my MBA to build a better understanding of how business management practices can be applied to public good challenges and how business, government and civil society can together generate shared value for all. I also hope that during my MBA I will continue to step outside my comfort zone, to engage with the different perspectives of others and to challenge the status quo. I am sure that in two years time, when I look back at my MBA programme, it will be the experiences I never expected that that will turn out to be my greatest discoveries and achievements.