London Business School’s Class Of 2018

Brandon Lew-PoetsAndQuants-Classof2018

Brandon Lew

London Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Can’t sit still, sarcastic prankster who just wants to understand why the sky is blue

Hometown: Plymouth, MN

Fun Fact About Yourself: I once met Bill Clinton’s official cat, Socks

Undergraduate School and Major:  MIT, S.B. in Materials Science and Engineering

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: US Army, Platoon Leader and Executive Officer for an infantry unit

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I am very proud of having the opportunity to work with and lead the people I met in the military. The military is often misunderstood, just like the military has many misconceptions of “normal” non-military life, However, the basic fundamentals are the same – it’s about the people. Good people, bad people, they exist inside and outside of any organization and the military is no different. The unity of purpose gave me clarity on my role, but the hardest aspect and part where I grew the most was from worrying about the people. It’s not really an accomplishment and may seem like a softy cop-out, but just being given the responsibility of being a leader of soldiers and finishing each mission while taking care of my men was enormously rewarding.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Besides the mundane, yet always applicable advice of practicing everything (GMAT, essays, interviews, etc.), I would give my highest recommendation to reaching out to current and former students. This is especially true for veterans and those applying directly from the military – contact the veteran clubs! The veteran clubs were an invaluable asset for me to learn more about the school and gain honest feedback on their experiences and portions of my application.

Applying to business school from a military background can seem daunting, but it is very doable. Everyone in those clubs has gone through the same exact process, and they all were earnestly interested in both helping me get admitted to all my schools and giving me the information to make the best decision for me. It is a great community, and I am excited to give back to those applying this fall.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? The global nature of the education at London Business School. Not only is London a great cosmopolitan city (regardless of recent ahem “Brexit” votes), London Business School draws richly from across the globe. Having lived overseas professionally multiple times, I deeply value the diversity of viewpoints and experiences for personal and professional growth. Coupled with a world class education in one of the biggest hubs of the world, and it was a clear choice.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream job would be working for a small, growing company in the clean tech sector, preferably one that supports multiple types of power generation. It appeals to both my technical, engineering side with a clear tie-in to my undergraduate education and my interest in fundamentally influencing society for the better. Clean energy is at an interesting stage where the current technology is at or over the cusp of being a clear winner as an economic proposition, but needs the right companies to take it over the edge. But, just imagine if more efficient batteries and non-fossil fuel-generated power were mainstream! We would have cleaner cities, easier human exploration of the solar system, and almost no wealth transfer to rentier states that are unfortunately propped up due to oil prices. Being a part of bringing clean tech to a wider population would be a dream for me.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? That I had an active and constructive role in building the community. Ultimately, any organization, whether school, business, or something else, can be more than the sum of its people only if those people care enough to put the effort in to make it so. Being part of that sort of group is one of my must-haves when looking at a school or job, and it only happens if I give fully as well. I’m sure my opinionated self will be challenged, and I look forward to that, and I hope that I can likewise challenge others as we embark on our future paths.