London Business School’s Class Of 2018

Aaron So-PoetsAndQuants-Classof2018

Aaron So

London Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Management consultant passionate about client service and diversity in the private sector.

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Fun Fact About Yourself:  I’m learning Mandarin Chinese and Russian.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Sydney, Economics

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Business Analyst, McKinsey & Company and Strategy Associate, Woolworths Ltd.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was recently in the strategy team at Woolworths Ltd., Australia’s largest supermarket and liquor retailer. It’s an iconic Australian company and almost 100 years old. At the time, it was undergoing a significant transformation to turnaround its core business and I had the privilege of working with senior leaders on everything from corporate reorganization to merchandising. I gained a great sense of accomplishment from the results we started to see, particularly the positive feedback from our customers.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? There are dozens of techniques and resources to study the GMAT. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and I would suggest picking just one approach, building a study plan, and sticking with it through to test day. If in doubt, rely on the official materials. Take the pressure off the actual day by being mentally prepared to re-sit (a lot of people do!).

Invest in introspection and research throughout the application process. The essays are a great chance to clarify for yourself why you want to pursue the MBA and what the path beyond it looks like. Definitely get something down on paper as soon as possible – a rough first draft is always easier to work with than a blank page.

Finally, prepare for the business school interview as if it were any other. Do school-specific research so you can talk confidently and in detail about why the school is right for you. And most importantly, be yourself and be curious.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? London Business School stood out to me because of its focus on and commitment to fostering diversity. It was important to me to choose a school that develops inclusive leaders, equipped to bring out the best in people from all different backgrounds. London Business School works hard to ensure a rich representation of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and age in its faculty and classes. I was particularly impressed by the school’s investment in this area with its Diversity Working Group, Diversity Annual Report, portfolio of scholarships and many student clubs such as Out in Business (LGBT), Women in Business and the Emerging Markets Club.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? At this point in my career, I am open to all functions and industries. I would like to build on my strategy background by broadening my experience to include operations and finance. Having spent the majority of my career in Australia, I would also be interested in working in Europe and Asia in the longer term. I will likely continue to focus on large enterprises where I believe I can put my MBA to good use and help solve complex business problems.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program?  First and foremost, I hope they would say I was a supportive friend and classmate! I would also want them to feel that I made a meaningful contribution to the London Business School community. A passion of mine is LGBT representation and inclusion in the workplace. The school has a great track record in this regard and I am looking forward to assisting the Out in Business Club with some of their events including the EurOUT conference – Europe’s largest gathering of LGBT MBA students. I am also looking forward to working with Reaching Out MBA, a U.S. based non-profit organisation that empowers LGBT talent in business schools.