2017 Best MBAs: Dr. Nick Deakin, London Business School

Dr. Nick Deakin

London Business School

“British medical doctor, banker and FT LGBT Future Leader.”

Age: 28

Hometown: Staffordshire, United Kingdom

Fun fact about yourself: I know lots about what my classmates get up to, as I’m their go-to doctor – and I’m actually the first person in my family to ever go to university

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • University of Bristol, UK – Medicine (MD), 2013
  • Keele University, UK – Masters in Medical Law & Ethics (MA), 2012
  • Harvard Business School, US – Value-Based Healthcare Course, 2014

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

Barts Health National Health Service Trust, London – Medical doctor

AND

Research Fellow, International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement, Harvard Business School

Where did you intern during the summer of 2016? Citigroup, London

Where will you be working after graduation? Citigroup, London – Healthcare Investment Banking Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Community work:

  • Co-President, Out In Business Club, LBS (LGBT+ club)
  • Co-Chair, EurOUT – Europe’s largest LGBT+ post-graduate student conference held in London and bringing together 350 students and alumni from 45 global business schools (see www.eurout.biz)
  • Sponsorship Chair, Healthcare Club
  • Student Ambassador, Admissions
  • Mentor, MBA/Masters in Management Mentoring Programme
  • Application Reviewer, London Healthtech Challenge, 2016
  • Role model, Diversity Role Models (LGBT+ community organization)

Honors:

  • Named as a top 5 Future Leader by the Financial Times/Outstanding in November 2016
  • Appointed as a Teaching Assistant in the Faculty of Strategy and Entrepreneurship for the Masters in Management Course, and a Tutor on the Developing Strategy for Value Creation course in Executive Education
  • Represented LBS at the 2017 World Government Summit, winning a place funded by the UAE government
  • Led the ‘Out In Investment Banking’ workshop at Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) in Dallas, June 2016 – for 1400 students
  • Attended the ROMBA LGBT+ Leadership Summit in Chicago in 2016 and 2017
  • Featured student on the ‘Inside and Out’ Investment Banking LGBT+ portal, to encourage diversity in banking recruitment
  • Worked with admissions and ROMBA to found the new ROMBA scholarship at LBS – making it the first MBA programme in Europe to join up to the international LGBT+ scholarship scheme
  • Awarded the SARI Foundation Scholarship (full fees – £67,500 GBP)
  • Awarded a Fellowship from the Royal Society of Arts (2014, 2015, 2016): FRSA

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Being selected to be a teaching assistant for strategy for the Masters In Management programme – there’s no better way for me to learn the concepts, than having to write tutorials in them!

In terms of extracurriculars, the flagship Out In Business Conference saw a doubling of sponsorship, doubling of the number of alumni/professional attendees and the best feedback of any conference at LBS, ever. It was covered with a full page in the Daily Telegraph (on why it’s important to be out at work), together with the Financial Times, VOGUE and GayStarNews.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career?
This has to be being the lead mentor on the Sutton Trust Summer School at my old university (Bristol, UK). I led a team of 9 mentors to give 180 disadvantaged young people an inspiration summer school where they met students, professors and employers who advocated for attending a top university. There were 5 streams, so students specialised in the subjects they were most interested in studying at university, and actually I’ve kept in touch with several who have overcome huge barriers to getting scholarships at top UK and US universities. Given my own beginnings as the first generation of my family to go to university, I know how important role models can be.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I’d say Prof Ioannis Ioannou, a professor of strategy. A true rising star and teacher of strategy, he gave me the confidence to apply the experiences and skills I’d gained in my previous career as a doctor and researcher to new contexts. This has proved incredibly valuable given my career shift – and went beyond the classroom to advice and discussions over the course and through his role on the advisory board for Out In Business.

What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? Negotiations and Bargaining Elective – with Dr Gillian Ku

Essentially this week of negotiations practice and theoretical training reminded me how business transactions are actually just magnified home discussions (rows, task splitting). It’s all about the power of information, understanding the other side and remembering the power, rights and responsibilities at play.

Why did you choose this business school? The stand out differentiator for LBS among other top ranked schools was the collaborative and inclusive community. The location was hugely advantageous too, as I wanted a global network focused out of Europe.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? The people, the place and the challenge. The people – because you’re always surrounded by incredibly supportive people with brilliant stories. The place because I was in London – the most fabulous city with everything on my doorstep. And the challenge because I’d never studied finance or economics before!

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you? How nice everyone is! Yes, driven but always willing to help – whether it’s for travel advice, sending you jobs to look at or going through work!

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Learn about the programme and yourself. If you understand what you’re using business school for, and find somewhere that affords the best opportunities to achieve this, then you should be able to demonstrate what unique factors make you a perfect fit for LBS or another top programme.

What is the biggest myth about your school? It’s said that the MBA is a US degree and that I’d miss out for being on the UK side of the Atlantic. Lots of my professors graduated in the US. I’ve personally been to the States for LGBT MBA conferences, a finance trek, to seven countries in Europe and Dubai during the two years – so it’s actually handy not to have shorter journeys.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire?Michael Vardi, MBA 2017, who has not only pivoted from a top 3 strategy consulting firm, but also founded an exciting new venture focused on smart roads (with r1 funding) and just is incredibly lovely.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I was doing my health services research at HBS and met the MBA students, who were having the most brilliant time!”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…regretting it — I think I’d have gone back to McKinsey but I’d have missed out on the theoretical learning and immersive experience that helped shape my leadership style.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I’d want to think about how we can best share the business school experience with those at other top universities (in London) and secondary school — this social outreach would be great for the MBA’s profile and social mobility – which is increasingly seen as an issue in the US and UK.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal?  After working in finance for a few years, I want to move to the C-suite of a healthcare provider or biopharma group. This will let me bring revolutionary care or new drugs to patients and deliver this using top notch service in a cost effective manner. We will need more of this as health budgets get more and more stretched, and we start to think of the outcomes resulting from interventions in healthcare (not just what something costs).

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have people identify something in me and want to help me — from senior school onwards. I can think of people at each stage who have been integral to my success and guiding me towards next steps.

I suppose the big change in direction came from David Meredith, now a partner at McKinsey, who — when I was a client for the UK Department of Health — told me I must apply for an internship with them. This started my out-ward looking, ambitious and embracing path beyond being a medical doctor.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?  A genuinely lovely British guy who was smart, helpful and driven – and who helped others achieve too.

Favorite book: Not for Turning, Margaret Thatcher’s Official Autobiography by Charles Moore

Favorite movie or television show: House of Cards

Favorite musical performer: Calvin Harris

Favorite vacation spot: Vidago, Northern Portugal – bliss

Hobbies? Avid gym goer, opera/music/theatre, travelling, reading political  books

What made Nick such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“Nick is one of those once-in-a-decade, very special students who makes amazing things happen during their time on campus. When choosing who to give one of our prestigious full-fees scholarships to, Nick was an easy choice. His achievements and potential were clear for us all to see. From being the first in his family to go to university, qualification as a medical doctor and involvement with McKinsey, he was a high achiever with a ‘non traditional background’.

I simply do not know where Nick finds time to do everything he does!

His contributions to our already successful Out in Business Club have been amazing. He has taken the club to new heights, making it one of the best supported, (and best sponsored) student clubs on campus, running the biggest and best ever EurOUT Conference.

Nick has also been an absolute star Student Ambassador for us. He must have given time to hundreds of future applicants over the two years of his MBA, inspiring many of them to choose LBS for the global business education.

I wouldn’t necessarily have picked out nick as a future banker, but he has yet again achieved what he set his mind to. I know he will be a successful, high achieving alumnus who will make us proud for years to come.”

David Simpson
MBA Admissions Director

DON’T MISS: THE COMPLETE HONOR ROLL: BEST & BRIGHTEST MBAS OF 2017