Meet London Business School’s MBA Class Of 2020

Tyler Hayes

London Business School

Nerdy Jersey Shore native-turned-European-implant struck by wanderlust and infatuated with food culture.”

Hometown: Allenhurst, NJ

Fun Fact About Yourself: My first paycheck came when I was less than a year old…as a chubby baby model!

Undergraduate School and Major:

Graduate School: Harvard Medical School, MD

Graduate School: King’s College London, MRes (Master of Research) Translational Cancer Medicine

Undergraduate: Duke University, BS Biology and French & Italian Studies (double major)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Research Assistant

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: For two years before beginning medical school, I worked as a cancer researcher in the UK focusing on oral cancer. Publishing and, thereby, sharing my discoveries with the world was an unforgettable occasion, as it meant that we might be one step closer to curing this devastating and increasingly common disease responsible for over 300,000 deaths each year.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Diverse – from their personal and career experiences to their cultural and geographic backgrounds, no other word can more accurately capture the fabric of an MBA class that represents over 60 nationalities.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? London. As is made clear in its name, LBS’ big draw is its location right in the heart of this vibrant city. When settling on an MBA program, it was important for me to be somewhere I could develop myself not only professionally but also personally. As someone who’s interested in the life sciences and biotechnology, being in the epicenter of the so-called “golden triangle” of top-tier universities in Oxford, Cambridge and London, along with the vast number of global pharmaceutical companies headquartered in the region, means that opportunities borne from advances in research won’t be too far from home.

Having bounced back and forth between the US and Western Europe many times over the last decade, I’ve also come to realize that grounding my career in Europe may be better fit for me. Given LBS’ strong presence across the UK and the rest of Europe, whether through students, alumni, faculty, academic partnerships or networking opportunities, it made sense to land at a school where I could easily springboard to this part of the globe that always seems to pull me closer. Another huge factor for me was the cultural richness of London. I love that I can walk one mile and be in a new neighborhood with a totally different architecture and ethnic makeup, and all of the sounds, smells and, most importantly, tastes that come with it!

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am most excited to be part of LBS’ LGBTQ-oriented Out in Business Club and the chance to help organize its flagship annual EUROUT conference, which brings together hundreds of LGBTQ MBA students, faculty and top-tier employers from every corner of Europe and beyond.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Despite my rich experiences in biomedical research and patient care, it became clear that one fundamental piece of my training in “translational” medicine was missing – an understanding of the mechanisms that target and invest in viable discoveries, finance their transformation through clinical trial to therapy, and ultimately bring them to the global marketplace. I hope to capitalize on my MBA experience by understanding the forces that drive innovation across key players in drug development and helping to close the gaps that stall innovation between them.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? This was a very hard decision, as interrupting one’s career to pursue an MBA can lead to many unique opportunities but also comes with plenty of sacrifices, both immediate and delayed, and personal and professional. I called on a lot of family and friends, both within and outside of the B-school world, who I knew would give me honest appraisals of my ideas and decisions. Ultimately, the two questions I asked myself were these: “What are the short- and long-term career paths, whether established or uncharted, that are most appealing to me at this moment; and what would those journeys look like with and without an MBA?” I learned about the professionals in the roles I admired, by reading about them and arranging conversations when possible, and tried to get a sense of the direction their field was heading and how relevant an MBA would be for me to succeed and accomplish my goals in that sector.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard Business School

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I took a multimodal approach to finding the best school for me. I started by making a list of the schools that I might be interested in and would need to research deeply. There were a few from the get-go that I knew I was interested in from what I had already learned from friends and colleagues with ties to the schools. For the rest, I took to the web –school websites (especially published curricular information), school profiles on Poets & Quants and the more well-regarded rankings for US and international schools formed the cornerstone of my first phase of research.

In paring down my list, I looked to faculty and courses matched to my professional interests in healthcare, geography (I wanted to be in a city that would leave me fulfilled outside of B-school) and employment destinations of graduates, both the breakdown of general industries as well as specific employers. If I ever had any questions or wanted more information, I would call or email a recruitment manager, which uniformly resulted in a quick and satisfactory reply.

For the small number of schools left on my list, the most important piece came next – chatting with current students and alumni. If I didn’t have a friend or friend-of-a-friend at a school, I would find a student ambassador listed online or ask a recruiter to recommend students based on my interests. I spent hours chatting, online and in-person, with students and alumni about their own motivations for business school and why school X was a good fit for them. I asked pointed questions about their experiences, both positive and negative, to get a sense of the class culture and how the advertised school offerings actually played out in real life. Whenever possible, I arranged a campus and class visit. Seeing faculty-student and student-student interactions was indispensable in pinpointing where I thought I would feel happy and supported during my MBA.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I will never forget the moment when I first “came out” as gay. It wasn’t until my senior year of college that I decided to share with a group of friends something that had haunted and plagued me for so many years. The outpouring of love and support that I received from both my friends and family not only helped me gain confidence in that element of my identity but also empowered me to be proud of everything else that makes me me.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? My dream role post-graduation is to be part of a new business development team in a life sciences or biotech company.

Where do you see yourself in five years? While my longer term career aspirations are often in flux, I would be happy to see myself working as a Principal in a life sciences or biotech venture capital firm, helping to identify and accelerate the next breakthroughs in healthcare.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.