Meet The Imperial MBA Class Of 2019

Back down to Earth, where healthcare provides one of the biggest societal challenges, Pedro Diaz focused on selecting a leading business school with a strong entrepreneurial culture. His goal is to use his MBA to take his family business in Panama, evaluating technologies in the healthcare sector, to another level.

“Imperial’s strong emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, along with its highly relevant elective courses such as Management Challenges in Healthcare, and Strategy in Volatile and Uncertain Environments, will extend my understanding of key business topics,” Diaz says. “My primary concentration will be on tele-health and tele-medicine solutions, both pivotal components that address the main problems in Panama’s healthcare sector.”

Another area that the school knows a lot about is corporate social responsibility. The Financial Times ranks the Imperial MBA #7 in the world for CSR — a passion for Carrico Torres. Having grown up on a ranch among American cowboys before studying politics at Princeton, Torres was intent on choosing a business school that focused on sustainable growth as a primary, rather than secondary, focus.

Leila Guerra, associate dean of programs at Imperial. Courtesy photo

“I found that I was very interested in how sustainability merges with profit-seeking firms,” Torres says, “and loved Imperial’s focus on sustainability and innovation, and how to combine the two together. I knew it was possible to grow a firm in a responsible way, I just didn’t know how.”


With the Imperial MBA Class of 2019 enrolling about 45% women, the school ranks among the world’s leaders in gender balance. For Associate Dean Guerra, the benefits of gender balance in companies and business schools are clear.

“It is part of our vision, but also business-critical,” she says. “We’ve had a strong commitment for many years at Imperial College Business School to attracting more women to higher education and accelerating their personal and professional transformation. In addition to scholarships and collaborations with strong external partners such as Forté Foundation, we are building an inclusive environment where all students can see and become role models among our students, faculty and staff. You want them to experience and understand that they’re in an open place, where they’re going to learn more, they are going to be challenged intellectually, but above everything, where they are going to be respected for who they are. This should not even be a discussion anymore.”

Such strength is already apparent to India Love, who completed her undergraduate studies in flute performance at NYU. “Our class is fearless,” Love says. “This is demonstrated across the class in different ways: those who have cast away fears to go sky diving, worked and traveled in different countries, learned new languages, challenged boundaries, and ultimately taken a leap of faith by changing their life trajectory to pursue an MBA at Imperial.”

Imperial College looking out at London. Courtesy photo

Love is also the first generation in her family to pursue a master’s degree. “I felt encouraged as I bear witness to the explosion of women and minorities rising through the ranks of leadership and entrepreneurship.”


There were many courses and activities that Anjuli Patel was eager to get involved in at the Imperial MBA, having spent the previous seven years as a dispute resolution lawyer for Baker McKenzie. “I am particularly looking forward to participating in the 2018-19 WE Innovate programme, Imperial’s flagship female entrepreneurship education program designed to support the next generation of women entrepreneurs in developing an early stage business idea to progress their leadership and entrepreneurial skills.”

In fact, Anjuli’s team has been selected to participate in the first phase of the program; they will be pursuing a business idea in social impact and innovation. “I am excited to have the chance to explore the entrepreneurial journey with a team of talented and motivated individuals from different industry backgrounds and to be supported and guided through that journey by the experienced professionals who form part of Imperial’s Enterprise Lab.”

Vibrant, diverse and well-connected, a London-based MBA means studying in one of the world’s greatest cities. London’s reputation as a global centre for business and finance attracts the brightest business and creative minds, making it the perfect place to forge lifelong networks.

Frederic John felt it was the right time for him to boost his career after four years with Deloitte in Brussels. “I wanted to work towards the famous ‘triple jump’: changing country, position and industry,” he explains. “I am convinced that undertaking an MBA in one of the most prestigious business cities is the perfect entry to achieving this objective.”

Coming from Water Valley, Mississippi, Imperial’s London location was also extremely important to India Love. “Having lived in NYC for over a decade, I valued a cosmopolitan environment with no compromise on diversity and opportunities. School culture was also important, and I wanted to feel that I could be myself and provide my unique perspective of being of African-American descent. Imperial provided the perfect environment, delivering the enriching experience that I had anticipated. I am inspired daily by my classmates from different corners of the world across a variety of industries.”

Imperial College Business School runs its MBA creative workshop in LT3 (lecturer Chris Downs). Photography by Fergus Burnett


Imperial also ranks among the most diverse programs in the world. The Class of 2019 features 80 students from 30 countries. In sum, 87% of the class hails from overseas, speaking 24 languages. “Diversity” also takes on larger dimensions at the Imperial MBA, adds Joel McConnell, the school’s executive director of marketing, recruitment, and admissions.

“Diversity at Imperial isn’t just about building a cohort of candidates from different backgrounds and industries, having a good balance of men and women, including a broad cross-section of countries, or even tackling other typically quoted types of inclusion criteria,” McConnell says. “It is also about choosing candidates with diverse mentalities, who collect and process data in different ways; and it’s about how these same candidates then go about making decisions and leading teams more effectively.”

The school calls this “cognitive diversity.” For McConnell, it is a key differentiator that will set the Class of 2019 up for success, much like the classes before them. “Our graduates are quick thinkers, deliver smart and digital-driven solutions to big challenges, and can work together with others, harnessing the real benefits of diversity in global companies,” he says. “In fact, from the very first interaction with an MBA candidate, our team is looking for students who are able to connect seemingly unrelated information, feel confident in the intersection between technology, management, and leadership, and show they truly value working with other ambitious candidates who may see and do things differently from themselves.”

Student Hometown Alma Mater Employer
Ghaida Ayidh Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Aston University Aramco
Lucie Branczik London, UK The Courtauld Institute of Art Event Communications
Anirudh Dastidar Vadodara, India SVNIT Amazon
Pedro Diaz Panama City, Panama Arizona State University Maxia Latam
Marco Gomez Jenkins San Jose, Costa Rica Georgia Tech Costa Rica Institute of Technology
Frederic John Brussels, Belgium University of Mons Deloitte Consulting
Ekaterina Li Moscow, Russia Plekhanov Russian University of Economics ABInBev
India Love Water Valley, Mississippi New York University Andela, Inc
Anjuli Patel Harare, Zimbabwe King’s College London Baker & McKenzie LLP
Neel Savani Brighton, UK Imperial College London NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Carrico Torres Taos, New Mexico Princeton University Kepler Group

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