Meet London Business School’s MBA Class Of 2021

Nicholas Rudder

London Business School

“I try to be myself; everyone else is taken.”

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Undergraduate School and Major: The University of Sydney; Bachelor of Commerce & Bachelor of Science (Majors in Psychology, Business Information Systems, and Marketing)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Macquarie Capital, Investment Banking Associate

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Setting up my own social technology enterprise that linked charities to local small-to-medium sized enterprises to facilitate and enhance giving in Australia.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Unexpected. I’ve reached out to a number of current students including an ex-Israeli Defense Force drone operator, a Japanese supply chain entrepreneur, and a retail specialist looking to launch a new shoe brand. I am very much looking to forward to meeting the rest of the MBA cohort and hearing their stories.

What is the best part of coming to London to earn your MBA? I am half French and also spent a large chunk of my childhood in Italy. I look forward to seeing my broader French family (my mother is one of 8 children!) and reconnecting with old European friends.

Aside from your classmate and location, 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? The key factor for me was the diversity that LBS offers over other programmes, not only from the abundance of professional and cultural backgrounds that the programme attracts but also diversity in curriculum (being able to choose electives from Term 2), clubs and activities as well as professors.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am most looking forward to taking part in the Entrepreneurship Summer School (ESS). I am currently looking to develop a business idea in the renewable energy technology space and the support and guidance that the ESS offers were another main drawcard for me over other MBA programmes.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question I received in the admissions process was during the LBS video interview where you are given 40 seconds to prepare a 90-second response to a question you haven’t seen before. My question asked me to name a time when I had faced an ethical dilemma and how I went about resolving it. While I was lucky that I had faced such an issue in my own start-up, the prospect of developing a structured and eloquent response in 40 seconds can be somewhat daunting, especially with no opportunity to redo your response!

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Prior to this MBA, my experience in technology, consulting, and finance had all been done with a view to equipping me with the skills necessary to start my own company. It’s at this point in my career that I feel I am ready to go down the entrepreneurial route and look forward to the opportunities LBS will afford me.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? The main way in which I evaluated various schools was by reaching out to a number of current students and alumni. I was lucky enough to have a few connections at each school who introduced me to their other classmates. For me, it was only through talking to these people and hearing their experiences that I was able to get a clear view of the culture and opportunities of each programme. I found that, while websites and blogs provided good information on the curriculum and various activities, more often than not they lacked in giving a true feel for the spirit and ethos of the school and its students.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? For me, there was never one singular moment that defined me. It was rather a collection of experiences throughout my childhood, where we lived a somewhat nomadic life, moving to five different countries by the age of 17. Ultimately, I ended up moving back to Australia by myself to finish my high school education. I believe this constant upheaval and having to adjust to different languages and societal norms have made me who I am today: someone fiercely independent, adaptable, and sometimes downright stubborn!

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years, I would hope to see myself leading my own technology company that makes an impact on society (… so hopefully not broke!). I feel as though technology has departed from inventions that actually help humanity to a race on who can make the best iteration of the same concept or business model. At the risk of sounding slightly grandiose, my intention is simply to not just cash in on the next trend, but build something that drives shared value between business and society.

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