2020 Best & Brightest MBAs: Joy Yang, London Business School

Joy Yang

London Business School

“Inquisitive – I enjoy learning and looking for shortcuts to make my life (and work) better.”

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Fun fact about yourself: I was once “zonked” on ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ (game show).

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of California, Santa Barbara; BA in Global Studies

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Mattel, Sr. Tech Project Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? Constellation AI – London, UK

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Co-president of Tech & Media Club, Tech & Diversified Peer Leader, Impact Consulting – Board Fellow Lead, Career Rep

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Bringing even more tech awareness and offerings to students at LBS! I worked with two fellow LBS students to create and teach a comprehensive 10-week python course during the autumn term. Having proven the demand and interest for tech skills amongst the students, I continued the initiative with the MBA programme office to bring this course into the electives as a permanent offering at LBS for MBAs. This year, as co-president of Tech & Media Club, we also launched the first-ever Product Conference, the LBS Elevate programme, and are proposing that “Technology” be added as an MBA Concentration!

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While working at Google, I transferred and implemented an internal tool from the headquarters (Mountain View, CA) to Singapore and India, which included implementing the tool, training, and upskilling 90+ people. It was a great learning experience for me to work in an international environment, which made it an even more impactful and proud moment for me, to see the team grow and empowered to take on new challenges every day.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Richard Hytner, who teaches Creativity in Business. Richard has a wealth of knowledge from his professional experience but is also a super engaging lecturer. He really turned the classroom upside down by stretching our minds to prod problems from all angles. He was able to put structure to create and empower people who think they’re not creative to actually think outside that box.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Tattoo is my absolute favorite event of the year. It is the one event where the whole school comes together to share our countries’ cultures with each other. The whole night is jam-packed with great food, fantastic performances, and love for the diversity that makes LBS so unique.

Why did you choose this business school? London Business School truly expands your international horizon. I chose LBS to expand my mind, experience, and network. For ‘mind’, I get to hear the perspectives of my classmates, who typically have around 5+ years of experience and worked around the world. For ‘experience’, LBS has the Global Business Experience (GBE) as part of the curriculum, where we applied what we learned in the classroom to empower a developing community. I attended the Johannesburg, South Africa GBE and it was one of the most eye-opening experiences I have ever had. For my network, now, if I ever needed advice or contacts to a part of the world that I have never been, I can now just reach out to the LBS community. LBS really fulfilled what I was looking for.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? I had decided last minute to apply for MBA, so I’m probably not the best example to follow. For three months, I alternated between studying for the GMAT, researching schools, speaking with current students, and working on my applications. So, the day I took the GMAT was also the day I submitted my application for LBS (last day of Round 3 application). My best advice to applicants is to tell your authentic story. LBS isn’t looking for the typical cookie-cutter students. They value uniqueness and want to get to know you!

What is the biggest myth about your school? With over 60+ nationalities, LBS is known as one of the most diverse MBA programmes. This is, in fact, very much part of my daily experience at LBS. The school also intentionally makes sure you are in a diverse team. My study group consisted of people from Australia, Brazil, India, Israel, Spain, and the USA/Taiwan (me!).

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Don’t get sucked into doing something just because everyone else is. During consulting recruiting, it is easy to feel the pressure to apply because everyone else is doing it. I think it’s important to keep in mind that we are all on our own journey and that it is ok to take your time and discover what you truly want to do.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Nasi Rwigema, who happens to be one of my fellow co-presidents of Tech & Media Club. We worked really well together as co-presidents because we each had qualities and skills that happened to complement. This is why I admire Nasi a lot. He is inspirational, patient, and tactful, all things I would like to be better at. He would take things we just learned in the classroom and apply it to the situation in the club. Additionally, he is really passionate about giving back to his roots in Africa and dedicated his summer to working on his own initiative through the Entrepreneur Summer School.

I’m glad to have him to bounce ideas off of and learn from him about how I can lead better. It has been a pleasure working with him and the tech initiatives we brought to LBS would not have been possible without him.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My dad is a businessman and has worked internationally as far as I can remember. He has always been supportive of my decisions and he was the one who took me to visit colleges when I was in high school. Now that I am older, I can see how he taught me some practical business skills through daily life, like taking me to the car dealership, where I learned how to negotiate. He’s definitely inspired me to pursue business so that I can be self-reliant and hopefully, start my own business one day.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • Use tech for good
  • Become a philanthropist in one or all of these: women’s rights, immigrant issues, education opportunities for all.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As a positive, down-to-earth person, who gets things done.

Hobbies? Traveling, hiking, salsa, painting, and learning new things (right now – improv).

What made Joy Yang such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Joy was one of our career reps last year and really helped to boost the career experience of her stream by organising initiatives such as a Linkedin peer review and stream-specific newsletters.

She is also a peer leader and has delivered over 100 peer leader appointments (similar to mentoring conversations) with students from all programmes, helping her peers navigate their career search journeys.”

Anne Alaoui
MBA Career Co-Lead, Career Centre


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