Master’s in Management: Emily Norcliffe, London Business School

Student Name:  Emily Norcliffe

Graduate Business School: London Business School

Describe Yourself In 15 Words: Polymath, dancer, foodie, intellectually curious, fiercely ambitious, and loves to laugh. 

Master’s Graduation Class: 2019.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Oxford, English Literature.

Current Employer and Job Title: Strategy&, Associate

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My greatest career accomplishment to date was at the culmination of my first client project at Strategy&. I owned a core section of the deliverables and presented my work to a senior client. I stepped up and was accountable for developing the go-to-market strategy, which was incredibly rewarding and set a strong precedent for how I aim to deliver value on projects. The project was for a telecoms major looking to enter the healthcare market. It was a fascinating and fun piece of work centered around assessment and prioritization of opportunities based on market trends and growth areas. I was part of an expansive, collaborative and smart team across PwC and Strategy&, formed of competency specialists from corporate strategy, research, experience consulting and technology consulting. 

Describe your biggest accomplishment as a graduate student: While this may not be considered an accomplishment in the traditional sense of the word, for me the clear answer has to be study group work and triumphs in teamwork. The majority of your academic work at LBS is completed via the study group structure, which is formed of six students and specifically designed for diversity across academic backgrounds, nationalities, and gender. At the end of each term, there is a hackathon style assignment that takes place over a couple of days and is based on the course content covered in that term. The real achievement was the unwavering enthusiasm and team spirit as we balanced our various commitments (career search, interviewing, clubs and societies) to develop a finished deliverable that we were proud of.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Without a doubt, the international and global nature of LBS was the core contributing factor for my selection. Being London born and bred, I was actively seeking diversity of perspective, experience and to build a global network. As only one of six British students on the MiM, my LBS experience did not fall short.

What led you to choose a Master’s in Management over an MBA? Having previously worked across media, advertising, and the arts, I was ready for a career pivot. I was seeking an accelerated learning experience during which I could upskill myself efficiently and effectively across a broad range of management subjects and to do so as soon as possible. Moreover, as a student of an early careers course, you benefit from the school being a graduate-focused school. It was great to share elective course classes with MBA students as well as those from the executive programs.

What has been your favorite course and how has it helped you in your career? The Luxury Strategy elective taught by Stefano Turconi. Like a standard strategy class, the course was structured around case work and focused on key trends and companies in luxury. However, the truly exceptional and immersive element of the class was the A-list speakers that Stefano organised. A particular stand out was the ‘Ferrari challenge’, which we were asked to solve business cases and present our recommendations to representatives from Ferrari. The winning team was gifted a trip to Italy to the track and plant in Maranello. 

Upon reflection, this course has been immeasurably helpful in my career as a strategy consultant across a number of skills, from breaking down strategic problems, designing frameworks to think about the problem, to presentation skills.  

What role did your school play in helping you to land your first job out of the program? The school provided continued support across the application lifecycle as well as ongoing opportunities for networking with target firms. The official channels included an outstanding Careers Centre who organized events with companies, put on ‘how to’ workshops, and provided the opportunity to discuss longer term aspirations. The second element is the informal help from the student and alumni network, where individuals’ prior experience spans a range of prestigious roles and sectors around the world and everyone is always willing to give up time for a coffee chat.

How did your classmates enhance the value of your business school experience? The strength of the community and the types of talent the school attracts mean that you learn as much from your peers as from the classroom. For me, I would go as far as to say the people make the experience; being part of such an engaged and ambitious cohort was inspiring, motivating and fun.

Who was your favorite faculty member and how did this person enrich your learning? My favourite faculty member was James Ryans who taught Financial Accounting. His class was my first of the program as it covered a high-level introduction to financial statements. I was always impressed by his tremendous capability to ground the content of class in a practical and real-life context and establish an interactive environment where everyone contributed, taking part in topical debates.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s graduate master’s program? Be bold and know yourself. Invest time in self-reflection and be cognizant of your reasons for wanting to join the program. Know what your objectives are. 

The school lives and breathes its values of diversity and excellence, and having acted as a student ambassador for the program and working closely with the admissions team during my time at LBS, I can confidently say there is no ‘cookie cutter’ profile they recruit for. Embrace your narrative and articulate how you and your experiences can enrich the community. 

What was your best memory from your Master’s program? This is a very difficult question to answer, as there were numerous standout memories. From being on the executive committee for TEDxLBS and seeing it to fruition, to late nights in the Sammy Ofer Centre with my study group, the list goes on and on. But since I have to pin it down to my best memory, Tattoo would be the pinnacle. It is a cross-cultural celebration where the school comes together for an evening of revelry and festivities. Different clubs and societies run food stalls and present performance acts, and it is the perfect encapsulation of the strength of the community and the diversity of its members.


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