2021 MBAs To Watch: Tabria Lenard, London Business School

Tabria Lenard

London Business School

“African-American woman and global leader rooted in culture, community and commerce.”

Hometown: Teaneck, New Jersey

Fun fact about yourself: My maternal grandparents and mother were each born on a different island in the Caribbean. Outside of food, carnival is one of my favorite ways to stay close to my culture. I’ve been a masquerader in carnivals in Trinidad, Barbados, Miami, Boston, and of course London.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Northeastern University, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Concentration in Marketing & Finance)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Bloomingdale’s, Omni Senior Assistant Buyer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? Intern, Spring 2021, Farfetch, London, UK

Where will you be working after graduation? I love pursuing an unstructured path. As a result, my role post MBA is still TBD. Employers, if you’re reading this, I’m available.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Co-Founder & Co-President, Black in Business Club; Co-President, Retail & Luxury Goods Club; Inclusion & Diversity Committee; Africa Club Mentor; North America Club Mentor

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Working with my amazing peers and team to get Black in Business (BiB), the first club of its kind at a top business school in Europe, up and running. Black in Business has opened doors, started conversations, and provided opportunities for students and professionals to work together on a way forward on racial equality. The club and the legacy that we will leave behind has far surpassed any expectation that I had for business school. BiB’s impact has reached the UK, France, and Spain with partnerships with organizations such as BBCG and BYP, as well as similar clubs started at Esade and HEC Paris. Moving forward, the club will be a platform for progress, a safe space for Black students, and a community for everyone.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? It was working with BRAG (Black Retail Action Group) as a consultant since summer 2020, helping to rebrand their internship program and interview candidates in US-based undergraduate programs. With the goal of diversifying the business of fashion, it is in direct alliance with my purpose to make the retail industry accessible to the next generation of minority leaders, providing them early on with the access and awareness that helped to guide my career path.

Why did you choose this business school? Hands down, it was because of LBS’ focus on global diversity. As an American, I’ve never wanted my experiences or my impact to be limited to the US. Knowing that I was walking into an institution where approximately 80% of the class would come from outside of North America was a major selling point that no other leading business school could provide for me.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Stefano Turconi, my professor-turned-friend. Stefano connected with the students enrolled in his Luxury Strategy class early on and engaged with us on LinkedIn and in person. When we met at an event prior to the start of his class, we instantly connected. Over time, he has been an advisor and confidante. We’ve shared resources and uncovered opportunities for one another. Beyond our interest in luxury, Stefano understood early on the importance of bringing in diverse speakers into his classroom, even going as far to make sure I connected with one of the few Black executives within luxury prior to her speaking in his course.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Tattoo, our annual event showcasing the talent and cultural diversity within LBS. I choreographed the dance for the Africa Club, and we won second place!

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would’ve gone to our Diwali celebration in my first year. It’s my biggest regret of the MBA! I booked a trip with a few other classmates to Budapest without realizing that the dates clashed. My stream performed in the dance competition and won. I hate that I missed out on an opportunity to partake in such a culturally significant moment.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The best MBA programs are in the US. While the US is without a doubt home to some of the best MBA programs in the world, those in the know understand that LBS is able to compete on a global platform. I’m proud of my decision to attend LBS over top schools in the US and wish that more people took the opportunity to truly get to know the facts regarding non-US based programs.

What surprised you the most about business school? It was the amount of change that is driven by students. Black in Business is a prime example of this. I’ve also seen my peers do amazing things, like Giri Kesavan (MBA 2021), who worked with staff and faculty to create a Tech concentration in under a year. We’re really able and encouraged to create the impact we wish to see.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I’m an MLT MBA Prep alum. Although the organization focuses mainly on US schools, following the program’s assignments to thoroughly research, speak with students and alumni, and shape my story was essential to my process.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? One of my first friends at LBS is Kemi Badru. Kemi and I are the only two Black women in our stream and we happen to be in the same study group! Beyond the support system that I have in her, I admire her commitment to her culture and community. As a British-Nigerian, Kemi places significant importance on education and opportunities for the youth of Hackney. She is passionate about school governance and ensuring that Hackney teachers have the resources and motivation to help students from low-income background excel academically. In addition to her efforts with education in Hackney, she is the CFO of Canon Education, a Nigerian social enterprise that provides free STEM education to disadvantaged children in Lagos, Nigeria. From clubs to academics and internship opportunities, I don’t know anyone else that has taken advantage of ALL that LBS has to offer the way Kemi does. She’s one of the most determined people I’ve ever met and I know she’ll make an impact anywhere she goes.

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? The shift was naturally disruptive as we all figured out new ways to work and connect with each other. However, LBS did a great job of providing students with the option to attend classes in person or online for as long as possible, as well as investing in the technology and in-class support to facilitate the transition.  We’re all missing in person experiences that can’t be replicated virtually, but are finding new ways to collaborate and make the most out of our remaining time.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Both of my parents have business backgrounds, so I’ve been interested in a career in business from a very young age. However, my work with the TJX Companies, Inc. as a sophomore in undergrad in the US and again as a junior in the UK encouraged me to pursue retail specifically. I found it brilliant that I could combine my creative and analytical abilities and influence customers in their purchase journey. An MBA felt like a natural next step once I got to a certain point in my career, but my experience with the company gave me the foundation that would lead me here.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? It would be owner or CEO of a retailer/marketplace or founder of a non-profit that provides opportunities for minorities to explore creative careers in business through global travel.

What made Tabria Lenard such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“As co-founder of LBS’s new Black in Business club and a member of the School’s Inclusion and Belonging Committee, Tabria Lenard is a human dynamo! Tabria’s energy, enthusiasm and determination were instantly and abundantly evident. She demonstrated real courage in her willingness to be vulnerable and real about what it is like to be a Black student at the school. Pulling no punches, she made it clear why we so badly needed a student-led club that would support and highlight Black students’ particular experience, challenges and opportunities. She is a joy to engage with and the Club is going from strength to strength.”

Kathy Brewis
Senior Managing Editor, Think at London Business School
Member of London Business School’s Inclusion & Diversity Committee





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