Harvard | Mr. Athlete Turned MBB Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. Old Indian Engineer
GRE 333, GPA 67%
Ross | Mr. Civil Rights Lawyer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Chicago Booth | Ms. CS Engineer To Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.31
Chicago Booth | Mr. Private Equity To Ed-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Trucking
GMAT 640, GPA 3.82
Ross | Mr. Low GRE Not-For-Profit
GRE 316, GPA 74.04% First Division (No GPA)
Harvard | Mr. Marine Pilot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.98
Harvard | Mr. Climate
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seeking Fellow Program
GMAT 760, GPA 3
Harvard | Mr. Army Intelligence Officer
GRE 334, GPA 3.97
Harvard | Ms. Data Analyst In Logistics
GRE 325, GPA 4
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Comeback Story
GRE 313, GPA 2.9
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Green Financing
GRE 325, GPA 3.82
Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Bangladeshi Data Scientist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.33
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77
MIT Sloan | Mr. Marine Combat Arms Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Mr. Automotive Compliance Professional
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. MBB Aspirant/Tech
GMAT 700, GPA 3.16
Kellogg | Mr. PM To Tech Co.
GMAT 720, GPA 3.2
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Chess Professional
GRE 317, GPA 8.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Deferred Asian Entrepreneur
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Yale | Mr. IB To Strategy
GRE 321, GPA 3.6

Meet London Business School’s MBA Class Of 2023

Outside LBS’ Sussex Place Building. Copyright Richard Moran

BUILDERS AND AWARD-WINNERS

One word that describes the Class of 2023: Resourceful. After listening to feedback from agriculture professionals, Sonia Kuguru went to work. The result was the 60 Decibels Climate Resilience Tool, an impact investing solution that helps farmers “understand their climate risks and identify areas to enhance their resilience.” At BNP Paribas, Seun Akingbogun was chosen to work alongside a managing director to build a new division. In two years, she helped grow it into a business that generated $22 million euros. Her efforts were also recognized when her team earned Euromoney’s 2021 Best Bank for Sustainable Finance Award.

Akingbogun isn’t the only class member with an imposing trophy shelf. “In 2017, I won a silver Cannes Lion for a long-form film for a stop smoking brand,” writes Jemima Maunder-Taylor. “It was the product of a long period of strategy development, in which I repositioned the brand in order to find new routes to market to enable growth and NPD. Two years later, I won two awards for a completely different piece of ‘work’… It was a new marketing campaign for a charity that was losing relevance, increasingly crowded out by charities with louder megaphones (and deeper pockets). The campaign reversed awareness decline and galvanized the charity’s stakeholders – most of whom were beneficiaries of its services. Seeing their reactions to our campaign is a memory I’ll treasure!”

Other class members left their marks in various regions.  Keegan Flynn produced an agricultural drone service — “the first of its kind in a developing country,” he says. His solution enabled Myanmar paddy farmers to “better detect and treat pest, disease and soil problems.” Damilola Olagunju notes that Micro Small Businesses (MSBs) account for 52% of Nigeria’s GDP — and 84% of its employment rolls. In response, she took on a project at BCG where she was able to work with these organizations. The results? She doubled the profits of over 100 MSBs within three months of working with them. In Kenya, Hugo Winn launched a startup that provided patient transportation to expand access to emergency medical care.

London Business School – LBS’s Sussex Place campus in London

FROM HOME SCHOOL TO HARVARD

“In Nairobi, thousands died every year either getting to hospital or ambulances were infamously unreliable,” Winn explains. “We realised that the problem was not the supply of ambulances or equipment, but the way these assets were distributed. I helped build a model that aggregated private ambulances onto one system, providing one point of contact during an emergency, reducing the cost of accessing care by 80% and response times from over two hours to 15 minutes.”

Thomas Pearson-Jones also made his biggest contribution in medicine. After studying at Oxford, he became a medical officer in the British Army…and a peacekeeper. “My biggest accomplishment has been completing a successful deployment as the lead clinician to Bosnia & Herzegovina working with several EU nations as part of the stabilization operations ongoing in Bosnia & Herzegovina. I was particularly proud of this achievement as it entailed significant planning elements and to be able to implement your own plan successfully in an austere environment was particularly rewarding.”

In their personal lives, the Class of 2023 has certainly enjoyed their fair share of adventures. Keegan Flynn has surfed on five continents, just missing Europe and Antarctica. Speaking of the ocean, Jemima Maunder-Taylor spent time as a coral reef research diver, collecting over 200 hours of data on wildlife in the process. Noam Kan still types with one finger…but can play the piano with all the rest. Think that’s unexpected? Check out Gina Mirow, a venture capitalist who once studied philosophy and spent a year in a vegan commune. And then there’s Lien Le. She didn’t attend a formal school until she was 12…and then earned a degree from Harvard…in Applied Mathematics, no less.

THE CLASS PROFILE

This past year, the London Business School received 2,993 applications, an increase by over 100 submissions. At the same time, LBS’ acceptance rate dipped to 30.8%, a reflection that the school has become more selective than the past two years (34.7% for both the 2022 and 2021 classes).

By the same token, the Class of 2023’s GMAT average rose eight points to 708, with scores ranging from 590-790. Another 14% of the class submitted GRE scores. Overall, 38% of the class is comprised of women. True to form, 90% of the class hails from outside the United Kingdom. The largest segment of the class — 21% — were born in North America. Central and South Asia each account for 15% of the class. Continental Europe and Latin America make up 16% and 11% of the class respectively. The remaining 12% is divided evenly between Africa, the Middle East, and Oceania.

Professionally, the Class of 2023 averages 5.5 years of work experience. A third of the class arrives after last working in consulting. Another 26% held positions in Finance and Accounting. Combined, the Technology, Retail, and Energy sectors hold an 18% share of the class. The remainder includes representatives from Healthcare, Manufacturing, Marketing and Media, Automotive and Aerospace, Law, Military, and the Public Sector.

London Business School: MBAs outside the school’s Sammy Ofer Centre in London. Copyright Richard Moran

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE PROGRAMME DIRECTOR

Consultants represents the largest segment of incoming MBA candidates. Come graduation, consulting enjoys even greater popularity. 40% of the Class of 2020 chose consulting, making LBS one of the largest producers of consulting talent in the world. In fact, MBB firms hired 492 members of the 2016-2020 classes. That’s not to say LBS is a consulting school. After all, the school recorded one of the largest increases in Tech sector hiring from 2019-2020, with the percentage rising from 20% to 28%.

What can MBAs expect next from the program? This fall, P&Q reached out to Helen Foley, Programme Director, MBA, London Business School. From the program’s distinguished faculty to its deepening resources in STEM, here is the latest on the school.

P&Q: What are the two most exciting developments at your program and how will they enrich the MBA experience for current and future MBAs?

HF: “We have collaborated extensively with our student body to expand and further develop student learning journeys focussed on particular specialisations. Highlighting three focus areas – Tech & Analytics, Social Impact, and Innovation – allows our students to pursue their MBA through a specialist lens and enhance their business expertise in a particular field.

We are also launching 13 new elective courses this 2021-22 academic year focussed on areas such as digital investing, innovation and AI, giving our students even more opportunities to tailor their MBA to suit their unique interests and career aspirations.”

Helen Foley

P&Q: What are two biggest differentiating features of your MBA program? How do each of these enrich the learning of your MBA students?

HF: “Customising the MBA from as early as Term 2 of their first year allows our students to create their own MBA with a focus on what really motivates and drives them forward.

The diversity of our global student body is unrivaled. Our classes are truly international, with no single nationality dominating. This means our classrooms are diverse, our discussions rich and varied, and students have a genuine ability to challenge perspectives based on real-world experience, enriching the learning experience for everyone.”

P&Q: In recent years, there have been several areas that have gained increased prominence in business school programming, including STEM, analytics, artificial intelligence and digital disruption. How does your full-time MBA program integrate these concepts across its curriculum?

HF: “We regularly review and update our Tailored Core and Elective course portfolio to ensure our offering reflects market demand and our students have access to the latest business thinking. For the 2021-22 academic year, we expanded our course portfolio even further to add courses such as Digital for Impact, AI in Marketing, Innovation and Technology Strategy and The Economics of a Crisis.”

P&Q: What have you learned during the pandemic and the shift to hybrid or remote learning and how will they impact the MBA experience going forward?

HF: “Like all other businesses, the pandemic required that we be agile and ready to react to unexpected changes. It also stretched us to experiment and embrace new ways of learning and connecting as a community. We found value in remote and hybrid learning experiences, in the unexpected benefits non-traditional course formats and delivery can offer and, of course, in good technology that supports learning and teaching. Saying all that, we were delighted to welcome all our classes back to our campuses for in-person teaching recently! We had missed having our students on site and the serendipitous encounters that come from being together on campus.”

P&Q: London Business School is known for housing one of the top faculties in the world. Give us an example of one of your professors who sets the bar. What can LBS MBAs expect in his or her class and what makes him or her such a standout teacher?

HF: “Nader Tavassoli has been a valued member of the LBS Marketing faculty since 2002. Since then, he has been a hugely popular professor, providing high-calibre teaching and innovative methods to facilitate high quality classroom discussions on both core and elective teaching. The introduction of Hybrid School during the pandemic saw Nader raise the bar further through embracing and championing the use of technology to enhance the teaching and learning of his classroom. His engaging approach, subject matter expertise and ongoing commitment to the students provides for dynamic and creative learning environment.

Anna Pavlova has been a Professor of Finance at London Business School since 2005, teaching on the MBA core Finance course among others. Her lively, humorous and engaging approach to teaching is very popular with students across the programme. Her ability to make all aspects of Finance interesting, challenging and enjoyable is noted regularly by students, who rate her as one of the best professors they’ve ever had. She has a natural ability to teach passionately and with humour to students with strong Finance backgrounds and equally to those with little to no prior experience, creating both an accessible and challenging learning environment.”

P&Q: What are your two most popular MBA student clubs? What are the biggest events put on by these clubs? Why do these clubs resonate so deeply with your students?

Tech & Media Club – It offers students holistic coverage of tech-related careers through LBSElevate (the mentorship program to facilitate non-tech career transitions), Product@LBS (conference focused on Product Management as a career), Media Week, Projects@TMC (experiential learning opportunities), speaker sessions etc. and is well-complimented with the new Tech & Analytics concentration at LBS.

Women in Business (WiB) Club – It is a meaningful platform for women and allies to foster gender diversity at work and beyond. They facilitate women in preparing for their desired career paths through personal development workshops, sectoral recruiting mentorship etc. Their massive Manbassador base also helps it deliver its initiatives, including the biggest student-led conference in Europe on gender diversity – EQUALL. Elizabeth Warren was one of the keynote speakers earlier this year. As a community, we know that equality is a critical theme but we also know there is still a long way to go. WiB have an amazing leadership group that are committed to driving change. We believe that by having an exposure to more women role models, more women will find their embrace their uniqueness in the workplace.”

Page 3: In-depth profiles of 15 members of the Class of 2023

Page 2 of 3