Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Alexandra Rico-Lloyd, London Business School

Alexandra Rico-Lloyd

London Business School

“School drop-out mother-of-three entrepreneur, who built a £45m business by 26.”

Hometown: London, UK

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve had three homebirths

Undergraduate School and Major: None

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Bike Club, Founder

What makes London such a great place to earn an MBA degree? I’ve lived in London all my life, it’s one of the most multi-cultural cities on earth. My son goes to a French-speaking nursery and my daughters go to a Spanish-speaking nursery. Neither my husband or I speak either language, but our children (aged 3, 2 and 0) are teaching us! I can find Colombian food for my mum (she’s Colombian), have a Korean barbeque with friends one night and dance the night away at a reggaeton night the next.

London is a hub for diverse professions too. I can go to a founders’ breakfast with fellow entrepreneurs, have lunch with investors travelling to London and dinner with e-commerce professionals from across Europe – all in one day. A few weeks ago, I hosted a dinner in my back garden with visitors from New York, Madrid and Holland. There is always someone to meet and something to do.

London Business School is one of the most culturally and professionally diverse MBA programs in the world. How do you see these global perspectives enhancing the value of your business education over the next two years? I’m a Londoner who’s lived in London all her life and is about to study for an MBA in London. That might sound pretty boring, but I made the decision to stay in London for my family; my husband’s job is here, my family is here, and I just bought a house. So, when looking for an MBA, I was immediately attracted to the diverse cohorts that appear fairly unique to London Business School. Already, I’ve met people from every continent throughout the world. What’s most incredible is that many of them have such diverse professional and personal experiences. I love how we are able to learn from each other’s experiences and each bring a new perspective. I’ve already learned about marriage in Pakistan, banking in Bogota, and lockdown in Singapore.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of London Business School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The LBS MBA course is fairly long. It’s 21-months long, with options to end earlier. Some others span just one academic year. I’ve spent the last six years with my head down building my business, so I’m keen to open up my life to new and diverse experiences. I want to involve myself in societies, learn a new language, and do a few internships. One year simply wouldn’t be long enough to immerse myself in the academics, as well as the other possibilities studying an MBA provides.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at London Business School? Well, I love skiing, so I’ve joined the Snow Club. I’ve also started a Parents’ Club – initially because I wanted to meet more parents, but now I’ve realized the value I bring as a Londoner in helping international families settle in the UK. I hope we can create a supportive community that makes studying an MBA feel more possible for students with families. After all, I’m passionate about supporting parents in the workplace, so that should also extend to academic institutions.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I’ve helped over 40,000 families throughout the UK get cycling. I’ve shaken up the cycling industry and helped bring the circular economy to life.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? A lot of MBA candidates (not just those applying to LBS) seem to think that studying for an MBA will make it possible for them to start their own companies. Firstly, I think that’s the wrong approach. I’m living proof that you don’t need an MBA to start a business, and so are many successful entrepreneurs. I’d recommend Secret Leaders by Dan Murray-Serter and Diary of a CEO by Steven Barltett, both great podcasts that explore the idea that being “your own boss” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Both explore the various challenges of entrepreneurship, the inevitable failures, and the immense pressure to succeed.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I recently sold part of my stake in my company and was assessing various options. Ultimately the next two years will be a period of exploration for me. I need time to reflect on my own successes and failures and explore more of who I am as an individual. I hope to explore a few industries and see where that takes me. I’m open-minded as to what that might be, but I know that I want to make an impact on the world.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into London Business School’s MBA program? London Business School is really interested in admitting pupils who have an open mind. You’ve got to be willing to learn from others and learn about yourself. Think about what makes you unique. As an example, London Business School design seating plans for the lectures to ensure you’re not surrounded by people who have the same experience as you. That’s fantastic because you will learn from a diverse range of people. So think about what you bring to your group that makes you stand out.


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