Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Freya Svedberg-Keating, London Business School

Freya Svedberg-Keating

London Business School

“Research scientist passionate about innovation, looking to accelerate discoveries from the lab to market.”

Hometown: Several European cities, but originally London.

Fun Fact About Yourself:  Last year I completed the annual Dodentocht (The Death Walk), 100km across Belgium in 20 hours.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Undergraduate – University of Edinburgh, UK – Biological Sciences with honors in Immunology

Graduate School – University of Manchester, UK – Ph.D. Immunology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research – Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral research fellow

What makes London such a great place to earn an MBA degree? London provides everything you could want as an MBA student. Professionally, London is home to global businesses and financial institutions, as well as being an established tech hub and home to a growing startup scene. These provide a wealth of experiential learning opportunities to MBA students through LBS’ LondonCAP, which partners student groups with London-based organizations in order to cement learning, as well as both summer and term time internships. In London, there is always a new restaurant to try, exhibition to see, or concert to attend with your classmates and there really is something for everyone. It is also the perfect launch pad to explore the rest of Europe and beyond for treks and weekend breaks.

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? As a research scientist, I have quite a different background compared to most of my classmates. This makes the MBA particularly appealing to me as it provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn from and with individuals coming from a diverse range of professions. I look forward to broadening my perspectives while at LBS, and am certain this will help prepare me for leadership roles in cross-cultural settings in the future.

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? I was drawn to the flexibility of the LBS MBA. While the first year is highly structured focusing on business fundamentals, the second year allows for specialization through a diverse set of elective courses and hands on experience. I hope to make the most of this flexibility, combining classes with term time internships. In addition to flexible class scheduling, the program allows you to choose one of three exit points at 15, 18 or 21 months making it possible to tailor your experience to your career goals and personal circumstances.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at London Business School? I am really excited to get involved in the Healthcare Club at LBS. There are not many places where you can gather a diverse group of individuals from such a wide range of industries all with an interest in healthcare. From clinicians to consultants and biotech to big pharma, the Healthcare Club hosts a global community of professionals. I am particularly keen to help organize the annual healthcare conference, which welcomes speakers from a range of industries to discuss the latest trends and innovations in healthcare.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest achievement was being awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral research fellowship by the European Commission. This is a highly sought-after fellowship awarded specifically to researchers who move overseas to conduct their research. As a successful applicant I had to demonstrate a track record of academic excellence and provide a compelling project for the commission to fund. I was delighted to be awarded the fellowship and am proud of the work our team has done to understand the role of the immune system in liver regeneration, which we are currently preparing for publication.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I recently read Adam Grant’s latest book. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know. The book highlights the cost of clinging to our beliefs and the importance of open mindedness. For any prospective MBAs, this book is a great reminder to be curious about alternatives and open to discovery whether inside or outside of the classroom.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation?  As a PhD student and PostDoc, I have spent the last 8 years researching the immune system and have seen first-hand many new discoveries which have rewritten textbooks and have the potential to change how we treat disease. However, there is a disconnect between basic research developments and real-world advances. An MBA from LBS will allow me to position my career at the intersection of science and industry, enabling me to assist in the establishment and growth of biotech firms. After graduation, I’m looking to move into a life sciences venture capital firm, however, with so many exciting opportunities a lot can change in two years!

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into London Business School’s MBA program? First, talk to as many people as possible, from current students and alumni to professors and the admissions team as they all have a unique perspective on LBS. The ambassadors are a fantastic resource and represent the diversity at LBS. Once you can picture yourself at LBS, you then need to convey this to the admissions committee. Tell your story not the one you think they want to hear. While the essays may initially draw your attention, the short answer questions provide valuable space to expand on your candidacy, don’t leave these to the last minute!


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