Meet London Business School’s MBA Class Of 2024

The annual orientation event for new students to the LBS MBA course. Maria Brookes-Labonne


The London Business School boasts several advantages. Certainly, MBAs are attracted to its flexible schedule, where students can exit out of the program at 15, 18, or 21 months. This enables them to leave earlier to recoup lost pay. The school also boasts an All-Star faculty line-up, including leading thinkers like Lynda Gratton, Herminia Ibarra, and Michael J. Jacobides. At the same time, the program’s cultural diversity brings a unique value to an LBS MBA. Every day, MBAs are exposed to cultural nuances and business practices that can give them a leg up in opening doors, building relationships, and negotiating arrangements. Alexandra Rico-Lloyd, for one, noted that she had already learned about “marriage in Pakistan, banking in Bogota, and lockdown in Singapore” through her early interactions with classmates. This diversity only accrues in value over time, adds Alisha Chowdhury.

“I was seeking an environment that is truly diverse and one that could help me foster relationships with future global leaders. One of the crucial elements of an MBA is relationship building. By developing a global network, you can achieve much more with your career and future businesses. Because of LBS, I envision a future where if I need to connect with someone in any country, like Brazil for example, to talk about an agri-tech start up, I can contact an LBS classmate who can provide the relevant insights on regulation, business, funding, and more. With the largest demographic only making up approximately 15-20% of the student body, LBS embodies diversity and diversity is the future of global business.”

And London only amplifies the school’s diversity. With London being home to 270 nationalities and 300 languages, the London Business School is a place, says Alexandra Rico-Lloyd, where she 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.” Always somewhere to go with something to do and someone to meet, Rico-Lloyd adds, London makes for a diverse professional center – with plenty to do when the sun goes down or the weekend rushes in.

“London is at the heart of world commerce while also offering a wide range of things to do outside the classroom,” observes Anirban Mukhopadhyay. “It’s the only place in the world that has The Shard, a modern architectural marvel, just minutes away from the Tower Bridge, an historical marvel. I believe that it’s the best destination for a student looking to gain the best of both worlds.”


Helen Foley, London Business School

In the 2022 Financial Times survey, London Business School students and alumni gave their school the 5th-highest recommendation score. What are some reasons behind LBS’ popularity” Helen Foley, MBA Programme Director, has some ideas. This summer, P&Q reached out to Foley to learn more about recent innovations and new programme. Here are her thoughts on what students can expect from the MBA program and how its London location and unique curriculum give them an advantage in the workplace.

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

Foley: “We have dedicated efforts over the last year to elevating the importance of our community and student culture. Students often choose LBS for the network they will develop here, and having an engaged, thriving community is vital for these networks to properly flourish. Through close collaboration with students, we have developed training and development initiatives, as well as a focus on the full return to in-person, interactive, and engaged learning. These elements highlight how our very special community can be at its best, through the commitment of all to making it successful.

We have started a review of our professional skills delivery, rebranding the core module as Skills for the Future. We are committed to further weaving the importance of skills acquisition throughout the programme, to meet students’ development needs throughout the 2-year journey, acknowledging the impact this can have not only on their MBA experience, but as stronger, more self-aware and impactful leaders of tomorrow.”

P&Q: If you were giving a campus tour, what is the first place you’d take an MBA applicant? Why is that so important to the MBA experience?

Foley: “I am very proud of our Sammy Ofer Centre, or SOC for short, which is where the majority of MBA teaching takes place. SOC is located in the Grade II-listed Marylebone Town Hall building, and was extensively yet sensitively redeveloped by LBS, opening its doors in 2017. The space is both stunning and practical, with fantastic technology installed throughout for teaching and learning, and beautiful shared study and networking facilities. Walking into SOC and feeling the buzz and energy of students chatting, laughing and generally enjoying life as they go about their studies is a wonderful experience and one that epitomises everything we strive to deliver for MBA students.”

P&Q: What is the most innovative thing you have introduced into the MBA program in recent years? How has it been a game changer for your program?

Foley: “While there is little to be grateful for from the pandemic, the related digital transformation of our classrooms and teaching methods was most definitely a game changer. We continue to believe strongly in the value and impact of in-person teaching and learning experiences. It would be remiss, however, not to acknowledge that equipping our classrooms to be fully hybrid-enabled. This not only allowed us to continue to deliver successful programmes during lockdowns, doing so has also provided us with the ability to make our classrooms even more global than they were previously.

Faculty can bring in guest speakers from all over the world as live, interactive contributors to support and enhance the classroom experience. While distance and limited technology previously made this impossible, it’s now a regular part of LBS teaching, with experts, CEOs and academics from all over the world engaging with our students in the classroom. Students have access to recruiters from all over the world, and our online outreach to prospective future candidates has grown significantly. As climate change pressures persist, and we all aim to live and work more sustainably, limiting travel and its inevitable impact on the environment is an additional benefit of our development of hybrid teaching technology.”

Class of 2024 Orientation

P&Q: What have MBAs told you is the most memorable, signature experience they’ve had in your program? Why did it resonate so much with them?

Foley: “Almost without exception, our students tell us that the global and diverse connections and networks they make at LBS are what makes their experience as outstanding as it is. The value of bringing together 60 or 70 nationalities in one class, whose backgrounds, cultures and experiences are just as varied, cannot be overestimated. Learning in an environment with such differing perspectives and viewpoints provides an unbelievably vibrant and rich experience. Our students often tell us that they have completely changed their own understanding of the world, and how they act in both business and life going forward, has been entirely turned around as a result.”

P&Q: How does the MBA program leverage the resources of London? How does that create more opportunities for your students?

Foley: “London truly is at the heart of the London Business School MBA. Not only are we a stone’s throw away from the City, the UK’s world-renowned Financial District, or from London’s vibrant tech world, but we are also committed to embedding London throughout the MBA. Some examples include the London CAP, part of our Year 1 tailored core offering, where students have the opportunity to work with London-based companies on real-world project opportunities.

Another example is the opportunity for students to enhance their program experience through involvement with the Walpole program. Based in London, the mission of Walpole is to promote, protect and develop British Luxury. Through the LBS partnership with Walpole, students have the opportunity to be mentored directly by some of the CEOs and heads of the UK’s most iconic luxury brands.

To go to the completely opposite end of the London spectrum – London is an incredibly wealthy city, but inevitably for this type of city, it also has large amounts of poverty and communities living in situations very different from the picture-postcard images of London. As part of the MBA Orientation, we collaborate with an organization whose focus is on community projects and improving the lives and futures of the people we live side by side with. Working in their study groups in week 1 of the program, our students are tasked with a large-scale project to rejuvenate, develop and improve the community facilities and environment for a poorer area of London, working in teams for the benefit of that community. The value this brings to the students is significant in many ways.”

LBS’ London campus is on the doorstep of Regents Park

P&Q: What is the most underrated part of your program that you wish students knew more about? How does that make your graduates more valuable to prospective employers?

Foley: “While I’m not sure underrated is the right word, I do think the value of the language programme, an optional element of the MBA, is perhaps not always given due attention. Working with expert tutors from King’s College London, students can choose from Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish, with classes available at a range of levels based on students’ previous language experience.

The ability to work globally, and to build successful business relationships across borders, requires the ability to understand cultural nuances and perspectives, and language is a critical part of this. Our students come to us already equipped with diverse, multi-cultural experience, and the opportunity to extend this even further through the acquisition of a new language, or development of existing skills, is a key selling point for prospective employers.”

Next Page: Profiles of 12 LBS First-Years

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