2023 MBA To Watch: Dezhi Yu, London Business School

Dezhi Yu

London Business School

“Trying to be the best version of myself.”

Hometown: Shenyang, China

Fun fact about yourself: I once gave Stephen Colbert and his kid a campus tour as a student ambassador at Colgate University.

Undergraduate School and Degree: BA, Colgate University (USA)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Corporate Strategy Analyst, DAI

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? V.EV (Subsidiary of Vitol) in London

Where will you be working after graduation? To Be Decided

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

President of the LBS Student Association

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Amongst the many things I set out to do as the President of the LBS Student Association (SA), I believe that I have made the most impact in strengthening the foundation of our student governmental institution, through introducing a series of new policies (some still in the making) and a change in organisational culture. On the policy front, we are working on a fit-for-purpose environmental, social, and governance policy that guides club activities, such as reducing waste and carbon footprint, making student-led events more inclusive (socio-economically and equitably), and holding clubs financially accountable. Other policies, such as student leader reimbursements, are already in place.

On the culture front, I took measures to encourage participation of graduate master’s students and gave them more voice in both the SA and in student clubs. I also endeavour to spend our budget prudently in an inflationary environment while keeping SA events affordable. I’m a strong believer that to effectively oversee and support student activities, the SA should be the role model. That’s why I’m so proud of my job and my team.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? During my time at DAI, I came across a Nigerian start-up called Lifestores Healthcare. I really liked the business model and its potential impact (commercial and social). I stayed in touch with the founders and provided help and support whenever I could. Through a series of successful funding rounds, the company is pushing ahead with its mission to democratize access to quality and affordable primary healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa.

Why did you choose this business school? I wanted to join a truly global cohort of young professionals, exchange ideas and build connections.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Anja Lambrecht (Professor of Marketing) is everything one could ask for in a business school professor. She is knowledgeable, open, friendly, intellectually stimulating, and engaging. I learned a lot from her class “Measuring Impact in the Digital Economy”.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? If I have to pick just one course, it has to be LondonCAP, an LBS signature experiential learning course. I led a team of five MBA students advising a prestigious UK secondary school on sustainability issues (especially reducing carbon footprint). This experience not only sparked my interest in clean tech (leading to my summer internship), but also honed my project management skills.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? In November 2022, the LBS Football Club put forward a proposal for screening FIFA World Cup matches on campus. I supported the idea, allocated funding from the SA and worked closely with the school and other students behind the scenes. The outcome was a very successful series of viewing events that brought together students from all programmes and many countries. In true LBS style, the football viewings celebrated our diversity as a community.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? An important aspect of MBA experience is the network. Making acquaintance is something I’m good at, but deepening those connections is harder. It requires more time and effort, but is also a balancing act.

What is the biggest myth about your school? LBS has a reputation of being a finance school. While the school can always improve students’ career diversity, I’m positively surprised by so many peers who are interested in entrepreneurship.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? It’s London. Need I say more?

What surprised you the most about business school? We should take nothing for granted.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I am not sure. I just put my best foot forward.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Ankush Thakkar, MBA 2023. He is a key member of the Student Association and a great friend. He is energetic, upright, ambitious, considerate, witty, and fun to be around.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Lead an organisation, make an impact (commercial and social).

What made Dezhi such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Dezhi has proven himself to be an invaluable member of the MBA2023 class. Joining LBS as the pandemic was still impacting the community meant that he joined an unusual situation. Without the normal handover from one cohort to the next, the class of MBA2023 found themselves forging their own “normal”, with an ambitious commitment to revitalising the LBS campus and community. This needed a leader to step up, and Dezhi willingly and passionately stepped up to take on that role.

As President of the LBS Student Association, Dezhi has collaborated extensively across the School, often working without clear direction from his previous peers, to bring the Student Association back to life. Representing not just the MBA, but all LBS degree programmes, Dezhi has worked tirelessly on campaigns including a commitment to academic rigour, focus on sustainability and other elements of ESG, and has contributed significantly to very important work on promoting belonging, equality and inclusivity across our community.

Without Dezhi’s passion and leadership, the class of MBA2023 would not have benefitted from so much of the life and vitality that the LBS Student Association brings. Dezhi’s unwavering commitment to making the MBA experience the very best it can be, undoubtedly sometimes at the expense of his personal journey, epitomises the LBS values of being rigorous and inspiring to others.”

Helen Foley

MBA Program Director, London Business School



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