Meet Imperial’s MBA Class of 2024

Meet Imperial's MBA Class of 2024

A STRONG MORAL COMPASS

Such a commitment to the future not only requires a dedication to developing tech-savvy prowess and an open mind, but equipping students with the ability to consider the implications of their actions on the wider world. “The Imperial culture is about being innovative and entrepreneurial on the one hand, and about being a responsible leader on the other,” says Perkmann. He notes experiences like the LEADS module which provides students with opportunity during their learning to reflect upon the progress they’re making, the skills they still need to refine, and consider their futures.

Barlow agrees. “We also focus on fostering responsible leadership,” he shares, “our teaching style is characterised by reflection, critical thinking, and an awareness of the interconnected environment in which modern organizations function.”

It’s this culture which prompted Aakanksha Jaiswal to pursue her MBA with the School. “The Imperial program had a great focus on making a positive impact on society, whether through the self-development modules or through the ESG and Stakeholder Impact specialization, both of which appealed to me and aligned well with my values and goals,” she says.

ADVICE FOR APPLICANTS

For students considering Imperial College Business School, the opportunities are seemingly limitless for those with a curious mind. “My top tips for future students are: first, to say “yes” to every opportunity that comes your way between September and October,” says Giovanni Sobrero. “There are a lot of opportunities and the MBA is all about what you put in and saying yes to a few different challenges will overall enhance the MBA experience.”

But retaining your sense of self is also of vital importance, according to Eva Look. “Be authentic both to yourself and to the admissions panel. Take the time to deeply understand yourself and your long-term career aspirations. This self-reflection will help you craft a compelling narrative.”

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE VICE DEAN AND THE ACADEMIC DIRECTOR

Poets&Quants reached out to Markus Perkmann, vice dean (research and faculty), and the academic director of the MBA, Professor James Barlow at Imperial College Business School for a Q&A. Here are their thoughts on what students can expect from the MBA program.

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?

Perkmann: I would like to foreground two key Imperial MBA experiences. The first is the LEADS module which is an holistic leadership module that runs throughout the year. It allows for constant reflection and improvement with respect to the questions: “How am I developing as a leader?”, “What progress I am making?” and “Where do I need to improve?” The module finishes with a memorable capstone in an amazing outdoor location!

Another key item are our “glocal” modules. These electives are co-thought in global location by a member of our faculty collaborative with external faculty and experts. For instance, we teach a glocal on sales leadership in Houston, at the Sales Excellence Institute there. This is an example of the kind of global business experience that our MBA candidates can acquire during their MBA with us.

Meet Imperial's MBA Class of 2024

James Barlow

Barlow: Given our unique connection in one of the world’s leading science and technology universities, it’s not surprising Imperial College Business School applies the latest technological innovation and research in the classroom. An example of this is the Imperial Innovation Challenge Week, where students participate in a one-week laboratory experience working alongside Imperial scientists. This helps our students understand deep tech and apply their innovative thinking to create business solutions to complex real-world global issues. This is a one-of-a-kind experience, giving students hands-on technical expertise. Technology and innovation are integral to Imperial, making this module essential to our MBA program.

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?
Barlow: Our Global Experience Week creates memorable experiences for our students. Not only is it an opportunity to bond and network with their peers, but it also gives them the chance to delve into cultural differences and understand business models from outside their own experience. They learn about the challenges faced by local populations and organizations, and how a country’s business environment affects the way they operate. This year, students can visit Kenya or Brazil. The Global Experience Week equips our students with an international mindset, preparing them for leadership careers worldwide.

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?

Perkmann: The Imperial Innovation Challenge is a module where our MBA candidates work as a team on identifying commercialization opportunities for new technologies originating at Imperial. This involves evaluating what new technology can potentially do, how it can be deployed and how much it is worth. Learning these kind of skills is exceedingly valuable in any company that either produces innovations inside or seeks to source innovative ideas from the outside. Technology and innovation is essential in Imperial’s DNA, which makes this module an essential experience of the Imperial MBA.

Meet Imperial's MBA Class of 2024

P&Q: How would you describe the Imperial College Business School culture? How does this culture give MBAs an advantage in the marketplace after graduation?

Barlow: The Imperial culture emphasizes innovation and entrepreneurship; both qualities are essential for companies and organizations aiming to succeed. We impart the skills of innovation and entrepreneurship as valuable and applicable abilities across various job roles and sectors. Our culture encourages a transformative journey, where our students adapt and evolve as leaders throughout the duration of their MBA. On completing the program, graduates depart with a sense of transformation in their role as business leaders.

We also focus on fostering responsible leadership; our teaching style is characterized by reflection, critical thinking, and an awareness of the interconnected environment in which modern organizations function.

Perkmann: The Imperial culture is about being innovative and entrepreneurial on the one hand, and about being a responsible leader on the other. Innovation and entrepreneurial mindset are important for a companies and organizations that want to thrive. At Imperial we teach innovation and entrepreneurship as a learnable skill, relevant for virtually all job roles, ranging from strategy, marketing, finance and project management to name a few.

The other part is about responsible leadership. At Imperial we teach a kind of leadership that is reflective, critical, and cognizant of the broader connected environment in which today’s organizations operate. To practice this kind of leadership, over the course of the LEADS module, our MBA candidates first get to know themselves, then explore the team and interpersonal dimension of leadership, and then consider the societal interdependence of leadership. This whole cycle is then rounded off with and experiential and reflective capstone.

Next Page: Profiles of 12 Imperial College Business School MBAs

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