London Business School’s MBA is a product of the city it is based in. Like London itself, LBS is cosmopolitan and full of opportunities. As one student puts it, the MBA class has “head-spinning internationalism and inclusiveness.” In a typical year, over 90% of students were from outside the UK, 70 nationalities were represented, and about half of students were from groups classified as minorities in the UK. To cater for this diverse cohort LBS recently overhauled its MBA to make it course “the world’s most flexible MBA.”
The new two-year MBA has eight “fundamentals” courses, but even in the first year it flexes, with a “tailored core” of courses which now includes courses such as big data, customer markets and digital strategy. There are also skills courses in programming, coding and fintech, and digital courses in finance accounting and quantitative methods, to give a more blended experience.
Another focus is on experiential learning. In year one all students will do a real-world project in London. Recent MBA geraduates are working in organizations as diverse as the Stella McCartney fashion business, and the UK government’s Cabinet Office.
Year two is entirely customized for each student takes at least 10 of the 70-plus electives on offer. All students go on a Global Business Experience to cities including like Johannesburg, Yangon in Myanmar, Mumbai, Tel Aviv and Lima. Global Business Perspectives courses are designed to raise cultural awareness and help students learn the subtleties of doing business in different regions.
Recognizing that student do MBAs for all sorts of reasons, LBS allows Students to choose whether to finish the MBA in 15, 18 or 21 months, depending on whether they want a fast career acceleration, or a longer, more exploratory experience.
There is still one intake a year, but it is now split into six, rather than five, streams. Partly to accommodate these extra students, LBS recently opened the Sammy Ofer Centre in the historic Old Marylebone Town Hall, a short walk from the central campus, which has six new lecture theaters, a library, 35 seminar rooms, offices, staff and faculty suites, a student lounge, broadcast facilities and a new alumni centre.
WHAT THE SCHOOL SAYS:
Arnold Longboy, Executive Director, Recruitment & Admissions:
“With a 92% international student body and our location in a dynamic city like London, our MBA is likely the most global programme in the world. We attract and recruit future alumni with high cultural intelligence (CQ) — an individual’s capability to adapt to different cultural contexts — or students looking to further enhance their CQ. Our faculty lead research that uncovers how to succeed in a global, diverse business environment, while our students, who benefit first hand from such thought leadership, continue to be sought after from leading employers.”
Nolan Sardesai, MBA class of 2018:
“What appealed to me about LBS was the international window it provides, the ability to travel the world and also to see the world through my classmates’ eyes. London is a great gateway to the rest of Europe, and also Asia and Africa. Obviously, there is a lot to do in London, too. The thing that really brings LBS together is the student body, which is truly diverse. You are surrounded by 400 of the most amazing people from every corner of the planet. The social side is very strong, and this school is more like a family than any other I’ve been to.”
B-School Smack Down Reports: