Thursday, November 13, 2003

London Business School InfoSession

I walked into the Infosession expecting more of the usual. A presentation about why the school is great, an overview of the admissions process and a Q&A with alumni and students. And it was pretty much on the same lines. I like LBS a lot and was seriously considering it to start with, and came away with an even better impression of the school. Reaffirmed my i-can-belong-here classification of the school in a big way.

A couple of things that David Simpson, the adcomm guy, talked about stand out for me as an Indian application.

First, TOEFL scores. I read about techiedude's issues in his blog with having to take the TOEFL for Berkeley. David said that he thought it was almost insulting to ask Indian students to take the TOEFL ! He said London knows about the standards of english education in India and Indian students are actually considered native english speakers. Finally, an adcomm who knows and understands our education system.

Second, I asked him about community service. Again he said that they understand that there are cultural issues around this. Someone educated in the US usually has some sort of CS experience because of its emphasis in school and college curricula, but Brits and Indians generally do not. They do not have the maniacal obsession that US schools do about this, and one can substitute enterpreneurial experiences in lieu of CS. Very refreshing. Also, talked to a couple of students and one had done some things with non-profits but the other said she had absolutely no experience (of course, they were european).

Was thinking about this on my way back to work and it struck me that while all the US' schools talk about diversity and global nature of their programs, nobody seems to think of student qualifications in the context of their backgrounds and cultures.

LBS has many things going for it, but is definitely not a school for everyone. For somebody who is interested in a global perspective on business, and is looking forward to an international career, it's an excellent place to be. Finding jobs in the US is definitely harder to do than from a US school. Excellent campus, superb location in the heart of London and access to all the resources that city and its business community has to offer, exchange programs with 27 schools as of now I think, unique projects such as a first year shadowing project and 2y paid consulting project, merit-based scholarships, are some of the plusses of this school. Of course, it has great brand recognition almost all over the world and has global alumni networks.

I am convinced I would be a good for the school, and it a good fit for me. Going to start working on the app soon.
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