Did you have much of a business background before applying to London Business School (LBS)?
I was quite business-minded, probably more so than the average student: I read the Economist and the FT. But I didn't decide until relatively late that I wanted to pursue a career in business - most of my spare time at university was spent at the Students Union, the Debating Society and on the rugby pitch.
But one of the things that I certainly give credit to those running the MiM (Masters in Management) programme for is that they are good at spotting people who have the right skillset for the course, even if it isn't necessarily a traditional business skillset. So if you do well in your studies, and are a capable person with a track record of having some get up and go, then the MiM could be for you. From my personal experience I'd say they're willing to look at a wide range of graduates to find the best talent.
How would you describe the MiM?
You could think of it as a conversion course for those interested in the business world, akin to the law conversion course for students who want to join the legal profession. However, it is highly practical and provides the right skills to take straight into the workplace.
It's a broad and multi-disciplinary course, but is, of course, focused on business-related subjects. So anyone like me who comes from an arts background has a steep learning curve, but it's also a very rewarding learning curve.
As well as a grounding in business fundamentals like leadership and marketing, and numerical training in areas like accounting and economics, there are modules on less tangible subjects like organisational behaviour. That course, which was focused on how organisations work and their internal politics, was a particular highlight for me.
It's tough course and it takes sacrifices to do but it's something that really gives you an edge out there.
How does the MiM help students make connections in the business world?
Making connections with the business world is definitely one of the school's strengths, and the links are increasing as the programme becomes better-known. Companies visit the campus and interact with the societies we have here - a friend of mine even went to Los Angeles on the back of his involvement in the LBS club for those interested in working in the entertainment industry.
The course now also includes a Business Immersion Week and Global Immersion Field Trips, on both of which you get to visit major businesses and meet people working in a whole spread of industries.
There is also a career services team that provides recruitment opportunities for MiM students post-graduation, with companies from Harrods to HSBC.
What was the application process like?
It was very rigorous with multiple application forms and interviews.
The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), which is an important part of the process, was, without a doubt, one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It's tough and you need to study hard for it, but it's part of what helps LBS get the best people.
Many LBS students, for example, those on the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) course, are already experienced professionals. What benefits does this bring to MiM students?
It was fantastic, for instance, to be taught by high-calibre professors who also teach chief executives and other business leaders.
Also, at LBS you get to meet these more experienced businesspeople on other programmes through the school's clubs and societies. It was great to meet people from a higher level in the workforce and build a network that could be useful in the future.
Finally, how would you summarise the benefits of studying at LBS to finalists thinking of applying there?
LBS is an extremely highly-regarded business school, which is a huge attraction.
Then there's the nature of the student intake - 90 per cent of my course mates weren't UK nationals. LBS lets you experience the kind of international environment you'll find at the top global companies around the world.
And, crucially, when I've been applying for jobs, I've found that the people I meet in the business world know all about LBS and see its courses as a gold standard in business education.