Reflecting on Year One: My MBA Rollercoaster at LBS

As the MBA2025 cohort embarked on their campus journey, it dawned on me: I had already completed my exhilarating first year at London Business School. Time truly flies when you’re constantly being pushed and inspired. While many of my peers ventured out on international exchange programs, hungry for new experiences, others were gearing up for rigorous internships, eager to delve into the business world’s nitty-gritty. Personally, I opted for the entrepreneurial track, having recently wrapped up the Entrepreneur Summer School. With my second MVP iteration now complete, I eagerly anticipate my pitch presentation next week. As I commence my second MBA year, I’ve taken a moment to reflect on the invaluable learnings from my first year.

A Journey of Hands-on Learning

The MBA journey is more than just travel and parties (even though we travelled a lot); it’s a rich tapestry of multifaceted learning experiences. I was particularly captivated by the simulation sessions incorporated into courses like ‘Understanding General Management’ and ‘The Science of People in Organisations’. These sessions, where we stepped into varied roles and made pivotal decisions, offered deep insights into the ripple effects of our choices. Furthermore, class discussions were always enlightening. With MBA students hailing from diverse backgrounds, the myriad of perspectives presented truly encouraged out-of-the-box thinking.

Finance was never my forte. Yet, challenging myself, I opted for finance-centric courses and even immersed myself in a PE/Asset management workshop. The ride was challenging, no doubt, but there’s an unexplainable satisfaction in acquiring new skills through hands-on practice and learning from diverse teammates.

Opening my eyes

At LBS, a plethora of student-organized conferences address the pulse of contemporary topics, ranging from social impact and sustainability to region-centric discussions. These gatherings have not only broadened my perspective on areas previously unexplored but also offered invaluable networking opportunities with our distinguished alumni.

During my MBA programme at LBS, I had the privilege of interning at the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development. Within its ‘Shaping Business Education’ initiative, the institute empowers students to recognise their potential impact as upcoming business magnates and to reconsider conventional beliefs about business’s role in driving change. This internship sharpened my research and writing acumen. Two events stand out for me – the Social Impact Conference in April and the Africa Business Summit, where I had an active role on the Executive Committee of the Africa Club. These experiences refined my leadership capabilities, allowing me to both give back and magnify the Wheeler Institute’s mission and goals to diverse audiences. I am gratified knowing my efforts will leave an imprint on the legacy of the Wheeler Institute. It’s been a fulfilling journey being an integral part of the Wheeler Institute’s team during my study at LBS.

Mastering the Art of Time Management

Describing the first year of MBA as “busy” would be an understatement. With classes occupying my days, social events spilling into evenings, and spontaneous coffee chats squeezing into breaks, my calendar was always brimming. The constant juggling taught me more about prioritisation and efficient time allocation than any workshop ever could. Embracing every moment, I learned to strategically structure my days, ensuring not just productivity but also pockets of leisure and reflection. It wasn’t just about managing time; it was about mastering it.

A Humbling Experience

Prior to my MBA journey at LBS, I held a quiet confidence in my professional achievements and capabilities. However, setting foot on the LBS campus was akin to entering a room illuminated by a constellation of bright minds. Every student I met showcased a reservoir of knowledge, diverse experiences, and exceptional skills.

It quickly became evident that I was amidst not just intellectuals but dedicated high achievers. Collaborating with such individuals has not only inspired me to elevate my efforts but also enhanced the quality of my work. This experience has been a poignant reminder of the competitive landscape we operate in and the indispensable nature of continuous learning and self-improvement. It was a transformative period where humility met aspiration, pushing me towards a trajectory of personal and professional growth.

The MBA journey is much like a river, fed by various tributaries and currents. While we all flow in the same overarching direction, each stream brings its unique set of experiences, backgrounds, and aspirations. This confluence of diverse journeys enriches our collective experience, making our days at the school uniquely vibrant. As I sail into the next chapter, I’m filled with anticipation for the myriad adventures awaiting me. Here’s to embracing them all!

Tong Wu (MBA 2024) has nine years of experience in healthcare, thinktank and tech start-ups across different regions – China, East Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. She is an experienced researcher, marketer, and entrepreneur. She is passionate about innovative business models to empower SMEs in developing countries and sustainable economic development.

The Wheeler Institute is seeking to understand, illuminate and offer solutions to the challenges faced by the developing world, with an aim to identify the role of business in addressing these challenges and a focus on the implications and actions for those in developing countries. In support of our students, we approach this blog section as a reflective platform and a space where individuals can generate debate as long term agents of positive change.

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