Name: Suet Ying Khong
Education: 2011 Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (UK)- Postgraduate Diploma in Internal Medicine
2009 University of Manchester - Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery
2006 University of St Andrews - Bachelor of Medical Sciences
Work Before MBA: 6 years experience as s medical doctor for the UK National Health Service (UK)
Post MBA Goals: TBD
Why did you pick LBS? LBS is one of the leading international MBA program and it has a great reputation in Europe and Asia. As a career changer, I felt that a longer program would enable me to try out different internship options to determine what I like. The fact that the program is flexible with the option to complete it within 15, 18 or 21 months is appealing to me as I wanted the advantage of a longer program to try my hands at different things but the option to exit early if I decide to . The huge number of exchange schools opportunities available were also very appealing.
Best part of program? The leadership away day and my study group mates. The full day team-building activity at a scout camp with various activities that really challenged me to my limits both mentally and physically. It really bonded the study group together very quickly and made you challenge and confront your fears head-on. I also gained a much deeper understanding of my study group mates after the away day.
Favorite class/professor/learning experience - why? Corporate Finance Class. Professor Julian Franks and Alex Edmans were amazing. Julian brings an enormous wealth of practitioner knowledge having worked with many industry leaders in mergers and acquisitions and his opinion is highly sought after by many in the finance industry. Alex is your unconventional professor and he dresses in polo shirts and jeans and plays rock music during lesson breaks. His teaching style is very dynamic and engaging. I have learnt a great deal from both of them.
What were you most surprised to learn about LBS after starting the program? The diversity of my classmates in terms of both work experience and personal backgrounds. In my stream, I have had classmates who worked as legislative assistant to congressman to those who have worked in venture capital-backed social enterprise developing disruptive healthcare technologies such as an implementing the use of innovative infant warmer that works without electricity and costs 1% of what traditional incubators cost in countries like India and Africa.
Room for improvement? Could do with better flexibility with regards to attendance at classes such as allowing you to swap to a different class if you have personal reasons as attendance is taken at every session with a warning being issued if you miss more than 20% of classes. School has implemented a new stream swapping system to try and address these issues though it is not perfect still. Career services especially with regards to advising those from very non-traditional backgrounds about career options.
Do you plan to work in the UK after? Is this difficult for foreigners? Undecided at the moment though my long-term plan would be to return to Asia. Due to changes in UK immigration laws, it has been increasingly difficult for foreigners to get employers to sponsor visas though the big management consulting firms like the MBB, bulge bracket banks would sponsor students. As for most corporates, they would not sponsor your work visas. For entrepreneurs, LBS graduates can apply through a special entrepreneur scheme with the UK Home Office.
How do most classmates find internships & jobs? Most find it through career services as we get opportunities posted on job portals all the time. The big consulting firms start engaging with students through events and chats as soon as you step onto campus. For finance internships, all the bulge bracket banks recruit actively on campus and LBS is usually the top target school for recruitment in Europe. There are plenty of start-up opportunities advertised too and corporate recruitment tends to happen later though firms like Goggle, Amazon, Uber, Facebook, Paypal, Johnson and Johnson have been present on campus on numerous occasions.
What should more applicants know about LBS? The first semester is a real test of your physical limits and mental strength. It is tough work for career switchers as the core subjects for the 1st term are heavy in terms of technicals like finance, accounting, strategy which provides a very good base for career changers wanting to move into management consulting or finance roles as you will be fully prepared for your internship interviews etc. Balancing schoolwork with recruiting efforts like networking events and social activities like the various parties such as the Santa Pub Crawl and many others is challenging. I would recommend having at least 1 month off between your last job and starting your MBA to unwind and relax before the start of a very busy MBA!
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