London Business School decided to call its week-long trek to Boston and New York - for a group of 70 students interested in the asset management industry - the ‘Global Business Experience’.
Believe me, that’s not an appropriate moniker. The ‘Legends Tour’ would be far more appropriate as a description for our meetings with some of the world’s top investors. I can’t tell you exactly what we discussed – you’ll have to join London Business School for that - but I can tell you a little bit about the experience.
As a student interested in joining the industry after graduation, the trip provided me with more exposure to some of the world’s best practitioners – people that are responsible for investment funds that are greater than the GDP of entire economies - than I had ever dreamed possible. Why is that exposure important to me, you ask? Two reasons.
First, it provided insight into what the view at the top is. In a compressed time frame, we had the opportunity to develop a strong understanding of the current status and outlook for the industry. While this may not sound like everyone’s cup of tea, it has proven extremely helpful to me in interviews for full time positions in the industry.
Second, and far more importantly, the experience inspired me! When I applied to London Business School, I was almost certain that I wanted to execute a transition from my career in renewable energy into the asset management industry. My summer internship at a boutique fund in London convinced me that I had made the right decision. That said, full time recruitment in the midst of a poor macroeconomic environment has proven challenging and can often be downright discouraging. Our trip to Boston and New York renewed the sense of possibility and optimism that I started the program with. I have returned to London more certain than ever before of my ambitions and with a much needed shot of energy for my second year.
Career treks are a dime a dozen at MBA programs but this one was special! It was special not just because of the ‘legends’ we met with but also because it wasn’t a career trek but an educational one. Many an MBA might roll their eyes on reading this: ‘Why was it a good trip if you didn’t get a job out of it’? It was a good trip because both sides of the table – practitioners and students – finally took a break from the endless posturing associated with recruitment and engaged in a truly fascinating dialogue about life in the asset management industry.
Over the next few months, my classmates will embark on similar trips to Istanbul, Johannesburg, Mumbai and Hong Kong. Each trip will have a separate industry focus and will attract a different type of student. If my experience is any indicator, I’m confident that they will enjoy their travels just as much as I did.