MBA blog: Heading in a new direction with a different perspective

A new direction, inspiration, key financial contacts and a whole new perspective; a great deal to ask from one week

When applying for London Business School’s global business experience trip to Boston and New York, I had in mind that in my career I wanted to develop solar power stations in Africa. My intention had been to use the trip to understand what investors were looking for, so that I could ensure that my future projects were well aligned. By the time the trip came round, I had run the numbers for solar power plants in Africa and they weren’t as encouraging as I had hoped, especially for a continent with so much sunshine.

I arrived at the hotel bleary eyed and slightly disorientated. Not having been to the US before, it felt like I had wandered onto a film set. I found my way to a Starbucks and recharged with coffee and internet before launching myself into an incredibly intense yet rewarding week

We met with numerous high powered individuals and companies, in the world of American finance, including Seth Klarman, Harry Markopolos, Governor Deval Patrick, Fidelity Investments and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. We had an incredible snapshot.

A new direction came from discussing my future plans and vision with my cohort who offered some of the best career coaching I could have asked for. They pulled no punches in their advice, which is no surprise given that they are the future of international finance. They steered me towards private equity in renewable energy. A role that seems perfect, yet not one I had ever considered.

Inspiration came from Professor Andrew Lo of MIT who shared his work on novel ways to fund cancer research. As cancer drugs have become more targeted they have seen their market dwindle, impacting their profit margins and disenfranchising their current investors. However, by using securitisation and other tools used elsewhere in finance, it is possible to fund cancer research with debt and make the investment appealing to pension and sovereign wealth funds. This level of insight really gets the mind thinking about where else these financial tools can be used as a force for good.

Key financial contacts may seem like a given for a trip like this, however the generosity of the speakers was overwhelming and I feel, if I needed support from any of them in the future, that they would answer my call.

Finally – a whole new perspective. It may seem clichéd, but America really did feel like a land of opportunity. Despite the lingering echoes of recession and a government shutdown, life is good, things are on the up and money is available for the right project. I return however to the white stucco fronted streets of London with a certain warmth and renewed love for a country, which has allowed planners to do battle with developers and quiet but capable understatement to be the order of the day.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...

Primary Teachers Required in King's Lynn

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teachers needed in King's Ly...

Primary Teachers needed in Ely

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teacher needed in the Ely ar...

KS2 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: KS2 Teacher needed in Peterborough a...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain