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.

News
One Direction's Zayn Malik gazes at a bouquet of flowers in the 'Night Changes' music video
people
News
people
News
'Free the Nipple' film screening after party with We Are The XX, New York, America - 04 Feb 2014
news
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant - IT Channel - Graduate

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a Value-Added I...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Guru Careers: Junior Web Developer

£18 - 22k (DOE) + Benefits & Stock Options: Guru Careers: A Junior Developer /...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

Election 2015

Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May