For the London School of Economics (LSE), it is the linchpin that sets graduates from its Global Master’s in Management (GMiM)—formerly MSc Management—up for constant career progression.
Bastiaan de Goei is one such graduate who was drawn in by the “internationally-recognized brand name” and the setting in the heart of London. Graduating pre-financial crisis, in 2005, he began his career as a strategy consultant, before moving into private equity.
Although happy in the city, his career path was skewed. “I wanted to do something that tied back more to the strategy roots I strengthened at LSE,” he explains.
It was then that he landed a strategy manager role with financial services company AXA, in London—he has since climbed the ranks and now heads the company’s new ventures unit working closely with Silicon Valley.
“Our strategy is focused on SMEs, insurance, and health insurance,” he adds. “My job is to find out what are the latest technologies within each of those areas, what partners we can work with, what strategic investments to make.”
Bastiaan’s experience on LSE GMiM has been integral to his overall professional development. “The program instils a unique thinking method in you,” he explains. “It makes you incredibly flexible. Theories become outdated, but the nature of the LSE education gives you that flexibility to deal with a fast-changing economy.”
LSE is ranked second in the world for social sciences and management by QS; fifth in the world for its reputation with employers in 2016. Graduates from LSE’s Global Master’s in Management program have gone on to work for big-name firms like McKinsey, Coca-Cola, Google, and HSBC.
On the two-year GMiM, first-year students delve into the real challenges facing managers operating in a global context, before a summer internship and a second year with the option to specialize and study abroad.
Students learn through a combination of team presentations, individual and group work, and case studies, with classes in Business Analysis, Organizational Behavior, Marketing, and Strategy and Innovation in a Global Context.
Bastiaan majored in Human Economics while on the program, investigating the application of economics to HR. “Rather than saying, ‘here’s the latest big-thinker on these topics,’ they ask you to approach the topic fresh as if you’re dealing with it for the first time,” he says.
“Throughout my career, that has helped develop a way of thinking outside the normal paradigms.”
The GMiM program accommodates those without a specific business background too—as recent graduate Guillaume Dubois discovered.
“I’d completed an undergrad in environmental economics,” he says, “but my impression was I needed a more solid business background to work within that.”
Guillaume thus embarked on the program in 2013, with a second-year semester abroad as part of LSE’s partnership with CEMS—a global alliance of 30 business schools, NGOs and corporate partners.
The combination of an education in the foundation of management and theory at LSE, and his semester abroad at Stockholm School of Economics, opened Guillaume’s eyes to his future career path.
“At the time, I was not at all interested in finance,” he recalls. “But the venture capital class in Stockholm showed me the ins and outs of producing business projects. It showed me that finance is not all numbers, but is fundamental to every aspect of business.”
Like many students, Guillaume’s Global Master’s in Management experience at LSE was key to launching his career in London after graduating.
“I had a phone interview with an investment bank and within the first five minutes they brought up my semester in Stockholm,” he recalls, “the guy on the phone had done the exact same CEMS exchange!”