Elevate: My Stepping Stone to the Tech World
By Andrew Lew, LBS Elevate Class of 2020
Coming into the MBA, my focus was to explore opportunities in FinTech and Gaming. Within the first couple of weeks in the MBA, I realised that cracking into the tech sector requires a lot more than hard work. I needed to demonstrate that I understand the sector, broaden my social network, and build relevant skills. There were plenty of ways for me to get to the same goal. The question was: where should I start and how do I know that attending a workshop or completing a training course would be a good investment for the limited amount of time that I had? What could be a better way for spend my effort on?
When I found out about the LBS Elevate Programme, I knew that it could be beneficial in helping me navigate through this transition and it has exceeded my initial expectations. Specifically, the programme has provided me with three things: structure, challenge, and community.
Structure: The first few months in the MBA programme was intense. Between attending classes and meeting new people, it would have been easy to neglect working towards my career goals. The LBS Elevate Programme encouraged me to keep my eye on the ball and provided fantastic support systems throughout my journey. From the numerous skill-building workshops to frequent guidance from experienced mentors, I felt that I was constantly progressing on my transition to the tech world.
Challenge: Transitioning to the tech industry is not easy, and it should not be. There were countless times when I thought I did enough, but I was wrong. I thought I was already well positioned with my experience as a management consultant. Without any prior professional experience in tech, I did not demonstrate why and how I can add value to a tech company. Being part of this inaugural Elevate cohort of highly driven individuals, I was compelled to push boundaries and place myself out of my comfort zone. In LBS’s annual hackathon, HackLBS. I worked in a team made up of programmers and industry specialists to work on a solution to increase price transparency in the B2B software market. I gained hands-on experience building a minimum viable product, focusing on creating and testing the UX and demonstrating it to the judges.
Community: Elevate is nothing without the individuals in the cohort and the wonderful Elevate programme team. It was invaluable to be part of this community of committed individuals going through a similar journey as I am. While the Elevate programme provides us access to upskilling, mentorship, and career opportunities, the sense of community within the programme kept me driven and motivated to succeed.
Though it is challenging for anyone to obtain the right opportunity under these unprecedented times, the LBS Elevate Programme has enabled me to take a significant step (rather than a shortcut) in my transition into the tech world.