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How did the Elevate workshops help me?

By Anastasia Matiushina, LBS Elevate Class of 2020

When I joined MBA programme and attended several Tech&Media events, I heard lots of buzz words like “the stack” or “SQL” or “product management” which meant nothing to me. Literally nothing J. Coming from an investment banking background, I knew very little about the tech sector. Workshops carefully selected and organised by Elevate programme helped me get a general understanding of what it is all about and, most importantly, identify those skills and knowledge that would be particularly relevant for my personal goals.

Below I would like to share with you 3 main takeaways from LBS Elevate workshops.

Don’t be afraid of SQL. You’ll definitely love it!

When I spoke to multiple professionals who joined tech companies post MBA about relevant technical skills, I realised that nearly all of them mentioned SQL. Before a 7-hour workshop on SQL, I was thinking: “How on Earth will I grasp concepts behind querying computer language in 1 day?” Surprisingly SQL turned out to be an intuitive tool, at least for people with Excel in their toolbelt. Completing a course on Coursera helped me practice newly acquired knowledge and put it on my CV. I know that courses won’t turn me into a SQL expert, but knowing basic principles of how SQL works will better equip me when SQL related tasks will pop up on my to-do list in my future internship or permanent role.

It’s not a crime not to code

The key take-away for me from attending “Tech for non-techies” workshop – demystification of the image of a person who works in tech. You do not need to learn how to code or earn a degree in computer science (unless, of course, it’s your passion) to work in tech. It’s better to invest time into repositioning the skills that you can bring to the table as a non-Tech professional. Project management experience, modelling skills, marketing insights, you name it. Just find a company where your skills will be particularly relevant and transferrable to a new role.

Navigate through career journey with people who genuinely care about you

Switching industries is not an easy task. It’s key to learn from people who were in your shoes and people who work or have worked in your top-choice industry. LBS Elevate helped each of us find mentors – LBS alumni working in Tech - who know first-hand what skills might be required, how to bridge the gap in knowledge, how to position yourself and how to be confident on that journey. In addition, the LBS Elevate Exco team supported us with career advice, mock interview practice and networking opportunities. Genuine desire to help is what I really appreciate in LBS Elevate programme.

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