How the LBS MBA helped me in my career pursuits
By Damián Kinderknecht, LBS Elevate Class of 2020
I had spent 5 years working at Dow when I started feeling that it was time to move onto new things. Even though I had rotated through 3 different roles, worked in 3 countries, and had immense career opportunities, I felt the need to do something completely different. When I think about the reasons behind such impulse, I usually come to the clichéd conclusion that ‘You need to find your passion’. I wasn’t passionate about my job at that time. I liked it, but it didn’t fulfil me - you may have experienced the same feeling at some point in your life.
While driving to the office some Monday morning, I realised I needed some time to self-reflect and think about my career and life ahead. I decided to apply to an MBA programme abroad. I started to prepare for the GMAT’ exam that same day. Almost one year later, I was one of the 497 fortunate students who formed the MBA Class of 2021 at London Business School. It is difficult to put into words how much I have grown during the first eight months of the program. To put some structure around this post and pursuant to some consulting frameworks - I am going to summarise my experience in 3 key resources I found incredible useful:
The Tech & Media Club’s Elevate Program. I have always been interested in tech and I am currently considering it as a career path post-MBA. However, coming from a petrochemicals background, I knew I had a lot to prepare for to pursue tech as an option. I didn’t know where to start, but fortunately, I found about the Elevate program, which offered exactly what I was needing: A clear structure and pathway for my pursuit and the support of people with experience in tech. In addition to courses, conferences and company visits, we have all been paired with a mentor. This is how I met Louis, who has been very helpful and supportive during this time. Not only has he shared his experience and insights, but also has provided invaluable recommendations. Moreover, he connected me with some start-ups and opened the door to potential job opportunities. Louis and the whole Elevate team have been very generous with their time, and this is something I really appreciate. The level of professionalism they showed in every activity and group meetings has been outstanding. Joining Elevate is definitely an important part of my first year, and I am really looking forward to continuing being part of it and start helping new students.
Career Centre. When MBA applicants ask me about the LBS offering, I always mention the Career Centre. This is simply because the quantity and quality of Career Centre resources offered is amazing. I was stunned when I noticed how early they start teaching about the different job opportunities ahead, by hosting the many ‘Exploring careers in…’ sessions. The Career Centre also offered many workshops that helped me improve my CV, cover letters, and even my LinkedIn profile. The different trainings in soft skills and the many 1:1 Sessions with career coaches have been crucial to better prepare for the recruitment process. The whole team has always shown empathy and support, during a process that can certainly be stressful. As a result, I have been able to improve my confidence and attitude towards interviews, in addition to adopting story telling technics that are crucial to communicate clearly and concisely.
The MBA2020 and MBA2021 cohorts. When applying to LBS, one Alumni told me about the School’s culture, and how collaborative and helpful everyone was. I can certainly confirm that my fellow classmates helped me tremendously during the last months, which were full of recruitment activities and interviews. It was very pleasing to see how everyone in my stream was willing to dedicate their time to practice a case, do a mock interview or have a coffee chat to share their experiences working in a specific company. The same applies to MBA2020 students, who have genuinely offered their time to share valuable advice about the recruitment process, their internship experience and their plans for the future. If you’re willing to ask your peers for help, you will find that the level of response and support you receive is simply incredible.
In summary, it is London Business School people who have helped me immensely during this journey, and I am very grateful to all those who have been part of it. I know we are currently living difficult and proving times, but I am also confident that the help and support of the LBS community will make things easier for everyone.