Look who graduated! After two incredible years (warning: shameless plug for LBS) at the best business school I know.
People often ask if it was worth it. They ask if I think it will contribute to my future success. It makes me smile because I know this is such a deeply individual thing. What does success look like anyway? I used to be a debt and equity capital markets lawyer at a magic circle firm - I had a fantastic team, a gorgeous view, glamorous deals and a great career trajectory. This was the stuff of dreams. Wasn't that success? And yet I left it all behind for this MBA. The most painful part was leaving on a high. I can't say I've never looked back - of course I have - but I didn't take 2 years out of my life to take two steps backwards. It's time for a new chapter. Of course, my parents' friends look at me with more than a mild degree of bemusement when I tell them that I'm not going into a conventional post-MBA career (read: banking or consulting). And my old lawyer friends must think I'm absolutely nuts but for the first time in my life, that's okay.
Success, in my eyes, is about polishing the diamond. It's about self-awareness and self-betterment. I know that I'm not the same girl that walked into that school two years ago. For one thing, I've discovered a bizarre (and slightly embarrassing) love for accounting and financial modelling. More importantly though, as cheesy as it sounds, I feel empowered. I'm more comfortable with failure. I'm more comfortable with uncertainty. I can lean in and make my voice heard (note: the Sheryl Sandberg reference there is completely unintentional). I look at the world through a very different lens. My old firm was very international but nothing can match the diversity you find at London Business School. It's not just a buzzword on a business school prospectus - it's a very tangible thing that hits you the moment you set foot through the door. It's one of the things I'll miss most about the school. I've learned so much in these two years...from my colleagues and from some truly fantastic professors (big shout out to Bert De-Reyck, Prof. Stefan Thau, Prof. John Mullins and Prof. Nirmalaya Kumar).
It's been an immense privilege. And as four hundred and something MBAs are let loose into the world, I feel inspired and excited and if there's one thing I'm certain of in this wild and uncertain world, it's that in this short and beautiful life, I'm going to make a real impact.