London B school Experience

A little about me before I start Qualifications Bsc Hons Chemistry Delhi University Sri Venkateswara College MSc IIT Madras Chemistry PhD Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry University of Gttingen in Biomolecular Applicatio…

A little about me before I start

Bsc Hons Chemistry Delhi University Sri Venkateswara College
MSc IIT Madras Chemistry
PhD Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry University of Gttingen
in Biomolecular Application of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Interned with various companies as part of summer projects etc.

Reading, active debator, event organization, computers and digital electronics, travelling, chess etc.

Aspirations (short term!)
Get 2 years work experience and make it to one of the top B schools.

Since I am in Europe I thought why not make the most of my presence and visit couple of the schools I liked and share my experience with junta here.
Please feel free to contact me regarding other questions too.


The London Business School Experience

Before I set out to air my opinions, I would like to acknowledge that
this idea of sharing my views, my experience after visiting the LBS is
loosely borrowed from Dave of "Journey of my MBA" fame. Now that I
have addressed and done away with the issue of copyrights and
pliagrism (I hope just a acknowledgement in his case does the trick) I
shall set forth on sharing with you my experience of London in general
and London Business School in particular.

Alighting at Baker Street tube station on what was rumored to be one
of the hottest days of the century, I steadily made my way to the
school. I knew my way before hand because I had already strolled
through Regent Park the previous day and wandered through the
courtyard of LBS in the hope of finding anyone I could chat up on a
lazy Sunday eveningto no avail. Anyways, to set the record straight,
LBS is not the best-known landmark of Baker Street. You got it right#221
Baker Street, the home of the legendary and fictitious Sherlock
Holmes. There is a small museum out there and is definitely worth a
visit enroute to the LBS.
For all the reputation and money that LBS may have, it really
surprised me how miserly they were with the space allocated to one of
the Mecca's of Management education. Part of it is explained because
it isn't a residential campus but still, other than building a few
more rooms for faculty and students, it was my impression that LBS is
woefully inadequate when it comes to having general leg space.
It will be my endeavor to intersperse this commentary with alternating
pros and cons of the school. What LBS lacks in space, it makes up with
ambience. An old Nash terrace building, the roofs of which is
repainted every 4 years and who's old red bricks, courtyard and
gardens tell you a story of their own. It is a cozy campus to say the
least and fosters the intermingling of staff, faculty, students and
executives alike.
I maybe mistaken here, but it stuck me as odd and rather funny that
you could actually differentiate between the types of students and
staff just by their attire.
The MBA fulltime students and MF students were casually dressed in
T-shirts with LBS written all over it along with their batch year.
This with a sandal or sneakers thrown in and shorts completed the
wardrobe. The executive and Sloan fellows were the eye candy's here.
Lacoste polo T-shirts with a contrasting pair of chinos/khakis and
matching shoes really gave them the look that every student at a top B
school should aim for (according to me!). Next, all the students I
spoke with (in case I am misunderstood as having talked with many
students, I will set the record straight by declaring that n = 4), had
an unassuming and modest way about them. They seemed very human. I
actually caught a bunch of desis warming up for a cricket match to be
played that afternoon.
An Indian restaurant just across the street along with several Indians
on the faculty as well as staff lends a particularly desi touch to the
place. Don't know how to put it but all I can say is the place gives
very good vibes if you are from the same part of the globe as I belong

Lets shift gears and move on from the more mundane to the more relevant stuff.
I list below in no particular order of preference the stuff that I picked up:

1) London is expensive. Period.
There is no other school in Europe offering a 2-year program. I just
wonder why LBS attracts several thousand students in spite of its
exorbitant fees, very high living expenses and no campus accommodation

2) In the words of Pascal, a French Sloan fellow who was kind enough
to share his view with me (for the record the guy has worked as a hot
shot financial analyst for 10 years)
come to London Business School if you seek to make a career in finance
or strategy.
The faculty n staff may boast of the general rigor and emphasis of the
program on all aspects of management but the bottom-line is its only
the finance and strategic management junta who leave with a genuine
smile from here. Can't blame the school, that's just London. Top
employers include Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Lehmann Brothers, and
Goldman Sachs etc.
Second thing that he wanted to share with me and rather stressed more
upon is that, do not leave a good job in a consultancy or bank etc to
do an MBA. Wait till you can't tolerate it anymore and desperately
need an MBA to move ahead. The job market is a vicious place very
unpredictable. He was telling me of people who left top consultancy
jobs to join an MBA and who are now actually finding it tough to go
back where they left.

3) The drop in session was as useless as it gets. She reiterated what
I could get to know from the brochures or the web site, show us around
the facilities, lecture theatre etc and bid adios. LBS don't encourage
prospective students to attend a class or two while the semester is in
session. They do of course have a special lecture by one of their very
best Profs during Insti Visit days. This is just a PR gimmick. I
wouldn't know about the methodology and how the class participates if
I can't be in one. This definitely went against them. ?

4) Coming to coincidences, there were 6 people in the session. Three
Indians (Tamilians including me), a couple from Bahrain and one desi
mullah. Yes, that's what I am hinting at and what the adcom also
confirmed. Applications from Asian countries are at an all time high
so you better be prepared to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

5) GMAT score matters here. It's a meritocracy. High GMAT, good
academics, good pedigree especially in terms of Univ where you studied
or place where you worked matters here. Other plus factors are knowing
a foreign language and traveling experience and interaction with
another culture.

6) Big time plus point of the school is the number of lateral offers
made, the number of top companies vying incessantly to lure you, the
very powerful student clubs and the opportunity to learn at least one
foreign language while pursuing MBA. Also they have very good exchange
partners and almost everybody has an option of going to a school that
they maybe interested in. The teaching methodology is a mix between
Case studies and theoretical grounding. This is backed up by a shadow
project (details of which you can get on the web site) and live
consulting projects too.

7) The cons of LBS. To put it plainly, its too expensive. This is one
place where you will run into a big financial crisis if you don't have
your own funds to back you up. To counter that, of course the salaries
are high too and LBS boasts of one of the best sign on bonuses for
students, which partly takes care of the expenses incurred during the
21-month stint.

My opinion to sum up with is that LBS is a classy place which would
make a person with a good work experience and top grades and scores
feel very much at home. The school has the reputation and network to
power plummet you wherever you desire. Finance and strategy are its
flagship courses. London is a lively and very bustling city that helps
you enjoy every moment you spend here. There is something for everyone
The students who make it here struck me as very smart, not too loud
and active but the thinking kind. This may well be a clich for
finance people.
Over all on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it 8.


Over all on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it 8.


gr8888 post dude !!!!1


Hi Devan,
Nice to see your experience on LBS. I am in the same boat like you, contemplating MBA after my PhD in chemistry from HU, Berlin. At present, I am working as a postdoc. I am also aiming for top B-Schools, but yet to take GMAT. It would be great if we can share the views of preparation, admission, etc.


Hi there!
great to hear from you. let me in on ur details...i mean real name, location put it in chat jargon asl! ;-)
id really be keen to share my thoughts with like minded fellas. i shall look forward to hearing from you. add me on yahoo messenger as born_free_died_studying and we shall continue our discussion!

Good post !

I applied to LBS this year and got dinged. In my research I found a lot of things pretty similar to your observation i.e. very good for finance and strategy, emphasis of undergrad univ credentials (someone from the adcomm told this to my friend who got admitted this year), expensive etc.

Regarding the money part, my friend (ex-collegue) got a 25% fee waiver plus some assistance from HSBC. But still had to shell out a very, very steep amount towards the course. Yea - London is frigging expensive.


One thing they werent very intent upon answering was how often do they get back to dinged applicants as to why their story was was ur experience? i bet that if u dared to apply to LBS...ud have dared to apply to other gr8 places too! throw some light on it pal...perhaps may come in handy for me.,..

One thing that really freaked me out was that inspite of spending close to 15000 bucks they do not provide feedback. However, when my friend who got through this time was dinged the previous year, she was "strongly recommended" to apply again this year.

I did apply to one other place - ISB. Where the fate was no different


Great psot dude...
Keep them coming...

Great post man... very informative...

Can u tell me how Good or recognised is Cass Business School?
Hoping u may have heard something abt it!

Can u tell me how Good or recognised is Cass Business School?
Hoping u may have heard something abt it!

Cass Business school seems to be another good b-school in London....It is located in Moorgate, supposed to be the financial hub of London, with namy MNC offices in the same area....
One of my collegue completed MS in financial engineering from there....


I've started a new thread for London Sep 2008 intake aspirants... you can find it here: (the first thread)...

See you there soon...
All the best