The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » MBA News » Real Humans of MBA Students » Real Humans of the London Business School MBA Class of 2022 » Page 3

Real Humans of the London Business School MBA Class of 2022

Image for Real Humans of the London Business School MBA Class of 2022

Lotta Nygren, LBS MBA Class of 2022

Age: 29
Hometown: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Dartmouth College, Geography (International Development) and Psychology
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 5 years, financial services

Why business school? Why now? 
I spent 5 years managing relationships and research projects between asset managers and former senior industry executives. While I learned a lot about engaging senior stakeholders and grew a strong interest in financial markets, I wanted to transition into something more intellectually challenging. My longer-term goal is also to work with markets/businesses across Africa, and business school was a logical decision at this stage of my career in order to build some of the technical skills I lacked along with a broader network of contacts while growing a more holistic understanding of how businesses operate.

Why LBS? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I grew up as part of a Finnish family in Tanzania (where I went to an international school all my life) and have lived in the US, Ireland, and the UK over the past six years. When I was thinking about business schools, I actually only applied to LBS because it was the program that really met all of the criteria I was looking for. Diversity was a hugely important factor for me – I wanted to be surrounded by a truly global community (I knew I didn’t want to study in the US for that reason). As a career switcher, I also wanted to attend a two-year program to allow enough time to gain practical experience through internships, as well as one that was academically rigorous. The network is a major part of business school and studying in London meant many of my peers are likely to stay here and that I’ll be relatively centrally located to those who do move away. Finally, I had been in London for a few years and wasn’t quite ready to move away – London is a great city!

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
My perspective – not many people can say they are a mix of Finland and Tanzania! I grew up in a similarly international environment/school to LBS, surrounded by people from 30+ different countries and many different cultures, religions, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. More recently I also ran a team where each member was from a different country. I think these experiences have given me an ability to relate to and appreciate people from across the globe and from backgrounds very different from my own.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? 
I once lived and worked on a ship for three months.

Post-MBA career interests? Investment banking, with a long-term view to be involved with deals across Africa as they continue to grow

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Visit campus / attend campus events (especially Welcome Weekend) – mainly, talk to current students!

–One thing you would change or do differently?             
Start my application earlier. I had thought about applying for a while but left the majority of the actual application to the last week before the deadline – needless to say, it was a stressful week. Allow for enough time for friends/colleagues to review your CV/essay/application materials and give you feedback.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The GMAT! Loads of coffee and knowing there was a specific date/end in sight.

What is your initial impression of LBS’s students/culture/community?
I heard from many students before I joined LBS that kindness is highly valued in the LBS community and thought that was just a “marketing line” to recruit. It’s not. LBS has so far struck me as a community where we consistently look out for and help each other (whether that’s career-related, or in classes, clubs, settling into London, etc). Business school students tend to have a reputation for being a bit intense and I’ve been hugely grateful for this aspect of community.

One thing you have learned about LBS that has surprised you? 
The speed at which people can fill out Excel sheets! We often use Excel to coordinate activities, and I’ve never before seen an Excel fill up within seconds – you can always find someone who is interested and willing to try something new with you (from football in the park to tennis or theatre). I was expecting diversity in terms of nationalities but was surprised by how much diversity there is in terms of experience – everyone I’ve met has an incredible story, cool hobbies, or unique life experiences (a policy director who oversaw 350 people at 25, a former cricket farmer, a plastic surgeon, and so many others!).

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? 
FOMO! There are so many interesting things to do/participate in and prioritizing what to do can be tricky when so many things are interesting (I once tried to listen to 3 Zoom sessions at once – would not recommend. The silver lining of the current context is that while we previously would have had to choose fewer things to attend all in-person, recordings actually have the benefit of allowing us the chance to learn about more different things).

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Continuing to get to know students and faculty from across the globe. Also Snow Trek!

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.