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Real Humans of the London Business School MBA Class of 2024

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london mba class of 2024Nandita Jaitly, London Business School’s MBA Class of 2024

Age: 28 years
Hometown: Lucknow, India
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Delhi, India – Business Studies
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Five years at a hedge fund, two and a half years at a not-for-profit company

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
Having worked across different programs and geographies in the healthcare not-for-profit space, I knew I wished to progress in this direction. However, I needed to learn the best practices for developing, implementing, and evaluating high-impact initiatives. An MBA was the logical next step to equip myself with theoretical and practical knowledge to enhance my technical and leadership abilities. A business education would also accelerate my career, provide opportunities to connect with like-minded people and expand my sphere of influence. I hope that by the end of my two years at London Business School I will acquire the skills needed to design scalable interventions to make healthcare equitable and accessible.

Why did you choose London Business School? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I wanted to attend a school that was global in its outlook and preferably located in a metropolitan area, offering a rigorous program structure and an international alumni presence. LBS not only met all my requirements but also offered unparalleled diversity and flexibility. It is empowering to be able to choose not just the electives but also the duration of the program. Additionally, I had some correspondence with the admissions committees of the schools that I had applied to. Going back and forth with them gave me a good idea about their respective school cultures and made it easy for me to pick LBS.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
I think only a handful of people are fortunate enough to have the opportunity of working on two sides of a professional spectrum like I did. I started my career by working in the oil and gas commodities research team of a New York-headquartered hedge fund. Five years later, at the start of the pandemic, I moved to a not-for-profit company operating in low-and-middle-income countries with a focus on improving public health. I was able to work on the COVID-19 vaccinations and routine immunization program in India before moving to the global malaria team, based out of London, within the same organization. During my two and a half years, I was exposed to some critical questions about access to quality medical care. I hope to bring these varied experiences with me to the classroom and facilitate discussions around the best way to navigate high-stake scenarios in the course of work.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I was dismayed when all salons were shut for more than six months during the COVID-19 lockdown because I prefer keeping my hair short. Hence, I decided to take matters into my own hands and kept reducing my hair length till I ended up with a shaved head.

Post-MBA career interests:
Healthcare not-for-profit

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Introspection is a particularly important part of the MBA application process. I would recommend prospective applicants to spend some time deciding what their aspirations are, and which school is best suited for them personally. A great way to find out is by speaking with current and former students associated with their target schools.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would do a lot more research. Although I spoke to many alums, students and attended a bunch of webinars, I feel that if I had reached out to more people, I would have known sooner that LBS is the best fit for me and I would have saved myself the effort of applying to other schools.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
No surprises there – the GMAT. I was working long hours while preparing for my GMAT, so it was not easy to find the time to study. I was only able to get through the ordeal because of my husband. From waking me up early to study, making me coffee to tutoring me in math – his support was crucial in my preparation, and I doubt I could have done it without him.

What is your initial impression of the London Business School students/culture/community?
I am blown away by the diversity in the LBS community! Everyone is so interesting and unique in their interests and professional pursuits that I keep learning new things from every conversation I have.

What is one thing you have learned about London Business School that has surprised you?
I knew that LBS is incredibly diverse, but I was surprised by how much of an effort they make to be inclusive. The school works very closely with the diversity clubs and ensures that people of all races, genders, sexual orientations and financial backgrounds feel included. They even conducted a focus group discussion to identify exclusionary behaviour and took immediate steps to remedy it. Additionally, a new session on student culture has been created to ensure that LBS has a positive learning environment where all students feel like they belong and can thrive.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Things can get remarkably busy in business school, so I am anxious about keeping up with all my time commitments and maintaining a balancing act.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am looking forward to stepping outside my comfort zone. At LBS I have already come across people with diverse perspectives and experiences, so I see myself trying out new things and opening my mind to unlimited possibilities.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
I intended to apply for the 2021 MBA intake. However, due to economic uncertainty and travel restrictions, I held off on the application till the 2021-2022 cycle.

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.