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Real Humans of the London Business School MBA Class of 2024

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london mba class of 2024Sharvan Pethe, London Business School’s MBA Class of 2024

Age: 27
Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand
Undergraduate Institution and Major: The University of Auckland: Electrical Engineering, Finance and Economics
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years, Strategy Consulting

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I was at a point in my career where I was ready to test myself in a more global environment and develop the skills and pedigree I would need to achieve my longer-term ambitions. I was lucky enough to have several mentors who’d completed their own MBAs, and they often raved about how they had grown during their time at business school. Going to business school also offered two (semi) risk-free years to push my boundaries and explore new industries and entrepreneurial ideas. With these factors in consideration, it was clear that an MBA represented a launching pad for the rest of my life. I’m only at the start, but I’m already so pleased with the decision I’ve made.

Why did you choose London Business School? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
The opportunity to go to business school is a unique one and I wanted my MBA to be a memorable experience, both personally and professionally. London Business School stood out to me for the diversity of its cohort, its thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem; and the effects both would have on me as a person. With over 65 nationalities represented in the cohort, I realized that there would be no other moment in my life where I could engage with such a broad range of opinions shaped by such unique experiences. I felt that my time at LBS would be transformative in helping me to better understand and appreciate the world around me. Being involved in entrepreneurship at LBS was also an exciting prospect! London is a hub for ventures and with so many successful businesses being started by alumni, there’s no better place than LBS to validate my ideas and hone my skills. 

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
I’ve always enjoyed making authentic, joyful connections with the people around me – being receptive to their experiences and genuinely curious about what makes them tick. I love watching people open up over insightful conversations and a healthy dose of humour! Relating to others deeply in this way has allowed me to be a persuasive advocate, inclusive leader and compelling storyteller. During my time at LBS, I look forward to using those skills to enrich my cohort’s MBA journey. If I can foster more meaningful connections and help cultivate some memorable moments, I will graduate a happy man.       

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I enjoy getting a few laughs whenever I speak to a crowd and would love to do stand-up comedy at some stage in my life! In the spirit of broadening my horizons during the MBA, I might throw together some material and find a stage willing to take a gamble on me – London’s comedy scene has no idea what’s coming its way! 

Post-MBA career interests:
Post-MBA, I look to turn my passion for fostering connections between people of different backgrounds into a sustainable venture. I have an idea in the media/social media space that I’ll be looking to develop during my time at LBS, while also exploring other aspects of the entrepreneurial ecosystem – venture capital and technology development. LBS is a fantastic sandbox to test and iterate through my ideas for a business and my career plans! 

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Really thinking deeply about what I wanted to do with my life after my MBA. I took a lot of time to reflect and find a path that aligned with my personal values and passion. This process helped me craft an authentic application I could be proud of.

What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Engage with recent MBA candidates and graduates far earlier in the application process. They’ve been through the same thing and have always got valuable lessons to share.      

What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The waiting! With months in between doing the GMAT, applying and hearing back, I often felt like I was in a holding pattern. I tried to keep my mind occupied with the other exciting things happening in my life at the time.

What is your initial impression of the London Business School students/culture/community?
The term has only just started, but there is already such vibrant energy on campus! My cohort is welcoming, open, curious, and diverse. I’m already starting to see the formation of some friendships that’ll stay with me for a long time! 

What is one thing you have learned about London Business School that has surprised you?
Just how much there is going on. There are opportunities to meet new people, learn about different careers and pick up new hobbies around every corner. Even after four years in consulting, I feel like I’ve never been busier.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Balancing priorities between the academic learning, professional goals, and social life! Learning how to do this quickly will be important in making the most of the programme. 

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Alongside getting to know my cohort and delving into entrepreneurship, I’m looking forward to the international treks and travel. So much of the world is on London’s doorstep and I can’t wait to explore it further!

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.