So Round 1 results are out for the LBS Class of 2019 so congrats to all the new LBS MBA Admits - you made it!!! If you decide to go ahead with an MBA at LBS, it will be the start of one of the most challenging, intense, fun and exhilarating periods of your life.
That said since I've had a few PMs regarding school choice from admits, I thought I should perhaps do a quick post primarily for those who are looking at doing consulting post-MBA and aren't sure if LBS is a good choice - which is where I was last year, having to decide between LBS and INSEAD (see previous post about this here).
I'd like to say that thanks to the great folks on the GMAT Club forums, I made the right decision in deciding on where to go by looking at location first. I want to work in London post MBA, not Singapore or France, and if so, picking London was definitely the right thing to do.
The London offices of big consulting firms do a lot of activity on campus at LBS - and I seriously mean a lot. It's not just the "official" events through Careers Services, but they do many "unofficial" events through the clubs at LBS e.g. Women in Business Club, Healthcare Club, Military in Business Club, Rugby Clubs. For instance just next week alone I have 5 McKinsey events on campus - comprising of 3 coffee chats, and 2 interview training sessions. Plus a Bain coffee chat and a Strategy& offsite event.
Before the start of the MBA and early in August I had already been to events at both Bain and BCG's offices (BCG is walking distance to LBS btw!). Since then there have been numerous meetings with BCG, Bain, AT Kearney, Strategy& and Roland Berger, just to name a few. When BCG told us "you'll see us so often you'll get sick of us" at the very beginning - they meant it. What does this mean? It means that you'll get to know the London office of the consulting firms very well - excellent if you wish to work in the London office post-MBA, not so good if you wish to work at other offices.
That's not to say that you can't get a spot in the London office if you were to attend another school, but I'd say it definitely looks like you're in a more advantageous position being at LBS. And in fact, the largest proportion of summer interns and full-time hires at the London office are from LBS. Contrast this to the consulting firms in Singapore where the larger proportion are INSEAD alums.
Additionally, since LBS has a 15-21 month program, it means an opportunity for an internship. Since entering the MBA and having talked to a lot of people, attended a lot of different events etc, I am no longer 100% certain I want to do consulting post-MBA. In fact, you'll find that those who know that they definitely want to do a certain job post-MBA are very rare - everyone will change their minds 100+ times over first term. Hence the opportunity to do an internship in consulting and test out your future job is a pretty handy thing to be able to do - which of course you can't get with a 1 year program.
Lastly, there's also the visa issue to consider. While firms are fine with sponsoring full-time visas, getting a visa to work in a country where you don't already have one just for an internship is challenging. It's why unless you already have the rights to work in the US, if you want to intern in the US or work in the US post-MBA, don't do your MBA at LBS. Most firms will not sponsor you for internships - go do your MBA in the US instead.
To sum up my advice to MBA Admits: if you want to work in London, definitely pick LBS for the highest exposure to London offices.
On a completely separate note, I'm absolutely buzzing from the LBS annual hackathon - HackLBS. It was an amazing experience, especially if you've never participated in a hackathon before. I actually pitched an idea, managed to get through the first round, formed a team (got lucky with amazing team members), created a working prototype app and pitched again in the final. I've learnt so many things on leadership, time management, teamwork and presentation this weekend and had a blast doing so. Perhaps if I do find some time, I might do a separate blog post.