My leadership experience includes mainly my managerial experience at my company. The greatest challenge I faced was building my research team at my company.
When I entered my current position, after the replacement of the company's CEO, I knew I had to make changes in the company's structure and methodologies. Up till then, the company was a "one-man-show". The previous CEO had worked directly opposite freelance analysts, and neither organized work processes nor research methodology existed. The company relied solely on the analyst's personal abilities, which caused inconsistency in projects' quality and customers' dissatisfaction.
In order to change that, I hired 5 research managers, re-defined responsibilities and tasks throughout the company, and spearheaded the formulation of a new research methodology. The new methodology gave us an edge over our competitors and established the company as a brand name for quality research.
One of the most difficult decisions I had to make was firing xxx, a veteran member of my team. Transforming my company into a leading research firm required a devoted team that was committed to this goal, and willing to make extra efforts. This vision did not fit xxx. She was looking for a laid-back position, and although talented, she did only the necessary minimum.
I faced a tough decision. On the one hand, to fire an experienced employee, in a time when most of the employees were new, seemed unwise. On the other hand, not firing her would mean establishing double standards for our employees, and might cause resentment in the entire team.
After I failed to change her attitude, I decided to fire xxx. Although I knew that in the short run things would get difficult, I concluded there was no other way. I needed the most dedicated team possible, and xxx, as head of a major division, would have undermined this effort in the long run.
Personally, making the decision was very hard. It meant firing a colleague, with whom I had worked closely for a long time. However, in the long run, team spirit improved greatly and I succeeded in building the right team to lead the company forward.
I believe that the role I will play in my study group will be the level-headed planner, who analyzes a complicated situation, prioritizes tasks, and assigns responsibilities. I will be the one that tries to find the solution when there seems to be a dead-end and points out the hard facts that others prefer to overlook. When other people are in charge, I will be the one they go over their plan with, in order to find pitfalls and loose ends. On the other hand, I'll also be the one encouraging the team that we can conquer whatever destination we set our mind to, and be willing to take a risk in order to achieve that.
5 years from now I intend to advance to a business development director at a large multinational corporation, in charge of a specific geographic location or a new business segment, and leading business steps such as Google entering the mobile phone market, or Vodafone entering the African market. Another viable option is running a new subsidiary in locations such as Asia or Africa, building a foundation for the company's business in that country.
My longer-term vision is becoming the CEO of a major telecom company, such as Vodafone. I want to be the one that directs the course, creates a vision, and executes it. I believe that a successful CEO has to have the skills to hire the right people to run the everyday business, while he worries about future business directions. A path of management roles in large corporations that focus on business development will serve as the necessary ground for being an innovative leader hopefully leaving my mark on the telecom industry, and at some point, I do see myself putting my knowledge and experience into my own company, and surprising the telecom market with an innovative product or service.
As a journalist, I have sought to bring about change by illuminating incongruities in the world. After nine years at the largest media conglomerates, I feel the news industry can go further to improve the lives of those we report on. I have acted on this belief, training citizen reporter networks in Burma, China, and Palestine, initiating video-diary projects, and establishing a non-profit organization for video activists (Videre est Credere). Yet, I believe I can do more to impact social change through media by encouraging further industry support for citizen journalists in conflict and development zones.
Post-MBA, I will work towards this vision by seeking a management position in new media business development at an organization like BBC or Time Warner. I will work to foresee trends in new news media and maximize strategic management of emerging technologies to supplement both content and unique platform monetization. While formulating strategic plans to match radical changes currently facing the news industry, I will also gain management experience in pilot programs pushing media development that encourages industry integration of citizen journalists.
My work launching Videre confirmed the change-bearing power of social media for conflict regions and provided me with tools to create this reciprocal dimension within the news industry. This has been a step towards my long-term goal of establishing a dot-com news organization powered by citizen journalists. On a sabbatical this spring, through the Atkin Fellowship from King College’s Center for Political Violence, I will investigate the premise of my career vision by researching the impact of citizen journalism versus mainstream media in the Middle East. I hope to build on this momentum with my subsequent MBA studies to help me gain practical tools to establish a revenue-producing social media venture, which could serve as a model for the larger industry.
I look towards an LBS MBA for the skills to translate my experience producing media content into managing content platforms and developing business frameworks for news organizations. LBS’s strengths in international management and entrepreneurial development first attracted me. Speaking with several alumni in the Media and Strategy sectors, I confirmed how foundational skills in strategy, finance and entrepreneurship would prepare me for a senior business development role and eventually help me found a media company with a social development agenda.
I was further encouraged to learn about the Center for Creative Business, and with courses like Prof. Keith Waley’s “Managing the Growing Business” and “Financing the new venture”. I believe the Center and courses like John Bates’ “New Creative Ventures” would help me identify new global trends and opportunities to advance my vision. In addition, Professor Michael Hay’s “Social Entrepreneurship in the 21st century”, combined with joining the Global Social Venture (GSVC) Competition, and the E100 network, would allow me to develop a new viable business plan for my future venture. The Responsible Business Club and Asperastra Consulting would also engage me with ideas and initiatives gaining ground in sustainable development and social enterprise fields.
Most importantly, LBS’s location (at the international news nexus) would expose me to industry leaders and trail-blazers to help launch my career. In addition to visiting speakers and case-study field trips, I would use the first-year audit of the “Managing Organizational Behavior” course to study the operational workings of a London media organization. Then I would pursue a Shadowing Project at a different media firm for a broader industry perspective. My media colleagues also confirmed the networking benefits of LBS’s Media Club, and Rebecca Otto confirmed the real-world value of LBS’s location and its particular advantage to my future career.
I am thrilled by the real-world context of LBS’s opportunities and I believe LBS is the perfect launching ground to translate my experience in media production to a larger scale with an eye to establishing my own media venture in the future.
As a project manager at a multinational bank in Hong Kong, overseeing credit lending operations, I noticed that often the small-scale, digital businesses were turned down by the bank. Based on the latest KPMG report, Hong Kong, despite being the leading global financial hub, ranks outside the top 10 in “innovation hubs and leading visionaries”. In my view, the traditional banking model is to be blamed. Seeing how other industries are benefiting from digital disruption, I have taken additional responsibilities in digitalization through training colleagues on digital awareness. However, I believe there is much more I can do. By applying the right technology-enabled solutions, I believe the banking sector can refine the traditional lending model and supply chain operations to support Hong Kong’s entrepreneurs. Post-MBA, in short term; I want to work in product management in a fintech firm focused on lending such as Lending Club or Alibaba to understand how to solve financial problems using technology. In the long term, I envision leading a digital strategy team in an international bank to push business transformation in the existing Hong Kong banking model.
At the bank, I was fortunate to expose to both frontline and middle management roles in credit lending and project management, leading a team of 24 of diverse backgrounds. The engagements I lead, such as implementing a more robust anti-money laundering system, require in-depth strategic planning and flawless execution as it impacts over 10,000 customers. In one of my recent projects, I designed a framework to analyze public companies that were adopted by senior management to successfully defend the Bank’s position on 100 firms that were on its loan books, despite the stock prices of some of these companies have dropped over 90% in May 2017.
“Global is the new local”, especially for digital business. Steering a digital business transformation demands an entrepreneurial spirit and global thinking, something I need to improve upon. I witness how constructive feedback and constant learning are crucial to refining business ideas; at LBS, a student body with over 70 nationalities, gives rise to many well-established regional clubs and brings the famous international celebration “Tattoo” to life. I will diversify my social circle and learn from diverse viewpoints to accelerate my business acumen to a global scale.
Complementing my lack of experience in digital management, LBS’s tailored core courses in “Digital Strategy” will gear me with relevant tools to revamp the existing lending model. Looking forward, I wish to use my bid points to take the strategy lab class taught by Prof Markides, a professor whom many current students spoke highly of, to work on real business problems on disruptive innovation. I will also take full advantage of the unique offer LBS provides on the highly flexible curriculum and block week electives, as I am well-positioned in London to work 2 internships or part-time with a fintech firm to understand how to solve financial problems using technology.
Combining my experience from working at the bank, skills, and knowledge gained from LBS, and the product management experience gained at a fintech firm, I will be well-positioned to achieve my long-term vision of transforming business lending in the Hong Kong banking sector and contribute to its growth story in the digital economy.
As a Digital and Customer Strategy consultant at a multinational professional services firm, I work with the largest client-facing organizations in Israel, helping them improve the relationship between the business and its stakeholders. I believe that digital strategy is crucial for the success of such organizations to meet their customers’ needs and that it will play an even more critical role in the organization’s success in the near future, as millennials comprise a larger portion of the customer base.
While working with the firm, I acquired significant professional experience; I learned how to quickly analyze complex processes and big data and how to offer customized solutions to my clients accordingly. In the future, I wish to continue to prepare organizations for the digital age but on a global scale.
I believe an MBA from LBS will provide me with a solid business education foundation, international network, and know-how from real case studies. My post MBA plan is to join a leading digital strategy consulting firm such as Huge, Designit, A.T. Kearney, or Frog as a Digital Transformation Manager. This will advance my long-term plan to lead my own digital strategy consulting firm specializing in digital transformation.
When I met with Mr. Julien Castérède, I was impressed to hear that the school recognizes the value of digital strategy in today’s business world, and the emphasis LBS puts on digital by adding Digital Strategy as a core course. I wish to participate in the elective strategy lab and tackle real-life case studies with A.T. Kearney, a global leader in digital transformations services. This will help me expand my network in my target industry and learn about new industries I was not exposed to at my firm, helping me become a more diverse consultant.
I plan to participate in the Consulting Club, in order to share my experience and broaden my knowledge. I wish to improve my chances of securing my post-MBA job through networking and practicing case interviews with peer leaders. I hope to become a peer leader myself during the second year. I see the Summer Consulting Team as an opportunity to use my professional experience and learn from my peers’ experience while tackling real cases and offering solutions to complex business problems.
During my studies, I plan to focus on innovation, in order to improve my ability to offer suitable solutions to my future clients. Therefore I look forward to participating in the Strategic Innovation elective with Professor Sendhil Ethiraj, and the Innovating Business Models, Products and Services course. I would also like to develop my soft skills by taking the Understanding General Management class, as well as the Negotiation and Bargaining class, which came highly recommended by alumni I spoke with.
Finally, I was also impressed to hear from Noam about the diverse student body, strong alumni network, and its impact on his career. I look forward to creating new relationships with people from various nationalities and backgrounds and expanding my network.
How do Aringo's clients do when they apply to LBS?
Aringo's admission rate is 254% higher than LBS's average.