In the first week of studying a Masters in Management (MiM) at London Business School (LBS), Jan-Felix Stolz received a vital piece of advice from an LBS alumnus at his orientation. Savio Kwan, President and COO of Alibaba from 2001 to 2005 told him: “It’s crucial to do two things: be smart and always work as part of a team.” Jan-Felix says: “Savio’s words have proven important and I believe his advice extends to business life.”
He spent a year at LBS living by this motto, and as a result, secured full-time employment with his target company, Goldman Sachs before graduating. Now he’s set to be an analyst in the company’s investment banking division, in Frankfurt, Germany.
Before the MiM, Jan-Felix interned at Deloitte, Ardian and Credit Suisse, but felt that studying at LBS would give him an edge as a candidate by blending theory and practice.
“The MiM offers a more academic perspective on current business issues. Faculty incorporate recent topics into their lectures – even if it’s short notice in the media. It shows that what we learn is connected to the real world of business.
“Take our Financial Accounting class; we discussed how the recent VW emissions scandal impacted the financial position of the firm.”
Diversity of heart and mind
Jan-Felix felt it was important he gained international exposure as soon as possible.
“The diversity and collaborative atmosphere at LBS fosters open-minded thinking. That’s crucial for success at international corporations like Goldman Sachs,” he says.
The diversity of his cohort helps him answer crucial questions such as; how do banks differ in their culture? And how do specific teams operate within global organisations? Class diversity permeated his study group. “In team assignments, it’s easy to think from just one individual perspective, but group discussions always broaden your horizons. I know now that there’s more than one way to solve any business problem.
“Of course, London adds to the diversity too – it’s a great hub and a vibrant city. Given my interest in finance, the City is the perfect location: it is one of the leading, if not the leading financial centre of the world.”
Jan-Felix credits the international experience as his standout programme highlight so far: the Global Immersion Field Trip to Shanghai. “The Shanghai trip boils down to LBS’s core values. It was an adventure bursting with international learning as well as real-world business insights. It also strengthened my LBS network, because it gave me the opportunity to learn and do business peers.”