A long-held ambition to work in the Far East was the catalyst for Kristian Diskerud to take the Global Masters in Management (Global MiM) at London Business School (LBS). Having completed his first year in London, he will spend the next 12 months of the two-year programme at Fudan School of Management in Shanghai.
For Kristian, relocating to Asia promises to be an incredible personal and academic experience. “I’m excited about everything from the local food and scaling nearby mountains with friends at the weekend to interacting with Fudan’s student community and joining some of the student clubs,” he says. In London, Kristian was Corporate Vice President of the China Business Club and a member of the consulting, investment management and finance clubs.
He adds: “I have an opportunity to learn from people who know China and can provide strong insight into doing business in the region. I’m also looking forward to working with and learning from the professors there.”
The first year of the Global MiM has given Kristian a solid grounding in strategic analysis, teaching him how to utilise tools such as the value curve – comparing companies in the same industry to see what makes them competitive – and financial accounting. He has also gained insight into macroeconomic issues, cross-cultural business communication and global business management.
Chris Voss, Emeritus Professor of Management Science and Operations at LBS, and guest speaker Pierre-Yves Gerbeau were particularly influential in helping Kristian and his fellow students understand the complexities of managing in a globally competitive business world. He and other faculty also encouraged the students to network with one another throughout the first year of the programme.
“While studying together in the classroom, we saw opportunities to work together after graduating from LBS,” Kristian says. “For example, those wanting to start a company were approached by people in the class who were looking to invest, and that was a really interesting environment to be in.”
The second year of the programme will provide Kristian with new business insights, while giving him the opportunity to explore in more detail some of the subjects from year one. He will also get to interact with Asian companies, immerse himself in a different business culture after interning at HSBC in London, and develop networks across the region.
“Our class is incredibly diverse and we all share the mindset of wanting to work internationally, particularly in the East,” he says. “I can sit down with my classmates, wherever they’re from, and they’ll be interested in discussing ways to develop partnerships with Chinese companies or student associations that would benefit us all.”
Being part of a culturally diverse class featuring 20 Chinese people and 20 others from around the world has other benefits, according to Kristian. “It creates an interesting dynamic. Those of us from outside China are working hard to either learn or develop our Mandarin speaking skills, so having Chinese people on the programme who can teach us is really helpful.
“The whole group has integrated very well and we’ll work even more closely in year two.”
Like the sound of studying abroad? Check out London Business School's options here.
Written during Kristian’s (GMiM2017) time on the GMiM programme.