Dan Rosenthal is back with his third post in his ‘favourites at LSE’ series. This time he shares his five “best things” about LSE. After one term, Student Ambassador Dan, studying a Master’s in HRO – Organisational Behaviour, has got to know LSE and gives you his tried and tested tips on how to make the most out of your time here.
It’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway (maybe even more than halfway by the time this is posted) through Lent term.
For most postgraduate students, we’ll still be around until the end of August – when our dissertations are due (*gasp) – but for many of us, these next few weeks will be the last time we ever sit in lectures or classes.
After this, it’s back to the corporate world, where we will strive to incorporate everything we’ve learned since arriving here last September.
It’s unclear if the amount of coffee we consume will increase or just stay the same (I’m on my third cup of the day as I write this).
One year is both a long and short amount of time to be at LSE. It’s enough time to;
- make new friends
- get involved on campus
- enjoy some fascinating lectures
- learn from a wonderful institution in the heart of London
However, it’s a relatively short amount of time to truly re-acclimate oneself back to a college lifestyle, especially for those not coming directly from undergraduate studies. It’s a short time to live in the UK, especially for those of us who are international and from overseas. And it is a short amount of time to be surrounded by brilliant professors and classmates who really change your way of thinking.
As I reflect on my time in London so far – and procrastinate one of my class assignments – here are some of my favourite things about LSE.
As cliché as it sounds, meeting other people and finding those with similar interests can really enhance your university experience. Whether it’s through your classes, extracurriculars, residence halls, or one of the many common/public spaces on campus – there are many opportunities to meet fellow students and grow outside of your comfort zone.
Not only is it nice to be able to grab lunch or coffee with someone between classes, but you’ll also find opportunities to engage in study groups, group projects, and even blow off a little steam over the weekend at a local pub.
LSE has an abundance of smart, interesting people who are all looking to make friends.
Take advantage of attending that public lecture or sitting next to someone in the 4th floor cafeteria as you may just find your next best friend.
College and living in a big, new city can sometimes be daunting. Luckily, LSE is full of amazing people who are ready to welcome you with open arms.
One of the absolute best things about LSE is the amount of diversity here on campus.
Much of the diversity can be attributed to the people, as mentioned in the previous section, but beyond the diversity of its people, LSE is a haven for diverse thoughts, ideas, and experiences.
In class, students are encouraged to share their unique perspectives on the material we’re learning. Our professors, like the students, are from all over the world. Especially relevant to the Department of Management (DoM), many of the professors have extensive professional working experience in fields like consulting, finance and technology in addition to their PhDs.
The fact that LSE is said to be one of the most diverse universities in Europe is a huge advantage in that we get to be surrounded by people who can challenge our way of thinking and expand our global mindset.
If one is open to new ideas and learning from others, there’s probably no better place to be.
LSE is a haven for diverse thoughts, ideas, and experiences.
Something very important to note for prospective students is that LSE doesn’t have a traditional university campus with sprawling grass quads and communal spaces. It’s truly a micro-community set in the heart of central London and surrounded by historical landmarks wherever you turn.
However, one of my favourite things about LSE is that as you turn down Houghton Street, you escape the chaos that is London and find yourself embedded in an institution of higher learning.
LSE, which was once just a row of buildings along one street, has greatly expanded over the years to become its own small city – complete with academic buildings, a student union, multi-purpose spaces, library, 3 pubs, a park, bookstores, a performance venue, and even a barber shop.
If you want to, it’s easy to forget that you are indeed in one of the biggest cities in the world and just enjoy the collegiate experience.
You’ll run into people you know almost every day as you dash across the square in front of the new Centre Building and be surrounded by fellow students no matter where you go.
The Department of Management is currently situated in the New Academic Building (NAB), which sits right at the corner of Lincoln’s Inn Fields (park) and is just a short walk to the Saw Swee Hock student centre that was completed in 2014 and is a hub of student life.
In general, the buildings on campus, including the NAB, Student Union, and Center Building (completed in 2019) are quite impressive architectural feats. During the middle of the day, if you walk between the SU and Library you may even get lucky and see the famous LSE Hare Krishna food cart (not affiliated with the school).
Every day, you have the opportunity to grow and develop into a better version of yourself.
University life can be hard for students of all ages and experiences. Whether it’s personal matters or issues with your studies, LSE is extremely well-equipped to assist students throughout their time here.
As the names imply, the Library acts as the number one resource for all things academic during your time here. Here are some great ways you can use the Library;
- access their orientation sessions that help students acclimatise to using the Library’s services
- speak to their dedicated staff who are subject matter experts, aligned with university departments, and can help you with all your research needed
- online access for most weekly readings
- a fantastic inter-lending programme with other libraries in the UK. If for some reason, LSE doesn’t have what you need, it will reach out to peer institutions and have it delivered.
LSE Careers is a wonderful service that helps prepare students for life after LSE, including resume/CV reviews, 1:1 career sessions, networking events and mock interviews. In addition to general career services, each academic department, such as the DoM have their own career services team with expertise tailored to fit your specific needs.
One of the most popular and well-used resources at LSE is what’s known as LSE Life. Described on their website as “the place to discover and develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond”, LSE Life is almost a catch-all resource for anything you may think of while you’re here. The team hosts;
- talks and skills classes
- 1:1 academic sessions for anything study related (maybe a good opportunity to review that essay with someone, eh?)
- writing workshops
- language courses
- academic and mentoring programmes
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention LSE’s wellbeing service that provides wonderful mental health, counselling, and academic support and resources when students can’t find what they’re looking for through other services. Here, students can find professional and peer support related to safety, healthcare, diversity & inclusion, etc. that is always comprehensive and confidential.
As I’ve recently learned in one of my classes (“PB457: Organisational Culture”), it’s actually quite difficult and ambiguous to define what “culture” is.
Academically speaking, some would define it as a set of common norms, values and behaviours shared amongst a group of people. Here, however, I would just like to describe it (informally) as a feeling you get from being at LSE.
It’s a combination of everything I’ve mentioned above, including the people, campus, resources, as well as the overall climate one perceives or feels whenever they step onto campus.
There’s no doubt that when you’re here, you feel like you are in a bubble of learning.
Everyone around you, both professors and fellow students are operating at extraordinary levels and it’s important to understand that this is a unique experience that you can’t get anywhere else in the world!
There’s nothing else like being surrounded by brilliant minds that challenge the way you think and push you towards your full potential. Classes, and even extracurriculars can be rigorous, but are also safe, warm and welcoming.
Every day, you have the opportunity to grow and develop into a better version of yourself. It’s a wonderful feeling, and one I know I’ll miss once I’ve finished my programme.
As always, hope you enjoyed reading (and sharing) my latest post!
Everyone around you, both professors and fellow students are operating at extraordinary levels and it’s important to understand that this is a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else in the world!
Learn more about our MSc Human Resources and Organisations programme