We spoke with Executive Global Master’s in Management alumnus, Ben Abbate, recently to find out more about why he chose the programme, what drew him to LSE, and how EGMiM has changed his life.
Ben joined the EGMiM programme in 2015 whilst working at London’s Gartner as a global Sales Director for HSBC. American born, Ben had originally relocated to the UK six years prior with his previous company but was keen to dive deeper into management as a professional discipline and up his game on the Asian market. Whilst already travelling to Hong Kong regularly for business, it was LSE’s EGMiM programme that Ben knew could give him a better understanding of wider global trends and cultural working practises.
1. What made you choose our EGMiM programme?
There were a few factors. I didn’t want to stop working, as I was already in my early 30s and needed to carry on gaining working experience. I wanted a programme that had an Asia focus (at the time EGMiM had a Singapore module) and I also wanted to undertake serious study and complete original research. Lastly, I wanted a programme that was relatively broad in scope so that I could try out a few fields where I hadn’t had prior professional or academic experience.
2. What were your favourite aspects of the course?
The first thing is how accessible the lecturers were during and between the modules. At that time it was really possible to dive as deep as you wanted to in your chosen subject area, and for me it was really a joy to be around academics who were not only leading experts but who seemed to genuinely enjoy their fields as well.
Secondly, the programme at that time was quite small, about 30 people and it was an interesting cross section. Looking back, and this is before I moved to Singapore, it was a good opportunity to cross paths with individuals that I otherwise would have never encountered in my professional or personal life. Some of whom remain lifelong friends and business contacts.
Lastly, the programme has had a lasting impact on my way of thinking, both in my professional and personal life. Over the course of the programme, I developed a keen interest in the behavioural side of psychology and economics, and this interest and application has lasted long after the formal study.
3. How has the programme helped you in your journey since LSE and your transition into the Asian market?
By the end of the programme, it was clear to me that I had a small window to pivot both in terms of geography and sector. During my dissertation period I started calling after a number of firms in Singapore that I thought might be interested in a recent LSE grad with 10 years of working experience in corporate business development. I got very lucky when I met a hiring manager at Fitch who said to me, ‘oh we’re always interested in LSE graduates’ – and off I was to Singapore and a new industry. Four years later I’m grateful for the opportunity that the LSE gave me to make this change and get a foot in the door, and in Singapore today I’m also doubly grateful for the wonderful alumni community that have become friends and professional contacts.
You can find out more about our Executive Global Master’s in Management programme, and our partnership with the Hinrich Foundation Scholarship here.