What I Learned at… London Business School, Part 1

In our “What I Learned at…” series, MBAs discuss the tools and skills their business schools provided as they launched their careers.

Nitzan Yudan is the CEO and co-founder of FlatClub, a United Kingdom–based online marketplace for short-term rentals that connects verified members of exclusive alumni, employment and organizational networks. In Part 1 of this four-part series, Nitzan details his reasons for choosing London Business School for his MBA and why he decided to leave the finance industry for a career in entrepreneurship.

My path to co-founding FlatClub came about after forgoing a more traditional career path in favor of the freedom—and risks—that come with creating a start-up company. Although I am an avid traveler, the idea of building a business focused on short-term accommodations and peer-to-peer flat sharing was not initially among my pre-MBA career goals or part of my educational background. I am originally from Israel, and I studied industrial engineering and management at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, served in a special forces unit of the Israeli military and have 12 years of professional experience, primarily in financial services. After working at Israel’s Bank Hapoalim for two years, I decided to pursue business school as a means to advancing my career in finance.

When I was shopping around for MBA programs, my top choices were INSEAD and London Business School (LBS). Ultimately, I chose the latter on the basis of location and the potential to accelerate my career: I wanted to live in London, and the city seemed an ideal place to focus on my goal of moving up in the world of banking. I did not know it at the time, but LBS would also serve a crucial role in providing the financial support, entrepreneurial resources and confidence I needed to launch my own business.

By the end of my first year of the two-year program at LBS, I received attractive post-MBA offers from both American Express and Deutsche Bank for full-time positions upon graduation, but I decided to reassess my career trajectory. I had secured desirable opportunities in my target industry but nonetheless found myself asking, “Why not try something else?” I felt that I had a risk-free second year of education to explore a different field and decided to leverage my business school resources and get a start-up off the ground. LBS equipped me with an amazing space in which to take risks that I would never have access to again in my life. When I made that choice, I had no idea that FlatClub would emerge.

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