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MSc International Management & Emerging Economies – An (almost) unique programme

3 February 2022

5 mins

Since its launch in 2019 our MSc International Management & Emerging Economies has become one of the most distinctive master programmes in our school. It reflects the vision and ambition of our Institute for International Management (IIM) as a whole.

Rather than teaching international business as an abstract phenomenon that takes place outside of time and space, in IIM we study international business as a contextual phenomenon. That means taking context seriously: Doing business in London is not the same as doing business in New Delhi, Shanghai, Moscow, or Abuja. Each country has its own history, culture, traditions, and institutions. Future managers need to be aware of these differences and be agile enough to adapt their behaviours and strategies to these diverse contexts. Therefore, rather than learning abstract economic theories of management, we teach our students to understand and deal with institutional differences across countries. This contextual approach to international management is at the heart of our MSc IM and Emerging Economies.

Now in its third year, I have asked a few former students why they chose this programme and what they liked about it.

A unique programme

Malo – who will graduate in December 2021 – found that this programme is “[…] very unique and not many universities offer MSc programmes like it. […] In my search for a postgraduate course, I wasn’t able to find many business courses with such a focus on emerging markets. I personally think modern international business degrees have to acknowledge and understand how business is conducted not just in advanced, but also in emerging economies, especially as these economies will continue to grow and continue to play a larger role in the global economy.”

Christian, an alumnus from Germany, confirmed the uniqueness of the programme:

Since I wanted to have a nice mix of business administration, political science and economics, I quickly came across Loughborough University in London. At the time of my research, Loughborough London was the only university that offered the specialized field of Emerging Economies in the way I wanted and also had the right professors from the research areas I was aiming for.”

Indeed, students on the programme acquire a wide range of valuable transferable skills and an in-depth understanding of how emerging economies function based on the research that IIM faculty do in these countries.

Lukas – also from Germany – echoed that feeling:

When I heard that it was possible to combine Business Administration with Emerging Market Research at Loughborough University London, I immediately signed up for it.”

Work experience through the curriculum

Malo also told me that the opportunity to interact with ‘real world’ organisations during his studies and thus acquire valuable practical skills through our Collaborative Project was a big pull factor:

“I was looking to get some kind of work experience as I hadn’t done a placement year during my undergrad, and the collaborative project was a great opportunity to acquire some experience with exciting partners.”

Lukas too praised the combination of research-driven teaching with exposure to practical aspects:

“One thing I enjoyed most was the mix between real-life management practice and high-level academic research. […] In our lecture hall, we were often able to welcome managers and board members from a wide variety of companies: whether from Visa, KPMG or Google. We even had the CEO of an Indian medium-sized company on site, with whom we discussed export regulation until late at night.”

Malo had particularly warm words for our Future Space team who help students with careers advice and entrepreneurial ideas:

“I would say that the thing the school does best is offer support to its students. I don’t only mean academic support but with employability, entrepreneurial ambitions, skills and experience, the team has done a fantastic job in helping students out.”

This combination of practical and academic skills provides students with a very solid basis for their professional careers. Lukas told me that “the management but also the research skills I acquired in London help me over and over again to tackle tricky questions in my daily work” as a strategy consultant back in Germany.

Studying in East London

Our MSc IM EE alumni also told me more generally about their experience studying at HereEast the building of our London Campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. More specifically, Malo explained the role London played in his decision to study at IIM:

“[T]he campus being in London had a large role to play. It’s an international city with lots to do […]. As an added bonus, HereEast is an innovative and exciting area which you as a student actively get to interact with and be a part of, and it offers fantastic opportunities”

Lukas had some practical tips for prospective students at HereEast:

“[I]f your head is smouldering like a chimney because of studying and learning, then take a leisurely walk through the Queen Elizabeth Park, or drink a beer or two with your fellow students on the Canal Side. The year of study goes by very quickly, so take as much with you as you can!”

Linda, an alumna from Nigeria, simply said:

“I would say IIM and LU offers great and diverse opportunities if you are willing to work hard. This is the best decision to make, so don’t miss out in being a part of something phenomenal!”

As the IIM continues its strategy to establish itself as a centre of excellence for interdisciplinary research in international management and emerging economies, more opportunities for our students to immerse themselves in the study of emerging economies are being created almost daily. With the pandemic hopefully under control by next academic year, we are also working on developing our partnership with universities in emerging economies to offer our students even more opportunities for hands on experience in these countries.

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