Claudia Berghouse - FinTech Enthusiast, Fuego Female, Coke Zero's #1 Customer
Tell us about yourself 😄
Where are you from?
What is your role in TMC this year?
What's a fun fact about yourself?
I hate prime numbers (maybe I'm superstitious and don't even realise), I'm a complete creature of habit and I have a borderline addiction to Coke Zero!
Pre-MBA Life 🤓
What is your story leading up to the MBA?
I did a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Commerce degree in Sydney. When I finished, I figured finance would be a solid path for me to pursue so I landed a job as a grad at one of the big Aussie banks. I worked in a variety of different roles in banking roles - primarily in Debt Capital Markets and also in Business Development. Working in banking also gave me the opportunity to relocate and work overseas which had always been a big aspiration of mine. I lived and worked in Sydney, New York and London before starting the MBA. In fact, I was already in London for 3 years when I thought about doing the MBA!
Why did you choose to do your MBA? And why LBS?
I'd wanted to do an MBA for as long as I can remember. My mum did an MBA in the 80s and I always looked up to her, so I always had aspirations to do one as well. After being in the workforce for a while, I think an MBA is such a fantastic opportunity to regroup and figure out exactly what you're interested in and where you'd like to work. For me, I wanted to do an MBA to pivot into the tech industry. Although I'd thought about doing an MBA for several years, I've got to admit the pandemic really got me into gear to apply!
I had so many reasons for wanting to do LBS but most importantly, in my mind, there was no other option - it was LBS or not do an MBA! London is one of the best cities in the world, the diversity of the cohort and loved how involved you can be within the clubs at LBS. I also spoke to a bunch of Aussie alumni that convinced me LBS was the way to go.
Why are you interested in technology / what about technology are you most interested in?
Technology companies are appealing to me because they are constantly innovating and creating in order to be leaders in their industry. It's so obvious that the future lies in technology and I am eager to be part of that revolution! In terms of sub-sectors, I really like Fintech and am so interested in the disruptive nature of Fintech companies from Challenger banks, BNPL lenders, and generally, the payments industry. Having come from a relatively traditional banking background, I'm fascinated by how Fintechs have, in many cases, completely usurped traditional players in the industry.
LBS Experience 😎
Describe your LBS MBA experience in 3 words
Unexpected, Creative, Social
Going into the MBA, I had no idea I would take such an interest in being involved in the clubs at the school. Not having come from a tech background, I also didn't think I'd be able to be as involved in TMC as I was/am. I have to say this has been a really defining part of my time at LBS
You were on the TMC ExCo last year as well, is that correct? What was your favourite experience from your time on the ExCo last year?
Yes, I was part of the Treks and Experiential team, leading the New York trek last November (virtually), and also helped launch the Projects@TMC initiative.
Running the New York trek was a highlight. It was a little nerve-wracking as the trek hadn't been run in a couple of years and the timing coincided with the US elections but it came together really well!
What has been your most memorable experience from the LBS MBA so far?
Full virtual learning was tough at the beginning of the year, but on the flipside, doing things virtually gives you so many more opportunities to run and attend different events you're interested in!
Our stream F (Fuego) weekend trip away was the biggest highlight of my MBA. After a large part of the year being virtual, this trip was so fun to come together in-person and celebrate the end of our first year!
What are your summer 2021 plans?
Over the summer, I interned at Amex, which was a fantastic opportunity to get a taste of the payments industry!
Plans Going Forward 🚀
What are your post-MBA goals/plans (in terms of career, life/living etc.)?
I'd love to be at a Fintech post MBA. I will 100% be in London and still living in Islington with my partner and my cat.
What's your motto/mindset going into the final year of your MBA?
I think it's important to be mindful that setbacks and rejections are normal and to not get too down about these. Second, for me, I always need to remind myself to take more calculated risks (I'm naturally quite a risk-averse person) and I think in doing an MBA you're allowed and even encouraged to take risk, especially around your career.
What do you hope to achieve through TMC specifically this year?
A collaborative TMC that executes executes executes! and really builds off the fantastic work that was achieved last year. I'd also like to make TMC more fun and truly allow/encourage people with great ideas to run with them!
Finally, what, if any, advice do you have for incoming LBS students?
I'd really like to stress that TMC is a very inclusive club - it's open to all programmes and certainly, having a background in tech is not a prerequisite. More generally, I'd say the time goes really quickly so try to make the most of it. Figure out your priorities and try to get the most out of the programme.