Tech Movers and Shakers: Courtney Carlsson
The London Entrepreneurship Review in conversation with the personalities of the LBS MBA Class of 2016 technology and entrepreneurship community. A special tribute to the Class of 2017, the incoming Class of 2018 and all future LBS students.
Basic profile - Name, Nationality and Past Professional Background
Courtney Carlsson, Swedish/Filippino
Past professional life: Global Sales Manager, Handbags and Accessories at The Row, Paris & New York
What is your ‘LBS tech story’? Where do your interests lie?
Tech is the new economy; it means a constant state of innovation. Personally, I was compelled not only by the prospect of being part of the future but also by the growth potential of companies involved in the space. Pre-LBS, I had built a solid track record of fostering hyper sales growth. In my position at The Row, I created and implemented a strategy that grew global sales for my division by 101% in only one year. I wanted to take that experience and build on it to make a real, scalable impact on the world through tech.
Accordingly, I applied to LBS looking to work on a luxury-tech startup idea. The minute I arrived on campus I made sure I was involved with the executive committees of the most relevant clubs to the idea: Entrepreneurship, Tech & Media, the London Entrepreneurship Review and the Retail Luxury Goods clubs. The experience I gained through these clubs laid a foundation for me to secure an internship at a mental health startup, and then ultimately a summer internship at a “Big 3” company (the tech version) – LinkedIn.
What did you do for your summer-internship and what are you doing full-time after graduation? How did you secure these jobs?
I worked at LinkedIn as a Sales Operations analyst during my summer internship. There were only 3 MBA internship roles available, so I felt very fortunate to have secured the opportunity. In that sense I have a lot to be grateful to LBS for: coming from a luxury background I would have never been able to obtain an opportunity at a big tech firm so seamlessly had I not applied as an LBS MBA.
My LinkedIn experience was extremely enriching, I was able to see firsthand how a successful, mature tech company operates. My time at LinkedIn solidified my conviction that I should launch myself fully into a startup. I’m proud to say, my team and I have gone through to the 2nd round of the LBS incubator 2016-17.
What do you consider to be your most significant contribution to London Business School tech-community?
I’m very proud of the traction that the Entrepreneurship community has gained during the past year. Sheng Huang, Ramona Milcheva and I – all Co-Presidents of the eClub were blown away by the commitment of our executive committee and the growth that’s been driven this year in all aspects of eClub contributions. From collaborating more with like-minded clubs like Tech & Media and VC/PE, to having more startups founded in the 2017 class than we’ve seen before – it’s been a wonderful year of accomplishment for the entrepreneurship community at LBS.
What was the highlight of your MBA?
My internship at LinkedIn and participating in the 2015 Hackathon were my absolute highlights. The hackathon was a great learning experience, and the first time I led a cross-functional team to work on my own startup idea. We didn’t end up winning, but I consider it to be one my winning experiences at LBS!
What is the one thing you wish you knew before coming to LBS?
Don’t overextend yourself! Learn to prioritize.
How has your London Business School experience shaped or influenced your interest in the tech-sector?
My LBS experience has reinforced my interest in the tech sector, and I am so grateful for the opportunities LBS has afforded me thus far. I’m especially grateful to my classmates who brought previous industry expertise and shared it with newbies like me.
What advice would you give to the incoming class of London Business School?
LBS is your time to experiment and try new things. Use this time to enjoy yourself but also to find yourself personally and professionally. It’s a rare opportunity to have 2 years to focus on yourself, so really think about what you want to accomplish in the long run, find the best path to get there and go for it. This is the time to take risks and go for what you really want. You don’t need to follow the crowd – success is subjective. Measure yourself against yourself and your own goals.
Are you staying in London after graduation? How can people get in touch with you?
I’ll be staying in London at least for the next year – Brexit has thrown a spanner in my plans! In any case, contact me on any of these platforms:
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Connect with me professionally: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/courtneycarlsson
Friend me: Courtney Carlsson
Follow me: @cococarlsson
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