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The Benefits of Spark

A blog article from Summer School student José Luis Nadal.

José (Pepe) Luis Nadal-20220704_LSE_SS__1577-1600x1600px

5 min read

Spark, the reason why 1+1 might equal 3

One plus one equals three. This is mathematically incorrect but a perfect explanation for synergies. This phrase is used in business as a metaphor for when ‘the combination of energies, resources, talents, and efforts equal more than the sum of the parts’. In my example, your hard skills might get you hired, but soft skills allow you to progress faster in your career. Spark is LSE Summer School’s extracurricular professional skills programme. It is also your way to develop both your soft skills and your hard skills and give you that extra edge in the professional world.

Education is important but is just the start when entering the professional world. Human beings are social creatures, everybody needs to know how to act in accordance with the context one is in. Interviews, internships and first jobs are situations we will be in. Because of this, it is important to have the tools necessary to navigate the initial steps of our professional journey.

Let’s break down the job application and selection process and see how Spark can assist with each step. For most jobs, you will need to prepare your CV until it feels right. However, as writing a CV is a new process for most graduates, there is a chance that your first CV contains mistakes or is not formatted in the most efficient way for your industry. CV workshops, run as part of the Spark programme, are a great way to skip all that A/B testing. Here you will gain expert knowledge in how to structure a CV in the most strategic and efficient way, to get you noticed.

The same applies with interviews. Job interviews are about telling your story to the interviewer and proving why you are suited to the job. At the Assessment Centres and various Interview Prep events hosted by LSE Summer School, you will learn how to reply to certain questions or learn certain frameworks, which will help you to create a better mood during the interview and represent your story in the best light. You will also be able to learn how to manage interview anxiety and some tips to help you with your confidence.

The Industry Insight events are also an invaluable piece of the programme. Some industries might seem opaque from the outside. Last year, Dr Kenneth Lee, one of the greatest speakers I’ve personally seen, gave a series of talks about the Financial Services industry. Employees from Barclays or Morgan Stanley not only shared their stories but also gave tips on how to access the industry and perform to the best of your ability. Attending these events gives you insight into essential information that you would be unlikely to have access to elsewhere, allowing you to make better, more informed decisions.

The Spark events are also a great opportunity to network. Here, you can meet interesting people from all types of backgrounds. In your courses you will stumble upon students who have similar interests. At Spark events, such as the Developing your Entrepreneurial Mindset or Wellbeing activities, you will interact with people from different courses, thus it is your chance to expand your network even more. Have your LinkedIn profile ready because it will become incredibly valuable for connecting with all the people you meet. In my opinion, meeting so many interesting people is one of the biggest benefits of the Spark programme. People around you can make a great experience even greater.

To some extent, Spark can give you an unfair advantage.

Spark gives you incredible information not addressed in the academic dimension. The implementation of what you learn here is up to you. Only by combining your hard skills with your soft skills will you enjoy the benefits of synergies and advance your professional journey to the best of your abilities.

I recommend you go to as many Spark events as possible. Take the opportunity offered to you to gain an unfair advantage in your professional journey.

I hope this article is useful to help you get the most out of your LSE Summer School experience. If you have liked it, keep an eye on future posts from other LSE representatives and make sure to follow LSE Summer School on social media.


This blog was written by one of our 2022 Student Ambassadors, who are here to share their stories and help you understand the summer school experience at LSE.