27 minutes | Nov 24th 2020

This London Business School MBA’s Startup Is Protecting Your Online Privacy

Can business school support an entrepreneurial venture? [Show summary] James Chance, a 2019 London Business School MBA graduate, reveals how his experience at LBS impacted his path as an entrepreneur, along with how he’s transforming online privacy protection through his startup, yourself.online. Learn how entrepreneur James Chance launched his start-up while at London Business School. [Show notes] James Chance graduated from the University of Bristol in 2011 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He then worked as a strategy consultant for Accenture UK, until he joined Google in 2016. He earned his MBA at London Business School in 2019, which is where he also launched yourself.online, his startup. We're going to learn more about James's MBA path and experience, as well as about the launching of yourself.online and how it can help you maintain your privacy. Can you tell us a little bit about your background, where you grew up, and what you like to do for fun? [2:03] I grew up in Central London, not too far from the City, the financial district, right in the center, quite close to St. Paul's. That was a real eye-opener in terms of this very fast-paced world, and growing up, I was fortunate enough to, from that experience, see a lot of things, arts, culture, different businesses, all sorts of different stuff as a kid and as a teenager. When I reached the end of secondary school, then I decided I wanted to get out of London and go to the University of Bristol, as a change of scenery. In terms of what I like to do for fun, I've always been really passionate about traveling. I was fortunate enough to have a few occasions where I've traveled for work and worked in different countries, the US, Australia. But then I’ve also done more adventurous travels as well. I was fortunate enough, with a friend of mine in 2011, after I graduated from college, to drive halfway around the world from London to Mongolia in a car we bought on eBay for just under a thousand dollars. It's an adventure called the Mongol Rally, which was great fun. And I've always been trying to find those sorts of, not quite as adventurous, but trips that are a little bit off the beaten track. But unfortunately that's all on hold this year, but big plans for next year, hopefully. Next year, post-pandemic, I'd really like to do more of South America, since it's not really somewhere I've explored much. I'd really like to do some of the Argentina, Brazil, bits of Peru as well. You worked as a strategy consultant for Accenture for almost four years, then for Google as an analytical consultant, and also in e-commerce for a family business in Norway. With all these different experiences, why did you decide you wanted or needed an MBA? [3:50] I first started to think about doing an MBA when I was in consulting. This is something throughout, really: I had come into business coming from an engineering background, so coming from a technical background, where my quantitative skills and analytical skills were good, but I didn't have that much grounding in terms of finance, management, stuff like that. And I was fine for probably, I would say, the first few years of my career. But I found when I was at Google, I was fortunate enough to be brought into some really high-profile meetings with some of our senior clients, the CMOs of some of the largest e-commerce companies in the world, and stuff like that. Fantastic experience, but I was sitting at some of these meetings and I thought, I don't know how you work out marketing ROI. There were things that I just didn't have the fundamental business knowledge around. I could do the maths and things like that, and solve problems, but there were broader things I'd like to expand my skill base at and expand my fundamental background knowledge. LISTEN: Encore: Is an MBA Worth It, or Is the Sky Falling Down on the MBA Degree? >> And then on top of that, I'd always had throughout my business days a kind of back-...
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