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10 EGMiM Stories - Susan Allen Augustin

10 years, 10 questions, 10 profiles, every 10th of the month...

Meet our EGMiM alumna Susan Allen Augustin

I can honestly say that EGMiM allowed me the space to identify and accelerate my career advancement in a way I couldn’t have achieved without it.

Susan Allen Augustin

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Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in the United States – Boston, Massachusetts – the fourth of five siblings in an immigrant household (both my parents are from Montserrat, giving me the sweet gift of British Citizenship). I’ve spent my career in the non-profit/social justice sector, I have a passion for problem solving, and I really, really love shoes (which is how I earned the nickname Shoesan or Shoez for short from my EGMiM classmates) and food. After completing the EGMiM programme, I relocated to London in 2016, where I live with my husband and our two children (they are recent additions, aged 4 and 10 months).

What’s your current job?

I am currently the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Open Society Foundations and Co-founder of Here We Flo.

Why did you choose to study the EGMiM programme?

After spending my career in the non-profit sector in internal roles focused on organisational development and systems improvement, I wanted to learn more about how these things were approached in the business sector, so I could further develop my skillset. I also always wanted to study in London and had long admired LSE. When the EGMiM programme was launched, it seemed like the perfect fit for me.

How has EGMiM benefitted your career?

EGMiM really allowed me to take my career to the next level. I was able to use the research from my dissertation to propose a strategy to my organisation that ultimately led to my designing and implementing its global diversity, equity and inclusion strategy. One relocation, and three promotions later, I can honestly say that EGMiM allowed me the space to identify and accelerate my career advancement in a way I couldn’t have achieved without it.

Did you make any lasting friendships?

I gained so much through my time at LSE, but the lifelong friendships I made there are most precious to me, especially because we likely would never have met otherwise. Especially, Tara, my best friend and co-founder of Here We Flo (more on that later), and Jed, Rohan and Lars - my dearest Moodles (more on this later as well). We lost Jed in a tragic accident in 2019, and even though we only knew each other for the short time of six years, he was one of my dearest friends, and truly one of the best people you could ever hope to meet. I really believe the unique and diverse experiences we were afforded through the programme deepened our bond in a way that couldn’t have been planned into the design of EGMiM. We made some of our best memories during EGMiM, and I’ll always be grateful for the unexpected gift of gaining relationships with these incredible people. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to those who will start the programme next year?

I would say come into the programme with an open mind and look for opportunities to experiment with ideas and projects that interest you because it could lead to your next promotion or the next great innovation or start-up.

Are there any other projects or hobbies you've been working on outside of work?

Yes! For the last four years, I’ve been building a funny, feminist, and fierce organic personal care business with my best friend, Tara, who I met on the first day of the EGMiM programme in 2013. We quickly became best friends and actually had the initial idea for the business in the toilets between classes. We are at an exciting stage now – raising institutional funding, growing our team and preparing for sustainable world domination – one tampon, pad and condom at a time!

Who was your favourite academic and why?

All of our professors were amazing – down to earth, approachable, and hilarious – but my favourite has to be Connson. She is incredible, inspiring, gives the best advice, and her Organisational Behaviour course helped me realise my potential as a leader, and ultimately gave me the confidence to pursue Diversity & Inclusion as a possible career path.

What is your best memory about EGMiM?

I think my best memory has to be when we all travelled to Istanbul for the emerging markets module. Amazing food, exploring the city and learning about businesses in an economy that was structured so differently than what many of us had ever experienced – it really made for such an unforgettable experience – both personally and academically. 

Do you have a funny EGMiM story that you would like to share? 

Most EGMiM students will recognise Moodle as the virtual learning environment tool we used on the course.  The Moodles is the name of the band Jed (lead rapper, backing vocals), Rohan (lead guitar and male vocals), Lars (air drummer) and I (lead singer) started during our time at LSE. Our origin story a/k/a first recording was a mashup of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” with Andre 3000’s verse from John Legend’s “Green Light”. It was recorded at 3 am – the result of a mix of sleep deprivation and a lot of Maker’s Mark. And the rest, as they say, is history.