Pharmaceuticals before my MBA
Before my MBA I worked for GlaxoSmithKline, one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, in their global regulatory affairs department in the UK. I wanted to progress to a more business oriented role, and for that I needed to boost my business knowledge. My first degree is in pharmacy, so for me the MBA was the tool that helped me to bridge healthcare and business.
Cambridge has over 800 years of history and it has a tremendous reputation. In my case, I was also looking for a one-year programme in the UK. The crucial factor in choosing Cambridge over other schools though came after my interview day. The interview experience was absolutely brilliant; I met great people that later became my colleagues. I learned more about the programme, the concentrations, the number of students each stream would have, the collegiate system, and I also got the chance to experience Cambridge as a city. When I received the acceptance letter I had no doubt where I would be heading the following September.
Consulting Projects lead to career change
The Cambridge MBA has a good mixture of core courses and electives however for me the most exciting part of the programme were the two consulting projects. These give students the opportunity to get hands-on experience and help firms to solve some of their problems. It was during one of these projects that I realised I wanted to try a career in consulting. I loved the experience of working with the clients to tackle some of their problems and could see myself working in such an environment after the MBA.
I am currently working for a global management consulting firm, specialising in marketing and sales in London. Without the MBA I could not have made this jump from the pharmaceutical industry to consulting. Several factors enabled this move: the good background knowledge I got through the core and elective courses; the careers team who provided me with resources to do my interview preparation; and the concentration in marketing and strategy consulting which provided me with a general overview of the consulting world. And the support from my classmates was amazing; those who had previous experience in consulting helped me in my interview journey.
— Carolina Relvas, Consultant, ZS Associates, London
Cambridge MBA alumna