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Where next? Life after the MBA…part II

24 August 2015

The article at a glance

After the highs of an MBA, life beyond the experience has a lot to live up to. With many graduates seeking geography …

Category: News Programme news

After the highs of an MBA, life beyond the experience has a lot to live up to. With many graduates seeking geography changes in their post-MBA careers, what are the best cities to live and work in?


In this series we ask a selection of recent Cambridge MBA graduates – now working in thriving global hubs – to make the case for their city:


Emily Tabak
Emily Tabak

By Emily Tabak, Marketing Communications Manager, HP Helion (Cloud) APJeC, Hewlett-Packard, MBA 2012/13

When I accepted my current role at HP in Singapore, I had never been to Singapore (or Asia), so I was not sure what to expect. My experience here in Singapore has been exciting, challenging, and eye opening in many different ways from my previous roles in New York and London. HP (and many other companies) have Asian headquarters in Singapore which means that if you are working in Singapore there is a good chance you’ll be interacting with colleagues across the region. Working in technology it is exciting to see how the products, solutions, and services my company supplies are empowering my nations to innovate on their infrastructure and economic future first hand. And it isn’t just big technology companies that are located and making an impact – there is a startup community that seems to be growing at an exponential rate.

Outside of work, Singapore offers a variety of cultural (not just food!) and recreational experiences to take advantage of. There are also a handful of alumni in the area which is always reassuring when you are in a new location. And finally, one of the best things about working in Singapore, is whether you are traveling for business or pleasure the rest of Asia is at your finger tips.

Hong Kong

Michael Wang
Michael Wang

By Michael Wang, Vice President, Structured Metals & Energy Finance at ING Bank N.V, MBA 2012/13

Hong Kong has its unparalleled uniqueness comparing to other major international cities such as London and New York. It was a British colony for more than 150 years and largely functioned as a trading hub to access China throughout that period. It has an internationally recognised legal system, vibrant and diversified talent pool, competitive tax system, efficient public governance, and most importantly, well established international institutions across banking, finance, trade, legal, services and other business sectors. Despite the increasing competition from cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, Hong Kong is still the primary hub for international institutions to operate as the base to cover Greater China and wider Asia Pacific region.

From my personal experience, moving to Hong Kong after working in London for five years is a big change by any standards. I pay much more for housing, but much less in taxes. I work and socialise with generally younger and more vibrant professionals, almost all of them have an educational and/or professional background from Europe or North America. Specifically for my line of work in structured commodity finance, Hong Kong is no doubt the global hub, thanks to China’s dominant position in global commodity market on both the demand and supply sides and Hong Kong’s status as a global financial centre.

To sum up, in London terms, could one imagine working in a location consisting of the City, Canary Wharf, Soho, Bond Street, Knightsbridge, Borough Market, and Portobello Road all in one square mile? Come and work in Central Hong Kong!

New York

Luca Marchi
Luca Marchi

By Luca Marchi, Watson Ecosystem Business Development Manager – Oil & Gas and Education, MBA 2012/13

To explain why New York is a great destination after your MBA, I will not tell you why I came here – but why I will not leave.

New York is one of those cities where you never feel like a foreigner: if you live here, you are a New Yorker, no matter how thick your accent is. It is really easy to fit in and feel at home.

I have lived in many different cities across four continents, and New York is the one where I had more acquaintances before moving: friends from undergrad and from Cambridge, former and current colleagues. They’ve all come here at some point in their lives, before I did.

As for your professional life, many global corporations have their decision making hub here, so you will always feel like an integral part of your organisation. You will be expected to go for what you want to get and walk the extra mile every day.

New York is known for finance, but it is also a relevant spot for industries like media, fashion, technology, healthcare and so on: it will offer you an opportunity no matter where your expertise lays.

In my opinion, if high rent and high snow do not scare you, this is the place you should be.


Chris Gallaher
Chris Gallaher

By Chris Gallaher, COO at Voyage Manager, MBA 2013/14

For me Cambridge is the best city in the world to work in post-MBA, both from a professional and a personal point of view. I’m predominantly interested in working with growing businesses and entrepreneurs and few places in the world are quite like the “Silicon Fen” when it comes to having so many start-ups and people with an entrepreneurial mind-set. For me, working in Cambridge gives me a unique opportunity to gain insight from brilliant minds with diverse experiences.

Additionally, I moved to Cambridge with my wife and small boys. The green fields, good schools, friendly neighbours, large number of playgrounds and a city big enough to have the shops you need, make Cambridge a perfect place to be with a family.