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Where next? Life after the MBA… part I

7 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 …

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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?

Life beyond the MBA… part I
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:

Kuala Lumpur

Abhinav Charan
Abhinav Charan

By Abhinav Charan, Management Consultant, Schlumburger Business Consulting, MBA 2013/14

For an MBA looking to explore life in Asia, Kuala Lumpur is an impressive choice. With a vibrant economy, lively expat scene and great connectivity with top tourist destinations, KL (as its fondly called) has much to offer the globe-trotting MBA.

With the iconic Petronas Twin Towers as the epicenter of business activity, KL is a destination for numerous oil and gas jobs. Since diversification of the economy, KL has long been a hotbed for the consulting, financial and services sectors.

The city’s social fabric draws on its highly mixed cultural history. From the noisy local ‘mamak’ setting to the posh ‘Golden Triangle’, KL is festival of food, diverse people and languages. The city has good above and underground public transit, living is relatively cheap and the sun literally shines all year long.

Just to top it up, KL is an excellent base camp for visiting some of the most beautiful places on earth within hours (think Bali, Phuket, Vietnam and the likes). With a myriad of stunning islands and activities around, KL has much to offer people who love to work hard and party harder!


Courtney Rueb
Courtney Rueb

By Courtney Rueb, Customer Solutions, Medallia, MBA 2013/14

Whether you’re a hoodie-loving techie like me or a suit-wearing consultant like my flatmate and former MBA comrade, London has something for you. Even though the Cambridge MBA has ended for us, it lives on in London. As I write this, I sit in a room with fellow ‘Cantabs’ from Nigeria, New Zealand, and Germany. At work, too, I engage with a group of co-workers as diverse as the MBA cohort – our 70 employees in the London office hail from nearly 30 different countries.

London is not only a great place to work; it’s also a great place to live. This weekend I will crawl through the microbrewery mile of Bermondsey and then spend the evening at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park. Next weekend I may book a last-minute jaunt to Bruges. Every morning as I take in a postcard-perfect view of Tower Bridge and I am reminded that in London, you can have it all… except maybe sunshine.


Priya Shah
Priya Shah

By Priya Shah, Strategy and Business Development at Simpa Networks, MBA 2013/14

Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of India – there is a vibrant network of technology start-ups, venture capital funds and social enterprises that is consistently growing. What’s more it’s an international city – there are a number expat founders of start-ups who enjoy living here and develop long-lasting bonds within the community.

There is undoubtedly an exciting trend of entrepreneurship in India at present which is fueling more venture capital funding into start-ups – and Bangalore is the epicenter of this surge in capital raising. Happy hours and meet-ups are common in the city, and there are multiple avenues to meet and interact with entrepreneurs, commercial and social, and to integrate into this environment as a post-MBA professional.


Haidar Ammar
Haidar Ammar

By Haidar Ammar, Consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, MBA 2013/14

I finished the MBA with two main offers in hand, I had to chose between London and Dubai…I ended up preferring the desert heat to the clouded cold winters! For those of you who’ve never visited Dubai, you’ve probably heard of the long list of “-est” icons there; the tallest tower, the largest mall, the greatest dancing fountain (the list goes on). I’m sure you probably also heard of the extreme summer heat. All that is true but there is much more on offer; career wise, Dubai has positioned itself as the Middle East’s business hub and some would say a platform for African business. It has a dynamic working culture with an extremely diverse community which will make you feel that you have not left your MBA! Another fairly important aspect of Dubai is its tax free environment – an MBA is a significant investment so there’s nothing wrong with getting back some of these pounds you or your bank paid!

In terms of lifestyle, Dubai has all one needs and a bit more. On your weekend, you can go for a nice Lebanese dinner by the fountain or have a fancy dinner and drinks at some of the city’s restaurants and bars. For more active people, skydiving, desert camping, snorkeling and scuba diving in nearby Emirates are also available. All that is great but at one point you will need to get away (especially in the summer), which is made easy with great flight connections that can take you to explore many places; begin with Oman, Beirut and a couple of hours of flying will put you in India and Sri Lanka! The only thing I’m missing is simply walking in the city, Dubai was not really made for that but you could always cruise in your car with cheaper oil prices or call your Careem (local version of Uber) to take you anywhere in no time!