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An MBA plus – what you might not expect to learn on your MBA

10 May 2016

The article at a glance

A guide to some of the extra-curricular opportunities that are available while studying the Cambridge MBA. The curriculum, consulting projects and careers …

A guide to some of the extra-curricular opportunities that are available while studying the Cambridge MBA.

Cambridge MBA students
The curriculum, consulting projects and careers programme on the Cambridge MBA are intensive and impactful – what you would expect from a top business school. But it is the unexpected extras at Cambridge which make this one-year programme unique – our new intake are often overwhelmed by the breadth and variety of opportunity in this unique centre of learning, and need some guidance in how to target their energies. Here are some of the ways Cambridge MBAs build extra-curricular activities into their learning experience and really make their year in Cambridge work for them.


Do you have the next Raspberry Pi in your back pocket? The Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School aims to inspire and enable entrepreneurship, and as an MBA student here, you have access to the expertise and resources on offer. As well as choosing entrepreneurship related options in you MBA studies, you could also get involved with initiatives like Enterprise Tuesdays, a series of networking sessions which aim to encourage and inspire individuals to pursue their entrepreneurial ambition. There is also the opportunity to take part in Venture Creation Weekends, which provide a hands-on experience where aspiring entrepreneurs go from pitch to prototype in 54 hours.

Student Interest Groups (SIGs)

Formed and run by students, SIGs give students a platform to share expertise and ideas. They vary each year but range from Social Impact, Healthcare, Finance and the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI). Dipika Sawhney, current Chair of the WLI says “One of the aims of the WLI is to undertake actions that help build a more collaborative and liberating society for both genders of future generations. To be able to interview Marty Wikstrom and Lois Jacobs and learn about their leadership styles has been amazing. We’re also looking forward to hosting a major conference this summer to learn from other women leaders from all across the world.”

Cambridge Africa Business Network (CABN)

CABN are a student-led group who organise a conference on African business each year at CJBS. This year’s committee travelled to a range of international business schools aiming to grow their network of business students with an interest in African business. This year’s conference, which is being held on 28 May at CJBS, is on the theme of ‘Transforming Africa: Creating Value and Driving Consumption’. Speakers range from Colin Coleman, Head of SSA Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs to Kristi L. Jackson, founder of the Women CEO Project. Other similar groups exist to explore regional business themes, such as the Cambridge Asian Business Association (CABA) and the Cambridge Latin American Business Network (CLABN).

TEDx Oxbridge

Held annually, TEDx Oxbridge is an independent TED event with a series of speakers who come together to spark discussion and connection. This year’s theme is Novel Curiosity and is being held at Cambridge Judge Business School. Current MBA student Sean Heisler, Executive Director of this years’ conference says “There is a lot of group work on the MBA programme, but a team-based activity like this has an entirely different dynamic. There are team members who want to learn new skills, and others who want to show their expertise in an area they know well; nothing beats this sort of applied learning.”

MBAT and sports teams

The MBA tournament (MBAT) is an annual sports tournament held in Paris, and is the biggest gathering of MBA students in Europe. In addition to being on one of the competition teams (activities range from rowing to chess and salsa), students organise the sponsorship of kit, logistics, budget and marketing of the event. The three days of events brings together over 1500 MBA students, making it a unique opportunity to expand your network, foster relationships and exercise your teamwork and leadership skills.

The Cambridge College experience

As a Cambridge MBA, you become a student of the University of Cambridge, and therefore a member of one of the 31 University Colleges. Being a member of a College gives you access to a wider and even more diverse network, to add to that of CJBS. Attending college events such a ‘Formal Hall’ (a College dinner), means that you could find yourself getting to know someone studying a PhD in biochemistry for instance, or an MPhil in European history, adding variety and depth to your MBA experience. In addition, as a member of a College, you are also able to join one of many societies or sports teams, such as their rowing club, experiencing Cambridge from a unique (and early morning) perspective.

And while early morning rowing might not be everyone’s cup of tea, the learning environment in Cambridge is full of opportunities to explore and expand your perspectives, and forge lasting and fruitful relationships with a wide range of people.