Eric Xu (MBA 2015) made that difference by volunteering as a regional Alumni Group Leader in China as soon as he finished his studies and has successfully run the groups in Beijing and Shanghai ever since.
Why Cambridge Judge Business School?
Cambridge Judge was the only school I chose to apply to for my MBA studies – something that really surprised Dr Eden Yin during my interview. What I was really looking for in an MBA programme was a short, concentrated programme duration with a high emphasis on practical learning – Cambridge Judge Business School ticked both those boxes.
After I received the offer, I researched even more. I talked with Cambridge Judge alumni via LinkedIn and all the responses and feedback confirmed I had made the right decision. And, everyone told me how amazing Cambridge and College life was! They weren’t wrong!
How would you describe your experience at Cambridge Judge?
Cambridge Judge is a really unique experience for everyone and there is no typical experience at the School, or on the Cambridge MBA programme. You just have to open your mind and heart, because the more interaction you have with everyone in Cambridge, the more you will learn from Cambridge. The peer learning opportunities from your class, College and University can accelerate and increase your career and personal development and growth, not just while you are here but afterwards too.
What motivated you to become a volunteer?
My time at Cambridge Judge Business School taught me to be brave and to follow my heart. I volunteered as an alumni group leader to unleash the power of Cambridge Judge and the wider Cambridge alumni network in China. Most of the alumni events we organise are also open to alumni of the wider University – I am often told by those who attend that they would really like even more opportunities to network.
Our most popular events are formal cocktail parties and dinners which allow guests to explore career and business opportunities. But people also love the casual and flexible drinks events we put on too because they are much more about maintaining the network and being sociable.
So far, through my own connections and our alumni network, I have also helped a number of Cambridge Judge students and alumni to find new jobs in China.
What words of encouragement would you share with alumni thinking of volunteering as group leaders?
Volunteering makes my day more exciting and interesting!
Exciting: every time you plan or organise an alumni event you are creating a shared memory.
Interesting: every time you meet new students or alumni you are learning a different life story.
Fulfilling: every time you connect people and organisations you are developing new opportunities for everyone.
What do you see as the key benefits of having alumni groups in Chinese cities?
The groups are invaluable to students and alumni who are interested in developing and growing their career and business in China. By connecting organisations and people, the alumni groups develop a huge number of opportunities for everyone. Also, the alumni groups are a wonderful way to broaden your personal networks.
What have been some of the benefits of connections within our alumni community?
Being connected to the Cambridge Judge alumni community globally means that I have never stopped learning – each member of a group can share with me something different about their business or industry. Hearing more about others’ career paths has helped my personal career development.
As a professional career coach, I have also benefitted from many business partnership opportunities that our alumni community and their organisations have shared with me. And in terms of business outreach, it has also been great because our alumni networking events have been sponsored by many supportive organisations, including Jaguar Land Rover and Ctrip.
What do you consider to be your key driver in life?
I love to inspire others by uncovering the range of possibilities in their life.
What are your personal goals for the next five years?
I would love to develop a more impactful career development network for students and young professionals and am looking forward to establishing an NGO group to help people discover their strengths and interests and develop their career in a more effective way.