Another global cohort of 174 start their Cambridge MBA, this year in unprecedented global conditions, representing 38 nationalities, and coming from sectors and industries as diverse as healthcare, technology, as well as ambitious entrepreneurs and those from the cultural sector.
This month we welcomed the newest cohort of MBA students to Cambridge Judge Business School. For the Class of 2020/21 there are 174 individuals in total, representing 38 nationalities. They take a step out of industries as diverse as technology, healthcare, the military and the not-for-profit sector, and into the rich Cambridge learning environment and eco-system for the next year of their lives.
Margaret O’Neill, Head of MBA Admissions & Careers, welcomes the MBA Class of 2020 as those who were brave enough to step out of their career and into business education during a time of enormous global upheaval and economic uncertainty. “Resilience, agility and great strength will define this class and this particular year at Cambridge Judge Business School, like no other,” she says.
With so many nationalities represented, an exciting year of teamwork and collaboration takes off. With an average of six years’ work experience across the board, an average age of twenty nine, and a good gender balance of 37 per cent female – together they will bring a wealth of experience, a wide variety of perspectives and a huge amount of cultural context to their MBA year.
We meet some fresh faces and ask them about their career journey to date, what Cambridge means to them and where their ambitions lie in the coming months?
USA born Michael worked as a New Product Development Engineer before embarking on his Cambridge MBA. As leader of the Research and Development operational team at his previous pharma company, Michael wants to gain further insights into best practices for successful organisations. Cambridge MBA Deputy Director Thomas Roulet teaches organisational leadership on the Cambridge MBA programme. This will support Michael through his future career journey and further enable him to empower teams to make good decisions and build a culture of excellence.
“I wish to develop my career in healthcare engineering, to create technical solutions that have a positive impact on patient quality of life. Whether that happens at a startup or an established medical device company, only time will tell. Whichever avenue that I end up pursuing, I know that my Cambridge MBA will help give me the skills to be successful”.
Michael is the recipient of the Cambridge Judge Healthcare scholarship for 2020.
CJBS Culture, Arts and Media scholarship recipient Catriona from the Netherlands, worked for global art auctioneers Christie’s and in 2018 when she first qualified, she was the only female auctioneer working in London at that time.
“I want to interact with as many people from different cultures, backgrounds and career avenues as possible. I can’t wait to find out about how other people and industries tackle issues or conduct business and find new approaches that I can ultimately bring to the arts.
“I am planning to keep my mind and options open during my Cambridge MBA year. I would like to see myself working in a business strategy or fundraising role at a museum or heritage organisation.
“I am excited to explore ways of making the arts and culture sectors more inclusive and spreading arts to a wider community, using my new MBA business knowledge as one of my tools.”
Rachel from the USA has spent a number of years working in the international education space and during her MBA year she is looking forward to;
“The truly diverse and multinational learning environment that Cambridge Judge Business School and the Cambridge MBA offers.”
On the choice to embark on her MBA in 2020 Rachel is very clear that this is the year to do it:
“I feel incredibly fortunate that this is the year I am embarking on my MBA, because one of the pillars of the Cambridge MBA is helping its students thrive in periods of extreme change. None of us are here because we crave predictability, and I am keen to see what we can accomplish while the ‘new normal’ becomes a ‘newer normal’. Most of all, I am looking forward to being part of such a clever, creative community at CJBS, as we collectively process whatever is coming around the bend.
“Ultimately, what I want to do with my career after my Cambridge MBA is to make science and art more accessible to key audiences. The exact road I take is less important to me than the direction I am heading in.”
Rachel Yung is also the Culture, Arts and Media scholarship recipient for 2020.
Canadian born Matthew from the Canadian Armed Forces has progressed through tactical leadership roles including a tour in Afghanistan as a change and implementation consultant including working to direct supply chains in response to Canadian natural disasters. Matthew is awarded our Military scholarship for 2020.
Matthew chose Cambridge as his top choice for a number of reasons. The enormous emphasis across the programme on experiential learning was a key factor in his decision making. In particular, the strong emphasis on working with startups as well as the strong emphasis in this project-based Cambridge MBA course work on social impact.
Being part of the wider University of Cambridge community was also a driving force in his choice.
“These deep connections mean that Cambridge MBA students are immersed in an unparalleled environment rich with history and innovation, that are brimming with collaborative opportunities, both across our formal studies, as well as within our wider personal connections and social experiences.”
On his future career direction after the Cambridge MBA Matt anticipates;
“I am eager to augment my leadership, operations, and supply chain experience with the business acumen, international network, and strategic mindset of a Cambridge MBA in two sectors where I will have the most potential impact: public sector consulting; and supply chain organisations.”
Armelle (Min Kyung) Kim
Armelle, from the Republic of Korea, also works in the arts sector, having worked in both London and Paris as an external art adviser for a global pension trust – analysing market trends and advising on the acquisition and sale of high value fine art pieces.
Having already arranged a number of online and in person connections across the cohort before the term began, Armelle is looking forward to working with a powerful female (and male) cohort in the coming year; “I hope that we can grow to be inspiring women not only in terms of our career but in life, bringing other women up.”
Sam from the Netherlands and the USA, is Co-founder and CEO of the first and perhaps best-known fashion social enterprise in China.
“After spending nearly a decade building an organisation from scratch, I have a lot of successes and failures to look back on. An MBA for me has always been an opportunity to take those hard-won experiences from my career to date and learn how to really scale up my impact.
“The Cambridge MBA emphasises practical projects and solving real world problems. I also really like that the Cambridge MBA lasts one year, and that I am only stepping out of my career for a relatively short period.
“I am looking to pursue a career in the UK after my MBA studies.”
Sam is this year’s Beyond Profit/Social Impact scholarship recipient.
Awarded the Emerging markets scholarship, Nathan from Indonesia has a chemical engineering degree and worked as a Country Planning Manager with Shell for the past five years.
Nathan is looking for a learning environment that sits beyond a single business school. He was attracted to the wide diversity of graduate minds and faculty across the wider University of Cambridge community – from classics to health and science!
“The Cambridge cluster is also a resource I intend to tap into to develop my entrepreneurial skills and knowledge. I wish to learn from this open mindset right on the doorstep in Cambridge. Ultimately, my ambition is to work in emerging markets to bring businesses successfully onto the global stage.”
Rachel from the USA has worked as a Country Director for an NGO in the Niger, West Africa.
“While working as a humanitarian in developing countries and conflict zones around the world, I saw endless opportunities for growth and collaboration between the private and public sectors. Inspired to play a leadership role in bridging this gap, I decided to pursue the Cambridge MBA as it offers a unique chance to study alongside an international and varied group of dedicated academics.”
Rachel is looking forward to being challenged by her classmates and the wider CJBS community, each day of her Cambridge MBA.
“Most of all, I want my viewpoints and opinions to be challenged by my fellow students and our professors. This is my opportunity to hear from those who are very different from myself.”
On her future career Rachel says, “The Cambridge MBA will allow me the education and opportunities to be able to link my experience in the humanitarian world to a career in the global business world.”
Rachel is one of three Forté Scholarships awarded this year for Class of 2020.
Arjan from India represents our entrepreneurial cohort amongst the Class of 2020 this year, having been awarded the Entrepreneurship Scholarship.
On his future career Arjan says; “I see myself working at the intersection of marketing and technology – empowering businesses to succeed. I intend to understand the industry and the global landscape better before I branch out and get back into entrepreneurship.”
For his year ahead Arjan is, “Hoping that my experience as an entrepreneur can be helpful for the larger cohort, and I am looking to learn more about how others have taken similar initiatives in their respective roles to help broaden my horizons.”
He concludes, “Given the way the business environment is right now it is important that we understand as many perspectives as we can to create solutions that work for people all over the world.”
These are just a few of the individuals embarking on their MBA year – look out for introduction and insight from others on our social media channels and our Cambridge MBA student blog.