Applying to the Business School
Australian-born Su QinQin had a background in the healthcare sector, before choosing to do her MBA. “My decision to pursue the Cambridge MBA is driven by an aspiration to establish my own venture capital fund. Having spent 3 years as a venture investor in Shanghai, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed supporting innovative businesses to scale and grow. I believe more business solutions need to be cultivated for the healthcare industry, which faces unprecedented challenges worldwide.”
She was inspired by the many entrepreneurship and venture capital courses across the MBA programme, as well as the wider resources at Cambridge Judge and within the University of Cambridge, such as the Cambridge Judge’s Entrepreneurship Centre. “What set Cambridge apart for me was the Cambridge Centre for Health Leadership and Enterprise (CCHLE), a research centre based at Cambridge Judge, which offers cutting-edge research and insights into the healthcare industry.”
She concludes, “I believe that Cambridge offers the resources and opportunities to significantly enhance my capabilities as an investor, and that’s my motivation for applying to the MBA programme at Cambridge.”
I was looking for an MBA programme with a collaborative approach where I could rub shoulders with researchers in other disciplines. Cambridge was leagues beyond what any other MBA programmes could offer and felt like an obvious choice.
For Susanne Andresen, from the USA, with a background in the energy sector and consulting, she was looking for a new challenge and the next stage in her career. “I was at a point in my career where I was clear about my personal goals, and I was ready for a catalyst to launch me into the next phase.”
She continues, “With a background in renewable energy analysis and consulting, I was looking for an MBA programme with a collaborative approach where I could rub shoulders with researchers in other disciplines. Cambridge was leagues beyond what any other MBA programmes could offer and felt like an obvious choice.”
Tehreem Qureshi from Pakistan had been leading impactful projects in M&Cs before the MBA, she was looking to develop stronger leadership and management skills.
“I have always wanted to challenge myself and the biggest academic achievement I could ever have was to be accepted into the University of Cambridge. Although I had an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering, my different roles leading impactful projects in M&Cs enabled me to get exposure to supply chain, marketing, and sales. I enjoyed working on these diverse projects and I am pursuing an MBA to strengthen my management and leadership skills.”
She continues, “Coming from a stable professional career and intending to return to it right after graduation, my biggest requirement for an MBA degree was to be as close to the real world as possible and Cambridge offers this. From the opportunity to dwell on real-life projects to exploring an entrepreneurship paradise in Cambridge, I’m certain that this experience will bolster me to get a better understanding of the ever-changing world and provide me with an innovative lens to change it for the better.”
Ultimately Diana Mendonca Ajuz, MBA Recruitment and Admissions says, “Ask yourself, ‘Am I the right fit? What will I bring to the programme and what impact do I hope to have on the Cambridge MBA?’”
Overcoming barriers for women
Soumya Bhaskaran, from India, had a background in tech startups before choosing to do an MBA at Cambridge Judge. “After spending over 4 years in the Business Development field across tech-based startups, I realised that I had reached a point where I wanted to elevate my career to the next level. I was looking for a fresh perspective, a deeper understanding of global business dynamics, and a strong network of like-minded professionals. That’s when I decided to pursue an MBA.”
She continues, “The programme’s reputation for academic excellence, emphasis on practical application, and a diverse cohort really resonated with me. I saw it as an opportunity to refine my existing skills and to gain a holistic understanding of business operations, strategy, and leadership. With the goal of expanding my horizons and taking on more strategic roles, the Cambridge MBA seems like the perfect platform to challenge myself, learn from world class faculty, and collaborate with international global peers.”
With the goal of expanding my horizons and taking on more strategic roles, the Cambridge MBA seems like the perfect platform to challenge myself, learn from world class faculty, and collaborate with international global peers.
Su QinQin is also looking to expand her horizons and grow her network in an international context. “My primary goal is to cultivate a strong network of mentors and peers who share my passion for investing. I want to forge a lasting career as a professional investor and successful investments require close collaboration between industry and financial experts over a considerable timeframe.”
She continues, “I am particularly excited to become part of Cambridge’s diverse community of esteemed alumni and faculty members. I am confident that their invaluable support, guidance, and knowledge will empower me to better navigate challenges and seize opportunities in the dynamic world of healthcare investment.”
For Susanne Andresen, she is looking forward to being part of the diverse community at Cambridge Judge. “The cohort of women in the Cambridge MBA is exemplary, and I feel honoured to have been selected by Forté, together with Cambridge Judge, to further the Foundation’s mission of getting more women into global executive leadership.”
“There are a variety of skills I am keen to learn in the year ahead and this MBA year in Cambridge means boundless opportunities anchored by a rich and expansive history.”
Driving change and leading initiatives during the MBA year ahead
Like our Cambridge MBA alumna the current Forté Foundation scholars will be ‘paying it forward’ and forging a path for other women to follow during their MBA, and beyond.
Soumya says “I’m particularly excited about the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse cohort of over 200 fellow students.”
“Learning from their unique perspectives and experiences will broaden my horizons and expose me to different approaches to solving complex business challenges.”
For Tehreem, it is about the personal challenge, “Most importantly, I want to challenge myself and explore what scares me, because if I am a little scared to do something, that means I’m pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone and traverse new avenues.”
“One year seems to offer so many opportunities in Cambridge but I hope to go the last mile and make the most out of it. I plan to be an active part of the ‘Women in Business’ and Consulting Special Interest Groups.”
For Toyosi, bringing her MBA skills back to Africa to make a difference is one key goal for her career going forward. “Only 1% of total venture funding goes to Africa. Although low, this signifies tremendous opportunity. Africa is the world’s fastest growing continent. It has the world’s youngest population and offers a significant source of global human capital. As a young African woman, I want to be a part of this story and I believe that my MBA will facilitate this dream of mine.”
Toyosi is one of the leaders from her MBA cohort for the renamed and relaunched the Cambridge Judge Gender Equality special interest group (which welcomes all genders). She continues, “I look forward to being a lifelong ambassador of both the Cambridge MBA and Forté Foundation, and I cannot wait to pay it forward.”
Su QinQin is also excited to support and be part of the strong community of women at Cambridge Judge and on the MBA programme. “I am eager to fully engage with the fellowship’s offerings and wholeheartedly contribute to its initiatives. Empowered by Forté Fellowships’ invaluable resources and that of the Business School, I am confident in my ability to make a meaningful impact and contribute to the empowerment of women within the business community.”
She continues, “I will leverage my experience and network within the venture capital industry to support and champion fellow women entrepreneurs and investors on their journey to success.”
Soumya Bhaskaran concludes, “Whatever the destination, I’m confident that this MBA journey will empower me to make a meaningful impact in the business world while continuously learning and growing.”
Empowered by Forté Fellowships’ invaluable resources and that of the Business School, I am confident in my ability to make a meaningful impact and contribute to the empowerment of women within the business community.