MFin students smiling.

9 ways the MFin can help expand your network

29 May 2024

The article at a glance

From small-group dinners with finance industry professionals to overseas alumni events, mentorship schemes, College clubs and University societies, networking is at the heart of the Master of Finance at Cambridge Judge.

Category: News Programme news

We spoke to Ruth Allwood, Head of Programme (Student Learning and Engagement), to find out more about how studying for a Master of Finance at Cambridge Judge can help expand your network – and introduce you to some of the most inspiring minds from across the globe.

1

Induction and networking events

Students and alumni at the Royal Society event.
Cambridge Judge students and alumni at the Royal Society event

“Before the official term teaching starts in October, the Business School holds 2 weeks of orientation or induction,” says Ruth.

“During these 2 weeks, we host a series of informal drinks and other events so MFin students can get to know their classmates, and connect with MBA and EMBA students at an early stage in the programme,” she says. “They’ll also meet other key people within the school, such as the Dean.”

Throughout the programme, there are various other networking opportunities – including a flagship event at the Oxford and Cambridge Club in London in November, which brings together current students with Cambridge Judge Business School alumni and corporate contacts from a range of finance-related sectors.

“To help students make the most of this opportunity, we share a guest list with the class beforehand so they can see who they want to connect with,” says Ruth. “It’s a private members’ club in a beautiful venue, so you can’t normally get in unless you know a member. I really love this event, and we receive feedback each year from students saying how memorable it was for them.”

2

Social events – including the MBA Tournament (MBAT)

MFin students working on a group project.
MFin students working on a group project

It’s not just about formal networking events. Cambridge Judge holds a number of social events throughout the year, and MFin and MBA students can take part in the MBAT in Paris – an annual sports tournament that brings together more than 1,500 students from across 15 business schools.

“Sports chairs from the student-run Cambridge Business School Club (CBSC) organise the trip, and you can choose which sports you sign up for – from 5 aside football to hockey,” says Ruth. “It’s a really good opportunity for students to get to know their classmates better while expanding their network. It’s so popular we actually allocate 2 days from the teaching schedule to allow students to take part.”

Outside of the bigger organised events, there are plenty of other informal opportunities too. “We do free coffee and tea each day in the Common Room which brings everyone together, and the Business School is just a really vibrant place. You can bump into some really interesting people just by signing up for an optional talk, or being in the café or dining room,” says Ruth.

3

The City Speaker Series

It’s not just the events that provide opportunities to connect. Among the programme’s standout offerings is its weekly City Speaker Series, which sees finance practitioners from different sectors come in to talk about their career journeys.

“Students can sign up to join the speakers for dinner afterwards at one of the Cambridge Colleges as part of a small group, so it’s a really special thing we do,” says Ruth. “Our current MFin Co-Director, Marwa Hammam, actually received a job offer after connecting with one of the speakers when she was a student on the programme, so it’s an excellent way to make connections and have one-to-one conversations with those in the industry.”

4

Alumni mentorship scheme

For those looking to further learn from those in the field, the Business School also offers an optional mentorship scheme, matching up Cambridge Judge alumni who choose to volunteer as mentors with current students on the programme.

“Students can select a specific sector they want to focus on, or state if there’s anyone in particular they want to be mentored by,” says Ruth. “Sometimes they might have met someone at the Oxford and Cambridge Club networking event they want to connect with, for example, so they can state that,” she says.

“This is a really valuable opportunity, especially for students looking to transition to a different sector or take the next step in their career. We’re lucky to have a network of MFin alumni who are keen to support current students, and those who give their time get a lot from it as well – it’s a way for them to give back.”

5

The Group Consulting Project (GCP)

As part of the programme, MFin students also take part in the GCP – a real-life project that involves working with a host company on a business issue as part of a group.

Past projects have included Amadeus Capital Partners, Barclays, BlackRock, BNY Mellon, Capital Generation Partners, Citibank, GIC and the IMF/World Bank, with topics ranging from M&A valuation to hedge fund credit analysis, financial strategy, real estate finance analysis and beyond.

“Students are asked to rank their top 5 preferences from a list of client projects sourced by the MFin team, and the team then arranges the student groups,” explains Ruth. “Students are also welcome to put forward their own project proposal. This is a great chance to showcase skills to prospective companies, find out about potential roles and build on existing professional experience, using new knowledge gained from the programme,” she says. “Again, we regularly hear of students being offered internships and jobs from the project, so it’s another excellent networking opportunity.”

6

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Networking at Cambridge Judge Business School isn’t just limited to the curriculum. Students interested in a particular area outside of the MFin itself can start, or join, one of the Business School’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs) – student-led societies that focus on a particular area, from health and wellness to gender equality, investment management and AI.

“This is a great way for like-minded students to come together,” says Ruth. “They might invite guest speakers in or arrange field trips, treks and conferences. At the start of the academic year, students can also nominate themselves to become SIG chairs, so it’s a great way to develop and showcase leadership skills, too.”

7

College membership and University clubs

Beyond Cambridge Judge Business School itself, there are plenty of wider networking opportunities. Every Cambridge Judge student is a member of one of the Cambridge University Colleges, offering the chance to meet students and faculty from the wider University.

Students and alumni at the Oxford and Cambridge Club event.
Oxford and Cambridge Club event

“The College system is a really important part of the eco-system in Cambridge,” says Ruth. “MFin students might not necessarily be living on their College campus, but there are lots of opportunities for them to get involved with their College. Our students really enjoy attending formal hall (formal dinner in their College) and inviting other MFin classmates along, and there are many College clubs and societies students can join,” she says. “Students can get involved with the MCR (the postgrad student body) and become Student Reps, and the end-of-year May balls are also a big part of the experience here.”

Outside of the College system, MFin students can also join University-wide societies, which range from sport, art, theatre and food to politics, business, entrepreneurship and beyond. “There are more than 700 clubs and societies available,” says Ruth. “Students can find out more from their College and sign up at the annual Student Fair, so they can really feel part of the University network,” she says.

8

The alumni network

Networking doesn’t end when MFin students graduate. The Cambridge Judge Business School network brings together alumni from diverse career sectors and countries, with regular events held across the world.

“We have a very active alumni network, and our alumni team host international events as well as events in Cambridge, which anyone in the network can sign up online for,” says Ruth. “Many of our students are keen to stay connected after graduating, so it’s a key part of the post-programme experience,” she says. “It’s another great way to find out about potential career opportunities and be inspired by what other Cambridge Judge alumni are doing, so it’s a really valuable resource.”

9

The Cambridge eco-system

Being part of the Cambridge MFin means you can take advantage of networking opportunities beyond the University. The city is the home of Silicon Fen, or the Cambridge Cluster – the biggest tech cluster in Europe, comprising more than 5,000 firms. The city attracts the largest investment per capita in Europe (and 5 times that of London), offering access to entrepreneurial networks, city-wide events, incubators and competitions – all condensed into a tight-knit, compact and knowledge-intensive community.

The Master of Finance

A one-year masters degree from Cambridge Judge Business School, at the heart of the University of Cambridge. Open doors to exciting new career possibilities with a Cambridge Master of Finance (MFin).

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