Amy’s MBA learning journey
Cambridge Venture Project client | ThoughtRiver (Legal Tech Start-Up)
Global Consulting Project client | Maybelline L’Oréal
Concentration | Culture, Arts, and Media Management
Why the Cambridge MBA?
I chose the Cambridge MBA because it was the perfect place to study business model innovation in the Culture, Arts, and Media industries. Cambridge was the only top MBA programme that offered a specialisation in Culture, Arts, and Media with a general management education. It also offered consulting projects with a leading company in culture, arts, and media, a top 100 Forbes global brand, and a Silicon Fen start-up – all over the course of a year! The University College system and wider Silicon Fen encouraged interdisciplinary thinking and entrepreneurial action. A thought-provoking MBA interview with a brilliant professor in Social Innovation sealed the deal. No other MBA programme could help me build the entrepreneurial career like CJBS could.
How was your Global Consulting Project (GCP) experience?
Before the GCP, I developed an idea for software that helps to create engaging social media content. My GCP experience helped clarify the purpose of this marketing tool and idea for my future start-up. L’Oréal asked our team to develop a content and channel strategy to engage Maybelline customers. We kicked off the project by meeting leading marketers at L’Oréal and Omnicom and discussing fundamental marketing issues. A creative executive said something that I’ll never forget: “Marketing is an on-going conversation between a brand and its customers about their shared interests and values”. Today, my company helps marketers do exactly that.
What inspired your career direction?
The Cambridge MBA programme inspired me to start-up my company, Acting Systems. Our core product is AI and machine learning software that helps marketers create social media content by using the demand expressed by audiences on social media. The MBA courses, projects, and professors helped me to understand the core components of my start-up idea. Culture, Arts, and Media Management courses gave me tools for analysing my sector and strategically positioning my start-up. Our capstone project with Ingenious Media provided insight into investments in the creative industries. Jane Davies’ Lean Six Sigma and Simon Stockley’s Entrepreneurship Summer Bootcamps guided me as I created our first business processes and business plan. Today, our company is working out of ideaSpace (sponsored by University of Cambridge) and is part of the Accelerate programme at Cambridge Judge. From day one until today, Cambridge has inspired and empowered me to build a creative business.
Your plans for the next five years?
My plans are to grow Acting Systems’ product portfolio and customer base over the next five years. We have a beta version of our product and secured our first customers and revenues. Our first customers are raving about the engagement results of our content created with our social analytics tools. Social media audiences are passionately engaging with our posts and sharing thoughtful comments and cares. The feedback is helping us to refine our product and prepare it for scale-up.
The Cambridge MBA in three words…
Eye-opening, unforgettable, transformative
Any advice to incoming students?
The Cambridge MBA is an extraordinary programme with many opportunities. Notably, it offers excellent testing ground for entrepreneurial ideas. Come prepared with ideas that you would like to pursue post-MBA. Test them in conversations with faculty and colleagues with backgrounds in finance, marketing, strategy, business development, and more. Build your own business tool kit while in class and investigate your underlying assumptions on your own. The programme will help you focus on business fundamentals and easy next steps for implementation. You have just one year in Cambridge, which is perfect: it’s just long enough to prepare you and just short enough to keep you energised as you launch back into entrepreneurial life. I can’t imagine any other programme that can empower an entrepreneur like the Cambridge MBA can.
Northwestern University, USA
Communications Consultant, Media Sentiment
Founder and CEO, Acting Systems