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Leading lights


Two Cambridge MBA students at Cambridge Judge Business School, Aaron D’Souza and Toni Thorne, are included in the 100 Best & Brightest MBAs list of business school publication Poets & Quants.

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Aaron D’Souza

Two Cambridge MBA students at Cambridge Judge Business School, Aaron D’Souza (MBA 2020) and Toni Thorne (MBA 2020), are included in the latest list of the “100 Best & Brightest MBAs” by business school publication Poets & Quants.

The graduates were chosen by the publication on criteria that included “academic prowess, extracurricular achievements, innate intangibles and potential, or unusual personal stories.” This was the seventh year of the list, and the publication received 239 nominations from 68 MBA programmes.

Aaron D’Souza, from London, worked prior to his Cambridge MBA in the CEO office of financial services consultancy Global Markets Consultants in London. He told the publication that he plans to transition into strategy consulting in the public, not-for-profit and social-impact sectors “where I would like to help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems”.

Asked why he selected Cambridge Judge Business School, he said: “I chose Cambridge Judge because I wanted to go to a business school that was situated in a university ecosystem where MBA students could meet and exchange ideas and plans with students from other disciplines. The Cambridge MBA curriculum also really resonated with me.”

The publication quoted Professor Mark de Rond, Professor of Organisational Ethnography at Cambridge Judge, who said:

“Aaron D’Souza exemplifies everything that makes Cambridge’s MBAs such an exciting group of people: he is gifted academically, entrepreneurial, generous with his time and skills, big-hearted, and keen to use his abilities to redress long-standing inequalities in today’s world. As President of the Cambridge Business School Club, he has shown exceptional leadership in spearheading the Leading Insights speaker series, and in representing student interests around Covid restrictions in negotiations with the School’s administration.”

Toni Thorne

Toni Thorne, whose hometown is in Barbados, had a consulting business and hosted a weekly radio programme on women’s rights and women’s issues at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation before enrolling at Cambridge Judge – where she has worked with the School’s Wo+Men’s Leadership Centre in outreach efforts and planning of initiatives, and formed a group of women of African descent in the MBA and Executive MBA programmes. She is exploring opportunities in the financial sector, including fintech, impact investing and venture capital.

Asked why she chose Cambridge Judge, Toni said: “Raised by my mother and grandmother who are Barbadian educators, there has always been a great appreciation for the British educational system and the global reputation and embodiment of excellence associated with the University of Cambridge. When applying to business schools, the Cambridge MBA was by far the most exciting curriculum. The specialisation components and one-year programme were commendatory, as I aim to pivot my professional career post-MBA.”

The publication quoted Dr Allègre Hadida, University Senior Lecturer in Strategy at Cambridge Judge, who said: “A successful entrepreneur and true champion for social justice and women’s leadership, Toni is bright, enthusiastic, open-minded, and equally keen to share her knowledge and expertise as well as learn from others. She also has a knack for making everyone in the virtual classroom feel comfortable, welcome, and heard. She has been a beacon of positive energy during this difficult Covid-19 academic year, and she is most definitely the person you want in your classroom and on your leadership team.”