MBA scholarship recipients

These are the recipients of our MBA scholarships in the 2022/23 cohort.

Find out more about our available scholarships

Please note: our scholarships are subject to change each recruitment cycle, so you may not find the ones listed below among our currently available scholarships.

Forté Foundation scholarship recipients

Aurora Kwek.

Aurora Kwek

Bachelor of Accountancy (Hons), Minor in Entrepreneurship, Nanyang
Technological University, Singapore

Nationality: Singaporean
Pre-MBA career: Business Development Manager, Singapore

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

This decision to pursue the Cambridge MBA was deeply personal and professional for me. As a Southeast Asian woman, I believe that the program’s reputation for producing world-class leaders and emphasis on cross-cultural collaborations make it an ideal destination for tackling global issues. As a lifelong learner passionate about making a positive impact, I’m eager to engage in problem-solving and financial analysis of current topics such as ESG. I trust that the Cambridge Venture Project and Global Consulting Project, with support from the MBA faculty and team, will provide the solid foundation I need to elevate my career to new heights.

But it’s not just the program that drew me to Cambridge, it’s the city itself. Home to the largest ecosystem of technological innovation across Europe, Silicon Fen, and a network of individuals committed to digital transformation, I know I’ll thrive here. The unique collegial system of Cambridge, particularly the women’s college at Newnham, offers multi-disciplinary perspectives to make me a more effective leader and change-maker. The opportunity to pursue the Cambridge MBA is a true privilege and honour. I’m excited to learn from some of the brightest minds in the world and collaborate with like-minded individuals to make a difference in the world.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

My biggest accomplishment was taking a leap of faith by transitioning from a leading global financial services corporation to an agile SME research firm which aligned with my personal values and vision for making a difference in the world. While my previous role provided valuable finance experience and skills, I wanted to have a more direct impact on society and the world. This was a bold step in my career, requiring me to take a risk not only in the work I did but also fitting into the SME culture. From ideation to implementation, I was able to contribute to meaningful projects that had a real impact on society and the environment, which is what truly drives me.

I believe that success is not just about personal achievement, but about making a difference in the world. Sometimes taking the uncomfortable risk to change can lead to some of the greatest accomplishments in our lives.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

As a lady who has always been passionate about education and women empowerment, I feel incredibly honoured and grateful to have been awarded the Forté Foundation scholarship. This scholarship not only recognises my achievements and potential, but also allows me to be part of a community of strong, talented women who are pursuing their dreams and making a positive impact in the world.

As a Forté Fellow, I am excited to have access to a wide range of resources and opportunities, such as the Forté Access Network and Forté mentorship programme, that will help me achieve my goals and make a meaningful contribution to society. I look forward to connecting with other Forté Fellows and the broader Forté community to learn from their experiences, share ideas, and build lasting relationships.

Above all, I am grateful for the support and encouragement that this scholarship provides. Pursuing an MBA is a significant investment in my future and having the Forté Fellowship behind me gives me the confidence and motivation to pursue my dreams with passion and purpose. Looking forward, I envision a long-term collaboration between Forté Foundation, Newnham, Cambridge Wo+Men’s Leadership Centre and the Cambridge Women in Business society to help women in business reimagine what they can achieve and create a more equitable workplace. I am honoured to be a Forté Fellow, and I am excited to see where this opportunity will take me in my career and in my life.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

My main goal in pursuing the Cambridge MBA is to become a better woman leader by equipping myself with the trinity of knowledge in business strategy, sustainability in finance, and leadership development through Management Praxis.

The exposure to new perspectives and experiences in such areas will challenge my critical thinking skills in embracing opportunities in organisations. The Cambridge Venture Project and Global Consulting Project are unique experiential learning opportunities that can provide me with skills in leadership and strategic analysis.

The international and diverse MBA cohort and professors will broaden my horizons on global issues such as climate change and sustainability. The faculty mentors at the Cambridge Centre for Finance, coupled with the network at the Cambridge Centre for Sustainable Development, are avenues that provide academic expert partnership and networking opportunities. Through Work Placements, Silicon Fen Treks, and International Case Competitions, I hope to achieve the most personal and professional development in the next year.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

I consider the Cambridge MBA journey to be a tremendous catalyst for opening new opportunities in my endeavour to be an exemplary woman leader in the fields of strategy, sustainability and finance.

Leveraging my network as a Forté Fellow and Cambridge MBA candidate, I am confident that the experiential learning and meaningful collaborations during my Cambridge MBA journey will propel me to develop robust synergies in sustainable and innovative approaches to some of the most pressing challenges facing our world today.

Madeline Klein.

Madeline Klein

JD, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, USA; BA, Psychology, Scripps College, Los Angeles, USA

Nationality: American
Pre-MBA career: Summer Legal Associate, Gunderson Dettmer, San Francisco, USA; Legal Intern, Loon, a GoogleX and Alphabet Company, Mountain View, USA

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

After working at venture-backed startups in Silicon Valley for three years and then going to law school, I saw tremendous potential for collaboration between business and legal teams. I realised that combining my legal skills with the ability to understand businesses holistically would be invaluable.

During law school, I worked at Loon, a company that put cell networks in high-altitude balloons, providing internet access to remote communities around the world. I also worked at Gunderson Dettmer, a leading Silicon Valley law firm specialising in global venture capital financings. Through these experiences, I learnt that the best lawyers understand both the law and business, which is why I decided to earn an MBA.

I chose Cambridge because I want to better understand entrepreneurship and business beyond Silicon Valley, learn from an impressively international cohort, and engage with peers across the collegiate system.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

The biggest accomplishment in my career so far, and by far the one I’m most proud of, is building a network of future leaders and watching them succeed. While working at Astro Technology, an enterprise software startup, I grew the Customer Success Team from scratch into an international, four-person team. I trained, supported, and mentored my team members and watched them thrive after Astro was then acquired by Slack.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I’m excited to continue my work empowering young female leaders and furthering Forté’s mission to launch women into fulfilling and significant careers. Additionally, I am humbled that Cambridge embraces the unique perspective I bring to the community, and I hope to give back by being an active ambassador for the Cambridge MBA programme.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I’m hoping to expand my business knowledge, implement what I learn through hands-on team projects, develop lasting connections with fellow students, and learn how to think boldly, without second-guessing myself.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

A Cambridge MBA will help me become a trusted business advisor to founders of international start-ups. I’m eager to learn the business skills necessary to start companies, test product ideas, and make bet-the-company decisions.

Krathika Parchani.

Krathika Parchani

BA (Hons.) Economics, Ashoka University, India

Nationality: Indian
Pre-MBA career: Partnerships Manager, Simprints Technology, Cambridge, UK

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I moved to Cambridge in 2019 to work with a startup. After almost four years in the impact space, it was time for a change – I wanted to explore new sectors, hone core skills in business and management, as well as build a truly global network, which made an MBA my programme of choice.

While working in Cambridge, I had the opportunity to interact with the Business School multiple times – the first time in 2020, while organising an event with high-ranking government officials from Bangladesh. I had also met students at various events, in addition to co-authoring a case study with an EMBA student. During each of these interactions, I was impressed by how collaborative and humble everyone was – and this made the Cambridge MBA the obvious choice for me!

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

At my previous organisation, I was tasked with the responsibility of building out a Board of Directors. As an early-career professional just starting out and working alongside the CEO, this was my opportunity to prove myself. After a bit of initial research, I soon learnt that there wasn’t much literature on, or examples of, well-functioning non-profit boards. To kickstart my work, I created a framework, and started by examining our current needs and skill gaps. Once we had mapped out the skills matrix, I spoke to veteran board members across sectors to learn from their experience, as well as to bring in best practices to Simprints. Once I had defined the strategy for our board and I had got executive buy-in, I worked alongside the CEO to identify mentors in our network, engage with them, and recruit them to our board.

It makes me proud that today we have a fully functioning board of six leaders from across McKinsey, Google, and Salesforce. Over time, I managed to build strong relationships with each of the members, achieving a high turnout at all meetings, even if that meant our board members travelled across countries for an offsite! Finally, to share my learnings more widely, I authored a Board Best Practices White Paper for non-profits.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I feel extremely elated and humbled to be one of the five women in my cohort to be awarded this scholarship. I grew up in a country where my gender often restricted my choices but was fortunate enough to have many women as role models along the way. I am hoping to utilise my prior experience as DEI co-chair at Simprints to further contribute to initiatives that champion women’s leadership and equality at the Business School, most notably those in collaboration with the Cambridge Judge Wo+Men’s Leadership Centre.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

Both the MBA programme as well as the larger University of Cambridge have so much to offer – from lessons in core business skills, to an exceptional network of peers from across the world. Coming from a social impact background, I am most excited about the enriching learning journey that lies ahead – learning from my teachers and peers in the classroom, learning from my clients in the various experiential learning projects, as well as learning from all the activities outside of the Business School. I look forward to being challenged, to unlearning, and being pushed out of my comfort zone in my time here.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

In my career so far, I have thoroughly enjoyed projects that have enabled me to make a lasting impact, while solving challenging problems and working with diverse teams. After my MBA, I am looking to make a pivot into strategy consulting, or a strategy role in a high-growth startup. I feel confident that my Cambridge MBA will further hone my leadership, analytical, and teamwork skills to facilitate this transition.

Ruth Douglas.

Ruth Douglas

PGDip in Legal Practice, University of Edinburgh, UK; LLB Law degree, University of Glasgow, UK

Nationality: British
Pre-MBA career: Senior Lawyer to the UK Government, London, UK

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I spoke to a huge amount of people in advance of applying to an MBA programme and the Cambridge MBA really stood out. That was first and foremost because of the people. It was clear it was a tight-knit diverse community of change-makers who were bright and ambitious but also collaborative and supportive of each other. That’s a community I wanted to be a part of.

I am really excited to challenge each other’s perspectives and learn as much as possible from each other. That opportunity is further strengthened by the Business School being connected to the wider University. I also found it attractive that Cambridge Judge offered not only world-class academic teaching but also the ability to put that learning into practice straight away through real-world projects.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

I’ve found working for the government really rewarding. I’ve worked on some of the most pressing issues of the day for the benefit of the public. It’s been fulfilling to help bring to life policies pledged in election manifestos, and to help Ministers bring forward new laws in Parliament. My roles have offered early autonomy, intellectual challenge and plenty of variety. No two days are the same. It’s also been exciting to see issues I’ve worked on end up in the next day’s papers. I think the proudest moment of my career so far was when I first represented the UK internationally as a delegate and, in the plenary, I propped the ‘United Kingdom’ sign up on the desk in front of me. It felt like a real privilege and accomplishment to represent my country.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I am so excited to be in an environment where my main focus is to learn, engage and grow, with a group of other people on the same journey. I want to soak up all the goodness on offer and really challenge myself and put myself out of my comfort zone. I know I will come out of this MBA year with more insights about myself and my goals than I could have imagined. Coming from a legal background, I am particularly looking forward to expanding my core business skills as well as cultivating my management and leadership skills. I know the Cambridge MBA will be such a special year and I plan to cherish every element.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

My aim is that the Cambridge MBA will aid my future career by helping me build a growth mindset, a collegiate network and a powerful toolkit of hard and soft skills. I look forward to taking those lessons forward in my future career to help me maximise my impact and become the best leader and role model I can be.

Meredith Bird.

Meredith Bird

BSc Medical Cell Biology, Western University, Canada

Nationality: Canadian
Pre-MBA career: Business Analyst, STEMCELL Technologies, Vancouver, Canada

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

After working in the biotechnology industry for a few years with a life sciences degree under my belt, it became clear to me that an MBA would be a key step in reaching my future career goals. Aside from building core business skills, I knew that I wanted a holistic experience that would help me grow as a person and business leader. Throughout the application process, Cambridge quickly stood out as having a truly global programme that is highly integrated with the rest of the University.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

The biggest accomplishment in my career so far was leading the creation of a product discontinuation programme at my previous company. As a rapidly growing biotechnology company with thousands of products and more being launched every year, it became increasingly imperative to effectively manage the way in which we retire products. Leading the charge of this crucial project that involved a highly cross-functional team was a powerful learning experience for me. We were successful in implementing the programme and improving customer experiences and operational flow. It is extremely rewarding to know that the impacts of this project will remain well after my time there.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

My primary goal while at Cambridge is to build lasting relationships with my peers. From the short interactions I have had so far with my class, I know that each person has a unique story and a wealth of knowledge from past career experiences. I can’t think of a better way to improve as a person and discover my next steps than to learn from my remarkable classmates. I hope to look back in a year knowing each of their stories.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

Following my MBA, I hope to pivot into the health technology industry. Throughout the pandemic there has been a major shift in the way we think about and implement health care globally. I am fascinated by the opportunities to use technology to solve some of the most current issues and change the trajectory of the industry. Down the line I aspire to a senior strategy role that will allow me to really have an impact on the future of health care and life science research.

Adebiyi adedayo mba scholar 2022 137x137 1

Kofo Adebiyi

BSBA, Communication & Entrepreneurship, Bryant University, USA

Nationality: Nigerian
Pre-MBA career: CEO, She Leads Africa, Lagos, Nigeria

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

Following the pandemic, I paused my MBA plans to explore other opportunities. That break led to a transition from middle to executive management, which helped me discover the gaps an MBA would help me fill in view of my long-term global business leadership goals. The right programme had to help me scale up my strategic business and leadership skills, give me the opportunities to develop new skills I can leverage in the tech world and facilitate a valuable community to build my network. In essence, the MBA had to have offerings that aligned with who I want to be, what I want to learn from and who I want to meet. Apart from the robust curriculum and Cambridge Cluster, the way the Cambridge Judge Business School facilitates connection to build the community really stood out to me. Before my final interview, I had made valuable connections with incredible existing and incoming members of the community; this showed me that CJBS was the environment that would get me closer to my goals. There are a lot of great things about the Cambridge MBA; this is a gem that can’t be replicated.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

Leading my company as a first-time CEO to our first year of profitability. It was fulfilling, affirming and made all the bumps along the way worthwhile. I am extremely proud of the hard work, sacrifices and smart work of the whole team.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I feel honoured and blessed to have this unique opportunity to grow; I look forward to a different journey in contributing to a system that gives women across the world the opportunities to thrive.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I see my MBA year as a step in my monomyth. I hope to learn, unlearn, test myself and emerge someone who has improved and contributed to the amazing Cambridge MBA Class of 2022/23 and the wider University of Cambridge community.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

From Naija to the World.

ROMBA LGBTQ+ scholarship recipient

Jack Newton.

Jack Newton

BS Communication & Information Science, Cornell University, USA

Nationality: USA
Pre-MBA career: Lead Software Consultant, Coinbase, USA

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

Cambridge Judge Business School offers a comprehensive, one-year MBA programme that provides a small and diverse cohort with a large number of opportunities. Cambridge Judge’s location in Silicon Fen, Europe’s premier technology innovation hub, helps foster academic and practical applications of technology in the MBA programme itself, from the milestone CVP and GCP projects, to the Digital Transformation Concentration. As I aim to advance my career in the international tech sector following graduation, the Cambridge MBA stood out as my number one choice.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

While working at Sprinklr, I was able to secure a $40,000 USD software donation for the nonprofit for which I was volunteering. This non-profit, Reentry Rocks, helps formerly incarcerated women with histories of domestic violence rebuild their lives. The Sprinklr software enabled administrators at the non-profit to automate processes related to social media management, digital content curation and online community outreach. After securing the donation, I led the software implementation project from start to finish, and subsequently optimised the configuration after user feedback testing. I consider this accomplishment one of my biggest because I was able to independently translate my technical and project management skills into altruistic action, while supporting an organisation I truly admire.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I’m incredibly grateful to receive this ROMBA Fellowship scholarship for the LGBTQ+ Community, yet I recognise the responsibilities that come along with the award. During my time at Cambridge, I must advocate on behalf of all members of the LGBTQ+ community, both within CJBS, and more broadly at the University. I look forward to progressing initiatives and amplifying voices across the LGBTQ+ alphabet, while also learning more myself from people of different backgrounds and experiences.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

Although I plan to focus most of my time on academic and professional pursuits, I am also very excited to develop relationships with my peers, my professors and the other forward-thinkers at Cambridge. Due to the relatively small size of the cohort, especially compared to many of the top programmes in the United States, there’s an ability to truly get to know the people around you. Additionally, with the multitude of nationalities represented in this cohort, I hope to broaden the global lens with which I approach business problems and solutions.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

After my MBA year, I hope to remain within the technology space, but at a more global level and with more managerial responsibilities.

The coursework and milestone projects of the Cambridge MBA will help make me a more well-rounded contributor, and will empower me to provide value outside of the traditional frameworks in which I’ve previously worked.

Entrepreneurship scholarship recipient

Harris Khan.

Harris Khan

Honours Bachelor’s of Science in Biomedical Sciences from The University of Waterloo

Nationality: Canadian
Pre-MBA career: Healthtech/Biotech Entrepreneur

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I researched several top European and US MBAs for over a year and had actually decided to focus on other institutions. However, after encouragement from a few of my mentors, I researched Cambridge a little deeper and I learnt it had a strong affinity for entrepreneurship, which was an instant draw for me. Other factors included the University’s network and institutional reputation, the proximity of Cambridge to London and Silicon Fen, its unique charm as a city, and its multicultural demography. In the end, it was very hard to say no!

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

Starting a company from scratch and growing it into a self-sustainable operation is definitely top of my list. Many people only look at entrepreneurship based on what they see in the media, but nobody is there for the nights you’re not sure what will happen in the morning, how you’ll make payroll, how you’ll break the news of layoffs. It’s hardly like you see on TV! But, in an industry like mine the true reward is in bettering the lives of people you’ve served and the hard times are all part of the package. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

It’s nice to be recognised for the efforts you’ve made. Most people don’t fully understand the intensity and challenges associated with entrepreneurship. To receive recognition from an institution that prides itself on innovation and entrepreneurship feels like a sign that I must be doing something right after all!

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I’m excited to collaborate with what is already an amazing cohort, based on my few interactions in the last year with my class fellows. I want to be exposed to different thoughts, opinions, beliefs, strategies, and dreams beyond what I’ve heard or seen in North America all my life. Given all the volatility and uncertainty in the world right now, I’m confident many of the excellent colleagues in my cohort are going to bring about massive change to the world in the future, for the good! I hope to play a small role in their work through our collaborations during the course of our MBA.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

Opening my eyes to new opportunities to make a change in the world. Working in healthcare, I can see how differently the industry functions in North America versus the rest of the world. There are so many opportunities to improve the health and lives of people across the world, and the pandemic has taught us that we need to be faster, more innovative, and quicker to respond than ever before in the face of a common global goal.

Xiangyun Elaine Kong.

Xiangyun Elaine Kong

MSc in Management in International Business & CEMS Master in International Management, University of Western Ontario, Ivey Business School, Canada; BMOS Specialization in Finance University of Western Ontario, Canada

Nationality: Chinese
Pre-MBA career: Founder, Straight A Education Inc., Toronto, Canada

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

My parents are my heroes, my biggest inspiration, and my greatest teachers. Growing up they encouraged me to make my own decisions, taught me to explore, and that I have the freedom to choose how I want to live my life.

For the past three years, I have been building my Company Straight A Education to help students with their educational goals and my team of girls learn independence. Now, I am on a new journey with my classmates in Cambridge. I know there will be numerous new experiences and incredible learning opportunities. I want to build up my capabilities to grow my company further and help more people. I am incredibly excited to be surrounded by all the brilliant people from Cambridge who will push me, show me new perspectives, and inspire me with new ideas.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

My biggest accomplishment has been leaving the company I co-founded to build my own education consulting company over the past three years. It was a new and daunting challenge. There was no longer anyone to tell me what my objectives were nor how to achieve them. I tried everything I could think of to market the business including posting flyers on telephone poles during the Canadian winter! As someone who’s always been more introverted, negotiating every sales partnership and signing every client for the business has helped me come out of my shell. I am extremely proud of my company as I dedicated all efforts to its growth. I developed new relationships, and a strong reputation eventually building a profitable business that has helped numerous clients.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I want to learn as much as I can not only academically from my professors but also through my peers. I want to have as many new experiences as I can, meet people from many different walks of life, and build genuine relationships.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

I see my MBA journey teaching me to grow my current company and build scalability. I am also coming into my MBA with an open mind and curiosity about where it will take me. I hope to meet amazing people that will inspire me, develop new business ideas and perhaps build new ventures with great partners I meet through the Cambridge MBA.

Nicholas Oddo.

Nicholas Oddo

BEng, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, USA

Nationality: British/American
Pre-MBA career: Founder and President/CTO, Aires Medical, Charlotte, USA

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

While operating my own successful business, I realised that I needed to fine tune my executive management skills in order to grow as a business leader. This led me to apply to the Cambridge MBA, which is a perfect match for me because of its strong entrepreneurial spirit and culture. Cambridge’s close proximity to ‘Silicon Fen’, Europe’s top science and technology hub, will also greatly benefit me – thousands of startup companies in biotech, fintech, and clean energy, which are my fields of interest, are located there. Additionally, I have family ties to both the University of Cambridge and the Cambridge area. With so many reasons pointing me in the direction of the Cambridge MBA, I knew that it was the right place for me to gain the business knowledge, inspirational network, and truly global perspective, I need to make a larger impact than ever as an entrepreneur.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

Founding Aires Medical, a medical device company, was my biggest accomplishment because of its positive impact on patients’ lives. My team and I were able to develop better homecare respiratory devices for chronic lung disease patients. Aires started from humble beginnings as a university research project, and I helped turn it into a commercial stage business that raised over $5 million in venture capital funding. Through this experience, I learned many lessons about business, creating real improvements in peoples’ lives through product innovation, and bringing people together to make it happen.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I am incredibly grateful to be an Entrepreneurship scholarship recipient and would like to sincerely thank the Admissions Committee for this honour. I hope to give back to my soon-to-be peers at Cambridge, and in the future, to King’s College and Cambridge Judge scholarship programmes.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I am super excited to meet my classmates in-person and get immersed in the Cambridge MBA community. There are so many amazing things at Cambridge to get involved in, such as student government, SIGs, the King’s College Entrepreneurship Lab, formals, and MBAT. I am looking forward to the very exciting times ahead!

Technology and Innovation scholarship recipients

Priya Saikumar.

Priya Saikumar

MSc International Production Management, Technical University of Hamburg; BE Industrial Engineering, Visvesvaraya Technological University

Nationality: German
Pre-MBA career: Consulting/ Portfolio Management (Airbus, Accenture, NXP Semiconductors, Jungheinrich AG)

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I completed my masters degree in Germany and spent over a decade building my career in project, programme and strategic portfolio management in the Aerospace, Semiconductor, Manufacturing and Logistics sector. My long term plan after graduation was to work for a few years and take a sabbatical to travel around the world and use the time to assess my next move.

During this time, I’ve grown to enjoy visualising organisational capabilities, assessing initiatives, supporting businesses in building new structures, and selecting the right initiatives to invest on. As I progressed through this journey, I realised I could make better informed decisions if I mastered other aspects of an organisation outside their core product competency.

Furthermore, my love for the ‘big picture’ has always made learning new dimensions of businesses very exciting. This, and probably the fact that I enjoy meeting and learning from people around the world more than I enjoy just travelling the world, motivated me to use my time to invest in myself by pursuing an MBA.

The Cambridge MBA, in this context, offered me everything I am looking for at the moment – a one-year programme with interesting learning courses, a well rounded structure that balances classroom and practical learning, an exciting environment at the university with exposure to the wonderful work done in the different Cambridge Judge research centres, the canopy initiative at CISL and not to mention a wonderful cohort from around the world, who I can learn so much from.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

Ironically, my biggest accomplishment in my career isn’t the highest value portfolio I’ve managed, but the role that helped me realise my calling as an organisational coach rather than as a people manager. In 2019, I pivoted to the semiconductor industry to manage the portfolio for a crypto-solutions team without any technical background in software cryptography or semiconductor technology, a prerequisite for my role as a portfolio manager. In general, the complexity and highly confidential nature of the work made it difficult even for other members to learn and contribute effectively.

The team suffered low morale as projects were constantly delayed, and critical resources were busy with fire-fighting security incidents. It was at this point that I decided to leverage my skills as a design-thinking coach to lead a cross-functional, end-to-end value stream mapping of our business from a customer perspective.

Over six months, I successfully organised workshops liaising with over 109 experts in four different countries, to identify our value proposition, and consolidate scattered technologies and capabilities into core modular standard solutions.

Despite initial reservations, conflict of interests and a myriad of change management challenges, I managed to deliver the blueprint which formed the basis for our future marketing, project management and training efforts.

Although my efforts were applauded by the management, and annual portfolio metrics proved that the new system was instrumental in improving our project delivery, my true winning moment was the overwhelmingly positive feedback that I received from every member of the team, who admitted that this blueprint helped them visualise their role in our strategy and mission, and thus helped them feel valued and motivated to be a part of the team!

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I have always considered myself an engineer before anything else. It has also been a particularly challenging time for me, as an Indian born woman in the technology field in Germany, where technology and digital transformation still lacks women in leadership positions. The email from Cambridge Judge Admissions Team, informing me of their decision on this scholarship will always be a little pick-me-up, for times I feel doubtful and frustrated about my choices. Of course, I shall try and not let my imposter syndrome get the better of me, and share my knowledge, and find ways to add value to my cohort.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I want to learn. My main reason for doing an MBA is to take the time to expand my knowledge, its application in different industries, and perhaps in different cultural contexts. I have visualised everything I have learned in a large mind map as frameworks, models, best-practices that can be mixed and matched to solve challenges, and at the end of this year, I hope this picture has grown to cover more context!

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

My idea has always been to gain practical experience in industry and explore the possibility of transitioning into a role that helps me keep a connection between industry and academia. My immediate plan after my MBA year is to pursue a PhD, and I hope to use the opportunities provided by the Cambridge MBA to complete my view of the ‘big picture’ by learning from the CJBS faculty and my peers, and to refine what I would like to further specialise in. I’m especially excited about the chance to work on a research paper with one of the research centres at Cambridge Judge during the MBA year.

Tony Li.

Tony Li

MSc, Machine Manufacture and Automation, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China

Nationality: Chinese
Pre-MBA career: Co-founder & Vice President, Chengshi Robot, Shanghai, China

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

After four years of running a startup business, I insistently believed that I had to improve myself comprehensively, making me a more well-rounded entrepreneur. Therefore, Cambridge Judge Business School, offering one of the best entrepreneurial programmes in Europe, is always my dream school to study in. In addition, I have a good friend who studied in Cambridge before, which gives me a genial and amiable connection to the University of Cambridge. Moreover, after pouring over the information online, I found out that the entrepreneurial ecosystem, which includes elaborately designed courses, the CJBS Entrepreneurship Centre, and the Cambridge Science Park nearby, is so attractive, reconfirming my decision to apply for the Cambridge MBA.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

My most significant achievement is that I have co-founded the Chengshi Robot startup company, which is focused on developing rescue robots. Four years ago, acquiring investments of more than 2 million GBP and then driving our company to a valuation of around 12 million GBP in 2022. Four years after its establishment, we now have two factories and one office located in Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Shanghai. The two factories are responsible for two product lines and the Shanghai office is the Sales Center. In addition, we have also received financial awards from the local Chinese governments of around 1 million GBP.

In retrospect, we had never thought that we could lead a 2G (to government) business to this level. Maybe the achievement derives from our hardworking and serendipity. However, due to the limitation of the 2G market, our business needs to explore new paths to bulk up the revenue. This is one of my major reasons for joining the Cambridge MBA cohort – to explore more diverse opportunities for the business in the future.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I’m so exhilarated, honoured, and grateful to be awarded the Cambridge MBA Scholarship for Technology Advancement. When we run our company, we bear in mind that we should use our technology to eliminate sacrifices in the rescue. Although we have not yet fulfilled our ultimate goal, at least we are on the path doing so. We, as a tiny startup company, only have finite power, to achieve the goal, we still need concerted efforts from the whole industry and society.

I’m also humbled to be awarded this scholarship among brilliant talents from across the globe. I still have a lot to learn from my pre-eminent peers who are innovative, energetic, collaborative, and encouraging, and we will continuously improve our technology and make our best efforts for a better world.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

As a world-leading university, Cambridge Judge would provide me with lots of core courses and electives to enhance my ability in finance, marketing, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

In the Entrepreneurship Concentration section, I will use the newly learnt knowledge and my previous experience to accomplish the project, as well as connecting to entrepreneurs in the Cambridge and London communities.

In addition, I will participate in programmes that the Entrepreneurship Centre provides, such as Ignite programme, Enterprise Tuesday, and Venture Creation Weekends. These opportunities will greatly enhance my ability and broaden my network with other talents.

Moreover, I will actively explore companies at the Cambridge Science Park, networking and swapping ideas with entrepreneurs there.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

By immersing myself in the fabulous Cambridge entrepreneurial ecosystem, I will grow up into a more versatile and well-versed business leader, who will be able to drive my own business to the next level through a more mature and international lens.

I am also open to the opportunities that I will discover in Cambridge. Maybe I will meet new partners in Cambridge, who are creative and proactive and therefore come up with good business ideas, to startup another new company.

Another option is to tap into new opportunities and directions that I’m also interested in, including consulting, investment, and high-tech.

I am ready to be open-minded and voracious to embrace the brilliant Cambridge MBA journey.

Regional Diversity scholarship recipients

Paula Faniran.

Paula Faniran

BSc. (Hons) Actuarial Science, University of Lagos, Nigeria

Nationality: Nigerian
Pre-MBA career: Head of Risk Management, Sigma Pensions Limited, Abuja, Nigeria

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I am fortunate to have spent the last decade of my career in various roles at some of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions. My professional development efforts over the years have accelerated my growth into senior management, but in the coming years I am eager to gain new skills, expand my network, and broaden my impact. There is no better place for me to do this than at Cambridge Judge. As I transition into a career in impact investment, I know that the Cambridge MBA will equip me with the specific skills and knowledge I require to achieve my career goals and become a leader in today’s world. I am so proud to be attending a business school with such a strong legacy and to be joining Cambridge Judge’s inspiring global community.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

In 2020, I was appointed as the Head of Risk Management at Sigma Pensions, one of the leading pension fund administrators in Nigeria. Following my appointment, I became the youngest member of senior management staff within the Nigerian pensions industry. In this role, I was responsible for the development and implementation of an Investment Risk Management Framework for the $1.2 billion assets under management of the company. The framework was successfully implemented and is still in use to date.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I feel highly honoured and humbled to be one of the recipients of the Regional Diversity Scholarship. The scholarship has helped to further validate my ambition to contribute to the development of my country and other developing nations around the world. I feel empowered to be the positive change I would like to see happen in my country and to encourage others to do the same.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I look forward to expanding my network and building meaningful, lifelong relationships with the faculty and my peers. I am also super excited to participate in the practical team projects and build the investment, communication and leadership skills I will need to thrive in my post-MBA career.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

Following my MBA, I plan to transition to a role in social impact or development finance where I can lead impactful investment projects in developing nations. I hope to dedicate my career to contributing towards the development of emerging economies like Nigeria, through sustainable investments. I am confident that the Cambridge MBA will equip me with the skills required to thrive in the social impact and development space.

Farshid Farasat.

Farshid Farasat

MSc, Business Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

Nationality: Iranian
Pre-MBA career: Co-founder and CEO, AbzarMart, Tehran, Iran

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I spent over 6 years starting and scaling a business. Nothing is as fulfilling as forming teams to build new products and services and solve problems. The joy I felt in seeing results after hard work and persistence was incomparable. I am now determined to launch a business again.

I need to develop my knowledge and skills, unlearn and learn, grow my network and finally plant the seed of a new business. The Cambridge MBA was the best platform to obtain a result.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

Launching and scaling an e-commerce company in Iran was a significant accomplishment for me. Starting the business with a team of three people and reaching the scale of fifty colleagues in a short period, having customers from the whole country, and maintaining a high monthly growth rate for three years was an outstanding achievement for the entire team. Observing the team member’s growth and the whole team’s prosperity is a satisfying experience that is not interchangeable.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

For me, exploration comes first this year; I would like to explore the exciting world of people around me. They come with fascinating stories and diverse insights. The year ahead is a great time to exchange ideas, share experiences and learn from each other.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

I aim to continue my entrepreneurial journey in the international ecosystem and build a startup. I believe the Cambridge MBA will accelerate both my soft and hard skills to a new level so I can add more value to startups.

I am also determined to create wealth in Iran as an untapped market full of opportunities and high potential human capital to achieve economic growth. The Iranian startup ecosystem encouraged, nurtured, and taught me many valuable lessons. I owe my existing knowledge and credibility to the people in this ecosystem, especially those who supported me with their time and capital. I am sure with lessons from my Cambridge MBA, I can enrich the startups of Iran and give back to my country’s ecosystem.

Yemin Oo.

Ye Min Oo

BSc (Hons) Management, Bayes Business School, City University of London, UK

Nationality: Myanmarese
Pre-MBA career: Co-founder & COO, easy health, Myanmar; Director, Ngwe Moe Family Group, Myanmar

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

Coming from an entrepreneurial background in the healthcare and agriculture field in my home country Myanmar, I had sustained my businesses through a turbulent period of COVID-19 pandemic and political crisis. Having gone through these experiences, I realised that it was time to equip myself with further skills and build a greater network to bring my businesses to a higher level and expand internationally.

Cambridge Judge was my first choice because of its strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, its position within the wider University of Cambridge community, its focus on diversity, and the experiential nature of the MBA programme.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far.

My most memorable accomplishment to date, was successfully managing a merger deal with an established clinic, during the early stage of our healthcare startup, which significantly helped with our group’s growth. My role involved negotiating with the owner, liaising with my partners, analysing the deal, and leading the post-merger integration.

The merger and the integration went smoothly, with the clinic becoming our best-performing centre and helping many patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I am excited to further improve my business acumen and broaden my perspectives in life, as well as building great memories and friendships with people across the globe.

In addition, I want to improve my skills in sustainably growing a startup and internationalising my businesses through the Cambridge MBA hands-on approach and comprehensive curriculum.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

My current plan is to improve my management skills and broaden my perspective and network so that I can grow my impact and contribution to my community through entrepreneurial efforts. I also hope that I will be able to internationalise some of my business ventures to hedge my risks and grow my businesses sustainably. However, I am also keeping an open mind to see how this journey may pivot my career. Regardless of how, I believe that I am on the path to creating a meaningful impact.

Nur Arko Hasan.

Nur Arko Hasan

Bachelor of Business Administration, Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka

Nationality: Bangladeshi
Pre-MBA career: General Manager, Finance Business Partnering (Financial Planning & Analysis), Robi Axiata Limited (Telecommunications)

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

With a group of around 200 students from 46 nationalities, I can see myself bonding meaningfully with this diverse and competent group. Everyone’s unique backgrounds and experiences will complement my own and I am confident that I can add value to theirs as well.

Together the University and the City are a melting pot of tradition and technology. Cambridge is one of the biggest tech hubs in Europe, being the birthplace of many startups and having one of the highest tech firm intensity. I hope that it will facilitate my dream of starting a fintech firm on my own. Considering all these, paired with the prestigious alumni body, world class faculty members and host of university resources, choosing Cambridge was a no-brainer.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

The MBA is going to help me meet new people, new ideas, new perspectives, and most importantly new opportunities. We can cross-pollinate each other’s knowledge and experiences. I want to hone my skills in people leadership practices and improve myself in communication and negotiation. The vast network I will be getting access to will be the cherry on top.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

My immediate goal is to assume a senior financial planner role in a big tech company. Down the line, I also aspire to become a fintech entrepreneur, to serve the rural community in Bangladesh who are deprived of much of modern-day financing assistance. I want to help them to accomplish their true potential and add value to the economy in a more capable manner.

Karina del carmen Martin.

Karina del Carmen Martin 

BA International Business

Nationality: Mexico
Pre-MBA career: Corporate Controller, Grupo Inmobiliario Azteka, Jalisco, Mexico

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

Cambridge has always been my aspiration, but I thought it was impossible. As I was looking for the best cohort and compared the different ones available, I saw Cambridge’s and something inside me told me, “This is the place”.

One of the main reasons is the wide and diverse cohort that Cambridge Judge Business School brings and how practical the programme is. It is just the experience I need to live to develop both my career and the best version of me.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

Being a young woman in a male-dominant environment is challenging, especially in business. It can be difficult to get the chance to perform a decision-taking role.

One of my biggest accomplishments in my career so far has been that I successfully lead a very important negotiation with one of the major suppliers for the company I was working at. However, it was not easy because that was happening at a very traditional conservative company.

After weeks of tough negotiation, the result was the completion of an agreement under which both companies benefited. I think I proved the point that skills and knowledge are more important than gender.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

An integral experience of self-development: not only intellectual, but personal, social and emotional development. I would like an intense and unforgettable experience in which I will acquire knowledge and expand my networks and be able to apply these benefits back home.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

To become a more human and better prepared woman in business, an entrepreneur who can find solutions for problems by creating resilient enterprises, which in turn foster the development of communities.

Dean’s scholarship recipients

Rudolf Moos.

Rudolf Moos

MSc Strategic Entrepreneurship, Jönköping International Business School, Sweden; BSc Business Administration, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Nationality: German
Pre-MBA career: Co-Founder & Entrepreneur in Residence at breuckmann eMobility, Breuckmann Group, Heiligenhaus, Germany

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

From the very beginning, Cambridge Judge Business School has been one of my favourite MBA programmes. Not only is its international reputation great, but also there are vast entrepreneurship opportunities. The ‘Silicon Fen’ will help me to extend my network, putting me in touch with brilliant people including potential investors for future entrepreneurial projects. Furthermore, I will be able to participate in startup competitions and improve my practical problem-solving skills by dealing with real world cases during my courses.

Additionally, I see my time at Cambridge not merely as joining a business school but being able to explore diverse study topic, mingle with students and professionals I wouldn’t normally meet. Cambridge is a place to grow and bloom and I am really looking forward to it!

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

The Cambridge MBA is my tool to broaden my personal horizon, allowing me to better understand diverse people from different industries, professions, and nations from all over the world. I want to graduate from Cambridge Judge with a network of great and highly motivated individuals, but also gain lifelong friends.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

To be honest, I do not have a fixed path for my future career in mind. I am aware that multiple opportunities exist, but there is no ideal one. Entrepreneurship has always been a cornerstone of my life and I have various business ideas in mind, which I could implement at Cambridge, leveraging its unique ecosystem. I perceive this MBA programme as a door opener and enabler, helping me to either set solid grounds for a new company or to pivot into an entirely new field.

Matilde Luce Matins.

Matilde Luce

MSc Drug Discovery and Pharma Management, University College London, UK; BSc Pharmacology, University of Dundee, UK

Nationality: Portuguese/American
Pre-MBA career: Clinical Project Management Team Leader, HMR, London, UK

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I chose to do an MBA to help propel my career and build on my knowledge of the business aspects of the pharmaceutical industry. The MBA at Cambridge immediately captured my interest for several reasons. Cambridge Judge offers a one-year programme with two Healthcare Electives and a Healthcare Strategies Concentration, that others did not.  The focus on collaboration and hands-on real-world projects also aligned with my work experience and aspirations.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

While at HMR, I co-ordinated the set-up of the world’s first clinical trial of DMT-assisted psychedelic therapy in patients with major depression. This study was initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it presented many challenges. Along with the changes to our documents, procedures and facilities, it was also necessary to collaborate with external psychiatrists, therapists, consultants, monitors, academics, and another clinical trial unit. Being involved in the study and accompanying the results was a very rewarding experience. Additionally, its set-up paved the way for several other psychedelic studies that we have had placed at our unit since.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I am most looking forward to the learning opportunities, both academic and through collaboration with people from diverse professional backgrounds. I am excited to build new relationships and gain knowledge from other peoples’ experiences, as well as share my own. At Cambridge, I’ll have the opportunity to do that not only through my MBA cohort, but also through the projects, my college, special interest groups and extracurricular activities.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

During the programme, I will have the opportunity to build my network, explore different areas of interest and gain new skills through teamwork and projects. These experiences will be an incredible opportunity for both professional and personal development. Moving forward in my career, I would like to build upon my experience in the pharmaceutical industry and pursue opportunities with even greater responsibility in this field.

Jonathan Ngai.

Chun Faat Jonathan Ngai

Imperial College London, BSC in Physics with Theoretical Physics, UK; London School of Economics and Political Science, MSc in Finance, UK

Nationality: Chinese/British
Pre-MBA career: Investment Banking / Infrastructure Investment (M&A) and Portfolio Management

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

The University of Cambridge is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. I decided to apply for an MBA at Cambridge because I am attracted to its unparalleled reputation in academic excellence and its exceptional alumni network, which I believe will be hugely beneficial for my future career development. In addition, I believe its close proximity and collaboration with the Cambridge Cluster (Silicon Fen) will provide me opportunities to expand my horizon in entrepreneurship.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

I believe my biggest accomplishment is my ability to achieve goals I set for myself collectively; at work, I have worked on and closed billion dollars of M&A transactions throughout my career, including the largest offshore wind farm in the world I worked on most recently. In my personal capacity, I have also led a number of million-dollar projects which have come to fruition.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

The Cambridge MBA is a highly competitive degree that attracts the best talent and excellence; it is an honour for me that I was not only offered a place to study here, but also awarded the Dean’s Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement. It is an acknowledgement of my abilities and achievements to date which in turn motivates me to do even better going forward.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

My focus at Cambridge will be to expand my horizons beyond my existing expertise in infrastructure investment, such as learning more about entrepreneurship, leadership, and the risks and opportunities facing the world at the forefront. I am very excited to participating in talks and events and connecting with world-leading experts here at Cambridge.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

I am confident that the Cambridge MBA will open up a wide range of opportunities for me both in my own field in infrastructure investment as well as outside this sector.

Professional diversity recipients

Paula Martinez.

Paula Martinez

Postgraduate in Digital Communication Strategy, Universidad de Barcelona, España; BA in Communication, Universidad Austral, Argentina

Nationality: Argentinian/Italian
Pre-MBA career: Regional Publicity Supervisor for Disney+ & Walt Disney Studios, The Walt Disney Company Latin America, Buenos Aires, Argentina

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

As a Communication professional, I’ve always been interested in courses oriented to media, marketing and communication due to the fact that I do not want to fall behind innovations in those specific areas, which definitely helped me to get where I am today in my career. However, I knew I needed a different course and experience for my next step. Throughout my career I’ve worked in roles oriented to public relations, marketing and communications and I’m now convinced that an MBA is the perfect complement to my current professional profile and knowledge. After months of research, I realised that Cambridge was the best institution for me because of its outstanding one year program with a broad curricula and a hands-on method. Moreover, I believe that the learning approach based on collaboration and teamwork mixed with academic excellence provides a unique atmosphere that will let me immerse smoothly and quickly into the business perspective that I’m looking for. Everyone is welcoming and holds this collaborative and friendly spirit.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

The biggest accomplishment in my career so far was the Latin America launch of Disney+, one of the biggest streaming services in the world. This represented a huge milestone for the company and for the industry since a new competitor was now entering the digital streaming business. Focused on publicity and communications strategies, my work involved the PR launch strategy, which was quite dynamic and provided me the chance to develop soft skills such as flexibility and resilience. It was a challenging project because of its great importance and also because no one on our team had worked with content for these types of platforms before.

Furthermore, we needed to learn about new consumer habits in order to present our product in the most impressive and attractive way possible for an audience that, in a difficult economic context, needs to prioritise which services to acquire. Finally, the launch was a success and it was very gratifying to be an active part of it.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I am highly grateful to be awarded the scholarship and feel honoured to represent the entertainment industry. As a recipient, I hope to inspire other students out there who come from different backgrounds and show them that their insights and experience are very much appreciated. Being awarded with the scholarship really pushes me to be more confident and raise my voice, providing relevant contributions in discussions. I believe that the Professional Diversity Scholarship exhibits a genuine commitment to a diverse cohort, which allows us not only to learn from the programme but also from each other. I am eager to connect with people around with different professional profiles but the same goal: make a global impact.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I feel that the Cambridge Judge MBA provides a lot of opportunities in terms of academic, professional and personal development. I’m really excited to be able to access a top level business education, which will enhance my knowledge and expertise to get a big picture of how a company works and acquire the skills needed for a top managerial role. The programme will let me extend my network and open a new spectrum of job positions with more international exposure. Additionally, I really look forward to meeting my peers and sharing together this life changing experience.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

My MBA journey will take me to amazing international challenges. In the short-term, my career objective is to have a managerial role abroad in an international entertainment or technology oriented company or organisation. Passionate about both fields, I worked for many years in those sectors and I cannot be more thrilled for what the future will bring to those two industries.

Daniel Boyce.

Daniel Boyce Marto

MSc Geology, BSc Geology, Universidad de Chile, Chile

Nationality: Chilean
Pre-MBA career: Geology Manager and Mineral Exploration Geologist, Copper and Gold exploitation and exploration startup company, Chile

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I worked in the mineral exploration industry for about 7 years, mostly in start-up companies, giving me the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of roles, from purely technical to managerial ones. At this stage of my career, I have realised that I enjoy creating new projects to implement new technologies that improve the performance of existing processes. That’s the reason why I want to equip myself with a solid set of skills and knowledge to clearly progress my career to that direction.

After thorough research of schools, I realised the Cambridge MBA was the perfect fit. Cambridge Judge is one of the most important business schools in Europe with a strong focus in innovation and technology and it is embedded in a technological setting, with several technological companies established in Cambridge’s Silicon Fen.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

I was part of a team to create a valuable mineral projects’ portfolio for a company in less than a year. To do that, as the company’s geologist, I needed to scan for opportunities in a variety of sources and to go to the field to try to generate new projects by data acquisition in new areas.

In 2021, after an exhaustive geological and economic assessment, the team and myself succeeded in bringing a valuable projects’ portfolio to the company and finally a listed company acquired us, securing exploration funds for a couple of seasons.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I feel really honoured to be awarded the Professional Diversity Scholarship, and I think it is great that CJBS has chosen a geoscientist, with professional experience in the mining industry, as one of the scholars for this significant award. I believe it displays the commitment of the Cambridge MBA with bringing to the programme people that can positively impact our future, in all different fields.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

As well as bringing my family to Cambridge and studying in one of the oldest and more prestigious universities in the world, I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge in the implementation of technologies in different industries. In particular, I see the hands-on experience of the Cambridge MBA projects – Cambridge Venture Project, Global Consulting Project and Concentration Project, as the essential opportunities that will enable me to learn how innovation should be implemented in different industries.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

In the long run, I would like to start my own company in the technology field. I think the great networking opportunity that CJBS offers will put me in contact with the right people that will enable me to create a project that will positively impact the world’s sustainable development.

Daria Ikonnikova.

Daria Ikonnikova

MA Linguistics and Teaching foreign languages and cultures, Moscow State Linguistic University, Russia

Nationality: Russian
Pre-MBA career: Tutor, The National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

As a linguistics graduate, I spent over 8 years in the teaching profession. Recently I tried my hand in building communications and marketing processes from scratch at a new investment enterprise. This blend of different professional experiences brought me to the Cambridge MBA to finalise a career transition from the academic world to the business one.

The Business School itself and Cambridge’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, with its professional network and exposure to successful Silicon Fen enterprises, met my inner demand for taking business skills up a notch and developing the entrepreneurial mindset.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I strongly believe that the coming year will be decisive for me in many respects. Apart from advancing key skills in management and seeking entrepreneurial opportunities, I am setting myself the goal for personal growth – cultivating cultural fluency, learning agility and tolerance for risk. I hope that the new connections and original insights the MBA provides will determine my professional and personal trajectory for the decade to come.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

Though I consider it necessary to envision a career future, I wish I would not limit myself to a particular sphere or sector in the foreseeable future. As for my professional interests, I am passionate about education, upskilling, language acquisition, and the edtech market in general. Since the Cambridge MBA is also renowned for its exciting opportunities in entrepreneurship, I expect to build on the experience, knowledge and network to bring my entrepreneurial ambitions to life and at the end of the day make learning opportunities accessible to everyone.

Sarah Hardwick.

Sarah Hardwick

BSc Neuroscience King’s College London, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Imperial College London

Nationality: American/British
Pre-MBA career: Surgical Trainee, National Health Service

What led me to take the Cambridge MBA

I have a weird epigenetic American internal clock that whispers “time for an MBA.” I have always been eyeing this degree, and seen it as a finishing process I would undertake at some point in my career. My English family and Scottish husband tease me for this. I have looked at other MBAs and many fellow aspiring peers have directed me towards Cambridge Judge, because of my healthcare and regenerative medicine background. One strength of the Cambridge MBA over other programmes, is its technology and healthcare focus. In a very immediate way, my neighbourhood, Accordia, in Cambridge is filled with clinicians and scientists who have startups or who have also spent time at the Business School. As I have spent many long and beloved days and nights at Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital, it’s only fitting I will pursue this degree at the original Addenbrooke’s hospital site – I can’t escape!

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship

It was a total surprise and a huge bonus: It created an immediacy for me about wanting to do the MBA now, and an affirmation of purpose. I’m honoured and immensely grateful.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your career to date

This isn’t too stunning or spectacular, but for my internal gage, persevering in my career in surgery after and between having two children has required the greatest growth and the most profound inner accomplishment. Having babies is the fast track to humility, and also a fast track to efficiency. I’ve had to learn to drop everything and be fully present at work when I’m there, as well as to drop everything for my kids once I’m with them. My ego has long since been utterly destroyed, so I’m actually much more able to take myself out of the equation and take action when a decisions needs to be made. I have so much admiration for women and men raising families everywhere now, and I have no idea how everyone is paying for childcare. Kudos to you all.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I’m really looking forward to the entrepreneurship aspect of the programme. A few of my friends work for Bitbio, a regenerative medicine company based in Cambridge and my husband works for Fundment, a fintech startup in London. I would love to initiate projects with either of these companies on the programme, or even just to elevate the calibre of my text chat and conversation on walks and runs through Cambridge. My daughter, Arabella, is super looking forward to swimming lessons in the Clare Hall pool, and I like the idea of the College’s scheme of loaning out your children to other graduate students!

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

I like a quote I read recently from John G Hibben, a former president of Princeton University, “Education is the ability to meet life’s situations.” I recently had my MRCS graduation at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, and one of the senior Fellows was talking about the innovation awards he is in charge of, and how hard it is to give awards to surgeons, as they rarely understand how closely they are managed, and find it hard to drive systemic change. Certainly, in recent months, I’ve seen many days when extremely skilled surgeons sat on their hands until 14:00 when we finally got permission to go ahead with our case (because of a lack of surgical ‘beds’, aka beds nurses and attendant teams) and the three other waiting teams don’t get to do anything! Or I’ve seen many, many days where the planned four cases turn into two, because of overrun in other theatres or staff shortages, or again the perpetual bed issues. A lot of our limitations are operational, not in the sense of the actual operations but in managerial terms of the organisation of teams and resources. As much as we live in (and I love) the blissful utopia of not having to touch cash for transactions in the NHS, financial forces still drive our powers and limitations. I think investing in this MBA degree now may not be super high yield for me in the immediate term, but will be extremely high yield from year five onward. Almost every senior surgeon I speak to about this degree says to me “I want to do one, can you please help me find funding?”.

Professor Jochen Runde Scholarship for South African Nationals recipient

Nikita Dehal.

Nikita Dehal

BBusSci, University of Cape Town, South Africa; LLB, University of Cape Town, South Africa; LLM, USC Gould School of Law, California, USA

Nationality: South African
Pre-MBA career: Senior Legal Manager, Ozow Pty Ltd, South Africa

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

During my most recent role working as a lawyer at a burgeoning fintech in South Africa, I was encouraged to become more involved in aspects of a growing business that extend beyond the legal realm. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the operational, commercial, and technical aspects of implementing new product strategies. Being driven by curiosity and a passion for learning, I sought to pursue an MBA to educate me on crucial management disciplines, sharpen my business and financial acumen, provide me with the tools to become a successful leader, and to assist me in breaking through the traditional legal way of thinking. I was drawn to the Cambridge MBA primarily due to the emphasis on practical and experiential learning and the focus on encouraging diverse perspectives.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

The fintech I most recently worked at, sought to expand its payment solution into various African countries and I successfully led the expansion into the first market of strategic interest. I executed the envisioned strategy of the business, engaged with regulators and banks in the different markets, managed stakeholders and developed an expansion plan for the initial market that proved to be most optimal given the business needs at the time. In doing so, I created a blueprint for the business to roll out to further markets.

I would consider this to be a big accomplishment as I was able to have a meaningful impact on the growth strategy of the business and by providing wider access to the unique payment solution, I hope to have improved financial inclusion on the continent.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I feel honoured and extremely grateful to have received this scholarship award. South Africa is a beautiful and culturally diverse country but one that also has its challenges, including the notably high levels of inequality and poverty. This scholarship and the associated mentorship from Professor Jochen Runde will provide me with the unparalleled opportunity to explore ideas around solving South Africa’s key challenges and will better position me for a more impactful post-MBA journey.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I am most looking forward to learning – learning more about business, finance, and general management, learning more about myself and navigating life as a student in a new country, and primarily learning about and from an incredibly diverse international cohort. I look forward to having my existing perspectives and worldview challenged by those around me and learning and evolving throughout the year.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

I enjoy being involved in finding solutions to real-world problems that will have a meaningful and lasting impact and I am passionate about contributing to positive change in Africa through technology. I believe that the Cambridge MBA will provide me with the toolkit I need to prepare and propel myself into what I perceive to be an ideal career path for me, and it will also illuminate other suitable career paths that I may not have considered. I am keeping an open mind and am very excited to see where my MBA journey takes me in my future career.

Military Personnel scholarship recipient

Chase de La Rosa.

Chase La Rosa

BS English Literature, United States Naval Academy

Nationality: American
Pre-MBA career: Submarine warfare, Anti-terrorism, Nuclear reactor plant management, US Navy, Norfolk, USA

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

There are so many reasons. On the practical side, I love the fact that this is a one-year programme. Military service has dominated my professional experience so far, and while I have learned soft skills, leadership, and versatility, there are (unsurprisingly) precious few nuclear submarines in the civilian world, and I need to start my real job at some point! I am excited to get out there and begin a new career path, and this MBA year allows me to do that sooner.

Furthermore, there is an obvious international presence at Cambridge, and along with that, a myriad of different experiences and personal stories. I have noticed from friends and colleagues completing their MBAs at American universities that the military veterans have their collective situation and story, and therefore stick together. I wanted to avoid that.

At Cambridge I am excited to contribute to the diverse list of individual experiences. On a more romantic note, the history, buildings, and fabled aura of Cambridge were just too exciting to pass up. As a literature major, the idea of living and studying in the same place Coleridge did, or Lord Byron, is so thrilling. No other MBA programme can hold a candle to the idea of walking the streets of Cambridge for a year.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

Earning my dolphins. I reported to USS Newport News, a Los Angeles-class fast attack nuclear submarine, with about a year and a half of focused, intensive nuclear training under my belt. Nuclear physics, thermodynamics, reactor chemistry, and much, much more. None of that mattered when I reported; this was a new reactor to me, and all the book knowledge I had gained in a difficult training programme felt useless. I had to learn how to manage a nuclear reactor. I had to learn how to manage people. And then of course, there was the rest of the submarine, which I had no knowledge of at all.

Earning your dolphins entails this gruelling process, which took well over a year for me, of learning, studying, asking questions, practicing over and over again the little intricacies of submarine life.

Becoming fully qualified and getting that Submarine Warfare patch to wear for the rest of my life was such a great feeling and is the largest accomplishment of my life.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

To be recognised by such an institute as this University and its business school is very exciting, and I am very grateful. Due to certain elements of my military service, I would have received a full scholarship at most American universities, but ultimately accepted an offer from Cambridge Judge because I felt the experiences and knowledge gained at Cambridge would be worth the money. Receiving this award already makes my decision feel like the correct one.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

What I am most looking forward to is being exposed to the range of Concentrations and focus areas that CJBS has to offer and watching myself gravitate one way or another. I have been put in incredibly high-risk, high-stress environments my entire career so far, and have crafted a leadership style and work ethic I believe can be an asset within a myriad of professions. Seeing where my natural strengths and learned qualities can be best put to use in the business world will be a gratifying and trajectory-setting experience.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

I see the MBA as an integral part of getting my foot in the door at a small company doing big things, ideally within the leadership team. I applied to CJBS because I wanted to work within the non-profit sector, using business acumen to increase the viability of sustained growth and longevity for an organisation trying to change the world. I look forward to gaining the business acumen necessary to serve my part in an overall mission for good.

Gustav Karl Johan Skold Runersjo.

Gustav Karl Johan Sköld Runersjö

BA Economics, Cornell University, USA

Nationality: Swedish
Pre-MBA career: Associate, Morgan Stanley, London, UK

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

First of all, I believe the year at Cambridge Judge will challenge me, broaden my horizons and result in considerable personal and professional growth. After deciding to change my career path following 5 years in the financial services industry, I spent time researching and reflecting on how to best move forward and concluded that the Cambridge MBA would be the perfect place to invest in myself and explore exactly what my next steps will look like.

The practical focus and academic depth of the MBA programme will provide valuable experiences and expand my skill set in many ways, and I was particularly drawn to the sense of community, collaboration and innovation that permeates the wider University and CJBS. I look forward to living in the beautiful town of Cambridge and being part of an ambitious and diverse MBA cohort, and of course, I also hope to earn the distinction of representing the University of Cambridge on the squash court!

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

My greatest accomplishment would be the 2 years I worked as a military interpreter in the Swedish Armed Forces. Basic training with the Marines was followed by intense language studies at the Interpreter Academy, where I achieved fluency in Dari, the Afghan dialect of Farsi, in about eight months. I was offered the position of Chief Interpreter with the Swedish contingent in Afghanistan toward the end of the course and went on a ten-month tour to Northern Afghanistan after graduation.

I overcame many difficult challenges during training and the deployment, which ended up being a great adventure and a transformative experience, and I feel proud to have been part of an operation that contributed to security for a generation of Afghans.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

It’s a great honour and I’m deeply grateful to have been awarded this scholarship. I have drawn a lot of inspiration from the great leaders I had the fortune of working with throughout my time in the military and feel like the lessons learned and principles instilled in me during that period could be hard to relate to for many. For that reason, I believe the Business School’s ambition to include veterans by awarding this scholarship provides an invaluable contribution to the MBA programme, and hope that my role in that effort will prove useful in many ways.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

With a professional background limited to the military and financial services, I mostly look forward to gaining exposure to new industries, ideas and views by making many connections with the people in my cohort and around the University community. While trying to absorb as much as I can from the rigorous Cambridge MBA programme, I am coming in with a curious and open mind and feel excited to have the freedom to discover new opportunities, which will take my career in a new direction.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

I believe this is just the beginning of an exciting journey with many eye-opening moments ahead. The MBA programme and the Business School’s resources will equip me with valuable tools and knowledge to better navigate my personal and professional life going forward, but most of all it feels like a privilege to have the chance to connect with so many impressive individuals of different backgrounds, which I think will be an abundant source of inspiration, friendship and advice for me in the future.