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Participant profiles

Back to EMBA: our people

Our Executive MBA programmes attract participants from all over the world, and they each bring with them unique experiences which create a dynamic and diverse learning environment.

Below is a selection of current student profiles to give you an insight into the classes and why they chose an Executive MBA programme at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Sara Hagey.

Sara Hagey

Programme Manager, External Affairs and Community, Robinhood

Nationality: United States
Country of residence: United States of America
Industry sector: Technology

What is your professional and educational background?

I graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a BA in Political Science. I entered the world of recruitment and joined Michael Page with a focus on Financial Services. After building my career there over five years, ultimately to Associate Director managing a team of 11 people, I ventured into the world of tech and joined Facebook as a Recruiter for Communications and Public Policy. While at Facebook, I moved into a Program Manager role to build Facebook’s strategy for hiring Veterans and transferred that experience into a Program Manager role on the External Affairs and Community team at Robinhood, where I just started in June of 2021.

What is the most exciting thing about your work?

It’s been really exciting to join a company at this stage in its growth. We IPO-ed a few weeks after I joined and learned a ton by watching an organization go through that transition. Additionally, my role now is entirely focused on the mission-driven work we do at Robinhood. It’s incredibly rewarding to work for an organization with a strong mission (to democratize finance for all) and to be directly involved in the work that serves that aim.

What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?

I applied when I was trying to transition out of recruiting and I felt that I needed a new set of skills in my toolbox to be able to make that move. I was lucky and shifted to programme management and a new company with more room for growth before the start of the programme, but I am still very grateful to be participating in the EMBA programme as I know it will help me build the skills to be even more effective as a PM and be set up to continue to grow in my career.

What attracted you to Cambridge Judge?

As someone who is based in the US, I was really attracted to the notion of getting an international education. I think the Tech industry is going to change rapidly over the next few decades, and to ensure we do that in a way that is positive, we need more people in the industry who can see beyond the boundaries of where many of the companies are based.

What are your career ambitions in the long term?

I hope to work my way into operational leadership roles within the Tech industry and am excited to see the ways my Cambridge EMBA will take me in a direction I am not expecting.

Ikenna Uzoh.

Ikenna Uzoh

Senior Manager, Business Intelligence & Analytics, Amazon Web Services

Nationality: Nigeria
Country of residence: United Kingdom
Industry sector: Technology

What is your professional and educational background?

I am an innovative leader with over ten years of experience in data strategy, data analytics, cloud computing, data architecture design, AI, project management, selling technology, team leadership, and IT consulting.

I help organisations derive and implement the most effective strategies, efforts and opportunities for growth, customer experience optimisation and cost reduction using insights from data and implementing digital platforms.

I have led multiple data analytics, cloud computing and AI projects for large multi-billion dollar companies and public sector organisations in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), working for companies like Amazon and Ogilvy. I have a BEng in Electronics and Computer Engineering.

What is the most exciting thing about your work?

The most exciting thing about work is when I provide my stakeholders with the relevant data, insights and tools to transform their organisation and make informed decisions.

I get a great sense of satisfaction when I engage with my stakeholders and help them achieve their business outcomes, including an increase in revenue, cost reduction, improvement in customer satisfaction and risk reduction.

What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?

I believe an Executive MBA will help me achieve my short and long-term goals. It will give me access to premium business education, world-class faculty, a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and the opportunity to increase my network of business leaders.

I plan to acquire skills in solving complex problems, leading large global teams, managing innovation, financial reporting, international business, venture capital, and strategic management. These skills would help me become a better business leader and help me build value for any company I work for.

What attracted you to Cambridge Judge?

A Cambridge Judge Executive MBA will help me achieve my goals by giving me access to premium business education, and a powerful network of business leaders and access to an environment that fosters entrepreneurship.

The Cambridge Judge EMBA environment will allow me to interact with some of the best minds (faculty, colleagues, alumni) in the world so we can symbiotically help each other achieve our goals. I also hope to make life-long friends, new colleagues, potential business partners, and clients who can provide real-time feedback as I develop as a leader.

What are your long-term career ambitions?

My long-term plan is to continue developing my business and functional skills to, ultimately, become responsible for leading and growing a technology company as a C-level executive.

I also plan to use the experience that I have gathered from industry and the knowledge I obtain from the Cambridge EMBA programme to build a company that would leverage data, cloud and AI tools to solve some of the biggest problems in Africa.

Kyle Mcgregor.

Kyle Mcgregor

Assistant Professor, College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, & Associate Director, Center for Population Health Research, Main Line Health

Nationality: United States
Country of residence: United States of America
Industry sector: Healthcare and data science

What is your professional and educational background?

I have worked across a number of sectors in academia, industry, healthcare, and data science primarily focused on using data to improve health equity and outcomes. I completed a PhD (Indiana) and postdoctoral fellowships (Yale & Columbia) focused on bioethics and bridging the gap between qualitative methods and complex computational methods. Currently, I use health system and community data to find new ways to serve populations in need.

What is the most exciting thing about your work?

One of the most exciting things is the wide variety of projects I get to work on. While everything I do has the potential to help those in need, one day I may be working on data related to reducing readmissions in a hospital and another I might be working with a startup health tech company to develop a real world trial to deliver a new behavioral health program to patients in need.

What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?

The career path I’ve been on has highlighted some gaps in my skills and experiences that needed to be addressed if I am going to have the impact I’d like to have. My education prepared me to be a researcher, builder, educator, and collaborator. As I’ve had more successes in those areas, I’ve been given more responsibility beyond the bounds of what my previous degrees had prepared me for (my PhD did not prepare me to manage a staff, budgets, strategic planning, etc). An EMBA seemed like a perfect opportunity to connect with people going through similar transitions while getting some additional tangible skills I can immediately take back to work with me.

What attracted you to Cambridge Judge?

The global nature of the program was the first draw. I’ve spent my life embedded in the American academic system and really wanted to broaden my perspective and experiences. Of all the options, Cambridge Judge Business School had a favourable schedule, diverse cohort, and global reputation I was looking for. But let’s be honest, given the opportunity, why would you ever pass up an opportunity to become a member of the Cambridge community?

What are your career ambitions in the long term?

My career ambitions are to keep finding new ways to make people’s lives better, happier, and healthier. From the brief conversations I’ve had with other members of the cohort, I am really looking forward to discovering new ways to work, collaborate, and engage to see what other kinds of paths may exist for me. I plan to use my time at the Business School to fully consider a wide range of new avenues where I can have a more meaningful positive impact on the world around me.

Ben Seward.

Ben Saward

Global Head of Contracts and Procurement, Bulb Energy

Nationality: British
Country of residence: United kingdom
Industry sector: Energy/Utilities

What is your professional and educational background?

I have spent most of my career negotiating commercial and/or contractual terms on behalf of large engineering enterprises and start-ups. I am currently Global Head of Contracts and Procurement at Bulb, the renewable energy supplier, where I am responsible for all direct and indirect spend (apart from wholesale energy procurement).

I am state educated and studied a Quantity Surveying undergraduate course at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, albeit I am yet to survey a quantity!

What is the most exciting thing about your work?

Contibuting to our global green energy transition. Working for a scale-up organisation I also take great satisfaction in reducing our operating costs to free up vital working capital – this helps accelerate our mission to make energy simpler, cheaper, and greener.

What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?

I have spent my career working in contracts and procurement but have always had personal ambitions to broaden my experience and eventually found my own company. I am hoping the EMBA will strengthen my understanding of what makes a business successful, as well as refine my personal leadership skills. Equipped with both, I hope to start a business which people are inspired by and proud to work for.

What attracted you to Cambridge Judge?

Cambridge Judge has a strong focus on the entrepreneurial skills I need to build my own company. Combine that with a powerful network from one of the most prestigious education institutions in the world, and you’ve hopefully got a pretty good recipe for success. It helps that Cambridge is beautiful too!

What are your career ambitions in the long term?

Longer term, I want to start my own energy business. I want it to be a force for good, which is revered globally and future proofed. I have a few ideas about where it would sit in the market, but I anticipate my vision will be even clearer after two years at Cambridge Judge.

Mehul Desai.

Mehul Desai

Chief Administrative Officer, HSBC UK

Nationality: Mauritian
Country of residence: United Kingdom
Industry sector: Financial Services

What is your professional and educational background?

I am currently the Chief Administrative Officer for HSBC UK. I have been with the Bank for nearly nine years, initially in the US, then moving to the UK in early 2020. As the CAO, I am accountable for leading a wide range of strategic activities to help our senior executives and board members make critical decisions around technology and other core functions of the Bank. One day I am helping identify transformation opportunities to drive sustainable efficiencies, and the next day it’s looking at innovative fintechs and technologies can help accelerate revenue growth for the Bank. In my role, I also help ensure that the various UK COO functions are operating in a seamless, efficient, and ‘forward-thinking’ manner. There is no job description, and that’s what makes the job exciting!

My career started off at Accenture where I was initially a coder, helping build enterprise software for some of the world’s largest banks; a really invaluable experience that gave me a solid foundation in tech. I eventually moved to Strategy& (PwC Company), where I took on a more strategic role, helping C-level executives define technology and operational strategies and implement complex business transformations.

Before entering the workforce, I completed undergraduate degrees in Economics and Management Information Systems at the University at Albany in New York. It was here that I developed a love for operational efficiency and technology and embarked on my career as a management consultant.

What is the most exciting thing about your work?

There is no job description, and that’s what makes things exciting! I also love the impact that I am able to make on a daily basis. My role gives me exposure to how our board members think about technology, and its likely impact to our customers, business, regulators, and other stakeholders. I am at forefront of this analysis that helps shape some of their decisions. Understanding how the board discharges their responsibilities has taught me a lot on how a business operates. I also love being a part of an organisation that truly cares and supports its people, hence my nine year tenure at the Bank. I have the opportunity to work with some of the most dynamic, engaging, and trusting people, where there is no status quo. There is always room for improvement, and that’s what keeps me going!

What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?

I have been in the banking industry for nearly 25 years, and was looking to get a much more broader and diverse exposure. There are some amazing innovative ideas and progress in other industries that I want to be able to learn, and subsequently apply to my career. The ability to learn from a diverse peer group as well as distinguished academics was the motivation to pursue an Executive MBA. Also, I view this as good ‘break’ from my job to allow me to reflect on my past 25 years and help bring some reflection and perspective to what I have learned over these years.

What attracted you to Cambridge Judge?

Cambridge Judge was the only business school I was interested in. First and foremost, it’s Cambridge! A unique and prestigious brand, with a history that is unparalleled. Second, if you are looking to be at the forefront of innovation, then Cambridge is the place to be. Being in the heart of ‘Silicon Fen’, you are part of an extraordinary ecosystem of academics and entrepreneurs that is dubbed the ‘Cambridge phenomenon’. Lastly, the programme structure made the best sense for me – the program delivery over weekends and week-long blocks, allows me to continue to progress in my professional life.

What are your career ambitions in the long term?

In whatever I do, what is most important is that I make an impact. In the short to medium term, I intend to continue on the journey I am on – whether it is as CAO or as a COO. In the longer term, I am open to the possibilities of what my experience at Cambridge might afford. Whatever it is, I am sure it will be some blend of business, technology, and innovation.

Miika Ahdesmaki.

Miika Ahdesmaki

Director of Bioinformatics, AstraZeneca Early Computational Oncology

Nationality: Finnish
Country of residence: United Kingdom
Industry sector: Healthcare

What is your professional and educational background?

I’m currently Director of Bioinformatics in AstraZeneca Early Computational Oncology. I have a PhD in Computational Systems Biology from 2007 and MSc in Electrical Engineering 2005.

What is the most exciting thing about your work?

Making a difference to people with cancer. Through my work and the work of my group we identify for example new targets to help future cancer patients with unmet medical needs. 

What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?

Many of the senior people I work with and admire have MBAs and I felt that with all the organic growth I have had in management I needed to take that next step in formalising my management qualifications.

What attracted you to Cambridge Judge?

The best business school in the world and conveniently in the city I live in! I have also been mentoring startups through the programmes AstraZeneca have with the Judge so have seen up close the quality Cambridge Judge represents.

What are your long-term career ambitions?

Making a difference in improving the lives of people through more senior roles in pharma and potentially running my own startup.

Christian Gleave.

Christian Gleave

Head of Europe, Meta Aerospace

Nationality: British
Country of residence: United Kingdom
Industry sector: Aerospace and military

What is your professional and educational background?

I spent 26 years as a fighter pilot in the RAF, predominantly flying Harrier and Hawk aircraft as a Qualified Weapons Instructor. I flew for three years in the RAF’s Aerobatic Team and later as the Officer Commanding of the RAF’s Aggressor Squadron, acting as the airborne adversary to other RAF aircraft and air forces.

Later in my career, I attended RAF Staff College as a Wing Commander and graduated from King’s College London with a masters in Defence Studies. My final tour was as the senior UK exchange officer to the Pentagon, working on military strategy and effects-based planning for combined UK and US operations.

After leaving the RAF, I was fortunate to know of a start-up company, Meta Aerospace, that was considering Director positions to provide outsourced aerospace solutions to governments. Since I had a desire to try my hand at more commercial ventures, I applied and joined as Head of Europe. The company is now represented globally, has a workforce of over 500 people and is providing contractor-owned, contractor-operated (COCO) aerospace solutions from air and space to governments and commercial entities around the world.

What is your proudest professional achievement to date?

The pinnacle of most military pilot’s career is to conduct live operations on behalf of their country. That is certainly true for me: I flew in two major combat operations and a few less well-known British skirmishes, all of which were heart-stopping, intense and gruelling, but immensely rewarding. That may be difficult for some to understand but it is a profession, and everyone wants to be the best they can be.

As a member of the Red Arrows, I was privileged to formate on Concorde for the Queen, and again in 2012 when I led a world-record number of aircraft in close formation over Windsor Castle in ‘E II R’ formation. My Mum and I were lucky enough to meet the Queen personally for a cup of tea after, which of course made me very proud.

What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?

Serving in the military is an incredibly grounding experience that develops superb leaders. It broadens personal horizons, fulfils ambitions and is a never-ending adventure. Seeing my younger brother succeed in business, however, left me yearning for something a little different; I felt the need to move into a career that was less bounded.

The Executive MBA seemed like an outstanding way to quickly gain knowledge across a number of my commercial vulnerabilities (finance, M&A, corporate ventures, business acumen), to meet and network widely with other like-minded individuals around the world, and to delve into academia, in the hope that some of Cambridge’s magic dust rubs off on me!

What attracted you to Cambridge Judge?

The University of Cambridge has a unique and prestigious brand. I was always slightly envious of my RAF colleagues who had been to Cambridge for the doors that it seemed to open for them, so a chance to study here is a dream come true for me. I was sold at the very first EMBA information session I attended – I felt like a fish out of water and in awe of the gifted people around me – but far from cliquey or protective, everyone was warm, friendly and utterly welcoming. Since I only live an hour away, and I was juggling with a busy job, Cambridge was my first and only choice.

What are your career ambitions in the long term?

I have reached an age where ambition is an interesting concept. I have more ambition for the company I work for than myself as I truly believe in our offering. I feel very fortunate to have accomplished what I have in life and equally fortunate to have made a successful transition into civilian life and a new commercial role. Anything that comes in the future, particularly in leadership roles, will be an added bonus.

Omar Habbal.

Omar Habbal

Chief Operating Officer, Wiser

Nationality: British
Country of residence: United Kingdom
Industry sector: Creative and talent

What is your professional and educational background?

I am a founder and the current COO of Wiser, a creative agency that focuses on employer branding and early talent strategy. The company, based in Farringdon, London, was founded in 2013 whilst I was still at university, and today it is 100-people strong and profitably turning over approximately £7m.

I’m from the UK; I was born in London. My parents emigrated to the UK from Ireland and Egypt. Before founding Wiser, I studied Politics, Philosophy and History at King’s College London and Harvard University. I then went on to study law at the College of Law, Moorgate.

What is the most exciting thing about your work, and what are your proudest achievements?

Part of my mission as a COO is to change the way people think about work and creating an environment where people can be themselves, which is a core value of my company.

The most exciting aspect of my work is experiencing and contributing to the development of others. Some of the people I have the most respect for at work joined the company without experience and have developed into leaders or become inspirational figures for others. I feel most rewarded when I see someone I’ve worked with prosper and succeed.

Wiser has received a number of awards for its work, and I attribute much of this success to its strong cultural foundation. In the past three years, we’ve ranked second in The Sunday Times ‘Best 100 Small Companies to Work For’, won Creative Department of the Year at The Drum’s Agency Business Awards and EBMA Europe’s best brand ambassador programme.

When it’s great and when it’s bad, work is never just “work” for me.

What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?

As a founder straight out of university, I am conscious that all I know is my company. I have loved every minute of my journey but I want to prepare myself for bigger challenges and new ventures. I believe the EMBA will give me a broader, more complete view on how to do business. I value the connections with the people I’ve already met and have been working with so far.

What attracted you to Cambridge Judge?

Is there a better place to study than at Cambridge? The academic integrity of the University and the vibrant, entrepreneurial community made it the perfect place for me.

What are your career ambitions in the long term?

Whatever I do in the long term, my ambition is to maintain my values and surround myself with ambitious people.

Katharine Hibbert.

Katharine Hibbert

Founder and Director, Dot Dot Dot

Nationality: British
Country of residence: United Kingdom
Industry sector: Real estate

What is your professional and educational background?

Today, I’m very glad to be an entrepreneur, running Dot Dot Dot, a social enterprise that turns empty spaces into homes for people that want to volunteer. But entrepreneurship wasn’t my plan when starting out in my career.

After finishing an undergraduate degree in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge in 2003, I became a journalist, working my way up to a job at The Sunday Times. I loved it, and after a few years got the chance to write a book that built on a piece I had written for the paper. That book, entitled FREE: Adventures on the Margins of a Wasteful Society, tells the story of people who find a way to live using things the rest of us throw away. It was an opportunity to shed some light on a hidden and misunderstood group of people in British society, and gave me an in-depth understanding of the issue of empty buildings in the UK.

Following the publication of the book, I was inspired to do something practical to deal with the issues I’d written about, so I founded Dot Dot Dot. Today, we’re a team of 30, housing hundreds people across the country and supporting thousands of hours of volunteering every month.

What is the most exciting thing about your work?

The most enjoyable thing about working on Dot Dot Dot is that when we’re successful, everyone wins. For a start, it’s extremely satisfying to provide housing for our residents for around half the local cost of rent. Lower living costs enable them to do brilliant things that benefit a lot of people, whether that’s running community dance classes, helping at food banks or answering the phone at The Samaritans.

On top of that, we’re providing a useful service for property owners, who need a way to manage buildings which are waiting to be sold, refurbished or regenerated. Filling buildings with well-chosen, well-managed people provides reliable, flexible and cost-effective security, so property owners gain commercially from our work, as well as seeing the benefit of our social impact.

Meanwhile, local communities get friendly neighbours and more volunteering for good causes, as well as avoiding the blight empty buildings can attract.

And by bringing it all together, Dot Dot Dot is a successful business that makes money and is able to grow. As far as I’m concerned, succeeding while helping others is living the dream.

What attracted you to Cambridge Judge?

I studied at the University of Cambridge as an undergraduate and loved being part of the University and Clare College at the time, so I jumped at the chance to come back.

I was confident that the standard of the teaching would be excellent and that, as a student, I would be expected to work hard and achieve high standards.

I also wanted to be part of Cambridge’s wider culture – I appreciate the emphasis Cambridge places on cross-disciplinary conversation, as well as its world-leading commitment to learning and research, and I’m really glad to be part of it again.

What are your long-term career ambitions?

I like to keep an open mind about what I’ll be doing in the long term – my goal is to do work I think is worthwhile, that uses my skills and that I find interesting and challenging, and to do it alongside people I like. I’m studying now so that I can be as prepared as possible when opportunities that tick all those boxes arise in future.

Philipp Jundt.

Philipp Jundt

Professor of Flute, German School of Music Weimar; Artistic Director and CEO, Gonjiam Music Festival

Nationality: Swiss
Country of residence: Switzerland/Germany/South Korea
Industry sector: Music

What is your professional and educational background?

I entered the classical music industry as an active performer and recording artist at the age of 13 after winning a major flute competition. In my twenties, while performing internationally, I decided to commit to studying economics in the United States of America and Germany.

Skipping the normally important step in a music professionals career of playing in an orchestra, I was offered a professorship at the University of Music Weimar – something usually reserved for individuals with some 10 years more experience than me. This opened the door for me to work in Seoul, a most vibrant city and truly a capital of classical music, for 12 years.

A couple of years ago, I co-founded Gonjiam Music Festival in South Korea. Despite high saturation and extreme competition, the festival became one of the leading festivals of its kind internationally.

What do you consider your proudest professional achievement to date?

My proudest professional achievement is building a career through alternative, unconventional approaches, and maintaining this path with ongoing success and pleasure. A stimulating journey, which hopefully will last for the rest of my life.

With the festival I co-founded, I am most proud that we were able to fundamentally change and open up some of the complex and political market structures in Korea. We not only managed to build Asia’s largest flute festival but also a profitable one, completely independent and without large outside donors or government subsidies, which is very rare in this field.

What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?

In order to push our limits, we must overstep them, and the Executive MBA programme allows me to do so every single day. Even more importantly, the knowledge I gain will be instrumental for transitioning my career into its next phase, where business aspects become the main focus.

What attracted you to Cambridge Judge?

Having studied and worked with some of the world’s top professors and musicians, I believe that true excellence is only possible in a diverse and humanistic environment. I learned the most from exchanges with colleagues, my own students and personal friends.

After my first term in Cambridge, I am simply overwhelmed by the amount of inspiring, open-minded and supporting co-students whom I had the chance of learning with and from. The power of such a conglomerate of knowledge and cultural diversity is truly life-changing.

The opportunity for continued, lifelong learning at Cambridge Judge is outstanding and matches my understanding of development, not only of knowledge but also by becoming a member of a larger family.

What are your career ambitions in the long term?

My vision is to make classical music profitable and more independent, rather than serving a boutique audience, by being funded by government hand-outs or private sponsors.

Adriana Robles Coello.

Adriana Robles Coello

Head of Campaigns, Latin America and the Caribbean, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Nationality: Mexican
Country of residence: Mexico
Industry sector: Public sector

What is your professional and educational background?

I am currently in charge of the strategic planning and implementation of campaigns in the Latin America and Caribbean regions for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. I lead a team that supports a network of 33 diplomatic missions, promoting shared interests that aim to strengthen our economic and diplomatic relations.

I’ve always been passionate about marketing and communications, which inspired me to study at Tecnológico de Monterrey, one of Mexico’s top universities, graduating with a first-class bachelors degree in marketing.

As part of my undergraduate studies, I enrolled in a one-year programme at ESSEC Business School in France and, as I was interested in the retail industry, I got a certificate in marketing retail, allowing me to focus on the fashion and entertainment industries earlier in my career, before joining the British Government in the Department for International Trade.

What is the most exciting thing about your work?

Working for the UK Government has allowed me to deliver a wide range of fulfilling projects that have made positive impacts in my country and in other Latin American and Caribbean nations. It is fascinating to see how the communications, policy and commercial teams can come together to deliver projects with benefits in different subjects and geographies. Knowing that I am making my contribution in these areas is incredibly rewarding.

My experience dealing with crisis communication has been particularly interesting as well, including supporting COVID-19 repatriation flights and tailoring the UK’s communication response to its departure from the EU.

I also do some volunteer work to assist during natural disasters, which has given me the opportunity to help on the ground, for example during Hurricane Dorian, considered the worst natural disaster in Bahamian history.

As part of my role, I advise Ambassadors on embedding strategic communications into their country business plans, which is very exciting as well. The icing on the cake is getting to lead innovative public diplomacy projects that have allowed me to meet well-known people like the Rolling Stones, Lewis Hamilton, Stella McCartney and HRH Prince Charles and Prince Harry. Every day is a different experience!

What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?

Throughout my career to date I have developed a varied skill set, and I’m now keen to diversify, gain a broader outlook and become more versatile. I’m interested to learn more about emerging industries, stay on top of the newest trends and acquire the core business principles I need for my professional future.

I love the flexibility offered by an Executive MBA and the chance to broaden my global network is also invaluable. With over eleven years’ experience, I found that a programme like this was the best fit for me, as it is also giving me the opportunity to engage with an amazing, talented group of people that I now get to call my cohort.

What attracted you to Cambridge Judge?

I wanted to join a first-rate programme that could give me exposure to new ways of thinking. I knew that Cambridge Judge would offer me an authentic global experience and allow me to learn with and from high-calibre colleagues coming from different industries and backgrounds. As I’m from Mexico City, the flexibility of the programme structure fits well with my working schedule and personal life.

Above all, I wanted to join a prestigious school that would also be more than just a business school. The wealth of resources available, the Wo+Men’s Leadership Centre, top-notch lecturers and speakers, and the College experience made this the best choice by far.

What are your career ambitions in the long term?

I want to prepare myself for a role in the C-suite within the next few years. I’m interested in areas like digital innovation in the media and sustainable retail, and so want to be prepared to make a positive impact in whatever sector I take my career in. I’m confident that the Executive MBA will help me diversify my marketing and communications experience, accelerate my learning and give me tools to create value.

Xuyang Song.

Dr Xuyang Song

Associate Director, Clinical Pharmacology and Quantitative Pharmacology, AstraZeneca

Nationality: Chinese
Country of residence: United States of America
Industry sector: Pharmaceutical/biotech

What is your professional and educational background?

I’m a scientist and a global functional lead in clinical pharmacology at AstraZeneca, focusing on the development of biopharmaceutical drug candidates in the areas of oncology and inflammation, from preclinical phases through to patient delivery via healthcare professionals.

I received my PhD in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of Florida in 2014 and my Master’s degree in Biostatistics from the University of Florida in 2020. I completed my undergraduate education at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, one of two comprehensive pharmaceutical universities in China.

What is the most exciting thing about your work?

I’m excited to play a role in channelling our scientific capabilities with an aim to make a positive impact on patients’ lives. My work within AstraZeneca has contributed to a novel class of antibody therapies that are being evaluated in clinical trials with the aim of addressing unmet medical needs.

What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?

As a functional lead, one of the most important deciding factors for me is that business knowledge in drug development has become imperative to my career development. I strongly feel that core business principles and strategic thinking are critical to make the right investigational decisions.

I believe a world-class Executive MBA programme will help me develop the necessary skills and refine my vision for my professional future.

What attracted you to Cambridge Judge?

The Executive MBA programme at Cambridge Judge Business School interested me for several reasons. Firstly, I believe this programme will provide me with the advanced management and core business principles training to support my continued success as a leader within my organisation.

Secondly, the design of this programme allows me to continue working while earning a Cambridge degree. And finally, the University of Cambridge provides an excellent global peer network and academic environment with a global context.

My professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry, combined with an Executive MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School, will help me achieve my vision of bringing new medicines to patients.

What are your career ambitions in the long term?

In the long term, I want to be a successful leader in the healthcare industry. I want to not only have the pharmaceutical science skills, but also the business competencies and interpersonal soft skills needed to guide my team to success. I hope I can demonstrate the skills and expertise to lead a larger group or organisation, expand my global perspective and maximise my potential.

Claire Stacey.

Claire Stacey

Head of Marketing, Autoglass

Nationality: British
Country of residence: United Kingdom
Industry sector: Automotive

What is your professional and educational background?

I am currently Head of Marketing for Autoglass, the UK arm of the global market leader in vehicle glass repair, replacement and recalibration. I head up the marketing function for all UK brands, products and services, and lead an outstandingly talented team. My role, which sits just below board level, operates laterally across business functions to drive the growth and brand agendas and is pivotal to digital transformation.

Before entering working life, I studied an undergraduate degree in Business Studies at the University of Sheffield, graduating with First Class Honours. I developed a love for marketing at this stage, focusing my studies on modules related to marketing management and consumer behaviour.

On graduation, I spent some time travelling, before moving to London to join one of the top five media agencies: a type of advertising agency that create and implement strategies to grow businesses and brands through media planning and buying. It was a hugely creative and fun environment in which to learn my craft.

I worked my way up quickly to Business Director level, running a portfolio of accounts with full P&L responsibility, before moving sideways to an ecommerce platform.

What is the most exciting thing about your work?

I love the combination of left and right brain thinking that marketing offers: using data and insight to drive creative and results-focussed work. Marketing is an incredibly dynamic field and the breadth of strategies and tactics is almost infinite. The art and science is in the strategic planning – identifying where to invest your resources to deliver the business’ objectives.

I get a real kick out of delivering growth and clear return on investment for our products and brands.

I am also passionate about nurturing talent and building cohesive high-performing teams.

What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?

I had always planned to do an MBA. I’m an ambitious person by nature and always knew it would be the right additional qualification for me from early in my career.

After learning more about the Executive vs. full-time route, it was clear that, as a senior professional, the Executive MBA would be the most rewarding route. And it doesn’t disappoint!

The course is designed to maximise peer-to-peer learning and the cohort are an incredible bunch – I have already really expanded my knowledge of other industries and how to lead in a global environment.

When I researched the course content and structure, I could see it supported my ambitions to hone my business management skills for a future boardroom position. I liked the balance of core learning alongside the focus on soft leadership skills.

The opportunity to come back each year after graduation for electives to stay abreast of the latest research and thinking on hot business topics and network with alumni from past cohorts was very appealing too.

Seeing the sheer breadth of what the University offers is astounding. With such phenomenal research taking place and the calibre of teaching and peers, there’s so much on offer beyond the course content too.

I also might be somewhat biased – I live in Cambridge, so having one of the best universities in the world on my doorstep made it an easy decision.

What are your long-term career ambitions?

In the short to medium-term, I intend to drive marketing success from a board-level position in a dynamic and customer-centric growth business. I am open about the long-term as I fully expect the experiences across the EMBA to shape my thinking and journey.