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MBA alumni of Cambridge Judge Business School work all over the world in a wide variety of roles and organisations.

In 12 months, each forged a path through their courses, their practical interactions with clients, their extra-curricular interest groups, their College life and social experiences.

Their Cambridge MBA led them sometimes in unexpected directions, often presenting opportunities for taking up new job functions, in new sectors or geographic locations after graduating.

Consulting

sathe nahush.

Nahush Sathe

MSc Applied Statistics and Informatics, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India; BSc Statistics, University of Mumbai, India

Nationality: Indian
Pre-MBA role: Independent Consultant
Current role: Head of Pricing, The Hut Group, THG Ingenuity; Co- Founder, Indian Kaapi Company

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

The collaborative approach to learning concepts and skills through class discussions, cases and projects helped by putting everything into context. Not only did that showcase how the concepts being taught could be immediately put to use but it also helped build confidence and understanding that would go a long way in terms of communicating these principles to peers in later life. Every single person is very humble and approachable – and always happy to help and discuss in depth.

What were the best extra-curricular activities you did?

The Cambridge ecosystem is unique in the opportunities it offers to mix with and learn from people who work on a wide spectrum of subjects – one day you could be having lunch with a nuclear scientist and the next day you could be discussing government policy over drinks at the College Bar. I also spent time at the Cambridge Union attending debates on a wide range of topics, and talks by eminent personalities. Judge SIGs helped me get better at skills that I knew would be important from an employability perspective and also let me interact with classmates with a deep interest in particular topics. Overall, the Business School and Cambridge are an inspiring setting to spend a year investing in yourself.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class? What value did they bring to your MBA?

The cohort is, for the lack of a better word, an eclectic mix of people with varying experiences, personalities, outlook towards life and interests. What they have in common is a passion to excel, sharp wits, and the ability to collaborate on making things happen. While we started off the year barely knowing each other, we left Cambridge having made life-long friends and a network of trusted advisors. Two years out of the program and still the first instinct, when encountered with a challenge at work, is to seek advice on our cohort’s group chat or reach out to someone I worked with on a project or a case (or had beers with at the bar)

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

Three things stand out to me: 1. The collaborative thought process ingrained in me during the year. 2. The exposure to various facets of running a business. 3. The belief and confidence that no business problem is too hard if approached with the right mindset and tools.

Did you switch any of the following after your MBA?

Job function, role and location.

If you did make a switch, what factors enabled you to do that?

Actually, I switched all three – moved from consulting to tech, India to the UK, and from risk management to pricing and marketing. The exposure and opportunities created for me at Judge and the networks it affords the cohort are hugely the driving factors behind making the fabled ‘triple jump’ possible.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

It has made me more conscious of my strengths and has helped me build a set of skills that I can use to tackle any business problem. This in itself is a major personal transformation that has helped me aim for higher goals and helped me achieve them.

What would you say to others working at the same company you did before your MBA – would you recommend the Cambridge MBA to them, and if so, why?

Absolutely! What’s not to like about being surrounded by extremely smart individuals, being part of an 800-year-old university with its unique traditions, in a place that creates opportunities to springboard your career?

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Audrey Aw

Bachelor of Business Administration, BBA, Marketing & Management, National University of Singapore

Nationality: Singaporean
Pre-MBA role: Lead HR Consultant, Shell
Current role: Consultant, Bain

What was your professional experience before the MBA?

I was in a variety of HR specialist and business partnering roles over 10 years. Immediately before the MBA, I was the Lead HR Consultant for Shell Singapore and led a team of internal consultants to design and deliver strategic people projects that would support the business agenda across all our Downstream and Integrated Gas businesses which were represented in Singapore.

Did you switch any of the following after your MBA, and if so what factors enabled you to do that?

Yes, role and sector

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

I was keen to broaden my horizons. Consulting grants me exposure to a myriad of industries within a condensed period. At the same time, I wanted to challenge myself beyond the people strategy arena and further stretch myself in the space of business/commercial acumen and strategic thinking and analysis, and again Consulting is one of the best places to sharpen these skillsets.

What did you do to achieve that switch?

A lot of case interview preparation for sure! Thankfully, it paid off in the end because the Bain Southeast Asia office is also very “case-centric” in its recruitment processes and there are no fit interviews at all; hence you only have one chance, so to speak, to get it right. It was also helpful to connect with actual ex/current Bain managers who can share at a high level what they’re looking for in the interview process. That said, I had also been preparing my personal stories for fit interviews with other applications and was ready to draw on snippets of those that were relevant in more casual conversations, which still helps with reinforcing positive impressions.

What advice would you have for other seeking a consulting career?

Have conversations with as many and as broad a variety of people who used to be or are currently in your target firms as possible. In the best-case scenario, it gets you a strong referral and even if not, it’s beneficial for building an accurate mental picture as to what the industry, firm and specific office is truly like. On that note, it helps to know which business sectors the firm you’re applying to has a stronger presence in or is trying to build up, as you probably will stand a higher chance of being shortlisted if your industry experience is aligned to those sectors as well. Keep an open mind on the range of firms you would be willing to explore. Lastly, interview preparation (particularly case interviews) is a marathon, rather than a sprint, so better to start early and pace yourself rather than stressing out at the last minute.

Travis Hoskins.

Travis Hoskins

BSc Chemical Engineering, Howard University, USA

Nationality: Trinidadian
Pre-MBA role: On-site Process Engineer, Siemens Energy
Current role: Consultant, McKinsey & Company

What was your professional experience before the MBA?

For eight years prior to the MBA, I worked at Siemens in Houston as a chemical engineer in oil and gas consulting. We consulted for refineries making sure they operated safely. It was a really  interesting experience.

What led you to do the MBA?

In my work as an engineer. I learned how to be analytical and how to break down problems and solve them, but I always felt like I was missing something. I felt like I wasn’t able to make proper business decisions because I didn’t have that training. I could figure out a problem if you gave me a week to solve it, but I couldn’t relate to the business implications of a decision.

Which aspects of the Cambridge programme attracted you?

I loved the practical element of the course that allowed you to apply what you’re learning immediately. The second aspect was that the School is really close to a lot of venture capitalist and a lot of entrepreneurial communities, and that really attracted me. I had a background in oil and gas, and I was interested in consulting, but I just wanted to have the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship too. The third thing that attracted me was the opportunity was to be surrounded by so many smart and brilliant people in Cambridge!

What were your career goals during the MBA?

I had been interested in McKinsey for several years before my MBA – that’s when I first applied to McKinsey. I really liked the brand image of the company, but more importantly the projects they work on.

When I started the MBA, I had a few options planned out, with different firms such as BCG and Roland Berger. I interviewed first with BCG in December and I was literally the first one out of the gate. I was the first one to get rejected too!  Then I went to a networking event that McKinsey had at CJBS in November and I met a recruiter there.

What did you do to achieve the switch to consulting?

It’s so important to be fully prepared. I started preparing even before I even started the MBA.  I had probably done about 40 cases before I came to CJBS. I knew coming in that I wanted to apply to consulting firms. The Careers team and coaches also helped me a lot, specifically with aligning my personal experience with the needs of the company and role.

Also, I was the president of the Consulting Club and I ran weekly sessions on Sunday. So, it helped me that I was teaching people how to do it while also practicing case studies.

So, probably over the year I’ve done close to 100 cases. It’s not a large number, really. I had friends two-year programme MBA programmes, and in my opinion, anywhere between 40 to 60 cases is a recommended number to really understand the process. Some people are different. Some people don’t need a lot of cases, but in my case, I enjoy the process.

What advice would you have for other seeking a consulting career?

First of all, start your job search early!  Make a list of the companies you’re interested in and start reaching out to people there before you start the programme.

Secondly, be persistent. Don’t be unsettled by rejections, but learn from them. I would also advise to be very targeted in your job search. List those companies you really want to apply for and focus on those, rather than a scatter-gun approach.

And lastly, work on developing a support network, whether it’s the careers team, friends who have gone through the interview process, alumni. I tapped into all three and I think that really helped me. I was well prepared, but having classmates around who were available almost anytime to practice my cases with really took me up a level.

Energy

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Carlos Morales Rozo

BSc Management Engineering, National University of Colombia, Colombia

Nationality: Colombian/Mexican
Pre-MBA role: Head of Business Development, Latin America; Bonatti SpA, Mexico
Current role: Regional Director, New Markets; EVBox B.V, Amsterdam, Netherlands

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

The ability to adapt the MBA programme to my own needs, by focusing on developing the tools I needed to move into a new role in clean energy in Europe.

What was a memorable moment for you?

Delivering the annual energy event of the Cambridge University Energy Network (CUEN), together with my Energy Special Interest Group (SIG) colleagues. Also taking the time to pitch a new business idea at international competitions in the United States and doing the Japan MBA Trek was an unforgettable experience.

How would you describe your classmates?

Brilliant, collaborative, self-aware, leaders in their own field. Their perspective and advice helped me shape my MBA experience in the right direction

What aspect of the MBA learning and experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The confidence and self awareness that I obtained from the MBA are priceless. In terms of subjects, negotiation classes and the team work experiences, such as the Cambridge Venture Project, the Global Consulting Project; and also the Summer Project, I find most useful in my professional life now.

Did you switch any of the following after your MBA, and if so what factors enabled you to do that?

Yes, I switched industry sector. It was the deep dive into learning about renewable energy and clean technologies during the Energy Concentration that supported my transition.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

Tremendously: one year of the highest value to develop knowledge, connections and professional tools that help me succeed in my job today.

What would you say to others working at the same company you did before your MBA – would you recommend the Cambridge MBA to them, and if so, why?

Investing in you is the safest investment you can make and the Cambridge programme gives you the opportunity to steer your career in the direction you want, within an academic environment of the highest standards and collaborating with some of the most brilliant minds in the world while you build your next step in life.

rezvan ahmed.

Rezvan Ahmed

PEng, Ontario, Canada; Bachelor of Applied Science Electrical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada

Nationality: Canadian /Kenyan
Pre-MBA role: Engineering and Technical Project Manager, Arup
Current role: Senior Project Development Manager, CrossBoundary Energy, Kenya

You were heavily involved in Cambridge Africa Business Network while at Cambridge Judge – tell us about that.

Together with two of my MBA classmates, I led the planning committee for the 2019 Business in Africa Conference at Cambridge Judge. It was a  challenging experience, but a rewarding one. I got to put into practice things I learnt in the classroom, and was pushed to move out of my comfort zone in helping to solve the numerous challenges that planning a conference brings with it. I got to meet people I would have otherwise never met, and work closely with my classmates and staff at Cambridge Judge. Overall, it was a valuable experience (and the conference was a success!).

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class?

It was a diverse group of people in all aspects – background, education, viewpoints, career objectives.  The diversity of my classmates was one of the most valuable things about the MBA – I learned from their perspectives and opened my mind up to new ways of approaching things.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The MBA gave me the tools to approach problems with a critical eye and to ask the right questions. – It also gave me an appreciation of diverse ways of looking at things and approaching situations, and made me more empathetic to the views of others

Did you switch any of the following after your MBA?

I switched industry sector. The wide perspectives and networking opportunities that the MBA opened up for me made this possible. The MBA made me more confident in evaluating career options and more open minded to possibilities I may not have thought about before.

franciso dias pereira.

Francisco Pereira

MSc Civil Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal

Nationality: Portuguese
Pre-MBA role: Senior Structural Engineer, Robert Bird Group
Current role: Business Strategy Manager, Accenture, Portugal

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

I found the corporate finance, marketing, organisational behaviour, and management praxis courses most useful – I use these and most of the learnings from the classes on a daily basis and those add much value to my work to the clients. In multidisciplinary teams and even amongst MBAs, the knowledge acquired at Cambridge Judge is very valuable. The programme includes lectures, case studies, projects, and exams test our theoretical knowledge. Few people understand the ‘Modigliani Miller’ theorem and know how to conduct a negotiation at the same time. That versatility is a powerful tool.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA – ie interaction with college life and societies, experience with SIGs)

Cambridge has the advantage of being a business school within a university. The events and opportunities for us were not only business-centric – we had many PhD students from the technology and science sectors pitching their innovation, for example. Our colleagues at the colleges study many different fields and that is an opportunity to expand the range of knowledge.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class? What value did they bring to your MBA?

The cohort of Cambridge is possibly the most diverse in the top MBAs. I am not only talking about gender or the color of the skin. Diversity in Cambridge goes far beyond that. We contact people with diverse professional and personal stories – with different points of view of the same world. That diversity is one of the biggest values of the cohort: the openness it brings and the new ideas that can be generated in such context.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

It is the holistic view that I see as the most useful. Because I am a consultant, I need to have a broad range of skills and knowledge.

Did you change your career after your MBA?

I made the ‘triple jump’ – switched role, sector and location.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

I was recruited on campus by McKinsey & Company. That is a pretty good signal of the reputation of this MBA. This MBA equips students to excel in professional life. Cambridge has also a strong brand name and a very large network, especially when considered not only the MBA classes but the whole University.

Entrepreneurship

andreas kitzing.

Andreas Kitzing

BSc. Business Administration, University of Hamburg, Germany; BSc. Politics, International Relations, London School of Economics

Nationality: German
Pre-MBA role: Senior Consultant, nordforse 
Current role: Founder & CEO, Sponsoo, Germany

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you? Ie what were your favourite courses, what impact did they have on you etc?

Faculty members were extremely passionate about their subjects – even in seemingly “dry” subjects like statistics. They were able to infuse this passion into the class discussion in a way that really made me re-evaluate my positions on certain topics, and simultaneously ensured that I still remember most of the information in the curriculum.

I especially appreciated that many courses also included business ethics, sometimes in a very obvious way, sometimes more subtle. I am strongly convinced that it is the duty of top tier universities to educate ethically responsible leaders; and CJBS definitely lived up to that expectation.

It’s hard to single out a specific learning experience, but if forced to, I’d say that my favourite experiences were Mark de Rond’s negotiation class, and Stefan Scholtes’ “race car” case study (plus the follow up lessons on that case study).

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA.

The Cambridge experience was amazing. I feel so blessed that I was able to be part of an institution with such a rich heritage as the University of Cambridge. The historical colleges (in my case Pembroke), the  peers in college who are spearheading the development of science, the May Balls, student life, pub culture, the banana & toffee muffins from CJBS’s cafeteria – everything was so awesome that you actually had to make an effort to cram all these awesome experiences into your schedule.

During my time in Cambridge, I also joined Pembroke College Boat Club. I have never rowed before, but I can full-heartedly recommend to all CJBS students to take up rowing. The Cambridge experience is not 100% complete if you miss out on that! I also still follow the Boat Race.

I really enjoyed the extracurricular activities organised by my classmates: We regularly played football and had a great time during MBAT; we brainstormed business ideas in the Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group; we successfully participated in a business competition against other business schools (including a visit to the final in New York); cycled to Oxford for a charity; and I organised a class visit to Wembley stadium to see Germany beat England 1-0…

The GCP also stood out: We worked for a social venture capital company, did some customer research in New York (directly after the business school competition), and spent several weeks in Nicaragua to optimise the business of two portfolio companies.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class? What value did they bring to your MBA?

The cohort of people is the make-or-break factor for a good MBA programme. You learn from the broad range of experience of your peers, and later profit from the valuable network that you build.

The diversity of characters, experiences, and views on life of our class was excellent and massively enriched the experience. I’m still in contact with many of my classmates, attended weddings all over the world, and one of my peers even invested in my startup (and still serves as an advisor).

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

I started my own company, Sponsoo, during the MBA’s summer project. Sponsoo is a digital marketplace for sport sponsorship, and connects brands from all over the world with interesting athletes, teams, and sports events.

Given that I still work as the company’s CEO, it’s hard to miss the impact that the programme has on my life. The skills, knowledge, and the network I gained during the MBA massively contributed to the success of Sponsoo.

I profited immensely from the hard skills that I learned about startup finance, and the negotiation skills from the negotiation class. We now employ 15 team members, operate on all continents and raised several million in funding. I doubt that we’d have reached this stage without the things I learned in Cambridge.

Tell us about your experience launching a business.

The MBA was the ideal launchpad to start a company. I was able to work on the business idea for more than half a year, with the help of my classmates, the Entrepreneurship SIG and the curriculum’s Entrepreneurship Concentration. The regular pitch sessions were a useful practice to fine tune the idea and the way we present it.

It’s extremely difficult to build a successful company; there are cliffs that kill your startup at nearly every corner. Without the skills, knowledge and network that I gained during the MBA, it’s not unlikely that one of these obstacles would have proven fatal for our business.

weijia li.

Weijia Li

Bachelors Degree, Finance and International Business, NYU Stern School of Business, USA

Nationality: American
Pre-MBA role: Senior Consultant, Capco
Current role: COO, Transformative

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you? 

I appreciated the opportunity to concentrate on Energy & Environment. I enjoyed entrepreneurial courses such as “Entrepreneurship: How to Start a Technology Company” with the co-founder of Raspberry Pi (who later became a mentor). I loved the Cambridge Venture Project and Global Consulting Project, where I learned how to work well in a diverse team. I enjoyed learning other useful “soft” skills in courses such as Negotiation. 

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA

I loved being a part of Darwin College. I loved being able to take part in diverse societies and clubs not just within Cambridge Judge, but in the wider University as well. I packed my schedule and even sat in on other courses within the University. I loved that whatever you’re interested in, there is something for you and always something going on! 

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life? 

Working with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Other aspects that stand out are learning skills such as team building, entrepreneurship, and operations management. 

Did the MBA change your career?

Yes, I used the MBA to change role, sector and location (initially).

How did that happen?

I was interested in tech startups, so during the MBA, I joined societies and classes that focused on clean-tech, startups, and entrepreneurship. During the summer term, I interned at a tech startup, which led to a job, which led to my career change. 

Would you recommend the MBA to others?

The Cambridge MBA year is like no other. Not only will you receive broad business education, but you will also experience all that Cambridge has to offer. You’ll have the best year of your life. If you’re interested in broadening your experience or in a career reset, especially if it’s in tech or startups/entrepreneurship, then this is for you! 

brian nolan.

Brian Nolan

BComm Banking and Finance, University College Dublin, Ireland

Nationality: Irish
Pre-MBA role: Director, Liquidity Management, Regional Treasury Americas, UBS
Current role: Co-founder, Finteum, UK

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you? Ie what were your favourite courses, what impact did they have on you etc?

I put a lot of effort into the academic side of the Cambridge MBA, and felt I gained a lot in return. Some courses have stayed with me. I apply the paradigms in running my company, Finteum, such as from the Strategy cpurse with Lionel Paolella and the Management Praxis courses. Some courses were practical and I gained knowledge that I was able to put into use immediately when I started Finteum, like Design Thinking with Simon Stockley, New Venture Finance with Bob Wardrop, and Managing Big Data Analysis with David Stillwell.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class? What value did they bring to your MBA?

Everyone probably thinks their cohort is the best cohort ever. I’m no exception! The class of 2017/18 is an admirable group of people. Still now, I’m so impressed by what they are achieving post-MBA and it’s a great group to be connected with.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

It’s difficult to pick out one aspect and say it is the most useful now. I prefer to think of the Cambridge MBA holistically. The MBA gave me relationships, connections, knowledge and life experience. All of those are interconnected. They arrived simultaneously during the programme and they are all useful now.

Tell us about your post-MBA career journey.

I was lucky to switch job function, industry, and country. I switched from working in treasury in a large bank in New York to starting a software company, Finteum, in London in 2018. Finteum sells software to bank treasury teams. The factors that enabled me to make the switch were closely related to the MBA. The people that I met during the MBA, both in the programme and outside, greatly supported the transition. Many of those people still support Finteum. The skills and knowledge I gained during the MBA have also played a big role. Over the years since the MBA I have been continuously working on combining these factors gained in Cambridge with my previous career experience.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

If I hadn’t met the people that I did during the Cambridge MBA, then I believe I wouldn’t have been able to get Finteum off the ground as a company. It is as simple as that. I wouldn’t have been introduced to our brilliant technical co-founder Zbi, and we wouldn’t have met our partners and investors. I believe we wouldn’t be where we are today, working cohesively as a growing team of nine people.

Kubo tadashi

Tadashi Kubo

Portuguese and Spanish, Universidade Federal do Parana, Brazil; BA International Economics, Keio University, Japan

Nationality: Japanese
Pre-MBA role: Finance Manager, Sojitz Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
Current role: Co-founder & CEO, AC Biode, Luxembourg

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

I really liked Management Praxis, in the first term in particular, that showed us the importance of working in teams and the value of diversity across teams.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA.

The stand out elements for me were the interaction with diverse friends across the MBA cohort and the wider Cambridge Judge community, the various colleges and the wider University of Cambridge networks, including the Special Interest Groups or SIGs, the sport, and so many more elements.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class? What value did they bring to your MBA?

Our MBA cohort became my best friends and not only are they still very much my good friends but I can see that my classmates will be friends throughout my life and career, going forward.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The networking and the diverse experience of our MBA cohort cannot be rivalled. We can ask anything at anytime in the class Whats App groups and we always get a reply of help and we always take the time to introduce each other or signpost each other.

Did you switch any of the following after your MBA?

After my MBA year I switched my job function from finance to startup founder and full time entrepreneur.

If you did make a switch, what factors enabled you to do that?

I actually switched all three: job function (from manager to Co-Founder & CEO), industry sector (from finance to energy), and country (Japan to Luxembourg).

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

I hesitated to take a risk to start my company but my Cambridge MBA cohort pushed me to the journey. I realised at the time that it was better to take that risk early in my career and now and so I did. Even if it fails, I got the confidence through the MBA year and the people that I met in Cambridge, that I could take the risk and survive anyway.

What would you say to others working at the same company you did before your MBA – would you recommend the Cambridge MBA to them, and if so, why?

I would totally recommend the Cambridge MBA to those working in my previous company. Overall, I can recommend the MBA for the outcomes I mentioned before, including lots of practical experience and diverse perspectives, as well as the networking opportunities, and overall the lifelong Cambridge communities that develop and grow as a result.

Finance

akah oremeyi.

Oremeyi Adeola Akah

B.Eng, Electrical Electronics, University of Benin, Nigeria

Nationality: Nigerian
Pre-MBA role: Divisional Head, TransPRO, Interswitch Group, Nigeria
Current role: Chief Customer Success Officer, Interswitch Group, Lagos, Nigeria

Tell us about your journey to business school.

Right after graduating as an engineer in Nigeria, I joined a start-up team of six others to build, what today, has become the largest indigenous electronic payment and switching company in Africa. After seven years, in spite of the seeming success of my career and job satisfaction, there was a nagging need to extend the scope of what I considered a geographically and industry limited experience. I had a deep desire to understand business strategy from an international perspective with a view to applying that knowledge in Africa.

What made you choose Cambridge?

I chose the Cambridge MBA programme for its long-established reputation and multicultural focus. Without controversy, the Cambridge brand is likely the most recognised brand in education. I was looking for a business education with a practical and collaborative approach as well as a high-quality credential which I could leverage in my desire to contribute to building Sub-Saharan Africa. The Cambridge MBA was just that… and more.

What was the highlight of your MBA year?

A major highlight of my MBA experience was being part of the winning team in the 2011 Hult Global Case Challenge. We emerged the winners out of over 1000 schools, including other top business schools. We were then sponsored to visit the finals in New York, where we met President Clinton in person. This team-win clearly emphasised the wealth and diversity of the ethnic and industry experience of my classmates and on a more personal level, aided my appreciation of diverse ethnic, political and religious perspectives.

The opportunity to work with global companies on live projects is a rare and unique feature of the Cambridge MBA. One of our project clients was a leading investment company in the Middle East and North Africa. We worked with the client to define a market entry strategy into Sub-Saharan Africa. That gave me the exposure to international business strategy that I was yearning for. This new experience in business strategy was further deepened by the rich course offered on the MBA programme, by a renowned authority in Strategy as well as the International Business Concentration.

Finally, the MBA provided me with the opportunity of an internship with MasterCard Advisors. During my internship, I was able to apply the knowledge gained in classes, with my career experience in payments and work on major strategy analysis projects for some global banks.

Beyond the academic wealth of the programme, the Cambridge MBA offered so much more. I had the privileged opportunity to learn from the personal experiences of some world leaders – in the political and business sphere – during the Cambridge Leadership Series. Having such discussions over dinner is a rare opportunity that you only get at Cambridge.

And how did the MBA impact you professionally?

The Cambridge MBA has helped me become a more rounded and internationally vested individual, providing me with the tools required to lead in my field. The practical experience gained from the live projects and interactions with classmates daily, has been invaluable in my current role.

Today, I am back to my previous employer in Nigerian and currently working on business expansion projects into other regions in Africa.

Yvonne Appiah

Yvonne Ofosu-Appiah

BComm Accounting & Finance, University of Cape Coast, Ghana

Nationality: Ghanaian
Pre-MBA role: VP, Fortiz Private Equity, Accra, Ghana
Current role: Chief Investment Officer, Wangara Green Ventures, Ghana

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you? Ie what were your favourite courses, what impact did they have on you etc?

My Global Consulting Project (GCP) experience was the climax of the MBA journey, a discovery of my passion and an introduction to my post MBA career. Together with four other like-minded MBAs, we took a project with ACTIS, a leading responsible multi-asset investor in growth markets across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA.

The Cambridge MBA built on my confidence and other soft skills, while the Global Consulting Project was helpful in directing me to my post MBA career. In addition, the coaching received from the career coaches and the connections made with corporate entities working within impact investments was also helpful.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

Today, my passion and drive has paid off. I work with an Impact fund in Ghana, and I support early and growing businesses with patient capital for their growth, while delivering financial return and environmental and social impact at the same time.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

Prior to the MBA I had worked in financial services including private equity. While I wanted to continue to work as a private equity or venture capital fund manager, I knew I wanted more than just the conventional investment, I wanted to deliver impact beyond the return. The GCP deepened my interest and confirmed that impact and return were possible with patient capital.

tania balsa.

Tania Villares Balsa

Economics & Business Administration, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Nationality: Spanish
Pre-MBA role: Senior Investment Associate, Unirisco Galicia
Current role: Investment Manager, Xesgalacia, Spain

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

The most valuable academic learning experience was sharing perspectives with my classmates. We were a group of people from different backgrounds and from different countries. We used to explore cases and topics from different perspectives. Suddenly, a case became much more relevant and had many more nuances. Teachers and classmates made the learning experience much more powerful. They taught me, not only to think outside the box, but also to think about the box.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA.

Cambridge is a unique ecosystem. For people like me interested in entrepreneurship, Cambridge is the place to be. There are many entrepreneurship societies, activities, workshops, lectures, etc. The city is full of successful entrepreneurs that are willing to share their experiences and mentor new entrepreneurs. Cambridge is a very welcoming place where I could explore all my interests in sports, arts, etc. Through the college I met very interesting people studying other degrees and courses that helped me see a different perspective of life.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class? What value did they bring to your MBA?

My classmates were the most valuable part of the MBA experience. They enriched the discussions, they helped me when I encountered difficulties and they were fun to be around. My classmates were collaborative and interesting.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The most useful experience of the MBA for me were the practical projects – both the Cambridge Venture Project and the Global Consulting Project, together with the exposure that we had to other Cambridge programs and societies. They provide a unique opportunity to learn different things, to explore new career possibilities that would not be possible in the real world. There are many moments now in my professional life when I still mention the projects that I did during my MBA as relevant experience to what I am doing.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

The location of the Business School in Cambridge helped me get exposure to the ecosystem and find a job afterwards.

The MBA has made my career successful. I started to work for the best company in my field straight out of the MBA thanks to the experience that I gained during the MBA.

raul lopez petisco.

Raúl López Petisco

Bachelor, Business Management & Law, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain

Nationality: Spanish
Pre-MBA role: Associate (legal), KPMG Madrid, Spain
Current role: M&A Vice President, Lincoln International, Madrid, Spain

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

All courses were high level, but I remember particularly three of them: Management Praxis helped me to understand what it is really like to work in multicultural and international environments, I enjoyed very much Philip Stiles’ Organisational Behaviour course, and above all, I learnt a really good strategy framework from Allegre Hadida.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA.

Of course, I wouldn’t spend a year in Cambridge without giving a try to rowing with my college. Also, being part of the Cambridge Business School Club as Sports Chair, being in charge of organising sports events with the Oxford MBAs and our class attendance at MBAT.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The Global Consulting Project helped me to understand the insights of Corporate VC and helped me to develop my network in this field. I’m sure this still will be useful at some point in the future.

Did you change career path after the MBA?

I changed to a different sector. The Finance Concentration was particularly helpful to this move. Also the network – I now have a friend in so many countries.

zhou nana.

Nana Mohan Zhou

Bachelor of Commerce & Economics, University of Toronto, Canada

Nationality: Canadian
Pre-MBA role: Manager, PwC Canada
Current role: Private Equity Associate, Partners Group, London, UK

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

My favourite courses included strategy, management praxis, macroeconomics, and private equity. These classes and their lecturers challenged my thinking and expanded my skills tool kit.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA.

The Cambridge experience was all consuming and incredible in so many ways because of an abundance of extracurricular activities. A typical day could start with rowing on the River Cam followed by classes at Judge, then Special Interest Groups or career events, college formal dinners, and then drinks at one of the many college bars.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class? What value did they bring to your MBA?

The people were the best part of the MBA. They brought incredible experience, inspirational stories and ideas, and I believe everyone made lifelong friendships.

What aspect of the MBA learning and experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The network that I have from the MBA is the most useful aspect of the MBA. I now have a large group of talented and successful people that I can phone for advice, ideas, and inspiration when needed. Cambridge brought together many extraordinary people and the MBA experience helped turn many of them into dear friends.

Did the MBA open up new career paths for you?

Yes, I switched role, sector and location after the MBA. The Cambridge brand helped me get interviews with companies that I wanted to work for and the courses/classmates helped me prepare and succeed at interview.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

It has helped greatly for my personal brand and improved my ability to navigate learning curves quickly.

Wee lim sim.

Wee Lee Sim

BA Economics, Messiah University, USA

Nationality: Malaysian
Pre-MBA role: Director, Getaways, Groupon, Malaysia
Current role: Director, Financial Planning & Analysis at CAA-GBG Global Brand Management Group, London, UK

What stood out for you in the academics?

One of the biggest lessons I learned during the MBA was in my management practice class. The thing I hear over and over in my head is “my world is not your world” – different people approach a problem or situation differently, whether it’s because they work in a different function or they come from a different culture. That really made me stop and think every time I’m in a meeting with different people from, say, marketing or from our America or China office, it’s to, first of all, understand where each person comes from from a cultural and personality perspective and try to address their needs in a way that is more collaborative.

Tell us about your pre-MBA career

Just before the MBA, I worked at Groupon and I was the Director of sales for one of the verticals there. In that role, I was managing a team of five and we were tasked with going out and meeting with hotels, travel agencies and Airlines to negotiate packages that we would then promote on the Groupon website.

Prior to that role, I was in investment banking and corporate finance in Malaysia. I moved to Groupon because I had been in a very corporate role, and I wanted to see what it would be like to work in a startup in the tech sector.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

I was interested in using the MBA to pivot into the retail and consumer goods sector. When I arrived in Cambridge, I had my finance, sales and business development experience, but I wanted to learn more about other parts of being a complete business person, such as marketing and operations.

I went to recruitment sessions for these types of companies. One of my classmates, who used to work for Li & Fung, told me about a program they were running called the Program for Management Development. This was a good program for me because, coming from a banking background, I didn’t know anything about how things were sourced, made, and sold.

How has your career progressed since the MBA?

For a year after you join the program, you are rotated to different divisions within the Li & Fung Group, and ultimately you then choose a placement within one of the different companies that the Group owns.

Initially I started with the division called Global Brands Group.

What was the most useful lesson you learned from your MBA experience?

Many MBAs after graduation will be working in cross functional roles and you have to empathise and communicate with people very different from yourself. Do that well and you will be successful.

Ng chong kean.

Kean Ng

LLB, University of London, UK; BVC, Nottingham Law School, UK; MPhil Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, UK

Nationality: Malaysian
Pre-MBA role: Private Equity, STI Financial Group, Hong Kong
Current role: Investment Specialist, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Hong Kong

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

My favourite course was New Venture Finance by Robert Wardrop. Even though I came to the MBA with some venture capital experience under my belt, I was surprised that there were still elements of the course that were new to me!

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA

As the co-chair of PE/VC Special Interest Group (SIG), I was able to engage professionals across the broad spectrum of experts and investment professionals, including the CIO of IFC (part of World Bank Group) and ex-MD of Khazanah Nasional (SWF of Malaysia). The PE/VC SIG also collaborated with the Cambridge University PE/VC society to put together a series of speakers’ events which brought forth a practitioner’s perspective to the students interested in the world of PE/VC or investments more generally.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class? What value did they bring to your MBA?

The cohort is very diverse both in terms of nationality and career/academic background. The collision of thought process, styles and experience has created a dynamic and vibrant environment, challenging me to confront my weaknesses and improve upon other soft skills, such as negotiation, public-speaking and teamwork.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

My favourite experience would be the Global Consulting Project and the Social Innovation Concentration. This allowed me to work with and gain invaluable experience with top-tier impact investment firms, such as Bridges Fund Management. These experiences were critical to help me land a job months before the course finished.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

I targeted a move into impact investing/development finance when applying for Asian Development Bank, and achieved just that post-MBA.

What would you say to others considering an MBA?

I had a strong leaning towards business schools within a broader university when choosing to do my MBA, and Cambridge really stood out. While Judge undoubtedly has been an amazing launchpad for great careers and entrepreneurship, the university also presents plethora of opportunities to network and ideate cross-disciplinarily.

Healthcare/biotech

Bryant nic.

Nic Bryant

AB Human Development and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, Boston, USA

Nationality: American
Pre-MBA role: Commercial Operations, Congenica
Current role: Senior Product Manager, Arc Bio, USA

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

Cambridge offered an excellent diversity of electives and concentrations. For example, I loved the Energy & Environment  Concentration and courses. These are the business challenges of this and the next generation, so the opportunity to think through and debate case studies and strategies for the energy transition offered a unique opportunity.

The access to practitioners who speak from the experience was another favourite part of any course. For example, in New Venture Finance, you really feel like your learning practical advice from someone who’s doing this work every day (literally – Bob Wardrop had to join a board meeting immediately after we finished final presentations!). I think my favourite course overall was Philosophy of Business because it gave us the opportunity to put the role of business in its broader societal and intellectual framework. It was an especially good example of learning from peers and how backgrounds and beliefs influence how we approach work and our goals for business. Plus, Jochen Runde and Micheal Pollitt made a dynamic duo!

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA

The Cambridge experience was life-changing. The intensely vibrant, collaborative, and open intellectual environment of Cambridge enabled me to learn from a variety of new ideas from across disciplines – from the future of medicine to talks on climate change, data science to existential threats. Often those conversations were accompanied by the clinking of utensils over a formal dinner, the thumping of punting poles on the River Cam, or the toasting of pints in quintessentially Cambridge fashion.

Everyone should try their skills at novice rowing; even if you’re out of shape and have never used a rowing machine, the College crews are welcoming and there’s nothing quite like skimming along the water at sunrise as the fog burns off.

There’s really altogether too much to cover – I was the Social co-Chair for my class so obviously the May Balls (CJBS + Colleges) were completely unlike anything that I’d experienced anywhere else.

Working on the Healthcare Special Interest Group motivated me to go beyond Cambridge Judge and connect with Cambridge’s world-class biotech cluster, which got me the job that I have today! Oh, and definitely do Venture Creation weekend – you never know if you’ll meet a cofounder, and either way, it’s an exciting 48 hours!

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class? What value did they bring to your MBA?

International. Vibrant. Good-humored. Diverse. I came from a company where everyone had fairly similar backgrounds and I didn’t really know much about careers beyond the tech industry. My cohort had folks from every background, every industry, every job, over 50 countries. This was ideal for the MBA because I was able to learn about the astounding diversity of work that folks had done around the world.

For example, on my CVP I was teamed up with folks from digital consulting, health tech, finance, and energy. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a team with such different background and, yet, through collaboration, dedication, and humility we delivered a high-quality project.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The MBA gives you a professional toolkit which I find myself drawing from, almost without even thinking about it. Is our company raising funding? I know how to discuss pre-and post-money valuations and ask about option pools. Are we looking to design a new process? Apply Lean Six Sigma thinking. What about managing change in the organisation? Respect the skills of your team, celebrate small wins, and help colleagues own their own change. Doing market research? Remember NIHITO (Nothing Importance Happens in the Office) and get out there listening to the folks that you want to serve!

The only other thing I’d add is that with learning this generalist MBA tool kit, I also learned to appreciate how much that I don’t know and how much experience I don’t have. I’ve learned how to be humble, listen, and support others, without sacrificing advocating for my professional growth and navigating my industry.

Did the MBA open up a new career path?

I did the double-and-a-half jump: switched job function, industry, and sort of country (I work for a UK-based on the global team, based in the USA). The project-based work on the MBA through the CVP, GCP, Concentrations, and Internship gave me an opportunity to try out new skills.

I absolutely wouldn’t be whether I am today without the Cambridge MBA. I learned about the state of my target sector at a talk in October. I met an alumnus from the Michaelmas Term alumni panel who was working in an adjacent industry to my target sector. We got coffee, she introduced me to a colleague, who in turn introduced me to a company in Cambridge in my target sector that could benefit from someone with a commercial skillset and science background. The low-risk internship made me an easy “yes” for the startup, giving both me and the company a chance to learn about each other. Fast forward 20 months, and I’m leading the global function for a startup in my the exact sector that was my goal when I came to Cambridge!

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

It still feels like an expansive and somewhat-daunting journey, but I now feel like I’m firmly at the rudder. I know that I have a global support network, ready with support and advice at any career step or a smile and a pint in dozens of countries. My perspective on the nature of work and the diversity of professional experiences has been immeasurably broadened and deepened. I feel grateful for the opportunities that the MBA opened up and determined to help others grow as well.

What would you say to others working at the same company you did before your MBA – would you recommend the Cambridge MBA to them, and if so, why?

I know that you’ve learned a lot over the past few years and you may feel frustrated by an inability to advance or contribute in a way that you feel you should. You may feel like you have a good grasp of what options are available to you, but you may also feel siloed by job or sector. An MBA can be an excellent option for a refuel, rebuild, and relaunch. Trust me, you don’t know what you don’t know and it’s hard to imagine yourself doing something altogether new and fulfilling until you’re doing it.

The Cambridge MBA can be that opportunity. It’s intense – the one-year program fits as many projects and courses as many two-year MBAs – but it’s also unique. If you want to make lifelong relationships with brilliant, dedicated professionals from around the world, try your hand at entrepreneurship, seek solutions to the most important challenges facing society, and have countless laughs over pints during vibrant conversations, then the Cambridge MBA is for you.

Li jacques.

Jacques Li

Doctor of Medicine, Specialisation in Public health, Paris Est University, France; Master of Public Health, Paris Sud University, France

Nationality: French
Pre-MBA role: Medical Resident, University Hospitals of Paris, France
Current role: Scientific and Medical Director, Seventure Partners, Paris, France

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

For me, what really made the experience unforgettable was the interaction between the students and the faculty. My favourite courses were Strategy and Negotiation. Both courses were really insightful and fun.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA

One of the highlights of my MBA was the annual Oxbridge debate. A couple of us went to ‘the other place’ and debated against their team in their Union debating hall. It was a great opportunity to network.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

I think that the MBA gave me the confidence and the humility to succeed in my professional life.

What did the MBA do for your career?

Being exposed to different industries during the MBA through classes, extracurricular activities and networking widened my horizon. 

Paradoxically, I think I realised that it was ok to be uncertain about what I wanted or how to get to where I wanted. Careers don’t progress in a straight line. Failures and successes are part of the journey.

Industry

Monisicha mint pongrujikorn.

Monisicha (Mint) Pongrujikorn

LPC, Law, The College of Law, Singapore; LLB. Law, University of Bristol, UK

Nationality: Thai
Pre-MBA role: Associate Solicitor, Allen & Overy, Thailand
Current role: Counsel, Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Thailand

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

The MBA delivered top class academic content, from stellar faculty with impressive achievements. The classes were academically rigorous (I wrote more than 55,000 words worth of assignments!), as any University of Cambridge degree should be. I enjoyed both Management Praxis I and II very much. The most useful courses to me were Management Praxis, Organisational Behavior, Entrepreneurshp and Operations Management.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience.

I spread myself extremely thin with the number of SIGs I became a part of and learning to juggle was a valuable skill I learned on this course. Taking part in MBAT was also a great bonding opportunity and the quest to experience as many college formals as possible helped me meet more classmates and get to know them. The highlight must have been our board-games group though, as we got involved in such complex high-strategy board games with a group of top negotiators that we ended up playing a game that ran for 12 hours (18:00-16:00) and it was an experience I will never forget.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class?

They made the year. Everyone had so much to offer, everyone was unique but in many ways there’s an overlap in our core values and that made us CJBS students. There was a healthy dose of diversity, it wasn’t all rosy and clashes have been known to happen but that is life and overall it really changed me, my mindset, and broadened my perspective in ways I could never have imagined.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The life optimisation skills that you practice and pick up: networking, living the “you only MBA once” lifestyle for the year and having to defy all limits of time-management possibilities to align everything you want to do in the limited time that you have.

Did you switch any elements of your career after your MBA?

I switched industry sector.

If you did make a switch, what factors enabled you to do that?

I went from being a private practice lawyer in a banking/project finance of power and infrastructure projects to an in-house lawyer in a related industry. The understanding of business concerns from the academic learning and all the case practices I did really helped me hit the ground running when supporting a business.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

It allow me to grow the capabilities of myself and others more effectively and build relationships in a very large multinational company across geographic boundaries. I got me much closer to the organisational leadership much faster, and was able to remain resilient through massive organizational change initiatives and tough times. The MBA helped me stay ahead of the organisation when it came to digital transformation initiatives, or transformational leadership initiatives and metrics, allowing me to stay ahead. I’ve been constantly redefining my job description throughout my post-MBA career.

What would you say to others working at the same company you did before your MBA – would you recommend the Cambridge MBA to them, and if so, why?

Definitely! I’ve been recommending the Cambridge MBA (and MBAs generally) to all young lawyers who’ve come across my path for all the reasons set out above. It’s a business course but it is valuable life skills, you build a highly capable and supportive network that gives you the confidence and peace of mind to tackle anything in life.

Arreola tonalli.

Tonalli Arreola

BSc. International Logistics Management & Engineering, Jacobs University Breman, Germany

Nationality: German/Mexican
Pre-MBA role: Business Designer, Polymath Ventures
Current role: Expansion and Rider Operations, Flink, Germany

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

I really enjoyed the Digital Transformation Concentration. Courses were eye-opening and gave a lot of intellectual stimulation. In particular, I enjoyed the Data Analytics course, where we also discussed and debated about the impact of Cambridge Analytica.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience.

For me the Entrepreneurship SIG was extremely helpful to get a better feeling of the entrepreneurial eco-system in Cambridge. We organised networking and pitching events and had students coming from all sorts of schools. One of the companies pitching at our events went on to become YC Fellows.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The combination of a generalist curriculum – as a P&L owner I have touch-points with all aspects of a business and the foundation of the Cambridge MBA allows me to quickly understand what’s going on on each line item of the P&L.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

The MBA and Cambridge brand strength was my entry ticket to Lime, my initial post-MBA role. While doing my work, the MBA experience gave me the tools to quickly advance within the organisation.

Peters jens.

Jens Peters

BSc. Business Studies, Bayes Business School, UK

Nationality: Swedish
Pre-MBA role: Account Executive/Consultant, Willis Towers Watson, London, UK
Current role: Associate Director, Willis Towers Watson, Canada

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you? Ie what were your favourite courses, what impact did they have on you etc?

The Negotiations class has helped me in my job since the MBA. In fact, I have taken a lead role on negotiating with large multinationals. The Philosophy of Business has widened my perspectives and maturity. Financial Statement Analysis gave me an introduction to the skills needed to successfully help clients manage balance sheet volatility. Corporate Governance has given insights needed to successfully navigate the ESG drive my organisation is undertaking.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA.

Belonging to Emmanuel College was great and I remember playing squash with friends from the MBA. The running club was also a great way to connect with people from the cohort – we pushed each other during the year to balance learning and in-class room experiences with physical activity.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class?

Amazing. The cohort was the best thing about the MBA. The diversity was great, and I have learnt many important life lessons from others in the cohort sharing their views. Having healthy debates with different lines of thinking involved is a great way to learn. Cambridge facilitated this.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

Thinking from the point of view of others. This has allowed me to navigate both my organisation and clients. With these insights I can now take on more leadership responsibility.

Did the MBA enable a change in career direction?

I made a switch both in job function and country. The job function, moving into business development, was enabled by the MBA. The new role involved directly speaking to c-suite stakeholders, something the modules of the MBA helped me prepare for.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

The MBA has provided me with a base from where I can comfortably speak my mind in a professional setting, at the same time as I balance this with humility and an understanding for people having different points of view.

Media/arts/entertainment

Karl schwonik.

Karl Schwonik

Master of Music, University of Toronto, Canada; Haskayne School of Business, Rozsa Arts Management Program, Canada.

Nationality: Canadian
Pre-MBA role: Performing artist, music, recording artist
Current role: Recording artist and performer; PhD Student, University of Calgary; Non-executive Director, Canada Council for the Arts; Non-executive Director, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards and Foundation 

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you? Ie what were your favourite courses, what impact did they have on you etc?

The professors teaching on the MBA are second to none. Each class had excellent materials (pre-reading, in-class presentation and follow-ups), engaging conversation and practical activities. Academic quality and rigour was the main reason I chose Cambridge and the faculty and courses at Cambridge Judge are exceptional.

Philip Stiles led exceedingly engaging and entertaining courses on organisational behaviour. Philip’s work with organisational culture and boards of directors added immensely to the course.

Jochen Runde taught economics in the second half of the year and led us down a journey into the nuances of the market, why decisions are made and what we as future managers need to think about.

Lastly, Mark de Rond gave exciting and impressive lectures stemming from his leading work as an ethnographer. Understanding people, describing what and why they behave is central to his teaching and pertinent to our lives as managers. Having this qualitative approach was beneficial and added to the depth of teaching at Judge. 

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience.

Cambridge is a beautiful place and the opportunity to study at the university is and was a highlight of my 15 year academic journey. From college living to the cycling culture, to the (mostly) warm weather, the city is alive with energy for learning, passion for innovation and has an aspirational vibe that can’t be replicated. 

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class?

Trying to quantify the value of our cohort is an impossible task. The cohort in our class was made up of thoughtful, successful, aspirational leaders who had, and have since, continued to change the world through business and otherwise. Rarely have I been around a group of people so intelligent and excited to learn. This is born out in group projects where you work more intimately with classmates.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?
Did you switch any of the following after your MBA?

Industry sector. 

If you did make a switch, what factors enabled you to do that?

I made the switch from being a full time artist (performing musician) to academia where I was a dean of business at a small college. The perspective of business education, the learning how to manage people, and how to navigate the job market helped me make this switch.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

The MBA was the turning point in my career and life. Never before had I been around so many curious, intellectual and talented faculty and students. The MBA gave me the drive to aspire to new heights in my career and try to fulfill my goals.

Online/technology

siling tan.

Siling Tan

BA, Psychology and Political Science, University of Melbourne

Nationality: Singaporean
Pre-MBA role: Product Marketing Lead, Xiaomi
Current role: Co-founder and CPO, Re:store

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

The hands-on learning approach at Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) with live clients was the highlight of my academic experience. Almost every term, students form groups and are assigned to consult various companies to solve a real problem. I had the privilege of working with an early-stage biotech startup in Cambridge, Carnegie Hall in New York, and CNBC Catalyst in London. I also received invaluable mentorship from project mentors assigned by CJBS to guide and assess our work. Although exams and essays are a significant part of the MBA, the live client projects gave me the opportunity to gain experience in new industries and locations, and form new connections I otherwise would not have had.

What were the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA.

During and post-MBA, I had the opportunity to co-author, teach, and publish a business case study with CJBS Professor, Jaideep Prabhu. Writing the case study was a great way to reflect on experiences in my previous company, and returning to CJBS as a guest lecturer to teach the case was a very rewarding experience. The case study opened new doors to scholarships and awards, and allowed me to connect with new MBA cohorts beyond my current class.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class?

My classmates are bold business leaders from all over the world. Previously, I didn’t know of many friends or colleagues who made bold lateral moves or career switches. After all, there is comfort in staying in a familiar lane and sticking to a niche. Since graduating, I’ve seen my MBA friends pursue unexpected roles, challenge assumptions, and chase dreams. This has also emboldened me to take a wider, longer term view of my own journey.

What value did they bring to your MBA?

There is an openness and transparency between MBA classmates to discuss sensitive work topics that I find difficult to talk about with others. This includes interviewing skills, people management, conflict resolution, and promotions and salary.

What aspect of the MBA learning and experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The MBA has taught me about different types of business success and failures, and helped me explore different paths that led to those outcomes. I’ve become more well-versed in identifying patterns and playbooks undertaken by companies, and continue to build upon this foundation with new examples observed in the world today.

Did you switch any of the following after your MBA, and if so, what factors enabled you to do that?

Since graduating, I’ve co-founded a tech startup in Cambridge in a new industry. Many of the practical business skills I learnt in the classroom have helped me navigate this process. In addition, the CJBS and Cambridge network introduced me to my co-founder, and continues to connect me with other alumni entrepreneurs within and outside of the city. I also received support from CJBS for my UK work visa.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

The MBA is a strategic one-year pit stop to reflect on where you’ve been in your career and where you’re going. You might come to the MBA with a very targeted goal but chances are, you’ll learn new things, meet new people, and might change your mind. I never considered co-founding a startup but eventually I did. The career path that many of my classmates and I have taken after the MBA have been different but are much better than the ones we thought we would have.

What would you say to others working at the same company you did before your MBA – would you recommend the Cambridge MBA to them, and if so, why?

The Cambridge education may have embellished my resume, but the Cambridge experience has changed how I work and my trajectory. If you’re considering an MBA, I recommend experiencing it for yourself.

Marafie firas.

Firas Marafie

BSc Supply Chain Management, BSc Computer Information Systems, Arizona State University, USA

Nationality: Kuwaiti
Pre-MBA role: Founder, Heritage Foods, Dubai, UAE
Current role: Director, International partnerships, Yext, London, UK

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

The Consumer Behaviour course was useful to help incorporate business/social psychology into my decision making. The Statistic course was also: incredibly useful for working with data and for being able to make quick judgements/inferences.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class?

International, eclectic, and intellectual.

What aspect of the MBA learning and experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

Taking a more structured approach to solving problems. It forced me to think through the entire process: for example I learned to become a better listener, which helped me understand the problem/requirements better, which helped me gather information and details better, ultimately helping solve problems and find solutions more effectively.

Macatangay ranier.

Ranier Macatangay
 

BSc Applied Economics & Commerce, De La Salle University, Philippines

Nationality: Philippine
Pre-MBA role: FX Trader, J.P. Morgan, Philippines & Singapore
Current role: Business Integrity Associate, Facebook, Singapore

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

I picked the Digital Transformation Concentration to get myself deep in the field, and after three terms, I figured out that I would like to get into a marketing or a product management role where I could use whatever I learned in strategy and marketing in the tech space.

Did you change your career aspirations?

I wanted to move to the corporate side and do treasury, which is closely related to what I was doing before as a trader in Singapore.

However, when I moved to Cambridge and started the first term, I was exposed to the exciting Cambridge ecosystem of technology and innovation, and that really engaged my interest in changing my career goals.

And were you successful in making that switch?

Yes – I switched role and sector. I’ve was initially focused on looking at tech for my post-MBA role. However, during my search, as I get to know the field, I discovered some roles where you have the technical skills to be able to work on it, and that for me, was initially discouraging.

But through my research I discovered that there are also other areas in tech where your wider skills are applicable, such as marketing and product management.

What would you say to others seeking a career switch into tech?

Don’t try and find the perfect solution before taking action on your career plan. Do lots of informal informational, interviews and coffee chats because that’s the best way of finding out that role that you want.

Also, be bold and get involved in the community. And most importantly, keep an open mind.

Cambridge is filled with a lot of ideas, a lot of new things to discover. To benefit from these, you need to keep an open mind.

Juan ignacio cacace.

Juan Ignacio Cacace

BA Political Science and Government, Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina ‘Santa María de los Buenos Aires’ ​; LLB University of Buenos Aires

Nationality: Argentinian
Pre-MBA role: Policy Advisor to the Vice President of Argentina, Argentina
Current role: Director, Government Affairs, Access Partnership, London, UK 

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

Mark de Rond’s course on Negotiation was very useful. I had more than 10 years of work experience negotiating bills of law in parliaments and had never before studied negotiation in such a way, not even in my Bachelor’s in Political Science back in Argentina.

My Global Consulting Project was amazing too: my team and I helped NGO BRAC in Bangladesh on how to monetise some of their services. The experience working together with the BRAC Team in Dhaka for several weeks was something I’ll never forget.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA.

Living in Cambridge and being part of the City’s and University’s community is an experience I’ll never forget. Formal dinners, May balls, MBAT – everything was fantastic.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class? 

I learnt many things from them, including corporate finance, but the most important thing is that I made many friends who I still see all the time.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The MBA gave me confidence about who I am and what I do, and I believe I am a better professional overall after my MBA experience.

Did the MBA open up a new career pathf or you?

I changed role, sector and country. Cambridge’s network helped me find the opportunity that ended up being my first job outside my home country. Tim Wates, a member of Cambridge Judge’s Advisory Board, who funded my GCP in Bangladesh, invited my team to have a chat about our GCP results: during that conversation he asked about how I was dealing with networking in order to find a job in the UK, considering my background in politics in Argentina. He introduced me to some people who pointed me into the right direction, and a few months later I was hired in London for the first time.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

Cambridge MBA was a decisive influence and enabler for me to be able to make the triple jump: country, sector and job function. I went from being an in-house advisor on national politics in Argentina to a government affairs consultant based in London, advocating for tech policy at organisations such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States. 

What would you say to others working in the same sector you did before your MBA – would you recommend the Cambridge MBA to them?

In my case, my background was very specific and from my experience, the Cambridge MBA allows you to switch careers by offering you not only some very relevant skills but also an impressive network of people and friends.

Colin murphy.

Colin Murphy

BSc Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, USA

Nationality: American
Pre-MBA role: Program Manager, United Airlines, USA
Current role: Program Manager/Global Intelligence Analyst, Google, USA

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

I was consistently surprised by the life brought to certain subjects. I walked away from Accounting with a smile on my face every class, impressed with Professor Jenny Chu’s ability to make balancing budgets interesting and satisfying.

Professor Jane Davies turned business operations into a collaborative and exciting topic, making the classroom filled with interaction and knowledge sharing. And, Professor Lionel Paolella filled our strategy classes with laughter, always having us thoroughly engaged through the whole lectures.

The joy of learning and being in the classroom truly stood out to me during my year at Cambridge; To put my career on hold for business school – stopping any sort of income and deciding to invest in education – put a level of pressure on my time on campus, and the enjoyment I had every day after class alleviated that pressure.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA

My Cambridge experience was a year filled with impactful and exciting experiences, from working on my Cambridge Venture Project with an international group of students, to our student organised trip to Israel where we met with a multitude of startup businesses, to Thursday evenings at the Cambridge Union listening to debates on contemporary socio-economic situations. Of particular note was my Global Consulting Project – a truly special part of the Cambridge experience. I worked on a project in Christchurch, New Zealand, helping the city identify ways to bring business back to the city center after their tragic 2011 earth quake. It was an opportunity I could only dream of before the Cambridge MBA, and is an experience that I look back on with continued awe – that I was able to work with a great group of people to make a positive difference in a community.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class?

Collaborative, entrepreneurial, and outgoing. The benefit of a smaller MBA class is that everyone is significantly more approachable and open. The people in my class were always willing to support and work with anyone else in the program, and willing to go the extra distance to make the year a special and meaningful experience for others. Some of my greatest memories of my year at Cambridge are on a random night when someone decided to organize something for the rest of the class; whether it was a review session organised by a CPA to help us learn accounting before the final exam or a Japanese student setting up a sake tasting with samples from his former employer, my Cambridge MBA class was filled with a diverse group of people seeking to build meaningful connections and willing to help others find success.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

While I might not remember everything from every class, I learned how to ask the right questions to get to the information I need to make a positive impact. When I’m confronted with questions outside my core knowledge base, my Cambridge MBA gave me the confidence to tackle such challenges with strategic thinking and structured frameworks.

What’s happened in your career since your MBA?

I switched my job function, industry, and country. Cambridge truly opened the door to working at Google, and getting me noticed for an internship in Berlin, Germany. Once at Google, the knowledge base from my MBA, particularly the frameworks I learned in our Strategy course, help to secure me a full-time role as a Strategy and Operations Lead at the Dublin, Ireland office, Google’s EMEA headquarters. Now, I work in Risk Management; thanks in large part to the risk methodologies I learned in an elective class at Cambridge.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

I feel that my MBA has helped me adapt to complex and challenging situations in a quicker and more structured approach than prior to my MBA. While I might have ended up in the same spot, I think it would have taken me longer to obtain such roles in a new industry, and I would not be as fast to identify ways to add value and make a positive impact.

Nicolas moreno de palma.

Nicolas Moreno de Palma

Telecommunications Engineer (Spain) and MSc Information Technology, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid/University of Stuttgart

Nationality: Spanish
Pre-MBA role: Corporate Account Manager, Vodafone, Spain
Current role: Chief Commercial Officer, Volograms, Ireland

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

I loved how practical courses were. I especially enjoyed courses like Strategy or Operations that were mostly case-study based – learning by seeing real-life scenarios is for me the best! However, the Global Consulting Project experience was definitely the highlight of the curriculum for year: nothing beats putting concepts to practice with your classmates in an international context.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA.

Looking back, I can’t understand where I found the time to do so much. From engaging in charitable initiatives like Aiducation and Movember, and collaborating with Cambridge Social Ventures, to enjoying Wimbledon with the Cambridge University Lawn Tennis Club and jumping on the crowd after playing some covers on the MBAT battle-of-the-bands stage. It was so transformational – and so much fun!

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class?

I would need a whole book to talk about what I enjoyed and learn from my cohort! They are simply the most amazing bunch of people from all the corners of the world, all put together in the same class to collaborate and grow together. I am so lucky to have made so many amazing friends!

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The MBA changed the way I approach business challenges: I developed the capacity to step back, deploy the right frameworks to analyse the context and find the best course of action by bringing in the diverse opinions of my colleagues.

Did you switch your career direction after your MBA, and w
hat factors enabled you to do that?

I changed everything:  job function, industry and country. My new knowledge and skills helped me navigate the complexities of managerial selection processes. In addition, the Cambridge MBA brand was an invaluable asset in my CV.

How has the MBA influenced your career journey in general?

The MBA was, from all points of view, an inflection point that accelerated my professional career, allowing me to step up while changing industry and staying in such a competitive job market as the British one.

What would you say to others considering the Cambridge MBA?

I would recommend the Cambridge MBA to anyone who is willing to take a transformational break in their current and busy professional lives. A break to learn, to grow personally, to develop professionally, to enjoy and to ensure that, when they come back to work, it will be with regained energies, a radically more open perspective and an amazing push to accelerate their careers in the direction they, and only they, choose.

Ponce de leon santiago.

Santiago Ponce de León

BBA Business Administration and Management, Universidad Católica del Uruguay ‘Dámaso Antonio Larranaga’​, Uruguay

Nationality: Uruguayan
Pre-MBA role: Business Technology Manager, SKF Group, Uruguay
Current role: Senior Vendor Operations Manager, EU Fashion, Amazon, London, UK

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

Strategy and Finance were particularly interesting. There were a lot of cases that helped you bring down to earth all the concepts that were taught.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA.

Extracurricular activities and, in particular, College life is the highlight of the Cambridge MBA. Everyone will experience it in their own way, for me it was rowing for my college in ‘the Bumps’.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class?

Collaborative, thoughtful and smart. The people you share your MBA experience with are the most important aspect of the programme.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

Being a Cambridge alumnus and having done an MBA in a top business school brings prestige and access to better jobs.

What impact has the MBA had on your career?

I changed country, industry sector and, to a lesser degree, job function, which is a big jump. It’s very difficult to make a triple jump, so even if you haven’t had the same exact job function before, you’ll always need to tie the gaps to be an attractive candidate.

Non-profit

Marguerite cornu.

Marguerite Cornu

BA Political Science and International Relations, University of Geneva; Masters in International Relations, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland

Nationality: British/Swiss
Pre-MBA role: Programme Specialist, Union for International Cancer Control
Current role: Programme Manager, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Switzerland

What stood out about the academic learning experience for you?

Coming from the non-profit world, the MBA courses allowed me to develop an understanding of the private sector through learning about strategy (wonderfully taught by Allègre Hadida) as well as corporate finance and other topics I’d never even dreamt of. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to follow the Social Innovation concentration and to learn about social enterprise, a perfect blend between purpose-led work and the private sector.

Please tell us about the standout elements of the Cambridge experience or extra-curricular activities you had during your MBA

Hands-down, it was the best year of my life. Rowed with my College, played floorball with the local team, took part in an international business case competition and made so many wonderful friends from all over the world, thanks to the MBA.

How would you describe the cohort of people in your class?

I had a breathtakingly amazing cohort of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and places. It was a mix of (amongst others) consultants, engineers, bankers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, employees from the world’s biggest companies, sharing a breadth and depth of experience that enriched our everyday class experience. There was a genuine interest (fostered skillfully by Cambridge Judge) for all of us to know everyone in our class, and, years later, we are still in touch. I now have an international network of friends and professional contacts I can call upon when I am travelling abroad or have a question to ask.

What aspect of the MBA learning/experience would you say you find most useful now in your professional life?

The MBA allowed me to get into a different industry from the one I was in before joining Judge. Working in that new industry (management consulting) for a few years allowed me to advance my career and learn many key skills (for example, presentation and oral communication skills) that are a key differentiator in my current job in the international organisation space.

Did the MBA open up a new career path?

I switched industry sector. Having an MBA was a requirement for being recruited by the consultancy I joined.

The MBA gave me perspective, allowed me to work in a different industry which boosted my career forward, and allowed me to then go back to my original industry but working for a bigger, better organisation and a more rewarding job.