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MBA scholarship recipients

These are the recipients of our MBA scholarships. You can find out how to apply for these scholarships from our scholarships brochure.

Forté Foundation scholarship recipients

Rachel Baxter.

Rachel Baxter

BA Political Science, French, Middle Eastern Studies, Wake Forest University, USA

Nationality: American
Pre-MBA career: Country Director, Samaritan’s Purse, Niger,

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

While working as a humanitarian in developing countries and conflict zones around the world, I saw endless opportunities for growth and collaboration between the private and public sectors. Inspired to play a leadership role in bridging this gap, I decided to pursue the Cambridge MBA as it offers a unique chance to study alongside an international and varied cadre of academics.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

During my few years as Country Director in West Africa, I created pathways for the education and professional development of the local teams; with a specific focus on removing barriers for women to serve in leadership roles. By the end of my contract, I had witnessed a cultural change in the office – including a new momentum and excitement for future possibilities, I had worked with an equal ratio of men to women on our senior leadership team, and I had developed several new humanitarian intervention programs led by women for women. Seeing these changes come to fruition was motivating.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

It is an absolute honour to have been awarded the Forte Foundation scholarship. I am certainly grateful for the acknowledgment of my past accomplishments, but I also feel a strong desire to demonstrate my worth by continuing to build a future for women leaders and make the most of every opportunity.

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

Most of all, I want my viewpoints and opinions to be challenged by my fellow students and our professors. This is my opportunity to hear from those who are very different from myself. You can never learn to walk in someone else’s shoes until you are challenged to step out of your own.

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

After my MBA journey, I intend to return to my goal of building bridges between the private and public sectors by focusing on consulting with and developing social impact initiatives. The Cambridge MBA will allow me the education and opportunities to be able to link my experience in the humanitarian world to a career in the global business world.

Something that few people may know about you….

I am an avid runner who has competed in two marathons and dozens of half-marathons, but my goal is to run an ultra-marathon sometime in the next few years. Running is my way to release stress, but also when I have my most inspired ideas!

Sarah Sketchley.

Sarah Sketchley

BA French and German, University of Bristol, UK

Nationality: British/Dutch 
Pre-MBA career: Account Director, MOI Global, London

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

After spending seven years working at marketing agencies and consultancies for a variety of clients in the tech space, I felt the time was right for a change.

I wanted to spend some time deepening my strategic, financial and managerial foundations, and an MBA offers that and so much more. Cambridge felt like the right fit from the start – the offer of a one-year programme with unbeatable links to the tech sector, a hugely diverse cohort, as well as practical learning experience from live consulting projects was difficult to beat.

On top of that, I was excited to spend a year living in a beautiful, historic city and to leave with a degree from one of the best universities in the world.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

At my first agency, we started out as three people squeezed into the dark corner of a shared office in London and in just a couple of years, we grew to a 13-strong team with our very own space and a roster of brilliant, well-known tech clients.

Our aim was to be a marketing agency that got under the skin of clients, felt their challenges and pain-points, and gave strategic direction to grow, transform, or break into new markets.

It wasn’t easy to win clients without a portfolio of existing clients to showcase, but with a lot of grit, late nights, and takeaway pizza, we created a name for ourselves – initially in the start-up space. A huge achievement was when we started working with big hitters in tech, such as Unity Technologies [a gaming platform that recently launched an IPO at $13.6 billion].

Recognition of our work grew to a point where we were beating leading international agencies in industry awards; I was delighted to be awarded with an industry ‘rising star’ award.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

Humbled, excited, and very grateful. The Forté Foundation Fellows Scholarship is such a brilliant initiative. The mission of the foundation is so crucial. I have mentored and been a mentor in several guises over the years, and I know first-hand how important female role models are to improving outcomes for young professional women and students; the Forté network plays a big role in this.

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

We know this is no ordinary year, but I think this is the perfect time to collaborate with a group of innovative, bright students and come up with solutions to new challenges we’re facing in a COVID-19 world.

It’s clear already that the biggest thing I am going to gain from this year, is a network of diverse, brilliant and interesting people, who I have no doubt will go on to achieve great things.

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

To me, this is the perfect opportunity to reflect, grow, and transition into a slightly different career. I want to remain in the tech industry, as I have really enjoyed working with previous clients, such as Google and Salesforce, and I would love to end up in a strategic role at a FAANG or pre-IPO tech firm.

Something that few people may know about you…

I am a big musical theatre fan and [when theatres open up again] I can’t wait to explore the Cambridge scene. In fact, musical theatre would have been my number one career choice, if I were only able to sing or dance…

Yin Shan Loh.

Yin Shan Loh

BA Economics and Psychology, UC Berkeley, USA

Nationality: Singaporean
Pre-MBA career: Assistant Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I wanted to expand my range of personal skills to be able to make a greater impact in the future. The Cambridge MBA has a great balance of theoretical teachings coupled with practical applications in management, particularly through hands-on consulting projects for real companies.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

My biggest accomplishment was being on the founding team of an award-winning social sector consultancy, the first in Southeast Asia, that had more than 1,000 volunteers, served over 150 clients, delivered 240 consulting projects and created social impact of over US$5 million. Conjunct Consulting won the President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Commendation Award (the highest award nationally for social enterprises) and is also a listed Global Pro Bono Fellow. This was made possible only with my equally passionate and dedicated teammates.

I was responsible for building the corporate engagement arm which oversaw engaging clients, scoping projects and carrying out the consulting work. In the beginning, establishing a track record was the biggest challenge. I brought on board our first clients by reaching out to non-profit CEOs and convincing them of our value-add and led several consulting projects.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I am incredibly humbled and grateful to both the Cambridge MBA and the Forté Foundation for this award. Forté is an incredible organisation, and I believe deeply in its mission to empower women to pursue their aspirations. I am so privileged to be one such woman who is pursuing her dream on the Cambridge MBA programme.

I believe in giving back and that women should support and lift each other up. I am already deeply involved with a mentoring programme for undergraduate female business students at the University of Cambridge. Supporting younger women to blossom to their fullest potential brings me a lot of joy and fulfillment.

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

I wish to be able to widen my exposure across different business sectors and industries and explore the exciting world of start-ups and accelerators in the Cambridge eco-system and Silicon Fen.

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

In the shorter term, I wish to utilise the skills I’ve learnt on the MBA programme to make a greater impact on Singapore’s public and social sectors. I feel that COVID-19 has revealed how important it is for us to understand human behaviour. I wish to apply the rich experiences I have in behavioural insights, together with the most up-to-date management skills from the Cambridge MBA, to help governments and companies better navigate the post COVID-19 world.

In the longer term, I wish to become a director on the board of a listed company. Singapore is currently lagging in the global diversity agenda – only one in nine listed board members are women. A common refrain for the under-representation of women on boards is that there is a limited pool of qualified women directors. As a proponent of diversity to avoid groupthink and uncritical conformity, I aim to equip myself to be one of the women to break that stereotype.

Something that few people may know about you….

I love to paint as a form of self-expression and have auctioned my surrealist paintings to raise over US$1,000 for charity.

ROMBA LGBTQ+ scholarship recipient

Claudia Chau.

Claudia Chau

BSc Economics and Mathematics, McGill University

Nationality: Chinese/Canadian
Pre-MBA career: Senior Analyst, Air Canada

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

One part of the Cambridge MBA which I consider very special is its experiential learning approach. The three practical projects across the MBA year allow students to engage with clients from a wide variety of industries. This offers a great opportunity for me to harness my problem-solving skills and to expand my network.

I also love the diversity of the Business School. With classmates from all around the world, I can learn about different cultures and different perspectives across many areas. Apart from being a top-rated global MBA programme, the Cambridge MBA is also a place for me to explore and test new ideas. Situated in the heart of the Cambridge ‘Silicon Fen’, I see this as a fantastic way to meet bright innovators and sharpen my entrepreneurial acumen.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

In 2018, I took on the role of Business Process Manager at Air Canada, to transform their passenger service system. It was a big challenge for me because the project impacts many departments across the company. The scope of the project was the largest of those I had delivered previously. The tight timeline prompted me to assess the existing approach, and design a customised flow to process transformation, in order to carefully evaluate the impact to all departments and increase organisational readiness in adopting the new system.

Last year, when the new system went live, it was an emotional moment to witness some frontline employees saying goodbye to the legacy system, that they had been using for over 20 years. I am honoured to have been part of the project team that drove such an impactful transformation.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I am grateful and honoured to be the recipient of the Reaching Out LGBTQ+ scholarship. I am appreciative of the fact that Cambridge Judge Business School is a firm believer in diversity and inclusion. Given the fellowship, I hope to continue the mission of [email protected] by creating a long-term plan for the club and gathering the under-represented groups in the business community in promoting diversity and inclusion in every way. With the business school’s support, I find this an excellent and exciting opportunity to engage with corporations and partners, as we together promote the benefits of cultivating a diverse and inclusive work culture.

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

I cannot wait to collaborate with my fellow Cambridge MBA students, and connect with businesses to understand the challenges that they are facing, as well as developing solutions for these. 2020 is a very special year, where there have been a lot of unexpected changes. All of us have had to pivot and many actions have been reactionary. I hope, with my creativity and experience, to drive and support this transformation, so that businesses can become more resilient and agile in this accelerating digital age.

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

I look forward to developing my career and making an impact on society, improving our lives further with technological change. I am passionate about strategic planning and digital transformation. The relationship between the two is becoming more and more important for corporations, to seize future opportunities. I envision the Cambridge MBA connecting me with global innovators and helping me to foster ideas into new ventures.

Something that few people may know about you….

I am a water sports lover, mainly because of my father – himself an avid sailor – who used to bring my sister and I along to enjoy all kinds of water activities. In my downtime, I swim, wind-surf, and kayak.

Entrepreneurship scholarship recipient

Arjanveer Maini.

Arjanveer Singh Maini

Bachelor Business Studies, Delhi University, India; Sales and Marketing Management, MICA, India

Nationality: Indian
Pre-MBA career: CEO and Founder, Oddity Media, India

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

As an entrepreneur I was often in situations where I had to solve business problems as they came to me, often for multiple clients and very often – together. Solving such problems provided me with a great degree of learning, confidence and satisfaction. When I decided I wanted to do an MBA, Cambridge Judge Business School fit the bill because of its balanced mix of rigorous academics and intensely practical work experience. It offered me the kind of learning experience that suited my learning preference. Add to that a diverse cohort from around 40 plus countries and the kind of perspective that working with people from around the world can bring, and the choice to go here seemed obvious.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

Starting and scaling a bootstrapped marketing consultancy has been the biggest accomplishment in my career so far. This business has grown from a nugget of an idea to one that has worked with over 40 small businesses and start-ups in diverse industries such as FMCG, Tech, Retail and Hospitality. Through this consultancy I have helped businesses streamline their operations, raise funding, reach profitability and even expand to international markets.

On a more personal level, my entrepreneurship journey has made me more conscious of the human side of business. I have spent years exercising my empathy muscle and working for small businesses has made me more aware of the finer nuances of doing business – people management, managing expectations, frugality, and innovation, as well as accountability for myself, clients and employees. These learning experiences have been second to none, for which I’m truly grateful.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I feel grateful and honoured to have been awarded the CJBS Entrepreneurship Scholarship. I’m hoping that my experience as an entrepreneur can be helpful for the larger cohort, and I am looking to learn more about how others have taken similar initiatives, in their respective roles, to broaden my horizons.

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

I am looking forward to getting to know my Cambridge MBA classmates, as well as the wider University community. Given the current global business environment, it’s important that we understand as many perspectives as we can, to create solutions that work for people across the world.

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

I see myself working at the intersection of marketing and technology – empowering businesses to succeed. I intend to understand industry and the global landscape better, before I expand and return to entrepreneurship.

Something that few people may know about you

I used to be in a band when I was in high school. Like most high school bands, we were not very good, and were very rarely (if ever) in key – but it has left me obsessed over music ever since. So much so, that my first job was setting up music festivals in India for over two years and I have worked in and out of the media industry in some way, shape or form ever since.

Culture, Arts and Media scholarship recipients

Mira Howard.

Mira Howard

BA Physics/Economics, Pomona College, USA

Nationality: American
Pre-MBA career: COO, Wrapped Studios, California, USA

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I wanted to take the next step towards starting my own business and I was really enamoured by the rich culture of the MBA programme at the University of Cambridge. My dream was to study at a programme with as much international diversity as possible, as I wish to start up an international business. Between this and the academic rigour of the Cambridge MBA, I couldn’t be happier with my choice. It was the only school I applied to, so I am beyond thrilled.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

The biggest accomplishment in my career so far is becoming a partner at my company in Los Angeles. I always treated and worked for the company as though it was my own, so it was really rewarding for that to become partly true!

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I am absolutely honoured and thrilled to receive this scholarship. I actually printed out the emails and wrapped them gave them to my family as a surprise – they were so proud! I am especially excited to explore the learnings from the MBA programme with my existing knowledge of the media industry.

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

Most of all, I want to get a network that will become a foundation for the rest of my life. I feel so privileged to be able to learn from and work with some of the most intelligent and interesting minds in the world, so I intend to soak up as much as possible from every single person I meet!

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

I see my Cambridge MBA journey helping me gain the confidence and credentials to start my own venture. Although I am not entirely sure what my venture will be, I am pretty sure I will enjoy exploring my potential options in the coming year.

Something that few people may know about you…

Well, perhaps it is not fair to say “few” people know this about me because I rarely stop talking about it, but I really love sharks! I have gone both freediving and scuba diving with them, and I think they are the most fascinating and misunderstood animals in the world. Sharks are friends.

Catriona Lundie.

Catriona (Katie) Lundie

MA, History of Art & Archaeology, SOAS, London, UK
MA, Chinese, University of Edinburgh, UK

Nationality: British
Pre-MBA career: Auctioneer, Chinese art, Christie’s London, UK

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

After eight years spent working at Christie’s Auction House, as a Chinese art specialist, I had a deep desire to learn about the wider context of the working world and explore how I could build on my skillset outside the ‘art world bubble’. I felt that pursuing an MBA would give me a totally new perspective, opening up new possibilities for making an impact in the broader arts and culture sector. When I discovered that Cambridge Judge offers a unique Culture, Arts and Media Management Concentration, I knew it was the right fit for me.

During the application process, I had some excellent interactions with CJBS alumni from the arts, culture and media sector, who wholeheartedly convinced me that my feelings of being an ‘outsider’ to the business world were unfounded.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

I became a Christie’s auctioneer in May 2018, after two years of intense training. At that time, there was only one other female auctioneer at Christie’s, London, and I am incredibly proud to say that there are now eight. My record sale was a rare 18th century Japanese lacquer desk, which once belonged to Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV of France. I sold it for £1.8 million over a pre-auction estimate of £70,000.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I feel exceptionally honoured to have been awarded the CJBS Culture, Arts & Media Scholarship. Cambridge Judge is unique in its longstanding support of MBA candidates with a background in the arts or media sectors. I am very excited to be an ambassador for this sector, and I hope to encourage future candidates from an arts background to see the benefits of attending business school. Through my interactions, I have learnt that there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ Cambridge MBA candidate and that your individual differences are your strengths.

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

I want to build relationships with as many people as possible, from different cultures, backgrounds and career sectors. I can’t wait to find out how other industries tackle issues and create solutions, finding new approaches that I can ultimately take back to the arts.

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

Part of the MBA experience is keeping your options open and absorbing the journey along the way. With that in mind, I am keen not to be too definitive about my future career path. At this early stage, I see myself working in a business strategy or fundraising role at a museum or heritage organisation. Most of all, I am excited to explore ways of making the arts and culture sectors more inclusive and spreading arts to a wider community, using business knowledge as one of my tools.

Something that few people may know about you…

I grew up moving around the world and have lived in seven different countries in three separate continents. Inspired by my international background, I did a degree in Chinese, which ultimately led me to my career in the auction world. I believe that cross-cultural interaction and exchange is integral to the success of organisations and society.

Melanie O'Sulllivan.

Melanie O’Sullivan

BCom Marketing & Commerical Law, University of Sydney, Australia; BA American Studies, University of Sydney, Australia

Nationality: Australian
Pre-MBA career: Commissioning Coordinator, BBC, London, UK

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I was drawn to Cambridge because of its global reputation, its pursuit of academic excellence, its proximity to London, and its Culture, Arts and Media Management Concentration. As someone with a background in media, the School’s value of this sector in its curriculum enticed me to apply, as it is incredibly rare to find within top business school programmes.

There is something truly unique about studying at the University of Cambridge; the feeling of being on campus as part of the Business School, as well as the wider University community, instils an inspiring sense of being part of something bigger. Not to mention that the town itself is beautiful.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

In 2017, I was co-ordinating several key departments on a big budget, major Hollywood studio film, and we were a week out from delivering the Director’s Cut, but we were considerably behind schedule. I devised an editorial tracking system and, gaining buy-in from the global Heads of Departments, implemented the initiative within 24 hours; which was then adapted and used to drive communication and workflow across four different workstreams. Clarity and efficiency improved, and the team was able to deliver the cut of the film to the studio ahead of time.

It taught me the power of introducing structure (even in a creative environment) to help deliver a clear mission – and that we can all be the driver of that change.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

It is an incredible honour and I have a very strong sense of responsibility to represent the school, as well as my industry. As a recipient of the CJBS Culture, Media & Arts Scholarship, there is so much scope for interaction with the industry at large, and to bring the industry back into the School, to inspire like-minded future leaders in media.

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

I look forward to the opportunities for learning beyond the classroom; growing my network in a myriad of industries and geographies, and learning from my peers, with their incredibly varied and rich backgrounds.

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

I wish to lead in the media and entertainment sector, working with global companies to support and influence strategic outlook and growth. As the intersection of media and technology narrows, I am particularly interested in shaping how digital entertainment (streaming) services interact with – and grow in response to – customers’ shifting preferences. Ensuring their content reflects the diverse and nuanced preferences, behaviour, and habits of a globalised audience.

Something that few people may know about you…

When I was a baby, a kangaroo once saved me from a poisonous brown snake – true story!

Rachel (Rae) Yung.

Rachel (Rae) Yung

BA Anthropology, University of Michigan, USA; MA Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, University of Chicago, USA.

Nationality: American
Pre-MBA career: Creative Director, Public Communications Inc, Chicago, USA

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

Given my relatively qualitative background, I have known for a while now that I wanted a more solid understanding of business fundamentals, in order to develop as a professional. In addition, having spent a few years working in the international education space, I was strongly committed to finding a truly diverse and multinational learning environment. Cambridge immediately seemed like a perfect fit, and the more I have learned about the Cambridge MBA, the more certain I have become that Cambridge shares my core values of curiosity, thoughtfulness, and creativity.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

About six years ago, I decided to leave a very stable position at the University of Michigan, and moved to New Zealand to become a full-time freelancer. At the time, I didn’t know anyone who had made that kind of transition, much less anyone who had relocated across the world without knowing a single soul in the country. I had no real idea what to expect, no experience living completely by myself, and no guarantee that I would be able to find enough work to cover my bills in the long term.

It was absolutely one of the best decisions I have ever made. As well as proving to myself that I could succeed as a freelancer, taking that risk opened up opportunities for personal and professional growth that I could never have predicted.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

The more I get to know my incredibly talented and driven cohort, the more humbled I feel to have been awarded this scholarship. I hope to honour the trust this scholarship represents through my time at Cambridge and beyond.

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

It is going to be a weird and unpredictable year!

We are slowly starting to glimpse what the long-term impact of a global pandemic might be in different sectors and industries, but there is a lot that we’re just not going to be able to anticipate at all.

I feel incredibly fortunate that this is the year I am embarking on my MBA, because one of the pillars of the Cambridge MBA is to help its students thrive in periods of extreme change. None of us are here because we crave predictability, and I am keen to see what we can accomplish while the ‘new normal’ is supplanted by a ‘newer normal’. Most of all, I am looking forward to being part of such a clever, creative community, as we collectively process whatever is coming around the bend.

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

I am here because the Cambridge MBA will give me the tools that I need to explore the various paths I am interested in.

I am also here because there is so much I want to learn from the classes, as well as my cohort, about possibilities I haven’t even considered yet.

Ultimately, what I want to do with my career is to make science and art more accessible to key audiences. The exact road I take is less important to me than the direction I am heading.

Something that few people may know about you…

One of my more niche interests is narrative game design: I love creating, discussing, and playing everything from tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons to parser-based interactive fiction.

I think games are a fascinating medium through which to tell collaborative stories, and as new technologies develop, we are seeing incredible new bursts of narrative creativity as people explore what storytelling opportunities those technologies can offer. Talk to me about player agency and protagonist roles anytime!

Technology and Innovation scholarship recipients

Hieu Vu Viet.

Hieu Vu Viet

BEng Aerospace Engineering, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Vietnam

Nationality: Vietnamese
Pre-MBA career: Logistics Manager, Procter & Gamble, Vietnam

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I took the Cambridge MBA for one key reason: to live life to its full potential. I have worked in the consumer goods industry for over seven years, and I have held various leadership positions.

After years at work, I felt I needed a significant upgrade. The Cambridge MBA is the perfect option for many reasons. It sits right at the centre of a vibrant and technologically based, start-up community; you could witness the latest technology development in varied fields, such as Health Care, FinTech, social media, and so on, right here in the City.

The Cambridge Judge alumni network is widespread and includes many extraordinary minds, including senior leadership in top firms globally. The Business School holds a high reputation for its rich diversity and inclusivity. Lastly, its core academic courses are of the best quality, as well as extremely practical.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

My core field was supply chain management and process optimisation. But I have always expanded my horizons and boundaries, where I could, at work. For example, with no previous experience in coding, I developed a digital solution, combining simple coding of Robot Process Automation software and visualisation on Power BI, which later became a global benchmark of the firm, for supply chain and inventory management processes. When I took the project manager role and changed the entire trading practice of the firm in the Vietnam market, I had little understanding of international trading and local law. I have been relentlessly disrupting myself, re-training, and redefining my core strength and boundaries ever since.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I feel humbled to receive this scholarship from Cambridge Judge Business School. In the middle of a global pandemic, the funds are of tremendous support. It significantly lightens my financial concerns and enables me to realise my dream to be part of the Cambridge MBA this year.

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

In this year out of the workplace, I am dedicated to learning new things, and new perspectives across the programme, as well as those from my talented cohort.

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

After graduation, I am planning to return to Asia. With the prestigious MBA degree from the University of Cambridge, I would have more flex and I can aim for a more senior role in a firm, or even alter my geography in Asia.

Something that few people may know about you…

To say something personal about me, I am a big dog lover. I have a black dog called Ro, (after Ronaldo – the greatest footballer of all time). He will be missing me a lot at this time. It is a pity I could not bring him with me. I am sure he would love England as much as I do.

Ton Durongkaveroj.

Ton Durongkaveroj

BA Economics, University of Exeter, UK

Nationality: Thai
Pre-MBA career: Head of GrabExpress, Grab, Bangkok, Thailand

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I am a strong believer in empowering people through technology. I was looking for an MBA programme that offers a robust technology and entrepreneurship curriculum, that would equip me to be a complete ‘change’ leader in the technology industry. The Cambridge MBA was the perfect programme for me. The curriculum offers a holistic leadership journey from day one, ranging from empowering local start-ups through the Cambridge Venture Project, to gaining first-hand experiences with a renowned corporate of your choice during the later Global Consulting Project. It is a truly practical and experiential MBA programme.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

Prior to the MBA, I was leading a business vertical for one of the largest platform tech companies in Asia. The role entails full P&L responsibility of the delivery arm of the company, with a mission to offer best-in-class on-demand services to customers, while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs for driver partners across Thailand. I consider this leadership position to be one of my biggest professional achievements, as well as one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

The University of Cambridge, along with Cambridge Judge Business School, is a prestigious and globally respected institution. To be awarded this scholarship is truly an honour. I am very humbled to be recognised as a valuable asset to the technology sector within the Cambridge MBA programme. I am motivated to use my year in Cambridge to the fullest, as well as contributing to the MBA programme to the best of my abilities.

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

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has globalised and evolved like never before. I look forward to learning about the disruption the pandemic has had on many business aspects, as well as the emerging capabilities that will be key in the post-COVID world. I see this year as a golden opportunity to view businesses and societies with a different lens and strengthen my competencies to be ready for the huge transformation to come.

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

There is no doubt that the Cambridge MBA is a stepping stone for my career. The rigid curriculum, the outstanding and diverse set of classmates, as well as the rich and sophisticated Cambridge experience, are second to none. I will integrate the learnings gained from this year, into my previous experience in management consulting and tech start-ups, to pursue my mission to be a change leader, through technology, in the future.

Something that few people may know about you…

I enjoy deep diving into various fields of knowledge. Last year, I threw myself into the world of coffee culture and I explored beans from different countries around the world. To this day, I cannot function without a good cup of coffee. I grind my own coffee and bring my coffee making kit everywhere I go, from the top of a mountain in Japan to my cosy bedroom in Cambridge.

Hawi Abbajobir.

Hawi Abbajobir

BA Economics, Lewis & Clark College, USA

Nationality: German 
Pre-MBA career: Program Manager – Operations & Internal Audit, Aspiration, Portland, USA

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA program?

What first attracted me to the Cambridge MBA, is the fact that the Business School is embedded in the wider University community. This naturally creates opportunities to meet and interact with exceptional people from a wide variety of backgrounds. I was particularly drawn to the programme’s focus on technology and entrepreneurship, which is made possible by its proximity to Silicon Fen. I appreciate that the programme takes a highly practical approach to learning, as demonstrated by the Cambridge Venture Project, the Global Consulting Project, as well as other practical projects across the year.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

I built an internal audit programme, from the ground up, at a small fintech startup in the USA. It is an accomplishment I am especially proud of because Compliance and Audit professionals in the Fintech industry often find themselves in uncharted territory, which presents some very unique challenges. But navigating financial regulations, while supporting innovation at my organisation – which at times seemed to be at odds with each other – forced me to be creative and grow in ways I could not have imagined.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I feel so honored and grateful to be awarded this scholarship. It has eased the financial burden that comes with leaving the workforce for a year and has allowed me to dedicate my full attention to this transformational year full of learning and growing.

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

There is so much to learn and do during the MBA programme, whether it is in the classroom, during case competitions or in a casual conversation over dinner. But what makes the Cambridge MBA truly special, is the small size of the cohort, which will allow me to form close personal relationships with my peers. It is a unique opportunity to be surrounded by a group of brilliant and ambitious people, most of whom have come from different countries, cultures, and professional backgrounds from my own; and I intend to take full advantage of this learning and growth opportunity.

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

I strongly believe that technology has the potential to improve people’s lives. I hope to leverage the skills and network I gain during my Cambridge MBA year, to develop great consumer technology products, that have a lasting positive impact. Firstly, at an innovative and fast-growing organisation, and eventually at my own venture.

Something that few people may know about you…

I was a firefighter in high school. Since our school buildings were entirely made of wood and the closest fire station was twenty minutes away, a group of students were trained to respond to fire emergencies. The training involved regular fire drills at six o’clock in the morning, but luckily, we never had to put our skills to the test.

Stephanie Esuola.

Stephanie Esuola

LLB, University of Warwick, UK

Nationality: British/Nigerian
Pre-MBA career: Senior Program Manager, ARM, Cambridge, UK

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I wanted to do an MBA as there are aspects of business, I wanted to learn more about, both academically and through practical experience. The Cambridge MBA offered this – the programme offers a potential ‘playground’ of both academic study and real-world application. Additionally, it is based in a city with a strong tech focus and attracts interesting, intelligent people from a range of disciplines. It ticked all my boxes.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far

Recently, I was tasked with leading the pilot of a piece of software. I had a fixed budget, a challenging 10-week deadline and a lot of attention from senior stakeholders. Whilst these factors made it exciting, the accomplishment came from being able to create a vision clear enough, to be articulated when I was not in the room. The pilot was as much about understanding the business utility of the software, as it was about implementing a piece of technology. My role was to translate a software request into a testable strategic experiment. The team I led met our deadline, within our allocated budget and, importantly, I had plenty of proud moments where I overheard the team articulating our vision perfectly to stakeholders.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

Being awarded the Technology and Innovation Scholarship is a real privilege. I believe technology is a great tool. Our society is currently grappling with how to use emerging, and existing, technology for good, for progress and positive change. For me, innovation is the vehicle that takes technology across industries, disciplines and geographies. Technology and Innovation is an exciting space to be working in, and I look forward to studying it critically during my Cambridge MBA.

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

For me, a big draw of the MBA is that it opens doors people didn’t even know existed. I see my Cambridge MBA taking me to unexpected places – across industries, sectors, and new geographies.

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

I want to be challenged to broaden my worldview and imagine the type of future that can be created through business. Therefore, collaborative learning is my top priority. I want to exchange learnings with my peers, industry leaders and those in the wider University community. I am looking forward to jostling around with ideas and having my opinions changed!

Something that few people know about you…

I play drums and love loud, live music of pretty much all genres!

Impact in Emerging Markets scholarship recipients

Nathan Janitra Ramadham.

Nathan Ramadhan

MEng Chemical Engineering, University of Nottingham, Malaysia

Nationality: Indonesian
Pre-MBA career: Country Planning Manager, Royal Dutch Shell, Indonesia

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I was extremely appealed by the idea of a one-year MBA, that can take me out of the workforce for a shorter period yet arm me with the skillset necessary to lead in this volatile world. Furthermore, I was looking for a learning environment that is beyond just a business school. Lastly, the ecosystem of the Cambridge cluster is a resource I intend to tap into, to learn the entrepreneurial skills and mindset necessary for me to bring businesses in emerging markets, especially Indonesia, onto the global stage.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

My biggest accomplishment is to have earned my team’s trust. When I was promoted to become the youngest Country Planning Manager in my entire region, at the age of 25, in charge of leading ten talented planners and managing over $50M of inventory and operating expenses, my self-doubts ran wild. I was then, extremely delighted to find that during the leadership appraisal survey, my team had given me top-quartile results across all Team Leadership dimensions. The thought that my team trusted me and had my back, gave me the confidence that I could manage bigger and more complex dimensions in the future.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

The scholarship notification came into my mailbox around midnight, as I was getting ready for bed. Needless to say, even the word ‘overjoyed’ was an understatement. I remember my eyes welling up with happy tears, and not being able to sleep until dawn. To me, being a recipient of this scholarship is an acknowledgement that my ambitions of becoming a positive agent of change for my country, and eventually the world, is indeed possible – and that is an extremely energising thought.

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

I believe that all businesses, irrespective of their size, have the power to influence the world profoundly, especially regarding the environment. At Cambridge, I intend to deepen my knowledge in change and renewal strategies, especially in the energy industry and for developing nations. I wish to understand how organisations can meet their financial and growth objectives, while keeping environmental impact to a minimum.

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

The impressive economic growth in emerging markets carries along with it, not only a plethora of novel and exciting opportunities, but also growing pains and many tough challenges. After sharpening my current competencies and learning new skills in this exciting MBA journey, I foresee myself working as a management consultant to help business and government leaders, in these regions, manage those challenges – especially in the energy space – and effect positive change to the global economy.

Something that few people may know about you…

To cope with life’s pressures, I play the violin or bake sweet, colourful desserts. Unfortunately, I was forced to leave both my violin and my baking equipment back in Jakarta due to baggage allowances. I am sure I will find another coping strategy here in Cambridge.

Yijing Huang.

Yijing Huang

MA Communication, New York University, USA

Nationality: Chinese
Pre-MBA career: Digital Marketing Manager, Unilever, China

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I was specifically targeting a competitive one-year MBA programme based in Europe, to expand both my personal experience and professional networks. The diversified MBA cohort at Cambridge Judge will allow me to learn from my peers, a crucial part of any MBA studies.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

I helped double the revenue of my department at Unilever within three years. To accomplish this, I led an agile cross-functional team to initiate a new digital business by leveraging intangible assets that had been previously overlooked. Through this I earned valuable experience in launching new ventures within a well-established organisation and honed my creative skills in business innovation.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I see it as an encouragement to continue my work and passion, in helping to alleviate inequality of many aspects in the emerging markets, by leveraging new technologies. I would also like to encourage young leaders and professionals who share the same vision to join the force for change.

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

I am looking forward to exploring the best market approach for commercialising new technologies or inventions through the MBA projects and across departments in a broader Cambridge community.

The MBA journey this year has become particularly challenging as COVID-19 has disrupted many aspects of people’s lives. I feel I am lucky to be learning a valuable lesson: to grow with uncertainty. I hope to fully stretch myself to adapt to the new normal.

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

I view my Cambridge MBA as a transformative journey to review, refresh, and restart. By combining all my experience in various industries and functions, I plan to sharpen my business ideas through real-life practice with projects, to find a path to maximise my value in helping the community to grow and prospect.

Something that few people may know about you…

I am a ballet dancer.

Healthcare scholarship recipients

Victoria Hills.

Victoria Hills

BA History/Biological Sciences, Wellesley College, USA

Nationality: Canadian/American
Pre-MBA career: Associate, Pediatric, HIV, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Uganda

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I was drawn to the programme’s emphasis on practical projects, such as the Cambridge Venture Project and Global Consulting Project, and its placement within both the broader University of Cambridge ecosystem, with a centuries-old reputation for excellence and innovation, and the Cambridge ‘Silicon Fen’ — all of which signaled that I would receive an MBA education rich in real-world application. Joining an international and diverse cohort of accomplished individuals was important to me.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

In 2018, I spent five months in South Africa, helping to develop a new multi-million-dollar pediatric HIV grant intended to accelerate the country’s progress toward UN Development Goals. The role demanded a mix of strategic analysis, including geographic and population prioritisation, as well as close communication with national health ministers and international NGOs to align on grant recipients’ capabilities, responsibilities, and targets. The experience was enormously educational and enriching, and imparted key lessons about the intersections of global health, business, politics, and philanthropy.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I am deeply grateful to Cambridge Judge for awarding me a scholarship. Receiving the Healthcare Scholarship is an honour — one I strive to be worthy of, in part by candidly sharing my knowledge and experiences with current and prospective Cambridge MBA students.

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

As I am so in awe of the intelligent, accomplished, and ambitious men and women who surround me at Cambridge Judge, what I most want to get out of my Cambridge MBA year, is the respect and friendship of my peers. I am excited to spend the year learning with and from my cohort.

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

I see the MBA taking me down new career paths — perhaps entrepreneurship! — and certainly to new geographies. I hope to work in Europe following the MBA, a transition that the Cambridge MBA can help enable. I am certain that the skills and network I develop here will factor into many future career adjustments.

Something that few people may know about you…

I enjoy reading novels, especially science fiction, and running with my dog.

Michael Rees.

Michael Rees

BSE Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, USA

Nationality: American
Pre-MBA career: R&D Engineer, Edwards Lifesciences, USA

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

The Cambridge MBA hits the ‘sweet spot’ for MBA programmes. It has an academic focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, an experiential-based learning methodology, and provides an unparalleled international experience all wrapped up into a year-long programme. Coupled with the fact that it is housed within the beauty of Cambridge and the University of Cambridge, and the innovative atmosphere of Cambridge’s ‘Silicon Fen’, made the decision to study here an easy one. I cannot imagine pursuing my MBA anywhere else.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

At my last company, I worked as a New Product Development Engineer, helping to create scalable manufacturing methods for new products. While maintaining a full individual contributor workload, I also assumed leadership of the R&D operational team – a small team of front-line professionals responsible for assembling early-stage products. By focusing on cross-training and communication, we were able to build one of the most well-trained and adaptable assembly teams in the company. I was eventually responsible for growing the team from four members to eight.

Trying to manage the needs of an eight-person team, while having a full individual contributor workload, was very demanding. But the experience gave me an amazing insight into building robust teams, as well as task prioritisation. I am incredibly proud of the work that we were able to do together, and extremely grateful to the team for all their hard work.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I feel incredibly humbled and inspired. Cambridge Judge, as well as the University of Cambridge, is home to an extraordinary cohort of talented individuals across a myriad of fields. Seeing the calibre of my classmates, as well as the scholarship recipients before me, redoubles my motivation to live up to the Cambridge legacy of excellence. I feel truly fortunate to have been selected to receive the Healthcare Scholarship, and I look forward to using the skills and network that I build here, to have a positive impact in my field.

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

The sheer variety and depth of the academic curriculum at Cambridge Judge Business School provides a lot to be excited about. Furthermore, the breadth of experience of my classmates will provide an unparalleled insight into other industry sectors and problem-solving mindsets.

For me specifically though, I really hope to gain insight into best practices for making an organisation successful, beyond just the individual talent of its employees. How do you build a culture of excellence? How do you empower people to make good decisions? These are the questions that I really want to dive into while I am here.

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

My near-term goal is to be a technical lead for a small group of engineers, working to create technical solutions that have a positive impact on patient quality of life. Whether that happens at a start-up or an established medical device company, only time will tell. Whichever avenue that I end up pursuing, I know that Cambridge Judge will help give me the skills to be successful.

Something that few people may know about you…

I am an engineer by trade, but I actually studied Neuroscience extensively in my undergraduate career. I have a huge passion for learning how the brain works, and the science of decision making.

Udo Ibem Offia.

Udodirim Ibem Offia

BSc Electrical and Electronics Engineering, University of Lagos, Nigeria

Nationality: Nigerian 
Pre-MBA career: Engagement Manager, Solina Centre for International Development and Research, Nigeria

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I have always wanted to do an MBA from a top university at some point in my career due to my entrepreneurship ambitions. However, I felt that my professional background did not quite fit the ‘typical’ MBA profile, and so, I was not sure about my chances when I applied. When I finally got the courage to apply, I specifically looked for a school that understood my career ambitious and provided a platform to help me achieve both my short-term and long-term goals. After speaking with a few MBA alum’s and going through the Cambridge MBA brochure in-depth, I knew that I wanted the Cambridge MBA. I loved that the programme placed a massive focus on experimental learning, which for me was necessary, especially given that I had been out of formal education for more than five years. Everyone I spoke to was really helpful and genuinely looked out for me. I just knew that I would not be happy anywhere else.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

I have had a unique and exciting career working as a strategy and implementation consultant in Nigeria’s healthcare and development sector. A significant part of my work focused on improving access to, and utilisation of Immunisation (Routine/Polio) and PHC services by under-served populations in sub-Saharan Africa. As my career progressed, I transitioned to more managerial roles, leading multicultural and multidisciplinary teams to drive impact in healthcare. While it may be hard to point to a single accomplishment as the biggest, I will say that the work my team and I did to sustain the delivery of immunisation and primary health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic, while supporting national and state governments to develop COVID-19 recovery plans for their health programme, was truly a big accomplishment. Furthermore, I also feel blessed to have contributed to Nigeria’s polio eradication. From December 2019 to July 2020, I led my team to implement strategies to vaccinate over 30,000 children in Nigeria’s last polio hotspot, as well as supporting a sub-national government to meet all the requirements for polio-free certification status.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

Honestly, I feel blessed to have been awarded this scholarship. With over five years’ experience working in healthcare, I have developed a strong passion for this sector. I had initially planned to self-finance through a combination of loans, contributions, and savings, all of which were uncertain as the time of applying. However, being awarded the Cambridge Judge Healthcare Scholarship, has made my financial decisions a lot easier and less complicated.

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

I think that deciding to go for an MBA in the middle of the Global COVID-19 pandemic is a brave decision. A significant majority of my classmates must have considered deferring at one point or the order, due to the uncertainties regarding COVID. It is exactly this dilemma, that we all faced that brings us together and makes this cohort extra special this year. A positive outcome from the global COVID-19 pandemic, is that it has made us re-evaluate and prioritise the importance of cultivating meaningful connections with those people around us. As such, I want to build strong and genuine relationships with my classmates. I already see myself forming lifelong friendships with some people.

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

The Cambridge MBA allows you to make that dream ‘big’ move. For me, that dream move will be starting my entrepreneurship journey at some point in the future. However, my immediate post-MBA ambition is to keep working in strategy consulting and working to solve a variety of global technology and social impact challenges.

Something that few people may know about you…

I enjoy cooking and experimenting with food. If I could, I would cook a different dish every day.

Beyond Profit/Social Innovation scholarship recipients

Sam Waldo.

Sam Waldo

BA Economics, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University USA

Nationality: American
Pre-MBA career: Co-Founder & CEO, Mantra, China

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

I co-founded China’s first social enterprise fashion brand back in 2016. It’s been a roller coaster ever since – at times I was flat-out exhausted from doing in-person sales one unit at a time, at other times we had viral marketing campaigns that garnered hundreds of millions of views and sold out our entire inventory in a few hours. A personal favourite project of mine was the collaboration we did with Starbucks Reserve – it’s a great feeling to see your brand collaborating with a household name like Starbucks. I was also honoured to be named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Asia in 2018.

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

After spending nearly a decade building an organisation from scratch, I have a lot of successes and failures to look back on. An MBA for me has always been an opportunity to take those hard-won experiences from my career to date and learn how to really scale up my impact. Cambridge, in particular, called to me because of its unique emphasis on hands-on learning. I believe experience is the best teacher, and I love how the Cambridge curriculum really emphasises getting out and solving real problems in the business world. I also like that it is a one-year programme which means less time out of the market, and I plan on settling in the UK longer term. The beauty of the town and its history – those are the icing on the cake.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

It is incredibly validating, after all of these years with my nose to the grindstone, with my team, building these organisations, to have an institution such as Cambridge say that they value that and are willing to support me and in such a significant way. Being a ‘social entrepreneur’ takes a lot of sacrifice, often without the pay-out that you’d hope for as a start-up founder, even if you are successful, so the fact that Cambridge supports those who have chosen this path is quite meaningful.

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

In the long run, I want to leverage technology to solve problems at scale in society. ‘Tech’ is no longer one niche sector but rather a subset of every sector, so there is a lot of choices to make within a tech career. At Cambridge, I want to chart my path ahead, to explore and to discover the avenues that will allow me to work on hugely impactful projects, that leverage technology, while also leveraging the skills, experiences, and mindset I have built up in my career to date.

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

There are a lot of resources on how to transition from industry into entrepreneurship, but very few about what to do after you have been an entrepreneur for a while, and you are ready to try something else. The Cambridge MBA is going to be a big help – it will allow me to take my experiences and put them in a context that employers understand, and it will help me to simultaneously change my industry, role, and geography in one fell swoop.

Something that few people may know about you…

I am American, but I grew up all over, living in five countries and attending eight schools, before graduating high school, and then spending my entire twenties living in China. The best place I have lived was a village in rural Yunnan, itself the most diverse province of China – and I would say the most beautiful.

Dhananjay Dixit.

Dhananjay Dixit

BE Mechanical Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology & Science

Nationality: Indian
Pre-MBA career: Global Sourcing Director, One Acre Fund, Kenya,

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

I am excited to utilise the Cambridge MBA to strengthen my understanding of core management principles, both through classroom theory and the myriad of experiential opportunities. Following this, I aim to work at the intersection of strategy and sustainability and impact. I would love to help impactful organisations work through their key present-day challenges and set themselves up for future growth and excellence.

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

The Cambridge MBA was a great choice for three reasons – the people, the approach & the university experience. In terms of people, I found that the school creates an ecosystem of students and faculty that are supportive of each other’s success. I was also excited by the idea of studying alongside such a diverse peer group, that is invested in making a positive change through their respective fields. The Business School’s approach of providing several opportunities to apply classroom concepts in practical ‘experiential’ projects was a big draw. I am looking forward to leveraging the variety of practical opportunities (CVP, GCP, competitions and so on) to improve my skills in both collaboration and teamwork. Finally, the experience of being at a world-class centre of research and innovation at the University of Cambridge was very appealing. The Business School has encouraged interactions between the MBA class, other business school students, Cambridge Judge alumni and experts, across a wide variety of disciplines. This provides a great platform for cross-discipline learning and collaboration.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

I took on an opportunity to lead a team that managed a $50m+ supply chain, serving smallholder farmers across East and Southern Africa. This experience was both humbling and fulfilling. We collated demand from nearly one million smallholder farmers in the region and collaborated with world-class producers of agri-inputs and other life-improving goods. As a result, we were able to provide these farmers with goods at similar economies of scale and quality standards, that would otherwise be enjoyed only by large agri-businesses. Watching our clients leverage these benefits to support a journey out of poverty, was the most satisfying aspect of my role.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarships?

I am very grateful to have received the Beyond Profit/Social Impact scholarship. I am motivated to continue sharing my journey in the field of social impact with my peers, learning from their experiences and collaborating on some meaningful projects. This scholarship also re-affirms my motivation to continue growing my career in organisations that drive impactful social and environmental outcomes.

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

I wish to use this year to further expand my world view. Given the rich diversity of interests and backgrounds amongst student and faculty community, I look forward to engaging with, and learning from, a variety of views and thought processes. This will further equip me as a leader, who will be better able to embrace and leverage diversity in today’s globally focused organisations.

Something that few people may know about you…

The shortest international flight I have ever taken was between Zimbabwe and Zambia over the Victoria Falls. The total flying time was under 10 minutes.

Military Personnel scholarship recipient

Matthew Hou.

Matthew Hou

Msc Project Management, Boston University, USA

Nationality: Canadian
Pre-MBA career: Stakeholder Relations Manager, Canadian Armed Forces

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

First, the programme’s experiential learning that begins with start-ups and continues with mature organisations. Unique to MBA programmes, this project-based integration of course work, has a strong emphasis on social impact. Second, the tight-knit, global, and highly responsive alumni network. Third, the deep connections between the business school and the University of Cambridge community, which means that Cambridge MBA students are immersed in an unparalleled environment, rich with history and innovation, that are brimming with collaborative opportunities in our formal studies, as well as during our personal time.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

After progressing through tactical leadership roles in the Canadian Army, which included a tour in Afghanistan as a change and implementation consultant and directing supply chains responding to Canadian natural disasters, I had the pleasure of leading a strategic team in the Canadian Assistant Deputy Minister (Material) that fixed national supply chain business process issues.

Unexpectedly, an organisation in the Department of National Defence reached out for help, because they had gaps in the people, structure, policies, and processes to manage $1 billion in IT equipment. I developed a strategic gap analysis framework that identified the root causes for these material management issues. The framework was rapidly adopted by my client to improve their material accountability, which prevented potential departmental credibility issues with NATO allies, our elected officials, and most importantly, the taxpayer.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

It is already an immense honour for me to be amongst the MBA Class of 2020/21, so receiving this scholarship was such a wonderful surprise. Veterans are one of the traditionally under-represented groups in MBA programmes globally, because of two factors: the prima facie difficulty in translating military experience into relatable business terms; and the need to overcome stereotypes about mental health and deployments, and military leadership styles. So, I am humbled to continue serving the military community as a Veterans Ambassador at Cambridge, for those who may need help overcoming the usual societal barriers veterans face in their transition into a globally valued MBA after serving in uniform.

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

Given our unprecedented times and the privileged platform that a Cambridge MBA provides, I aim to make an enduring impact on improving diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace during my studies. With Cambridge Judge’s generous support, a team of exceptional peers have joined myself and our cohort’s LGBTQ+ Community Scholarship recipient in organising an event with thought leaders in D&I and senior HR practitioners moderated by the Canadian Prime Minister’s LGBTQ+ Advisor. Throughout my career, I have strongly believed that positive change starts with leaders having the courage to have difficult conversations. I aim to enable that change, across the organisations and countries this Cambridge MBA cohort will join, as future senior leaders.

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

I am eager to augment my leadership, operations, and supply chain experience with the business acumen, international network, and strategic mindset of a Cambridge MBA in two sectors where I will have the most potential impact: public sector consulting and supply chain organisations.

Something that few people may know about you…

Although I have led road convoys and experienced rocket attacks in Afghanistan, the rope obstacle courses that are safe for children as young as eight still instil in me a fair amount of fear, because I am afraid of heights! Despite this, my favourite travel experience is the weightlessness, adrenaline, and joy during the 40 seconds skydive freefall before a parachute opens.