My current employment is with Booz Allen Hamilton. My current consulting project has me working with an organisation that runs the US Department of Defence’s biometric and forensic database. I am embedded within the outward-facing portion of the organisation. My role is to advise the client on how best to build relationships with new and pre-existing customers needing biometric and/or forensic services. Most of their customers are either other US government organisations or foreign counterparts.
Military background and reasons for choosing the Cambridge MBA
I was an intelligence officer in the US Army for four years. I was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas and Nangarhar, Afghanistan. Honestly, what was so appealing about Cambridge is something intrinsic to the military – your best experiences come when you extend far outside your comfort zone. Cambridge wasn’t the school close to home and it wasn’t the school with three dozen other ex-military students. Instead, it’s the school that gives you the chance to be challenged by (and learn from) the best cohort in the world. I am sure US MBA schools are great-they did invent the MBA after all-but you’ll never get the same wealth of experiences you get at a world-renowned institution like Cambridge.
Most valued aspect of the programme
What I valued most about the programme were the real-world projects and the international experience that set the Cambridge MBA apart. The projects are a great opportunity to solve a complex problem-whether with a team or individually-that really matters to a real world client. The international experience is exceptional in that it broadens your perspective in both a professional and personal sense. And after the MBA, you can travel to almost any country in the world and have an old classmate waiting on the other end!
The Cambridge MBA and career progression
The Cambridge MBA helped my career in a whole host of ways. I was the typical “career-switcher” who was open to a number of career paths following the MBA. Cambridge’s emphasis on practical learning allowed me to gain first-hand knowledge of a number of fields and career opportunities. As a result, I gained a much better understanding of what interested me-and what didn’t. Additionally, the Cambridge brand wields instant credibility. It provides access to a number of major companies and makes networking into other organisations much easier. And access to your classmates and their international networks may be the best part of all. I, for example, landed my summer internship through a classmate’s contact.
Recommendation to other military personnel
I would absolutely recommend Cambridge to ex-military personnel. At Cambridge, you will collaborate and work with some of the best minds from around the world. It is a true privilege to measure yourself against that group every single day. In terms of advice, I’d put the greatest emphasis on ensuring you take full advantage of everyday at Cambridge. Whether that means going to a conference, participating in competitions, going to formal dinners-it’s a great experience you’ll only get once. On the career front, make sure you start early! Practice interviewing, network with classmates and recruiters, hone your job search. On the flip side, I’d advise against interviewing before you’re fairly certain about the career you’d like to pursue.