With the first month of classes over, I can’t believe how quickly time has flown between the start of orientation in mid October and our mid-term break this week! It feels like only yesterday when the Admissions team and Jochen Runde welcomed us, the MBA class of 2011, to the great halls of Cambridge Judge Business School. The excitement in the air was palpable.
Here we were, finally. We had left behind relatives, friends, co-workers, and familiar surroundings in different corners of the world for a single purpose: to transform our lives during the one year that we were here together at Cambridge.
We had all come from different backgrounds, all 150 of us; and while some of us came from consulting and finance, many of our classmates came from non-traditional backgrounds such as performing arts, charitable work, publishing, government policy, and micro-finance. My first thought upon meeting my classmates was “these people are amazing!” It was clear that the Admissions team had hand-picked each of us, keeping in mind the whole puzzle. We represented a microcosm of diversity and potential: a mini United Nations!
As we gathered in the CJBS Lobby, the questions buzzing around the class were, “Where are you from?” and “What would you like to do after the MBA?” And the responses were very different. China, public policy, Indonesia, entrepreneurship, the United States, international development, Brazil, venture capital, South Africa, healthcare management. There were many people with double and triple nationalities who spoke three to five languages. There were people with families and partners, and those who were looking for their future partners! In one year, we would all go our separate ways, pursuing the very dreams that had motivated us to come to Cambridge, but for now, we looked forward to the challenges and mysteries that lay ahead.
We would explore the difficulties of local businesses looking to provide new solutions to different markets during our Cambridge Venture Projects. We would learn the skills necessary to work across borders and with people from different cultures and nationalities during the Global Consulting Project. We would be challenged to question our assumptions and the business status quo as the world continued to sort out the many problems and questions left in the wake of the global financial crisis.
As we walked out of Peterhouse College, where Jochen Runde had welcomed us, and into the halls of Cambridge Judge Business School, one thought lingered on our minds. The time is now.