For a business school, finding the right balance between freedom and guidance is a tricky task. Cultivating creativity and teaching business principals can seem at odds with one another. As I was a ballet dancer before coming to the course, I needed to find a school that would challenge me but at the same time understand my unique career path and goals. Cambridge Judge Business School offers a blend of individuality and core teaching by leaving much of the decision making up to the student. I like to think of it as an MBA with assembly required.

The school and university basically provide possibilities to explore just about any aspect of business, intellectual and personal development. The responsibility to take advantage of these opportunities is in large part up to you. From the beginning of the application process to the course itself, respect for the individual is evident.  During my interview, the interactions with the admissions committee and professors were focused on my personal goals. This individual philosophy remains strong throughout the study too. The course is designed to offer flexibility with choices of electives, concentrations and projects. Actually, this freedom to tailor the course to individual goals is a key element of the program. It is the assembly aspect. All the parts are included; put it together and create your MBA.

Additionally, the wider university community offers plenty of opportunities to create a unique experience. Whether rowing for the college team, attending discussions led by PhD students or dining at formal halls, there is never ending list of activities and interactions. The college can be the centre of social interaction or just a place to eat lunch. Again, it is up to you. The choice is yours. Debates featuring Members of Parliament and speeches from Nobel Prize winners are almost regular events at the Cambridge Union. There are art and history museums on the campus to offer different perspectives and some necessary inspiration. It is all there for you to integrate into your MBA.

The Cambridge experience is about choice. There are dinners with business executives that conflict with project group meetings. There are drinks with friends/classmates that are at the same time as a speech from a celebrity news anchor. Big or small, choice is a constant. The time constraints of this year-long MBA make these choices difficult, nearly impossible, at times. It can even be overwhelming. But it is this relentless wave of decision that creates the opportunity to assemble your very own MBA experience.