A year ago, I was in a fortunate position to choose between Cambridge and another UK business school for my MBA. I did my research and preferred Cambridge Judge Business School for a few important reasons – 1) the concentrations on offer 2) a better project focus 3) the small class-size and 4) location – not necessarily in that order.
At Cambridge Judge, we get to select electives, network with concentration folks and do a Capstone Project to concentrate in one area. And there are eight areas of specialisation to choose from. I am doing my Concentration in Health. This year, the Capstone Project is a strategic evaluation of a pilot service from NHS. Our Concentration consists of doctors, medical students, device manufacturers, dentist, pharma scientists, health IT consultants, healthcare private-equity experts and pharma entrepreneurs!
Projects – at Cambridge Judge you can do 4 different projects during the MBA programme – Cambridge Venture Project, Global Consulting Project, Individual and Capstone Projects. These are in addition to other Entrepreneurial projects that you could do on the side. All four projects happen at different times i.e. you don’t have to choose between one or the other, unlike on other UK programmes. We finished our Cambridge Venture Project in the Michaelmas term; it was a great team building project while we got to work with an entrepreneurial venture. For the Global Consulting Project, which will happen right after the Lent term, we are trying to source projects from various types of healthcare companies – pharma, consulting, NHS etc. It’s up to you to get into a consulting project of your interest and you can build your own team from your classmates. The Capstone and Individual Projects are for the later parts of the programme!
Class-size – one other important reason why I declined another UK business school, was down to the larger the class-size. I believe 150 is the right class size and I got to know 70+ students out of my last term’s stream of 75 and 50+ students from the other stream. In the Lent term, students are mixed up for the streams; by the end of March, I will have known everyone very closely. Also, the quality of the students is phenomenal. Our class consist of 97% international students with students from no one country dominating.
Location – I believe Cambridge is in the best location, especially for biotech, health and tech folks. The cluster here has tons of like-minded companies and professionals and it’s going to produce more billion dollar companies (already have a couple from the region). There are unlimited networking opportunities in and around Cambridge Cluster/Silicon Fen.
For those concerned about some of the latest MBA rankings, I would say don’t worry too much about these! Our directors and the School are following these very closely and in the mid to long term, our programme structure, tight affiliation with research and university will produce the results necessary. And, future entrepreneurs from Cambridge will make us proud, for sure.