Other than maybe that one school that lies slightly to the west of us, there simply is no other MBA program that can offer you what Cambridge Judge Business School has to offer. While I would gladly like to say that statement applies to most contexts, today I am referring to all the events and activities that we have access to from being an integral part of a bigger university like Cambridge.
While there are plenty of perks, I am just going to list the three non academic ones I have been extremely thankful for over the last eight months.
Collegiate System – Not only am I a student of the Cambridge Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, I am also part of Hughes Hall – one out of 31 colleges that exist in Cambridge. What does this mean for a student? Well what it means is that you go and study everyday at Cambridge Judge Business School with all your MBA classmates and then in the evening you come to your college and stay with other students that study at various other departments of the University. So the college takes care of your accommodation, food, academic support in the form of tutoring etc. Not only do you have your MBA cohort as part of your network, you also have students doing their PhDs in areas ranging from nuclear energy to genetics. You share accommodation with them, you dine with them and you also represent your college in different activities and sports with them.
Formal Halls – This is part of being under the collegiate system but I think it deserves a special mention. Formal Halls are, as the name suggests, a formal occasion that is organised by each college for its students. Depending on which college, this could happen 5 days a week or once a week. It is a three course meal at a long table in some great looking dining halls, that each have their own culture and history. You will need to suit up and also wear a gown that literally makes you look like a character from the Harry Potter franchise. Combine that with how similar the dining halls look to the one from the movie, and you will know why lots of people refer to Harry Potter when they attend their first Formal Hall. The brilliance of this, other than the food, is that you can invite a bunch of your classmates over and use this as an opportunity to get to know them better. It is also a chance to socialize with other members of your college and learn some interesting things from them. At this point I would like to plug in the name of Daisuke Seki one of my GCP team mates who has managed to attend all 31 formal halls in the eight months that we have been here. This is something people struggle to achieve even in four years of undergrad. Simply amazing.
Cambridge Union Society – Last but not least would be the debating society of Cambridge – The Cambridge Union Society. One of the oldest student debating societies in the world, “the union” as it is generally referred to has been the place of some of my best moments over the last 8 months at Cambridge. They start of by hosting a Fresher’s Ball early into your course which makes it a great way to get to know your classmates and find out who in your class likes to party hard. After this, every week of the year they host debates which have seen some of the most illustrious people walk into the debating hall. I have personally had the privilege to sit a couple of meters away from Jackie Stewart, Pamela Anderson, David Blaine, Sir Roger Penrose, Bruce Dickinson and most importantly for me, David Moyes. Being a Manchester United fan, the chance to met David Moyes one week after he was announced as the next Manchester United manager was one of the highlights of the year. You do have to pay a fee to be part of the union but I think you will be making a big mistake if you decide not to take it up. It is surely worth every penny you pay. Just like the MBA.
Also outside of the union, this year we have had people like the Dalai Lama, Eric Schmidt and James Watson speak at the University. Anyway, I get quite passionate when talking about Cambridge and tend to ramble on. So I am going to stop myself here. I would just like to end by saying that at Cambridge, the MBA is just one part of what you will experience over the year.