Stepping off the plane at Chang International Airport, I smiled as I brushed off a bit of the sand still attached sweetly to my skin from the lovely Kata Beach, Thailand. The air was heavy with humidity, but I started my journey to my next destination, the Green Kiwi hostel in the Little India area of Singapore.
Do I hear you say quietly, “a hostel?!? Wait, I thought you are an MBA.” Well you have it right, on both accords. This MBA likes to stay in hostels while on personal travel, particularly when traveling solo. Hostels provide unique encounters with fellow travelers and enable me to learn about parts of a city I may not otherwise see. Bonus, they are efficient use on my limited capital, which I’d rather put to use on my experiences here…I told you I’m an MBA.
Over the next days, I had the opportunity to experience Singapore with two of my fellow classmates and 20 members from the incoming class of 2015. Many of the incoming class live or travel to Singapore often and provided this first time visitor guidance to the sights, hawker markets and nightlife of this remarkable city. After all, to understand a new-to-me part of the world, one must embrace the local flares.
In true MBA fashion we kickoff the trek with lessons in “mingling”, Singapore specific for us newbies. These lessons were put right to action as we embarked on site visits throughout the city. The Cambridge MBA program organisers put together a rockstar list of companies ranging from local powerhouses (Mapletree and OCBC) and class act consulting groups (A.T. Kearney, Deutsche Bank’s in-house consulting, and Gallup) to global leaders (Google and Unilever). Truly impressive were the thoughtful presentations given, the targeted questions asked by my fellow MBAs, and the activities of these groups in Singapore.
It is fitting that this trek was the final piece of my MBA. Since embarking on the Cambridge MBA, I have traveled to 6 new-to-me countries including Israel, Thailand and Singapore, and lived in three countries, including the UK and Spain for my Global Consulting Project. Walking around Little India these past days has been a bit of foreshadowing for my next adventure, as I will soon depart for a 10-week internship with Infosys in Bangalore, India. After that, who knows where the next stop will take me. Maybe I’ll return to Singapore with one of the groups we met this week or to Blk71, which I’m visiting on Monday, to dig into the growing startup space with a future business idea (I’m did Cambridge MBA ‘Concentration’ in entrepreneurship after all).
I do know my next immediate destination…Bangkok! Time to visit my amazing Thai classmates and meet a Cambridge University Blues hockey teammate.
Through the Cambridge MBA I now have a remarkable global reach. I may not know exactly where I will be come January 2016, but I know that I can contact my classmates, the alumni and now members of next year’s class to learn about companies and geographies. This will be the case now and for years to come. I look forward to the continual growth of our network and finding my fellow MBAs around the world.