A typical engineer with atypical dreams, I ventured into entrepreneurship – by starting a beverage alcohol company immediately after completing my undergraduate course in 2009. I enjoyed the unrivaled feat of introducing ‘Ready to Drink’ alcoholic beverages and other spirits in the Indian market.
My decision to take a break from my business and seek an MBA in 2015 was not only motivated by my desire to learn how to grow my business, but also to take a break from work and broaden my outlook in life. Hence my expectations from Cambridge and Judge Business School were enormous!
After 4 weeks of starting the programme, my experience has been nothing short of spectacular!
Life so far…..
Most parts of our day in the last month have been spent at Cambridge Judge Business School in between lectures, seminars, project work, client meet ups, presentation skills, case workshops and the occasional drinks receptions.
The lectures have definitely been the highlight of this period. Professor Jochen has a unique way of relating fundamentals of Microeconomics with memorable day-to-day activities that has made his class very interesting to attend and easy to grasp. Prof. Stefan Scholtes has had practical advice on how to utilize and understand business data and take meaningful actions based on it, a complementary skill to my own intuitive nature as an entrepreneur. Prof Dissanaike has taught me how to use Corporate Finance concepts to be a sound investor and evaluate the risk of my own organization. Prof Philip’s Organisation Behaviour lectures have added insight on how to orchestrate a good work culture within an organization. But what I enjoy most is Management Praxis – taught by Prof Goodall and Prof Matt – it has not only given me a new dimension on leadership but also a heightened desire for collaboration and team effort.
Living, working and networking with peers from such diverse backdrops is a true deep dive into diversity. I am part of a study group that includes a Canadian banker, a Slavic-American Entrepreneur, an Indonesian Entrepreneur and a Chinese Journalist. Our group is currently consulting a Cambridge start up on the launch and market plan of their out-of-the-box product. In classes, I regularly interact with people from 40 different nationalities! I can safely say that I have close friends in almost all the corners of the world.
The out of class experience…
So I’m learning new things every day. There was a time when I hardly knew anything about rugby. Now, I can cheer and enjoy the matches! I find that there is so much to learn from my university cohort as we discuss the growing prospects of consumer products in southeastern markets or Latin America over English ales. I can gradually see my vision expanding. From owning a medium enterprise in India, I now dream of creating a global impact across the breadth and length of consumer products and hospitality.
Last month, we had our matriculation dinner at Hughes Hall, where I was officially inducted as a student at this prestigious university. I have also attended Formal Halls at several colleges at Cambridge where Fellows and students dine together and enjoy discussions on various topics. I feel truly blessed to be a part of this 800-year old legacy. I have also joined the Whisky Society, the rowing club and the diving club and have had the first golf shots at a driving range.
It is liberating to chill out at the famous ‘Dar Bar’ of Darwin College after a tough Monday morning or the Hughes College bar with graduates from various departments, talking about mathematics, genetics, arts, literature etc. Shaking a leg at Lola Lo’s or Fez late after dinner has become a regular weekend affair too. To top it off, I am contemplating taking on process optimization course from the Department of Engineering.
In the last one month, I have realized that Cambridge is much more than what I bargained for and I look forward to a truly life transforming experience!