It is hard to believe that, in the blink of an eye, three months of the MBA has already passed. Reflecting back on the first term, we’ve completed seven core classes, attended career workshops and guest speaker events, not to mention participated in ongoing extracurricular activities and numerous social events as well.
One of my most memorable experiences this term has been the Cambridge Venture Project (CVP). Our team of five had the opportunity to work with Cambridge United, a rising league 2 football club in the UK. Over the course of five weeks, during which all of us were still juggling a 9 am to 5:30 pm class schedule, we were tasked to value the Cambridge United brand through various methodologies (some of which we applied directly from our Finance and Management Science classes), while devising a strategic roadmap for their future growth.
Some of my key takeaways from my CVP are:
• I learned to tackle challenges in a completely new industry: The CVP really pushed us out of our comfort zones. We started from not knowing anything about English football, to fully immersing ourselves in database research, Excel modelling and expert interviews, to ultimately feeling confident enough to develop sound recommendations for our client.
• I learned the true meaning of teamwork: The CVP was much more than just a consulting project; it was also a test of our collaboration skills. Working with four other team members from different countries and industries under a time crunch can be stressful but rewarding – we realised that to navigate a difficult project we really have to practice challenging our own assumptions and stay open-minded to other people’s approaches. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, especially when you’ve fallen in love with one specific idea. What was really unique about the CVP was that it also ran in parallel with our Management Praxis class in which we learned about team dynamics, multicultural collaboration, and leadership – concepts that we could reflect on and apply directly throughout our project.
• It gave me a glimpse into the consulting industry: The CVP offered me a glimpse into the daily work of real-world consultants; this was an invaluable hand-on experience, which gave me the chance to apply my knowledge and skills to complex business challenges.
The CVP experience has taught me to have greater awareness of both my team and myself, with lifelong lessons on how to adapt my managerial mindset in various team and work situations. Despite the level of exhaustion all of us were feeling towards the end of term, our team was able to really stick together and deliver a successful final result. This was a fulfilling learning experience and now I find myself looking forward to my next challenge during the next term – the Global Consulting Project.