When I was researching MBA programs this time last year, one of the most appealing aspects about the program at Judge was exposure to hands-on consulting projects.
The first one we tackle is the Cambridge Venture Project (CVP). My team and I are mid-way through ours and so far, so good! We are a very diverse group – coming from Chile, Russia, Japan, the US, and the UK – but get along well and bring different skills to the table. At JBS, you learn as much from your peers as from the classroom, and the CVP is no exception. It also helps that our client – Cambridge Rowing – is so special.
First, it is so ‘Cambridge’. For no other university in the world, with the exception of Oxford, does rowing mean so much. This has given us the chance not only to speak to incredibly dedicated and accomplished athletes, but also to learn about the inner functions and politics of one of the world’s oldest universities.
Second, after my MBA I want to continue working in non-profit management. The boat clubs at Cambridge are non-profit entities but their project calls for a very quantitative, analytical, and business-minded approach. I came to business school to learn how these tools could be better applied to the charitable sector and so I feel very lucky to be working on these issues first-hand while still studying.
Third, because rowing means so much to the people who have done it, everyone connected to Cambridge rowing that we have spoken to has been forthcoming, honest, and just as committed as we are to making our project a success.
Cambridge has three distinct university rowing organisations: the heavyweight men’s club (Cambridge University Boat Club); the lightweight men’s club (Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club); and the women’s club, which has both lightweight and heavyweight together (Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club). Multiple people within those clubs have a strong voice as to how they should be run. This means we spend a lot of time on the phone, synthesizing information, and preparing questions that will ensure we get the facts we need.
It is a lot of work, but JBS ensures we are well-equipped to make the most of this experience and give our best work to the client. Weekly management praxis classes encourage us to think about team dynamics, how to work better with others, and how to accurately assess our own strengths and weaknesses. Each team is also provided with a mentor – a member of JBS faculty or industry insider – who is available to provide insights, support, and guidance for everything from narrowing the scope of your assignment to identifying the right markets to research and people to speak to.
The CVP is both a fun and an important component of the MBA that allows you to bring business theory to life. Certainly, one of the aspects that drew me to JBS in the first place hasn’t disappointed in the least!