I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of January! I arrived in Cambridge four months ago and the time has literally flown by. A lot of things happened over the past months. The MBA Programme is so intense that you do not have many possibilities to slow down and take a breath – unless you force yourself to do it (and I highly recommend doing so!).
The courses and the professors here at Judge are really amazing, and I am learning a lot of concepts and methodologies that would be extremely helpful in every future path I’ll decide to take. Since my background is in architecture and construction, I have never dealt with economics or finance in the past. This makes classes such as Microeconomics, Corporate Finance and Financial Analysis essential to complete my overall academic education and understand the market dynamics of the contemporary world. One of the things that stood out to me on Cambridge MBA is how the faculty members focus their attention on shaping your way of thinking and giving you the tools and the confidence to make your own reasoned and motivated financial decisions.
My favourite core course so far is Management Praxis, delivered during the Michaelmas term. The course is centred around the concepts of teamwork and collaboration: it’s an open-eyed course with the purpose to make you aware that your world is not necessary somebody else’s world, and that your actions have different impact according to the people you deal with and the team you work with. The Management Praxis course is probably the flagship course of the Cambridge MBA, since the programme aims to form MBAs who are not quite technical prepared, but also know how to manage teams and organisations effectively to achieve a common goal. I found this course to be really inspiring, and I am already applying as many of these concepts as possible within my study group and the Cambridge Venture Project (CVP).
The CVP is an amazing practical piece of work placing MBA students in real world situations with local organisations! Projects are assigned to study groups by the MBA Programme team. The Programme team also aims to create groups as diverse as possible to maximise the learning experience for everyone. I cannot reveal much about our assigned company due to our non-disclosure agreement other than the fact that it is a large tech company with a lot of experience and resources in the silicon and semiconductor market.
The most interesting part of our team’s CVP project is the topic. We have been asked to define the future and the market value of smart cities and smart infrastructures! From my point of view as an architect the subject hit home since our team was required to imagine how a future city will be when AI, machine learning, sensors and wearable technology are as common as smartphones. How can the company generate value by going in that direction? At the beginning, I must say, I was a bit disoriented by the extent of the project. However, thanks to the backgrounds and precious skills of my team mates and the invaluable help of our mentor, we were able to pin down the scope.
In the second week after signing the Project Initiation Document (PID) with the client, we were almost halfway through the CVP project. I have been learning a lot over the past weeks through my team members. Within our CVP group, I have observed and learned how to tackle abstract projects and define precise and practical deliverables. For example; going beyond the given information and analysing a company and their purposes from a wider perspective; controlling a wide range of different tasks and organising the team schedule precisely and effectively; and how to communicate professionally and efficiently within the team and with external stakeholders. My fellow MBAs are definitely one of the most important resource of the entire programme. I can’t wait to see where future projects will lead us and what we will be able to achieve thanks to this experience. The Cambridge MBA is truly life-changing and mind-shaping. I consider myself very lucky and proud to be part of the extraordinary MBA Class of 2017.