Cambridge Judge Business School is proudly highlighting its ability to tailor the MBA programme in a way to support various aspirations of each and every student. There are quite a few ways to do this, starting from the traditional electives selection that many other business schools adopt through to a standard Summer Project, that often goes far beyond a general internship scheme. In my case the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) framework turned out to be the main tool to match the intellectually challenging curriculum with real world practice, to also get a deeper understanding of the many career opportunities that Cambridge MBA students might be able to embrace.

Visit to Blue Water Energy during London Energy Trek

The SIG was born

Coming from energy-focused investments background, I chose to leverage my experience in a way to contribute to the Energy and Sustainability SIG that actively promotes initiatives to expand understanding of energy trends and support energy related career aspirations across Cambridge Judge Business School MBA and MFin students.

In the middle of the one-year MBA journey it is fascinating to look back and recollect what has been done, as well as anticipate a range of my new accomplishments.

Not long after I was admitted to Cambridge, I started actively reaching out to my soon-to-be-classmates from all over the world. By the first meeting in ‘Harry_Potter_movie_is_your_new_home’ Cambridge, I already realised what an amazing team that was now around me. From Mongolia to Brazil, Lebanon and USA, Colombia and France – my classmates covered so many different nationalities; we now had a mini United Nations to shape our own energy future. I was both proud and happy to co-run the Energy and Sustainability SIG activities for the Class of 2018 cohort.

Mapping Cambridge energy ecosystem

The fact that CJBS is a part of University of Cambridge happens to be both a curse and a blessing when it comes to organising activities. There is no integrated framework of energy related research centers, initiatives and networks in Cambridge, so we started with mapping our own energy Cambridge. We were lucky to have the wider alumni network to make a couple of first introductions and CJBS Professor Michael Pollitt and professor David Reiner, to actively support us. Establishing working relationships with Cambridge University Energy Network, Energy@Cambridge, Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG) and other entities enabled our SIG to enjoy more tools to embrace additional learning and networking opportunities in the heart of this global knowledge hub.

Medium is the message

Bi-weekly digest circulated among SIG members and our main stakeholders in CJBS aims at updating everyone on which academic events are worth notifying and attending across the city’s energy scene, sharing details of past events as well as reminding our audience of energy-related career events and case competitions.

50 shades of energy in Cambridge and outside

Bloomberg New Energy Finance office

Since Mohammed does not always go to the mountain, we started meeting energy companies in their offices. In our November 2018 trek to Blue Water Energy, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and RWE helped us to get deeper insights into different angles of their energy business, be it potential energy (PE), knowledge service or the trading arm of a power company. There are still a further two more treks planned before the end of the year.

A still wider global prospective was acquired through a more general career trek to the United Arab Emirates in December.  This trek was also heavily focused on regional energy prospective. We visited a number of companies, from, the Dubai office of Shell, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company).  These companies all kindly hosted the group of twenty five Cambridge MBA students, sharing further insights into the business of energy across the UAE.

Presentation of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s strategy during UAE Careers Trek

Treks also happen to be a successful form of collaboration and can lead further into sourcing for the Cambridge MBA Global Consulting Project (an opportunity to experience real work as a consultant during the Easter holiday period) from some of the companies mentioned.

The biggest challenge ahead

Scaling its efforts, at the moment the SIG is working on organising its anchor annual event, an energy conference in April. We expect to host some of the brightest academia and business representatives to discuss the main theme “Mapping the energy transition” from different angles. Among topics for panel discussion are financing issues, relevant policy and technological approach to the transition, among others. With a marketing campaign kicking off we are ambitiously planning to attract around two hundred attendees from both Cambridge and London to join the full day of insights on our joint future for the energy sector

Even though the moment of going back to business is actually approaching much sooner that one might expect, the second half of the Energy & Sustainability SIG year promises to be even more exciting. The wonderful collaborations we continue to develop through our  activities help us maintain our links to the wider University of Cambridge and CJBS communities. And hopefully support the development of life-long friendships born this year and nurtured at the SIG social events, alongside a good pint or a glass of wine.