Three months into the MBA and the first thing I would like to stress is that it’s challenging, but immensely rewarding. It is hard to enter into a Cambridge MBA, as with any competitive MBA, and it is hard to balance the experience in a way that you don’t regret not doing X, Y or Z. There are so many things to do here, and the programme is so intense, given that it’s a one-year programme and comparable to a two-year programme – that learning how to manage the experience, is an MBA in itself.
Choosing Cambridge MBA was a ‘no brainer’ for me, once I saw how much practical learning it offers, compared to other schools. Much more than the experiential learning cliché, Cambridge Judge Business School has as many practical learning experiences, with real clients, as one could possibly do in a year. The academic side of things I have found, is also the best it could be. The school, embedded in an 811-year-old university with multiple Nobel prizes to its name, ensures every MBA student learns from the best teachers and gets all the supporting frameworks, to succeed on any future career market. The composition of the class is also conducive to exposing yourself to a new work scenario. Around 95% are from countries outside the UK and the class is also diverse in terms of background, so you get to work with people from different cultures and different expectations than your own – helping you to understand how to work and strive in this environment.
With that being said, the academics and experiential projects are quite demanding. Adding to that, the wider eco-system of the University, the Colleges, the City of Cambridge and even the business school itself, have much more to offer to people in the programme. Not leveraging those across the one year would be a missed opportunity. There is the chance to attend many Cambridge College activities, such as attending formals and rowing on the River Cam. ‘Formals’ are short for formal dinners. I’m at Queens’ College, one of the more traditional ones across the city, and the picture shows me attending one of my very first formals at my college . It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to go through all the rituals and dress up to attend one of these. The wider city and the University have a lot of corners that illustrate centuries of history, that you can visit and be mesmerised by the architecture and history at each turn. The Colleges also hold many public and student lectures and activities, from sessions on advanced physics to political debates. One of the highlights from my time here has been attending a talk with Bill Gates at the Cambridge Union. It was rewarding to hear from one of the best business minds in the world.
Going through this MBA is a multi-dimensional learning experience. From the classes to the events citywide, we learn to improve our thinking and deal with a new set of challenges each day. All things considered, the Cambridge MBA is hard in many aspects, but it gives you growth and experiences not only for your career going forward, but for your life.