As we mark the Lunar New Year in China and celebrate 2021 as the year of the Metal Ox, we caught up with one Cambridge MBA student leading the way for Chinese business.
Why did you choose Cambridge for your MBA?
Cambridge is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and the close relationship with the Silicon Fen. I appreciate the energy, creativity, and commitment that it entails. Meanwhile, I’ve also heard that the Cambridge MBA cohort has a tighter relationship because of its relatively smaller size, and the Cambridge Judge students are very supportive of each other. These all made the Cambridge MBA a more attractive choice.
What do you wish to achieve personally and professionally during your year here?
Professionally, I expected to expand the scope of my knowledge in management to enable myself to take up roles with wider responsibilities, either senior executive or entrepreneur, by improving my knowledge in areas that I have had less exposure in, such as finance, governance, digital transformation, and so on.
Personally, I hope to make more friends and contacts with my fellow MBA classmates, with the wider network of CJBS alumni, as well as business leaders that can be reached through the global CJBS network. The opportunity of living in UK and experiencing British culture first hand, is also a plus. The coronavirus has certainly undermined the experience somewhat, but I am hopeful that the situation will change in a few months in the UK and we will have a great time in the last term.
How does your role as Cambridge China Business Society SIG leader sit within that?
The CCBS SIG is a great platform to network with other business school Chinese student communities and business leaders in China. Most Chinese students plan to return to China after their MBA and we hope that the Cambridge China Business Society SIG can help them expand their network.
How are you tailoring your MBA experience this year to support your career goals?
I choose the MBA Electives that are closely linked to my career aspirations, participate in workshops and student initiatives, network with the peers and professionals in the Cambridge startup ecosystem, and actively seek career advice.
What intentions do you have for your career moving forward after your MBA?
I initially planned to return to international development which I always find interesting and rewarding. Now I am also open to the possibility of developing my own start up. I am still working on my business idea. This is one of the benefits of the Cambridge MBA, that it opens your eyes to different possibilities. The intellectual stimulation and innovative culture here can spark an idea and urge you to become an entrepreneur, even though you may not have planned to do so initially. I have heard that there are a few groups in our cohort currently working on start up ideas and I am very encouraged by that.
What have been the most surprising parts of your MBA year so far?
I thought that the business school community would be dominated by European and UK students, but in reality, it is far more international than that. In fact, European students account for only 10% and the cohort is truly diverse with a number of students coming from African countries, as well as Caribbean islands.
What has the experience been like across the cohort for connecting and expanding your network (despite Covid restrictions!) ?
At the moment, we rely on zoom and one on one meetings to network most of the time. Despite the Covid restrictions, most of us are still able to connect with others to varying levels.
What have your MBA learnings been like and which aspects do you think you will take forward into your career the most?
The MBA learnings so far have been very engaging and practical. For most of the things I have learnt, I can easily imagine using them in real life situations going forward.
Tell us about your Global Consulting Project (GCP) and what you are looking forward to the most?
I sourced an MBA Global Consulting Project that is supported by a USAID project and the government of Democratic Republic of Georgia, working as a team on a Fintech ecosystem research and advisory project. We will have the opportunity to talk to the policy makers and influence the national policy, to create an enabling environment and build Georgia’s competitiveness in the global Fintech landscape.
And finally for those considering an MBA in the future
There are many resources that Cambridge Judge offers to help students advance their career, make the best of them to achieve your goal. Network actively with peers from over the world – it is stimulating and makes your life more enjoyable.