We continue our series meeting the Class of 2020 Special Interest Group leaders, as they develop their career interests in line with their MBA learning.
Co-chair for Government and Policy SIG, Xavier Gomez Maqueo,
Our main plan is to find opportunities to help our members grow professionally in the public sector. These include identifying job opportunities, organising talks with leading figures, and collaborating with similarly minded organisations inside and outside the Cambridge community.
I decided to join the Government & Policy SIG due to my interest in pursuing a socially impactful career that would make use of my MBA, as well as my economics skill set. After meeting with members, I was fascinated by their incredible leadership and professional experience and I knew I was in the right place. I took the leadership position due to my interest in seeing this SIG grow and develop.
I decided to pursue an MBA for the same reason I joined the SIG: I wanted to maximize my social impact. While my background in Economics and Statistics provides me a depth of expertise in the analysis of economic policies and programmes, an MBA offers breadth through its complementary skill set. Beyond the necessity to be comfortable with balance sheets, strategic planning, and negotiations, implementing effective policies and programmes requires leading, managing, and working with experts from different fields. Given the powerful combination of both skill sets to address some of the world’s most pressing problems, the Government and Policy SIG was a natural fit for me.
My career ambition is to work at the intersection of the public and private sectors, whether in international development institutions, management consulting, or public-private partnerships. Given that each sector has its weaknesses and advantages, I want to draw from their particular strengths to solve socially impactful problems.
I am originally from Mexico City, an economist and an MBA candidate with 4+ years of experience in impactful quantitative analysis & research at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Stanford University. I am passionate about economic development, analytics, and strategy. I am actively seeking roles in management consulting, international development institutions, and corporate strategy.
Rustom Vakharia, Co-chair, Government & Policy (GAP),
I would like to continue to plan events which give members of our cohort an understanding of the political and policy making landscape in other countries. For example in the run up to the start of our programme, I organised a marathon zoom call where students from Oxford and Cambridge spoke about the political situation in their respective countries. The call was kicked off by Dr. Shashi Tharoor who was Ex-Under Secretary General to the United Nations and is presently an MP in India.
While another co-chair is working to help our cohort to interact with professionals from developmental finance organisations, I would like to try and give the cohort an insight to a policy maker’s perspective towards the very same developmental finance organisations.
I would also like to share insights with members about the resources and opportunities Cambridge has to offer, to help them develop as future policy makers and leaders. For example, The Cambridge Majlis is an excellent avenue to practice public speaking skills.
I stood up for this role because I believed that I could focus on the political niche within this SIG, which I thought complimented what the other GAP co-chairs have to offer.
In the short-medium term I would like to go back to working in private equity or impact investing, where in my opinion an understanding of policy making, government and politics can help give you a competitive edge over peers. In the long term, once I have gained adequate experience as a professional, I aspire to indirectly or even directly participate in policy making in India and give back to my country.
I am an investment professional, however pre-MBA, I changed jobs from private equity to work for a top Indian politician. I also held a national political role in the All India Professional Congress, which gives full time working professionals a voice in politics. The professionals congress meant a lot to me, as it gave people with full time jobs an opportunity to participate in India’s democracy, instead of restricting it to the traditional full time politician. Three world leaders who were professionals first are, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru (Lawyer), Mr. Rajiv Gandhi (Pilot) and Dr. Manmohan Singh (Economist), who all worked as professionals after graduating from Cambridge University, before they went on to become leaders in India. Other Cambridge alumni like Nobel Prize winning Dr. Amartya Sen, helped shape Indian policy in a more indirect manner.
I believe that as a cohort we can all benefit from each others’ experiences and that the Government and Policy SIG activities, in some small way, can support our respective career paths.
Public Speaking SIG Co-chair, Benjamin Olsen,
We are very excited to reignite the Public Speaking SIG this year and are eager to begin the host of activities we have planned across our three main areas of interest: Learning, Peer-to-Peer Practice and Debates & Competitions.
I learned early on in my career that being comfortable speaking in front of an audience was crucial to advancing up the ladder in effectively any industry, hence I’ve tried to gain as much exposure as possible and have even enrolled in a few classes over the years – but I still have a way to go!
The legendary investor Warren Buffett said it himself, that the single most important course he ever took part in was a public speaking course and I certainly don’t doubt his wisdom.
View a full list of all the 22 different Special Interest Groups for Cambridge MBA Class of 2020/21.
Our Cambridge MBA Careers pages can also be found here.