We caught up with Cambridge MBA Class of 2020/21 student and Forté Foundation scholarship holder Yinshan Loh, as she looks back on her extraordinary Cambridge MBA year, as well as sharing her insights having been awarded the BCG Women’s MBA Fellowship during the year.
Can you tell us about your support from BCG – Boston Consulting Group – going forward?
I am very honoured to have been the first across the University of Cambridge and the first in Asia to be awarded the BCG Women’s MBA Fellowship, as well as receiving an Honorarium scholarship from BCG as one of their top candidates. The BCG Women’s MBA Fellowship includes a one year one-to-one mentorship from a female leader within BCG. I will continue to receive mentorship from my BCG mentor, a partner from the Kuala Lumpur office, until the end of my Cambridge MBA year.
In addition, I also have a BCG buddy, a project leader, with whom I can discuss on-the-ground matters about the Singapore Office.
I am also participating in Diversity and Inclusion with BCG. I was recently invited to speak on a panel to share my experiences of the Women’s MBA Fellowship. This year, BCG has delightfully expanded the MBA fellowships to include ethnic and cultural fellowships, in addition to women’s fellowships.
I was honoured to be included on their Diversity MBA Fellowships – Information Session panel earlier this year – the recording of which can be found here>
How has BCG worked with you alongside your Cambridge MBA?
My experiences this year as a BCG Women’s MBA Fellow enriched my Cambridge MBA experience greatly. BCG has provided me with tremendous opportunities through the fellowship programme – a supportive mentor who has shared with me the inner workings of BCG, a network of 17 BCG MBA Fellows as peers to explore BCG together, and access to various enriching events, such as the Global Women’s Forum, that have opened my mind to just how impactful women can be.
I am also honoured to have been featured on various BCG platforms (BCG in UK, Women@BCG). I am happy and excited to continue being a part of BCG’s open and growth-directed culture.
Additionally, as a British Chevening scholar and a Cambridge Trust scholar, I have had the privilege of meeting incredibly talented and driven fellow international scholars that are pursuing studies in other fields. I love meeting people from diverse backgrounds, and the wide range of scholar networks and events have been great for that in this extraordinary MBA year.
How have you used your Cambridge MBA to focus your career into the consultancy sector?
The Cambridge Venture Project (CVP) and MBA Global Consulting Project (GCP) allowed me to experience working in international teams of talented people with diverse skill sets, as well as grow beyond my previous experiences in social sector consulting. I was able to serve a broader range of global clients and industries, such as a non-profit in the UK helping businesses digitalise to survive Covid-19, as well as the country of Georgia in growing their fin-tech ecosystem.
Intentionally choosing Cambridge MBA consulting projects outside of my comfort zone, has widened my exposure and tested my agility – these have in turn grown my confidence in being a versatile consultant.
As Co-chair of the Consulting SIG, I have also had the opportunity to create resources and drive initiatives that are helpful to my classmates and myself, in growing in consulting, be it networking, interview practice, or consulting competitions.
I also utilised the synergies, with my BCG Fellowship and other leadership roles, to deepen my contributions in my MBA consulting projects and in my role as Co-chair of the Consulting Special Interest Group (SIG).
How have you managed the elements of your MBA alongside your other projects and activities like the BCG Fellowship?
My MBA experience has undoubtedly been different than usual amid the many uncertainties of COVID-19. I have found it helpful to strategically choose commitments that align with my values and longer-term goals, set boundaries on my time to protect what matters, and take it a day at a time when things get busy.
I like to take a “Why not?” approach to the Cambridge MBA. If I am interested in something, why not give it a shot? After all, it is a safe environment within which failure has limited consequences… I’m not telling you it’s okay to fail your classes though!
What other activities have you been part of during your Cambridge MBA year?
Throughout the MBA programme, I have been challenging myself to grow as a female leader, by taking on multiple leadership roles in an international arena. These include roles relating to the Cambridge Judge Business School and within the broader university ecosystem, as well as undertaking activities outside of the University of Cambridge alongside my MBA commitments and learnings.
These include, Chair of the Government & Public Policy Special Interest Group (SIG), Co-chair of the Consulting SIG, member of the Fintech Club SIG and member of the Wo+men’s Leadership Club/SIG. I was privileged to be serving across these SIG leadership positions for my MBA cohort.
In addition, I was a co-ordinator and organiser for multiple international and inter-business school events, such as,
LBS-Cambridge-Oxford IMPACTathon, an inter-business school social impact case competition to support international social enterprises and allow students to showcase their impact consulting skills.
The Cambridge-INSEAD-LBS-IESE Women in Search Funds Panel, where various Women founders/CEOs of established search funds share their experiences on acquiring and running successful companies,
and CJBS-Cambridge Majlis fireside chat with Pawan Khera, a national senior leader of the Indian National Congress Party and former Political Secretary to the Chief Minister at the Government of Delhi, on the largest mass demonstration in human history (purportedly over 250 million people), the ongoing farmers’ protests.
Alongside this I have acted as an ambassador, as a CJBS Scholar and Forté Foundation Fellow, speaking on panels on scholarships and recruitment drives, providing guidance to prospect Cambridge MBA students and Forté scholars on various social media platforms.
Through my multiple leadership roles, I have been able to initiate activities and build resources for my classmates, such as a crowd-sourced knowledge exchange, events bulletin and job opportunities sharing platform, inter-student consulting case practice groups, inter-business school competitions, as well as fireside panels and conferences with CEOs and national leaders.
Additionally, I have been able to provide synergistic support between multiple clubs on various multi- disciplinary topics, organising international inter-school and cross-club events for the benefit of my fellow Cambridge MBA students, the broader University of Cambridge community and the international multi- school MBA student base at large.
These were tremendous opportunities provided to me by the wider eco-system across the University of Cambridge, which have helped me grow significantly as a person.
Consultancy roles and activities across my MBA year –
In consulting roles through the MBA programme, I have had the opportunity to serve as Lead MBA Consultant on a consulting team of five MBA students to formulate a national partnership roll-out strategy for Digital Boost, a large UK non-profit that provides digitalisation training to UK’s small businesses, thereby making a tangible positive impact on the UK’s small businesses amid the COVID-19 crisis.
I have also acted as an international fin-tech MBA consultant for the country and central bank of Georgia on their fin-tech ecosystem, through the United Stated Agency for International Development (USAID). We were delighted that the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) had begun implementing some of our suggestions, even before the end of the project.
I have also undertaken leadership and engagement roles within the broader University of Cambridge ecosystem, such as an organiser and mentor for the Cambridge Women in Business (CAMWIB) Mentorship Programme, where we recruited over 20 female Cambridge MBA professionals to mentor over 70 female undergraduate business students on hard and soft skills, and organised various events to provide interaction and support for mentors and mentees alike.
I represent the inaugural BCG MBA Fellow and Ambassador from the University of Cambridge in the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Women’s MBA Fellowship Programme, where I received mentorship from a Principal and a Partner in BCG, and was part of an exclusive network of 17 BCG MBA Fellows from around the world.
I am honoured to have won an Honorarium of €2,500 as BCG’s top candidate from Asia and I have also been personally featured on various BCG social media platforms (BCG in UK, Women@BCG).
I have stood as a key representative of the University of Cambridge and a founding member of the European Business School Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) Club for MBA students passionate about entrepreneurship through acquisition.
Beyond the University of Cambridge community, I have furthered opportunities to contribute to the international social sector and grow my entrepreneurial spirit with the following roles and opportunities;
I am both a British Chevening Award recipient and a Cambridge Trust Scholar, contributing to the international Chevening community by sharing my experiences at the University of Cambridge, providing support to fellow Chevening scholars, especially amid difficulties with COVID-19.
We were a finalist Innovator team (top 11/5300+ teams globally) at Stanford University’s Rebuild Innovation Sprint, in a team of four selected to present at the final showcase to Silicon Valley’s seasoned entrepreneurs and investors. We presented and developed an innovative solution to assist the retail sector during the global pandemic.
Our team received coaching from Keegan Cooke, an Associate Director at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Finally, I was also a mentor at the Young Women’s Leadership Connection (YWLC) in Singapore, and I have also been mentoring a female university student to fulfill her highest potential and found an online baking business.
I still manage a 7-figure multi-asset investment portfolio, as well as acting as a Startup Advisor at Bridges for Enterprise (BfE) to Rohobot Nursing Services, an Ethiopian social enterprise providing home-based health care services to the chronically ill and elderly in Ethiopia.
I have also become a part-time Associate with a London-based search fund, Soris Capital, where I intern and work closely with the Managing Partner to conduct industry reviews, search for companies in the UK to acquire, and am currently conducting commercial and financial due diligence for two companies.
As a spokesperson for Cambridge and the MBA programme, I have cherished the platform to share my experiences of personal and professional growth to encourage other women to take up opportunities for themselves.
How was your MBA Global Consulting Project experience and the practical learning outcomes of that?
For my Global Consulting Project (GCP), I was an international fin-tech consultant for the country and central bank of Georgia on their fin-tech ecosystem, through the United Stated Agency for International Development (USAID). With a vision to become one of the world’s leading fin-tech hubs, Georgia is stepping up its efforts to strengthen its fin-tech ecosystem and promote innovation in the financial services sector.
It was awesome working with a Cambridge MBA team of fellow central bankers, as well as an expert in international development and an ex-CTO. We conducted 24 interviews of diverse stakeholders within Georgia’s fin-tech ecosystem – it was great to get close-up perspectives of what could be done going forward in Georgia.
It was also heartening to see quick action being taken in line with our recommendations. Our MBA GCP team was invited to attend an inaugural Georgia fin-tech forum the following week, where we presented an opening address to the fin-tech ecosystem stakeholders, many of whom we had got to know during our project. The client also shared excerpts of our presentation on international and domestic collaboration as well as open banking, to the broader fin-tech industry.
Overall, we received very positive feedback from our client, who noted that they would be happy to collaborate with the Cambridge MBA GCP team again in the future, to further develop the Georgian fin-tech ecosystem.
How have you worked with and represented women across the cohort alongside your Forté scholarship?
In the following capacity, all of which I have enjoyed and was thrilled to a part of:
Ambassador as a Cambridge Judge Business School Scholar and Forté Foundation Fellow, speaking on panels on scholarships and recruitment drives, providing guidance to potential MBA students and Forté scholars on various social media platforms.
Organiser and mentor of the Cambridge Women in Business (CAMWIB) Mentorship Programme, where we recruited over 20 female MBA professionals to mentor over 70 female undergraduate business students on hard and soft skills, and organized various events to provide interaction and support for mentors and mentees.
Coordinator and co-organiser of Cambridge-INSEAD-LBS-IESE Women in Search Funds Panel, where various Women founders/CEOs of established search funds share their experiences on acquiring and running successful companies.
Inaugural BCG MBA Fellow and Ambassador from the University of Cambridge in the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Women’s MBA Fellowship Programme, where I received mentorship from a Principal and a Partner in BCG, and was part of an exclusive network of 17 BCG MBA Fellows from around the world.
I have also been personally featured on various BCG social media platforms (BCG in UK, Women@BCG)
Mentor at the Young Women’s Leadership Connection (YWLC) in Singapore, mentoring a female university student to fulfill her highest potential and found an online baking business. The resulting article can be read here>
With the exceptional MBA year that Yinshan has led – we can clearly see the enormous range of opportunities and extra curricular activities that exist alongside and as part of the Cambridge MBA programme, within the University of Cambridge and Cambridge Judge Business School community.
For more details of the Cambridge MBA community for women at CJBS visit our web pages here>
For more Cambridge MBA curriculum details and Cambridge life visit our further web pages here>