Srivani Chatti – MBA Class of 2020/21 –

When I was asked by Cambridge Judge faculty Michael Kitson during the Cambridge MBA interview,

“If there was one thing you would like to change about Cambridge, what would that be?” I was stumped.

For a place that I have revered all my life, thinking about a change was not easy.  “Access”, I said! Access of a world class institution like Cambridge to marginal communities.”

Coming from a developing country myself, I understand many may not have it. But little did I know that I could work towards it in the next six months during my MBA year.

There have been many stories on how the Cambridge MBA give ample opportunities to push yourself beyond limits. It gave me this opportunity and in one of the most unforeseen situations. When India was badly ravished by the second wave of Covid-19 and we were feeling helpless, there was a question lingering, “Is there something we could do?” and what came out of this fantastic Cambridge Judge community was a response that I could have never imagined.  

Joining forces with Oxford MBA students, I developed and led “Oxbridge Oxygenates”, an initiative to support the oxygen crisis in India along with my partner, Mayanka Sheoran and with the support of an amazing bunch of people from across the business school community. The Cambridge Oxford ecosystem came together in more than one way with the help of CJBS Professor Jaideep Prabhu, our guiding star from day one. 

With an overwhelming support from the Cambridge Judge’s leadership and an amazing MBA alumni community, our funds increased from £2000 to £10,000 in just eight weeks. It was also gratifying to witness the manufacturing of home-grown oxygen kits with the help of a partnership between the Cambridge Judge Business School and the Maker’s Asylum.  

But if there is one thing that has been truly special to me, is how this initiative answered the question we began with. Oxbridge Oxygenates provided mentorship by Cambridge and Oxford MBA students to people from different countries around the globe. We were able to support and serve close to 100 students with not just advice but also referrals, personal stories, and coaching. When responses like, “Wow, I now know I could do this!” emerged, it all made sense. 

If it was my mom who made sure I reached Cambridge, what I will carry from this place, as the Cambridge MBA programme ends, is the phenomenal experience that this place gives in making you believe, “I got this!” and that is how this one year transforms you!  

From me to you – We got this!  

Srivani Chatti – MBA Class of 2020/21 – Photography – Amanda Lee Tromp

For more on this story and other student-led leadership initiatives during the Cambridge MBA year, read our MBA News and Insights section >