For most of us, 2021 has been a fast ride. It still feels like it was only last month that I ended my four and half year’s career at Blackrock to join the MBA programme at the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School. Yet, here we are now towards the end of 2021 and I have finished the Michaelmas Term, also known as the most rigorous term, within the MBA programme.
If I were to describe my three months’ MBA experience in Cambridge so far, I would describe it as a life-changing experience. For the past eight years, I have been living in big cities in New York and Singapore and now, to be able to spend one year in a place that has a rich history and influence on the world, nothing could be better than Cambridge. In Cambridge, I am able to focus on experiencing a full student life again, instead of getting distracted from the busy life at a big city such as London, New York and Singapore. In addition, there are a lot of historic buildings around the campus where the Nobel prizes ideas and research were conducted, that have influenced the world as it is today.
On the Cambridge MBA , there are 221 of us and it is still considered a relatively smaller class size, compared to other MBA programmes. I personally believe a smaller class size is better, and enables more interaction and connection with the other classmates.
Michaelmas Term has been a challenging term for most of us, given the number of classes that we need to attend, in addition to family, job hunting, Case competitions, MBA Projects, and other commitments. But we definitely have learned a lot within such a short period of time and the knowledge will be beneficial for our future career goals.
The ‘live’ project in the first term, the Cambridge Venture Project (CVP), has been a unique experience on the MBA, as we have been grouped into a team of five, working closely with a UK-based start up for 6 weeks, to solve and provide advice on the company’s current issues. This experience has been valuable, as it allows you to experience the challenges that the company faces during an early stage, before it can grow further.
During my free time, I would typically pursue my passion for food by visiting tasting menu restaurants in London every weekend, not only to eat but also to interact with the chefs and staff to understand the story, concept, and inspiration behind the restaurant dishes. In addition, I also enjoy doing food blogging by posting photos of my tasting menu restaurants’ explorations on social media to provide a more objective view of my opinion regarding the food and my personal experience at those tasting menu restaurants that I have visited.
As someone who is naturally softly-spoken and introverted, it will be challenging for me to make connections with everyone given the huge class size. But by the end of the programme, my goal is to be able to make at least ten genuine friendships with my fellow MBA classmates, that we will still actively keep in touch after graduation and beyond. I personally believe that every great connection should start from genuine friendships that do not require you to benefit from each other in the present. After all, you will never know if the friendship today will turn into something important in your career in the coming years. I am glad that to mention that on this term alone, I have managed to achieve 50% of my goal, i.e. being able to make those 5 genuine friendships.
I am looking forward to the next chapter of my MBA journey in Lent Term and wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
All images courtesy of Kohnobe.
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