The journey from Cambridge (MA, USA) to Cambridge (UK) has been nothing short of an adventure. When I attended the in-person Cambridge MBA Open Day in March 2023, I felt the same sense of belonging that I experienced when I walked into Harvard University in April 2018. I see the world of Cambridge(s) to be an opportunity to push my academic and professional boundaries and lean into my passion for harnessing startup innovation in healthcare – there is something in the air here!
When I was evaluating Cambridge among other schools, I loved its focus on global perspectives, ethnic diversity and championing inclusiveness. While writing my essay for the Cambridge Judge Business School, I started off by saying that for a scientist to venture into accounting and corporate finance will surely be an uphill battle, but I’m choosing Cambridge to expand my mindset into being more global and learn from people in different professions, backgrounds and walks of life.
My journey to the MBA is a little different than some others. I am one of the two microbiologists in the cohort, and on some days, I feel a little misplaced being here. However, one of the advantages of a global MBA is that you study, dine and party alongside a cohort of diverse backgrounds that truly expands your mind. One week of MBA Orientation and I have already met and had meals with people from 12 nationalities! Cambridge really lives up to its global hype.
I think the move to the UK will eventually get easier – embracing the walking, the scattered rain and the sporadic home-sickness. Before joining the MBA programme, I had spent most of my time in India and the United States, and moving to the UK was a form of challenging myself into experiencing living on a college campus again in my late 20s.
I have two tips for candidates considering an MBA in 2024:
Make LinkedIn your best friend – Before I made the decision to come to Cambridge, I spoke to 10+ alumni, students and professors about why they chose Cambridge, how Cambridge shaped their career aspirations, and how they presented themselves in the application. You don’t have to talk to alumni or current students, but I’d like to share that it is a resource available to all of you. Bonus points when you finally meet your LinkedIn friends in real-life!
Focus on your uniqueness – In the sea of MBA students all coming from different places, education and aspirations, it’s easy to feel that you might not be “unique enough”. Embrace what’s truly unique about you, whether that’s being a scientist, first daughter to study abroad, being an Asian woman, or an aspirational first-time entrepreneur (all true for me), and let that shape your MBA application and interview. You will have to keep tapping into your uniqueness even in class, there is no imposter syndrome, you are here because you are chosen to be here.
I expect big things from my journey at Cambridge Judge and at Cambridge – but most of all, I am looking forward to having the best time of my life on campus!