When I first started the MBA programme, I expected to face coursework that was heavily quantitative and analytical. However, I ended up finding a class where I play (competitive) games and make a short movie about how people behave in an office in Indonesia.
As someone who studied Communications, and went on to work in Marketing, I believe I don’t have enough exposure or training on the quantitative aspect of business management. This is a gap that I believe is limiting my ability to be more analytical in building a marketing strategy, and ultimately the gap that I am looking to fill by doing an MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School.
While I find exactly the learning opportunity that I was looking for from courses like Corporate Finance and Management Science, I was pleasantly surprised by the content of one course that I did not expect to find from an MBA programme: the Management Praxis course. This is that course with the games and the short movie, or soft skills in MBA terms.
The way that I would describe it: Management Praxis is a course where we “practice” key skills that are important in management, specifically skills to have a better understanding of our behaviour, the behaviour of others, our culture, and how we work together as a team. We learn these skills through a combination of group games, theoretical lectures, and working together as a team on a live consulting project for real clients; the ‘Cambridge Venture Project’.
These games are one of the most fun I ever had. It is a vehicle to understand how we can solve complex problems or how complicated concepts such as Game Theory and Information Asymmetry affects the way we behave in a team. The games put us in a situation that simulates those concepts. From solving puzzles, to playing with dice, to a computer simulation of mountain climbing, we learn more about these concepts because we discover how it affects us in person, instead of just hearing or reading about it.
Aside from the games, we were also instructed to create a video presentation about the working culture in our country to our cohort that comes from all across the world, 45 nationalities! Since Indonesians are a rather large group in our cohort, we decided to do this together, and do it properly! We ended up deciding to use inspiration from, “The Office”, as a show that highlights hilarious absurdity in the workplace. So we tried to copy the cinematography and the editing as best as we could to parody the show. We are so proud of the final product, running for 6 minutes.
In the class itself, the Professor only showed some clips from our video, alongside short clips from videos made by other students and teams. So here you can see our Indonesian final team version!
By the time I write this, my first term as a Cambridge MBA student is still ongoing, so I don’t know yet what kind of exciting experience I will have in the coming months, but the games and the assignment in the Management Praxis class will undoubtedly stay in my mind, as one of the most memorable and valuable experiences I have had here at Cambridge Judge Business School.