All posts filed under “Cambridge MBA

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Cambridge MBA – My first week

This last week was an incredibly busy, invigorating, slightly frustrating but incredibly enjoyable week. I’m guessing that it’s pretty much par for the course for a typical MBA program, but it was still great to experience.

First impressions? LOTS and LOTS of information; stacks and stacks of forms, papers, passwords, cards and the like. Doing an MBA in essentially 11.5 months (instead of the US-standard 21 months) means that a LOT of things get compressed. At the end of this week I’m already on my third revision of my CV with the careers department, have signed up for Leadership Dinners with really interesting business leaders that will be visiting campus, and started Economics classes. We’re talking a serious firehose of information here.

A great thing? The people on this course. We’ve spent a lot of time getting to know each other, and I’m still running into people every day that I haven’t really talked to. The class of 150 has already split into two streams of 75, and each stream has all of our classes together. I’m also in a study group with 4 other people for this term. There are some incredible people on the course, including a Fellow (aka full Professor) of Medicine here in Cambridge, a professional gambler, a former Goldman Sachs trader, three Army officers (2 British, 1 American) and many, many other interesting people. All told the 150 people in the class come from ~45 different countries. There are even four of us who are University of Michigan alumni! With mixers/drinks/BBQ’s every night this week, we’ve spent some quality time together already.

The University of Cambridge is also a very unique place. Everyone is assigned to one of 31 colleges, and these make for a very unique experience. I’m probably going to be more involved with my college (Jesus College) than many others because I’m going to be rowing with the Jesus College Boat Club. The only problem with this is that each College is where most of the paperwork for you as a student is done. Housing, ID cards, and lots more go through the Colleges, and largely out of any visibility or control from the Judge Business School. What it means is that day to day each person lives a very unique experience as they navigate through the University/College/Business School ecosystem. I had some issues hold me up getting my ID card (just got sorted out today), and also plan to be moving out of my private accommodation into College accommodation next week (a room came up free). With all of this, I’ve spent a lot of time with the Graduate Tutor’s secretary at Jesus!

By the way, the photo below is where I’ll have a room as of next week. Nice place, huh?


Next week classes continue, but they’re largely background foundational classes in Economics. The real heavy classes start the week after that. Next week we continue to get orientated with IT issues (you have NO IDEA how many different logons and passwords I’ve had to enter/change/configure this week), get sorted at our Colleges, and continue to get to know each other. The end of next week finishes with official “Matriculation” events at Jesus College, including a photo of all us grad students in our gowns. But gowns are a topic for another time… (yet another Cambridge tradition/oddity).

Like I mentioned at the top, it’s been a great week, but also looks like it’s going to be an incredibly busy year.

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Heading to Cambridge to get my MBA

JBSlogo.jpgI’m very happy to announce that I’m off to Cambridge to get my MBA, starting in just a few short weeks. And not Cambridge, Massachusetts; I’m off to the original Cambridge, in the UK.

As a bit of background, the University of Cambridge is the second-oldest English speaking university in the world, having been founded shortly after Oxford in 1209. (Which means that next year is it’s 800th anniversary… wow!)

In October I will start the one-year Cambridge MBA programme. Clearly, fitting an MBA curriculum into just one year, with two consulting projects and an individual project means that I’m going to be really busy in the coming year. But from everything I’ve seen and everyone I’ve met there it’s going to be an invigorating experience.

I’m going back to school for a number of reasons, which I will explain in further posts. But when I chose a school, I wanted to stay in the UK, and I wanted to go to a school that would provide me the tools and connections to get me where I want to go in my career. Though it was only founded in the last 20 years or so, the Judge Business School already has a skyrocketing reputation. It’s ranked 10th in the world according to the Financial Times, though MBA rankings are of course highly subjective. Not only that, but it’s reputation in science and technology is unparalleled anywhere. (81 Nobel Prize winners, concentrated in Physics, Medicine and Chemistry) And who can forget Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Keynes, Alan Turing, and Hugh Laurie? (Well, maybe Hugh doesn’t quite fit in with the others…) I plan on getting back in touch with my engineering/tech roots as I prepare for my post-MBA career.

Each Cambridge student is also a member of one of Cambridge’s 31 colleges; I’ll be associated with Jesus College which was founded in 1496. The majority of sports happen on the college level, and I plan to continue my rowing with the Jesus College Boat Club, which has historical links back to Thames Rowing Club.

For anyone that’s interested, I plan on blogging about my MBA experience as much as I can in the coming year. If you’re interested in these posts specifically, I’ll be setting up a separate “feed”, which you can also subscribe to via e-mail.

It’s going to be an exciting twelve months!