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Cambridge Judge MBA Admissions and Related Blogs

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Joined: 23 Mar 2014
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Cambridge Judge MBA Admissions and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2016, 17:50
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The Judge Business School at Cambridge University has posted the MBA application deadlines and essay questions for the 2016-2017 admissions cycle.
Deadlines
Round 1
Application Deadline: September 9, 2016
Interview Date: October 24, 2016

Round 2
Application Deadline: October 21, 2016
Interview Date: December 5, 2016

Round 3
Application Deadline: January 6, 2017
Interview Dates: February 20, 2017 and February 27, 2017

Round 4
Application Deadline: March 10, 2017
Interview Date: April 24, 2017

Round 5
Application Deadline: May 5, 2017
Interview Date: June 12, 2017

Candidates should submit their application by 17:00 GMT on the day of their chosen deadline.
Essay Questions
  • What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (200 words)
  • What are your short and long term career objectives? What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you to achieve them? What do you hope to gain from the degree and how do you feel it will help you achieve the career objectives you have? (please do not exceed 500 words)
The application for entry in 2017 is now open. For more information, please visit the Judge Business School admissions website.

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***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
VP
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Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 1110
Re: Cambridge Judge MBA Admissions and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2017, 10:58
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The University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School has previewed the following MBA essay questions for the 2017-18 application for admission.
Career Objectives
Please provide a personal statement. It should not exceed 500 words and must include the following:
  • What are your short and long term career objectives?
  • What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you to achieve them?
  • What do you hope to gain from the degree program and how do you feel it will help you achieve the career objectives you have?

Required Essay One
What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (200 words max.)
Required Essay Two
Describe a situation where you had to work jointly with others to achieve a common goal. What did you learn from the experience? (up to 200 words)

The application for Fall 2018 entry will open on July. Please visit the Judge Business School admissions website for more details.Image

***

If you are looking for guidance on your  Cambridge MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
VP
VP
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Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 1110
Re: Cambridge Judge MBA Admissions and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2017, 11:00
Image
The University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School has previewed the following MBA essay questions for the 2017-18 application for admission.
Career Objectives
Please provide a personal statement. It should not exceed 500 words and must include the following:
  • What are your short and long term career objectives?
  • What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you to achieve them?
  • What do you hope to gain from the degree program and how do you feel it will help you achieve the career objectives you have?

Required Essay One
What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (200 words max.)
Required Essay Two
Describe a situation where you had to work jointly with others to achieve a common goal. What did you learn from the experience? (up to 200 words)

The application for Fall 2018 entry will open on July. Please visit the Judge Business School admissions website for more details.

Image

***

If you are looking for guidance on your Cambridge MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
VP
VP
avatar
Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 1110
Re: Cambridge Judge MBA Admissions and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2017, 11:01
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The Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge has announced the following MBA application deadlines for the 2017-18 admissions cycle.

Round 1 Deadline: September 8, 2017
Round  2 Deadline: October 27, 2017
Round 3 Deadline: January 5, 2018
Round 4 Deadline: March 9, 2018
Round 5 Deadline: May 4, 2018

At the moment the Cambridge MBA admissions team has yet to post decision dates for the upcoming application season. We’ll update with more information as it becomes available. Meanwhile, please visit the Judge Business School admissions website for more details.

The application for Fall 2018 entry will open on July 1. Candidates should submit their application by 17:00 GMT on the day of their chosen deadline.Image

***

If you are looking for guidance on your Cambridge MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
Intern
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
Posts: 14
Re: Cambridge Judge MBA Admissions and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 03:46
1
FROM Cambridge Admissions Blog: Average is now the default
As my colleagues know, I am a podcast nut. I subscribe to more than 20 podcasts and listen to them every opportunity I can. One of the podcasts I listen to is On Brand, a podcast hosted by Nick Westergaard (@nickwestergaard on twitter) based in Iowa and features interviews with brand marketers. One recent episode featured an interview with Jay Acunzo (@jayacunzo) who has his own podcast.

While most of the interview talked about brands and marketing, there was one snippet that stood out for me. Jay pointed out that the internet has made it so easy to be average because there are so many templates out there. So now, average is just the default and people have to work hard to become exceptional, and it is only the exceptional who will get ahead and have an impact on the world. Jay’s advice is to always ask yourself why you are doing this and who you are doing this for, to get from average to exceptional.

I thought this was great advice, especially for our MBAs who are interviewing for jobs at the moment. If you take the perspective of the recruiter who has to sit through hours of interviews with other candidates, you need to be exceptional to stand out. And relying on templates for CVs or cover letters, or applying generic frameworks during a case interview, will only consign you to the average and not good enough heap. As to how you can stand out from the crowd, the careers service in any school can only go so far in terms of giving you the tools to think things through but ultimately you have to contextualise and apply these tools to your own circumstance.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
Posts: 14
Re: Cambridge Judge MBA Admissions and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 03:46
FROM Cambridge Admissions Blog: A new road
After more than five years and 127 posts, I have decided that we will close this blog because of a combination of reasons.

Firstly, I have recently taken on a new role as the Executive Director of the Cambridge MBA. Karen Siegfried, a great friend and mentor, stepped down from that role to return to the US and start a new venture. I was fortunate and honoured that I was successful in my application to take over as Executive Director and started in this new role on 15th May.

While I have taken on additional responsibilities over the years, first adding the careers team and now the programme team, the blog has stuck to the admissions sphere. Over the last few months, I did feel that this focus on admissions was a bit restrictive and that explains why my last post was almost 4 months ago. I did think about changing the scope of the blog to include careers and the programme side of things but this leads to the second reason why we are closing the blog — we have more social media outreach now.

When I first started the blog, we were only just experimenting with using Facebook and Twitter to connect with our candidates. Today, we use linkedin, our website, twitter, weibo, WeChat, youtube, and other blogs for students to write about their experiences.

It will be sad for me personally to stop contributing to this blog. I enjoyed writing the posts and responding to comments, some of which were from candidates who later joined our programme and became great alums. The blog was very successful at one point when it had more average monthly visitors than the school website. This was a statistic that I was not proud of because that showed how poor our school website was at the time but I am happy it has now improved greatly and we no longer need to rely on this blog to connect with our candidates.

My team knows that I am a social media nut and I am always looking for new ways to connect with people although I still don’t get Snapchat. I enjoy the longform format that a blog provides so I am working with the team to launch a podcast series. So stay tuned.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Thinking of a global one year MBA? Think of Cambridge.  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2019, 06:42
FROM Cambridge Admissions Blog: Thinking of a global one year MBA? Think of Cambridge.
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While it may be uncommon for people in their late twenties to plan an MBA in their life, it continues to be a dilemma about which business schools you should apply to. Choosing and applying to the right school is more critical than I had initially imagined. You need to have clear goals as to what you want from the school and in what type of surrounding you would flourish the most. In my case, it took me a few weeks to realise exactly what I wanted. I was certain that my school should fulfil the criteria that includes:

  • *I always desired to study within a prestigious institution, so my school had to rank in top 20 in the world.
  • *It must have excellent post MBA recruitment statistics (more so for an international student) – in line with the rate of return, jobs being offered in industries in-sync with my career goals and easy to manage visa policies to work in the country as an international student post -MBA.
  • *Since I was intending to take a huge loan, I wanted to choose schools that offered scholarships.
  • *I thrive more in a collaborative culture and so I expected the same value of collaboration in the school of my choice. This is more likely the case in a school with smaller class sizes.
  • *The class should be as diverse as possible to help me grow and develop a truly global perspective.
  • *There shouldn’t be any language barriers to communicate with employers as well as local communities.
  • *Ideally, the school should be located in an urban area, as well as offering the one-year course duration I required.

After doing research for a couple of weeks, I knew Cambridge Judge Business School ticked every criteria I was looking for. Most impressive of all was the fact that, more than 90% of the class post MBA changed at least their industry or profile or geography, with one third doing a triple jump! Having its close proximity to the Silicon Fen was also a huge benefit. In addition, 95% of the class came from outside the UK, with almost 40% being women, which again was delightful news for me. Lastly, studying in the University of Cambridge and being part of its esteemed alumni is a dream anybody would love to turn into reality.

So, I attended the Cambridge MBA online webinars and also received a profile evaluation for my candidacy, to understand whether I was a right match for them. Soon after, I decided to apply in Round 1 as it was now the school with my highest preference. Within three weeks I received a request for an interview on video by Skype. While it’s obvious to feel nervous before an interview, I don’t think I had ever been so anxious before. My interviewer (Jane Davies) was a faculty member teaching at CJBS and the warmth in her tone made me feel relaxed immediately. From all the business school interviews that I had ever given (trust me as I have given at least five more interviews for different schools), in no other interview did I feel so supported by the interviewer to give the answers that I felt and knew were right. I knew then it was a clear reflection of what it would be to study in CJBS.

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After a further three weeks, I got the much awaited news of my successful admission into Cambridge Judge Business school. It was a big relief to get prompt results, compared to some other schools. I also learnt that I had qualified for a merit based bursary, which has helped support around a third of my tuition fee. I was in cloud nine and have been there ever since. I’m looking forward to my orientation week starting and finally meeting my future classmates, with whom I’ve already started talking my heart and mind out on Whatsapp.

PS – studying in Cambridge is a lot more fun for Harry Potter fans as you simply cannot ‘unsee’ the uncanny resemblance in architecture and school customs.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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My sporting MBA year  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2019, 06:42
FROM Cambridge Admissions Blog: My sporting MBA year
A year and a half before starting the Cambridge MBA, I was on top of Mount Kilimanjaro with forty other female football players, breaking the world record for the highest altitude FIFA regulated football game. Six months before the MBA, I was at the Dead Sea in Jordan, with my teammates, breaking the world record for the lowest altitude FIFA game. These feats were accomplished through Equal Playing Field, an organisation that advocates for more equality and opportunity for women in sport. In addition to breaking world records we trained over 1000 girls around the world to play football, raised money for training programs, and shared our message with over 1 million viewers globally through media and documentary coverage.

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As a woman in business, these world record attempts mattered to me not just because I care about the cause but because I know that the implications of women playing sports goes far beyond their time on the pitch.  Women who play sports are more likely to excel in their careers – Ernst and Young and espnW found that 94% of upper level female managers played sports, with over half of the C-suite executives having played at a college level or above.  The study cited female athletes as showing more self-confidence, team-work, motivation, and ability to see projects through to completion than non-athletes [1]

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As Sports Chair at the CJBS, I managed the massive
undertaking that was the MBATs Tournament – a sports competition that draws MBA
students from across Europe at HEC Paris, and that is arguably the most fun
week of the MBA.  Men are vastly
overrepresented in both business and sports in virtually every society globally,
but the Cambridge women showed up in force to make an impression on the
competition, both in terms of medals won and sportsmanship shown. 

The Cambridge MBA has prepared us to be future business leaders in industries that, unfortunately, are still very far from equitable. We all see the biased hiring practices, pay gaps, and dysfunctions within our firms.  Objective data has time and time again shown that more diverse companies are more profitable companies, and smart business leaders will find ways to bring more women and other minorities into leadership roles [2].

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The day that I left Cambridge, I flew to Lyon, France, along with four other women from the MBA to break two more football world records with Equal Playing Field.  We played in the world’s largest 5-aside exhibition football game, and the 11-aside game with the most nationalities represented.  Three of the four women had never played football before, but they played anyway because:  equality takes work. They excelled on the pitch with leadership, team work, and resilience, which are qualities any recruiter admires and any Cambridge MBA shares.

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Links – CBSC Sports Pagehttps://www.cbsclub.org/sports-mbat/

[1] Contributor, E. Y. (2014) ‘The Connection Between Women, Sports And
Leadership’, Forbes, 25 November. Available at:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ey/2014/11 ... eadership/
(Accessed: 23 September 2019).

[2] Kay, A. (2016) Will Businesses Reach Gender Diversity In Your
Lifetime?, Forbes. Available at:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ey/2016/04 ... -lifetime/
(Accessed: 23 September 2019).
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Employee of the Month – the MD does your duty!  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2019, 06:44
FROM Cambridge Executive MBA Blog: Employee of the Month – the MD does your duty!
Bus company director Charlie Hamilton (EMBA 2017) wanted to recognise – and learn from – the hard work of his employees. His new scheme gave one of his nominated staffers a day off, whilst he looked after their 12-hour cleaning shift.

On a mild December evening, I took the job (temporarily) of our cleaning supervisor, Matt. I gave him a pint of beer and a night off as extra paid leave, all in recognition of Matt being nominated by, and voted for, by his peers, to be our first Employee of the Month.

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I shadowed Matt on the evening of Tuesday 18th December (only until midnight – I had a meeting in London the next morning nice and early) and then the following evening I was cleaner/shunter for a 12-hour shift. It actually lasting 13.5hrs as I was somewhat slower than Matt would have been! This involved emptying the coach toilet after 17 hours of use, fuelling the coaches, cleaning them inside and out and preparing the yard for the morning’s service delivery. I’ve learned so much about the tough and demanding job our cleaner/shunters are doing – the standard of vehicles is the first thing our passengers see, and I loved getting a true understanding of what is involved.

Understanding what our employees do

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A few months ago, I wrote an article about why I was learning to drive buses & coaches, and why I thought leaders (of teams, businesses, projects – it doesn’t really matter what) should be able to do, or at the very least have a real understanding of what everyone’s role consists of. I spoke a little bit about the difference between leadership and management, but to expand on that a little, Katzenbach & Smith wrote about the discipline of teams and the difference between teams and working groups – and creating a team environment rather than a working group is something I firmly believe in. Some of the characteristics of a team as described by Katzenbach & Smith include collective outputs and individual & mutual accountability. I want my team to have a clear vision, know what it is we are trying to achieve and to know what they can offer to support that vision whilst being accountable for the business outputs collectively and individually. A rising tide lifts all boats (as quoted by J.F. Kennedy in 1963).

Recognising the talent in our company

Whilst I go
out and drive buses, I wanted to do something more to recognise the excellent
staff we have in the business.

More often
than not, the MD of a company knows the name of the employees for the wrong
reasons and the incredible, hardworking and talented staff often go under the
radar.

We decided
we needed to do more to recognise the amazing talent we have in the business,
and as part of our employee engagement strategy, in November we launched an
Employee of the Month scheme, whereby anybody in the business can nominate
anybody else in the business (including themselves) for the recognition, the
management team will select the top five, and create an online survey allowing
all the staff to have a vote. The winner receives company wide recognition for
being excellent, a day’s paid leave, and the satisfaction of knowing that I as
MD will be covering their shift.

In November, we received a lot of excellent nominations (some less excellent than others) – but we, as a management, selected the top five, and Matt, our cleaning supervisor, won with the recommendation of:

“Matt is very versatile, committed, conscientious and always goes the ‘extra mile’ at short notice which often causes disruption and de-harmonises his personal life for the needs of this business. Nothing is too much trouble i.e. taking and fetching coaches from Diss, cleaning at both Diss and Cambridge, helping engineering and covering driving duties as and when required usually at short notice!”

After putting five nominations out to colleagues to vote on – Matt won 48% of the company vote.

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The lessons
I learned whilst working a 4pm-4am cleaning shift have been invaluable – from
simple things that are easy to rectify through to considering some fundamental
changes to the way we run our services. I cannot recommend highly enough for
mangers and leaders to try doing this. I am looking forward to seeing what I
will be doing for the December Employee of the Month.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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My experience on the International Business Study Trip to São Paolo, B  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2019, 06:44
FROM Cambridge Executive MBA Blog: My experience on the International Business Study Trip to São Paolo, Brazil
In March 2019, 116 Executive MBA participants from the 2018 cohort descended on São Paolo, Brazil, for the International Business Study Trip (IBST) week.

I probed members of faculty on what the ‘top secret location’ of the trip was in advance. My guess (and hopes) had been Colombia, so I was happy and not too far off with Brazil.

Some members of the cohort were initially unsure about the logistics of travelling and staying in Brazil, and were concerned about potential crime and the country’s divisive politics. However, we were all excited to explore a vibrant, global city and discover how businesses work and interact in the country’s most populous city and the financial capital of South America.

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As an economic development and foreign direct investment consultant I was excited to see the country’s main commercial hub and focus of international investment in Brazil. What’s more, parts of Brazil were already familiar to me, having recently returned from a Christmas and New Year holiday with my family in Rio de Janeiro.

Ahead of the IBST I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Rio with members of my EMBA cohort. There, separate from the IBST programme, we met with members of an educational charity based in one of Rio’s favelas and shared our business experiences with students on the entrepreneurs course. It was a truly rewarding experience and a great way to kick off our visit to Brazil. It also immediately brought into stark relief some of the major socioeconomic issues facing the country, in terms of poverty and violence.

Once the rest of the cohort arrived in São Paolo, we moved to our hotel for the trip. If the hotel being in one of the most exclusive, tree-lined and boutique-filled neighbourhoods of the city hadn’t made everybody feel relaxed, then the appearance of several members of the Jackson family at the same hotel later in the week, walking around with minimal security, probably did the trick. A few obligatory selfies were of course taken by several members of the cohort.

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The week kicked off on Sunday night with a great churrasco-style dinner and an interesting speaker, who provided frank insights into the challenges facing the Brazilian economy and businesses. It was a great start to the week and introduced us to a theme that was to emerge during our time in São Paolo around policies in the country that can hamper the ability for companies to grow and compete.

“Brazil was a fantastic backdrop against which to understand the different types of capitalism, the intrinsic link between socio-economic development and economic performance and how a country once propelled as a role model for fast growing emerging economies has had to cope with more recent disappointing economic performance in this regard. A very intellectually stimulating and eye-opening experience.”
– Piyush Durani

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I knew from my own line of work the challenges this can present as an investment location, and it appeared home-grown companies were beginning to struggle to compete against international peers, as well as the multinationals entering the Brazilian economy with deep wallets and tried-and-tested global business models.

Once the true work started on the Monday, we certainly knew about it! The theme was ‘Globalisation and International Business’ and the schedule was demanding. Lectures exploring economic, cultural and institutional distance between different countries covered a huge amount of ground.

A mixture of company visits and guest speakers added further colour and a comprehensive view of Brazil’s place in the international market, as well as the successes and often spectacular failures of different market entry models adopted by companies around the world.

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“I loved Gaetano Crupi’s (President and General Manager at Bristol-Myers Squibb) speech. His speech was so inspirational that the message was to be happy with where we were – look after your body and family. We all are under constant pressure from a lot of people; work place, parents, peer groups and most of all, ourselves. Gaetano had an important message which was for us to learn to be content with where we are and you do not necessarily keep ‘progressing if you find your happy place.”
– Anna Hwang

For me the highlight of the week was without a doubt the ‘Innovation Sessions’ where we had the opportunity to ‘speed-interview’ exciting established and growing Brazilian start-ups and technology companies. As someone starting to develop a B2C technology platform, it was a fantastic and unique opportunity to grill the entrepreneurs on their experiences of building successful start-up companies in a far more challenging environment than the UK.

“It was eye-opening to see how existing ideas and technologies can and are being used in other countries; it was great to see how the Brazilian entrepreneurs are using innovation in different ways by adapting ideas to their cultural context.” – Shalom Kundan

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And finally, there was the not-so-small matter of the assignment that we needed to complete in our study groups that culminated in the creative, intelligent and witty presentations delivered on the final day. The experience drew us all together and many new relationships and friendships were formed – often with the help of a few caipirinhas to smooth the way!

‘It made me realise I am so lucky to be studying with such talented people who were able to produce amazing pieces of work with very limited time.’
– Anna Hwang

I completely agree with Anna (above). The ‘pressure cooker’ nature of the experience showcased the quality of the people thrown together on this incredible EMBA journey. Every month we meet is an opportunity to learn something new and of value to my career, and I’m grateful to be able to take part of this wonderful experience.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Women empowering women: How I started my Cambridge Executive MBA adven  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2019, 03:02
FROM Cambridge Executive MBA Blog: Women empowering women: How I started my Cambridge Executive MBA adventure
Dr Bola Grace, a recipient of the Executive MBA Scholarship for Women, reflects on how she got started on her EMBA journey.

Empower friendships

Sometimes you get incredibly lucky and find amazing friendships at work. My friendship with my colleague Giulia was one of those, despite being based in different countries.

My Cambridge Executive MBA journey began in January. It was that time of year when we make a list of grandiose resolutions we start to renege on by March. On a business trip, Giulia and I were discussing previous New Year resolutions, big goals on our lists and why they haven’t been accomplished. I mentioned an EMBA on mine, Giulia immediately switched from chatting to fake-interview mode, as we do whenever we want to positively challenge each other. She shot a series of questions at me, starting with “why do you need an EMBA?”

Once she Giulia was satisfied with my responses, she immediately switched to chatty mode again and said:

“well then, what’s stopping you?”

I came up with a long list of excuses: time, money, work-life balance, choosing the right university, admission process, GMAT, intellectual capacity, lack of business background, did I mention GMAT? Giulia responded by saying “you’re over-complicating this Bola! You’ll keep talking yourself out of it at this rate. Take it one step at a time. Why don’t you apply first? What do you have to lose? Then if shortlisted, go for the interview, then take the next step and the next and the next…”

That completely serendipitous conversation triggered the entire process for me and now here I am, nine months later, in Cambridge.

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Arriving at the Cambridge Judge Business School for the first time

Empowering sponsors

Professor Judith Stephenson (Institute for Women’s Health, University College London) supervised my PhD, and from the moment I walked into her office for our first chat, she’s supported my professional progression every step of the way. After completing my PhD, Judith championed me to take on academic research collaborations with my industry career. When I mentioned that I wanted to go for an EMBA, Judith was extremely encouraging and went on to give what must have been a glowing reference to support my application. She was over the moon when I informed her that I was successful.

It’s always empowering and heart-warming when someone genuinely roots for your success. Judith does that ‘embarrassing-proud-mum-thing’ when introducing me at events, which is embarrassing when my mum does it, but pretty cool when Judith does!

Empowering network

Shirley Okere (EMBA 2017) and I met at an EMBA information session in London, where she was presenting on the alumni panel. We had similar technical backgrounds in the healthcare/biotech industry and similar reasons for pursuing an EMBA. We exchanged contact details and Shirley soon became my go-to person for next steps. She happily provided tips and pointers.

I recall a Saturday morning conversation when Shirley talked me through what to expect and helped with my interview preparation. It was also good to connect with David Wilson (EMBA 2017), Ayobami Olunloyo (EMBA 2018) and other students and alumni at the event. It made a world of difference speaking to Cambridge Executive MBA alumni who had been on the programme and gone through the process.

Empowering team

Once I had submitted my application, everything started moving pretty fast. Megan from the Executive MBA Admissions Team was super helpful throughout the process and patiently responded to all my questions (and I had tonnes). Rachel, another member of the Admissions Team, was so welcoming when I visited Cambridge for the first interview. They certainly helped calm my nerves.

I had a separate interview for the Executive MBA Scholarship for Women On that day it rained cats and dogs! Everything that could possibly go wrong with technology on my end did, but the late Professor Sucheta Nadkarni and Executive MBA Head of Marketing and Admissions Alison Greenwood were so encouraging. I was concerned that my pitch didn’t go as well as it could have, but I later found out that I had them hooked from the first slide. My experience with the Admissions Team sealed the deal for me.

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At a drinks reception ahead of a dinner at St Catharine’s College

Empowering family

My younger sister Tay was my cheerleader every step of the way. Her opinion is always pivotal in my decision making as we’ve always maintained a healthy sibling rivalry. She finished her PhD before I had even started mine, so it was important to beat her to the EMBA for the natural order of things to be restored.

My sister helped me prepare for the scholarship interview. When I presented a first draft of my talk, she came back with a strong critique. She complained my slides were too wordy, and recommended I make the visuals punchier. “You have just 5 minutes for a pitch. These are some of the most expensive words you’ll be speaking for some time. Make them count!” she jokingly complained. When she was happy, I knew that was half the battle was won.

Empowering connections

Now that I’m officially on the programme, I can talk about my experiences at the Cambridge Judge Business School!

Reflecting on the Orientation Week, it was an exciting as well as intense experience. Dr Simon Learmount perfectly described what to expect: it was like “drinking from a fire hose”.  The wealth of diversity (in every sense of the word) was mind-blowing – nationality, ethnicity, industry, skills, personality, cognitive diversity. My cohort includes bankers, a film actress/producer, hedge fund managers, CEOs, scientists, clinicians, lawyers, and even former professional rugby players, all working in a wide spectrum of sectors. We even had superwoman who’d run to breastfeed her 12-week old daughter during lecture breaks!

Many new friendships and connections have already been made – too many to list. My study group members are some of the most hardworking and super-engaged people I’ve ever met. There was bit of trepidation when lectures fully kicked off and I had one of those of “what-have-I-gotten-myself-into-now?” moments .

I remember a discussion in Corporate Finance class. Being the only one without a finance background in our small study group, fellow participants Steve, Munish and Gennaro came to my rescue, breaking the exercise down in a language I’d clearly understand by making it relevant to the biotech industry. That was a truly empowering moment – I knew I wasn’t in this alone and we all have each other’s backs.

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The Cambridge Executive MBA 2019 cohort

Empowering voices

It wouldn’t be accurate to end this without saying I received quite a bit of discouragement along the way from different sources too. So, for those seeking to embark on a similar journey, it’s extremely important to know why you’re doing this and that at the end of the day, you’re doing it for you.

Surround yourself with empowering voices, male and female. For me, the positive voices, including mine, won, and 9 months later, I’m at the University of Cambridge, embarking on this amazing journey and looking forward to being empowered by the challenges the next 19 months will bring.
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Women empowering women: How I started my Cambridge Executive MBA adven   [#permalink] 22 Oct 2019, 03:02
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