Meet The Cambridge MBA Class of 2016

Cambridge University's Judge Business School

Cambridge University’s Judge Business School

But the MBA program is only half the story. The other part involves the city of Cambridge, which prefers to think of itself as a college town in the English countryside, replete with meadows and classical architecture that implies a simpler time. In reality, Cambridge is an entrepreneurial hub that is just an hour train ride to London, fast becoming the world’s financial capital. Think of London and Cambridge as if Manhattan and Silicon Valley were just 60 miles apart. In fact, Cambridge is sometimes referred to as the “Startup Capital of Europe” or “Silicon Fen,” a startup ecosystem with over 1500 tech and bioscience firms (along with an ever-growing roster of research labs and incubators). Chua also points out (in an interview with Poets&Quants) that the Cambridge area draws 25%-30% of venture capital funding in Europe. And Cambridge itself has launched Accelerate Cambridge, an incubator that provides seed money and support to new business ventures.

This surrounding startup entrepreneurial spirit has become a hallmark of The Cambridge MBA. “[We] recently cemented the creation of the SME Growth Club,” Chua adds in his statement, “meaning we now support and fund all stages in the enterprise journey. This is also reflected in opportunities in the MBA curriculum, such as the Cambridge Venture Project, a client-focused project within a startup organisation undertaken by all students. We believe there is much to be gained from an entrepreneurial, growth-focused, mindset whether you are looking to bring this to a new venture or an established organization.”


Indeed, the Class of 2016 seems to have the best of all worlds: A booming startup atmosphere paired with a global cohort in an intimate academic setting – all packaged inside a world-class educational brand with a rich history. Michael Guan Wang embodies the global and eclectic nature of the Judge program. A UCLA graduate, Wang started as an analyst in J.P. Morgan’s asset management practice before transitioning to being a global business anchor for China Central Television International (CCTV NEWS). He was struck by the global natural of the program.

“The representation of diverse perspectives and nationalities at the Judge Business School is unrivaled. The MBA program brings the world to Cambridge. It is a microcosm of our global community with some of the brightest young minds fully represented from both developed and developing economies. It is an MBA program surrounded by every option imaginable for an individual to advance professionally and personally.”

Jade Chislett, a Canadian who spent six years in sales and management at Xerox and Google, had his concerns about a one-year MBA program. “I was always attracted to a 12-month program but nervous that I would be missing out on part of the MBA experience,” he writes. However, the structure of the Judge program alleviated his concerns. “Judge had carefully architected the program so that you did not have to compromise. For instance there are two consulting projects, both of which involve working in teams to solve real business challenges – for a tech-startup and global organization. As well, the curriculum includes a summer internship program that was a requisite for me given that I am interested in exploring new career paths.”

In fact, the year-long length further sharpens Judge’s pitch as a school where you can have it all. “I loved the length of the program,” adds Daniel Owens, a Los Angeles expat who previously worked in consulting. “I felt a one-year MBA suited my desire to join a full-time MBA program without sacrificing much time away from my career.”


So what does the Cambridge Class of 2016 hope to get out of their MBA experience at Judge? Christina Mackay, who holds a law degree from the University of Birmingham, is looking for structure and support. “Following my MBA I want to start my own company.  I have about 10 business ideas at present.  So before I graduate, I’d like to think through these ideas with my fellow students and hopefully meet some business partners to put at least one idea into practice.”

At the same time, Chislett plans to raise his game before graduating. “At Google and Xerox, I had the great opportunity to manage a portfolio of accounts as though it were my very own business.  I want to take this entrepreneurial passion to the next level with a role that will allow me to more directly affect the strategy of an organization or department.” Sally Stephenson, a South Carolina native, takes it a step further by embracing the unexpected. “My main objective is to be pushed to think in new ways, to find new doors I did not know existed, and to feel more equipped to walk through those doors.”

At the same time, Owens intends to squeeze the most from his time at Cambridge by taking part in everything that he can. “I don’t want to look back on my MBA and think “What if?” or feel that I could have done more.  I will leave Cambridge confident that I experienced everything that an MBA at Cambridge has to offer.” For Wang, the sky is the limit. “The Cambridge MBA is much more than simply the “next step” in my career. It really is a place where the only limit is my imagination.”

To read profiles of incoming Judge students – along with their advice on tackling GMAT, applications, and interviews – click on the student links below.

Jade Chislett / Toronto, Ontario (Canada) 

Christina Mackay / New York City, NY (USA) 

Daniel Owens / Los Angeles, CA (USA) 

Sally Stephenson / Greenville, SC (USA) 

Grant L. Stone / Portland, OR (USA) 

Michael Guan Wang / San Diego, CA (USA)

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