Meet The Cambridge MBA Class of 2016

Daniel Owens

Daniel Owens 

Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Undergraduate School and Major: University of California, Berkeley; American Studies with a concentration on The American Corporation

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

MAXIMUS, Inc. – Associate Consultant; Consultant

Princess Cruises – Project Procurement Specialist

AArete, Inc. – Consultant; Senior Consultant

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Begin your GMAT/GRE preparation by creating a study plan that details when, how, and what you will study, and then stick to your plan. Forecast your study-time requirements to the best of your abilities, then give yourself an additional 2-4 weeks for any obstacles that may arise. Take full practice exams along the way to track progress and to get yourself familiar with the timing and stress of the test. A day or two before the test, try to distance your thoughts from the GMAT entirely. Finally, relax and be confident going into the test.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply?  MBA applicants often focus too much on rankings, which can limit the benefit that those individuals receive from their chosen programs.  Instead, figure out what you want to get out of your MBA before you begin your search, and look for programs that fit your desired goals. If possible, visit a few of your top programs and speak to current MBA candidates and alumni. Doing so will help you narrow down your choices when making decisions on where to apply and eventually where to accept.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? The application process can be daunting and extremely stressful. Start the process very early to ensure that you have enough time to put your best foot forward with each application. It is especially important to reach out to your recommenders early, so that they aren’t overburdened by your request. Choose individuals who are very familiar with your skills and abilities during your professional time with them. Regardless of how positive their working experience was with you, don’t assume that they will be willing to write you a recommendation. First, make sure they are willing to help within the required application timeline. Then, follow up with these individuals regularly to answer any questions that come up. It may also help to provide them with a review sheet of some of the projects you worked on or responsibilities that you had to help jog their memories of your time working with them.

Essays are a crucial aspect of your application as they can show admissions officers who you are as an individual outside of work and academics. Resumes and transcripts are important, but they are limited in what they tell admissions about what sets you apart from other qualified candidates.  Focus your essays on a few stories or topics that you want to convey, then write them in a way that will keep the audience entertained and engaged. Don’t try to write what you think the reader wants to see. Instead, be honest and tell your story.

Completing your application is just the first step in the admissions process. If you are given an opportunity to interview in person, do your best to attend. This will show admissions that you are fully invested in becoming a part of their program. Before attending an interview, make sure you research that school’s interview process. Be able to articulate the reasons you want to pursue an MBA, and why you believe their school is right for you. The interviews are not only for admissions to see if you are right for their program, but also for you to see if their MBA is right for you.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I choose Cambridge for my MBA for many reasons, but there are a few that put Cambridge over the top when making my decision. The smaller class size provides an opportunity to learn from each candidate in my class, while allowing me to interact individually with the professors.  I believe this will be a crucial part of my MBA education, as I will be surrounded by some of the most brilliant minds from incredibly diverse backgrounds. Cambridge’s approach to education also attracted me to their program.  The multiple hands-on consulting projects following targeted classwork will ensure that I gain both the theory and practice in each area.  Finally, I loved the length of the program.  I felt a one-year MBA suited my desire to join a full-time MBA program without sacrificing much time away from my career.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I am thrilled for the opportunities that lie ahead during this year at Cambridge. There are so many events and projects that I want to be a part of and things that I want to achieve that it is truly difficult to articulate. From gaining life-long friends in the golf and rowing clubs to expanding my professional networks at social events to developing my professional abilities during the practical consulting projects, I hope to make the most of my time at Cambridge by being a part of as many academic, social, athletic, and professional events as time will allow. 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.

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