Meet The Cambridge MBA Class of 2016

Michael Guan Wang

Michael Guan Wang 

Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Hometown: San Diego, California (USA)

Undergraduate School and Major (Include Graduate School if Relevant): UCLA, B.A. Economics

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • Anchor, Global Business and New Money, China Central Television International (CCTV NEWS)
  • Analyst, J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Conduct a self-assessment before embarking on a study plan. Are you a stickler for grammar but allergic to long verbal passages? Do you shy away from probability theory, but feel confident about algebra no matter which “xyz” expression is thrown at you? Tackling standardized tests while balancing family, career and other time-consuming obligations is no small feat. It’s crucial to better pinpoint which topics on the GMAT/GRE you should allocate more time to focus. Review problems you have already tackled to make sure fundamental concepts in the question are fully grasped. Don’t move on for the sake of moving on. Studying for the GMAT/GRE can conjure up an eclectic mix of emotions. It feels great to have an “aha!” moment when attempting a question. It’s also OK to feel frustrated. Do remember the GMAT/GRE is one element in the MBA application process. Don’t forget about the most important thing on this whole journey – You – and certainly don’t let a standardized test score define you.

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? We all have different priorities when targeting schools. For some, proximity to a tech or finance hub is highly important. For others, the innovativeness of the course curriculum is key. Ultimately, an applicant has to discover which factors he or she values the most when targeting MBA programs. Start with the end in sight. What general direction are you heading to following graduation? Which particular MBA programs do you believe will best propel you towards that path? We will all be learning about finance, marketing and accounting, so do take the time to investigate the unique value propositions different schools possess which will enrich and enhance your MBA experience. Be careful about placing too much emphasis on rankings when researching target schools. Take rankings into consideration, but don’t let a list overcast your judgment of what the entire program or university has to offer. The top advice from Cambridge Judge alumni has given to our class is this: “You will get from the MBA experience as much as you put into it.” This holds true no matter what target schools we apply to or what rankings they may have.

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?  Be truly passionate about your story, your accomplishments, and what you want to achieve. The rest will fall in place. Don’t force the “right” fit onto a school, it makes the application process that much more arduous. Have a conversation with the admissions interviewer and try not to overthink what the interviewer may or may not want to hear. The best recommenders are not just simply a boss you’ve worked on numerous projects with or a professor who taught you microeconomics to advanced macroeconomics. These should be secondary titles on your recommenders’ resumes. First and foremost, your recommenders are your mentors, your advocates and they are people who took an active interest in seeing you develop and grow as a person.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I choose the University of Cambridge because this is an educational establishment at the heart of sustaining innovation and progress for more than eight centuries and counting. At Cambridge, a student will become immersed in an intellectual environment steeped in tradition and culture. They will be part of a heritage of inspired debate and discussion, walking the same grounds as Newton, Milton, Darwin and Keynes once did. The Judge Business School is fully integrated into the University of Cambridge. As a student at Judge, I have the entire knowledge base and thought leadership of the University of Cambridge to deepen my MBA studies.

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. Become an entrepreneur in the vibrant startup cluster of Silicon Fen which surrounds Cambridge, or become an intrapreneur and lead a multinational corporation in London, home to 75-percent of all Fortune 500 companies (and a short train ride away). Attend a conference in Frankfurt or Paris and discuss the day’s events with your MBA classmates in England, all on the same day. For me, 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.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? Working with my peers, I would like to ignite a serious conversation before the completion of our MBA program. I would like to address the issue: The business leader in the age of disruption and hyper-connectivity. My generation of MBAs are entering into a rapidly changing but highly opportunistic business landscape. Technology and globalization have democratized capital, knowledge and ideas. Barriers to entry have been significantly redefined and traditional business models shattered. Never has it been easier to disrupt a marketplace with so few resources. Competition will be fiercer than ever, as for the first time in human history we can legitimately say the economic power blocs of the world have nearly an equal say, are truly interdependent, and unconditionally interconnected. What are the implications of these tectonic shifts for our generation of business leaders and MBA graduates? Business as usual, learning the fundamentals will not be enough and past experiences are fast losing their predictive power. Be it through a series of panels, workshops or conferences, I hope our team of MBA students at Cambridge can spark a thought provoking conversation on what it takes to lead positive change and succeed in tomorrow’s business landscape.



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