2022 MBA To Watch: Bob Winslow, Cambridge Judge

Bob Winslow

Cambridge Judge Business School

“Creative problem-solver with logical rigor; driven to understand and improve; not as serious as I look.”

Hometown: Northumberland, United Kingdom

Fun fact about yourself: I’m a fully qualified windsurfing instructor.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Architecture, University of Cambridge

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Festicket – a venture-backed event ticketing company. I started as the second employee (and intern) 9 years ago, and saw it scale rapidly with the support of several funding rounds. I set up the operations function, managed strategic projects, opened the US office and most recently led the client service team.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? TBC

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: President of Hughes Hall May Ball, Consulting SIG Committee, Pride @ Cambridge Judge SIG

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m president of my college’s May Ball – a black-tie ball in May Week (which takes place in June, confusingly.) Collaborating with students outside the business school is great. I’m also able to try ideas from the Marketing, Management Praxis, Strategy and Entrepreneurship courses from the Cambridge MBA.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Creating the operations function from scratch at Festicket, supporting £35m turnover just five years after founding. The festival business is heavily seasonal, with ticket sales through winter and spring lower than for events later in the year. This meant challenging summer activity peaks, where incredible dedicated interns and temporary staff worked hard to keep our customers and clients satisfied. After each season, the amazing core team would iterate on our operational workflows in order to service growing order volumes better the following year.

Why did you choose this business school? Having studied at Cambridge before, I initially anticipated focusing on other schools. However, the Cambridge Judge MBA curriculum really stood out to me. The range of electives is truly amazing, and the real-world projects are of high calibre. Finally, the application experience was really positive: a real point of difference is that interviews are conducted by faculty members. I think this speaks to the school’s ethos of taking a genuine interest in all candidates.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? There’s a lot to choose from! I love this term’s Digital Business course by Dr. Stella Pachidi and Dr. Karla Sayegh. The impact of new technologies is so broad that the course sits across much of the theory learnt in Michaelmas term. The professors bring the subject to life with interactive case studies and a parallel digital challenge.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would focus on my own personal progression from the start. It took me a while to understand that everyone is on their own MBA journey. The huge range of backgrounds means comparisons are irrelevant. Race yourself not others!

What is the biggest myth about your school? That Cambridge is old-fashioned – the opposite is true. High-calibre speakers visit regularly: in our first term, the Cambridge Union hosted Jordan Peterson and Nancy Pelosi.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem has developed hugely in the past few years, with Cambridge declared the leading regional tech hub in the UK. Within the business school, we’re taught by professors who publish cutting-edge academic research. Altogether, it makes for an incredibly dynamic and stimulating environment to study in.

What surprised you the most about business school? The peer-to-peer support has surpassed my expectations. The Cambridge MBA cohort is very diverse, meaning there is a huge breadth of experience to draw upon. Everyone is very willing to take time to share their knowledge – especially useful for succinct briefings before job interviews.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? Taking time to understand my ‘story’ was most useful. I think it is important to show consistency of purpose across the written application, references, and interviews. For me, I emphasized a desire to understand how theoretical frameworks could apply to my experience of business practice; then to use that knowledge to develop my career forward.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Linked to the peer-to-peer help, Zheng Feng Wu was generous in his support for the entire cohort for corporate finance revision. Also, Anna Mason and the Entrepreneurship SIG leadership have brought many events to connect the business school to the Cambridge entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I had considered an MBA for a while, but my husband encouraged me that now was the time. His support in relocating to Cambridge, time and money have been invaluable in making this possible for me.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I want to experience larger businesses, and to broaden my industry exposure. Working in a start-up has been a great starting point for me, especially for getting a holistic view of business. Now, I need to challenge myself by pushing out of my comfort zone, as an engine for skill development.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? The pandemic encouraged me to think carefully on my career direction. I relocated from San Francisco to London to be nearer to family; the move prompted me to consider deeply what I wanted to do in the future. I realized my recent roles had drifted away from the parts of work I enjoy most. Studying for an MBA is part of my journey to refocus on problem solving and enable a change in business scale.

What made Bob Winslow such an invaluable addition to the MBA Class of 2021/22?

“Bob is the perfect example of the charismatic student that makes teaching such a rewarding experience! He is intelligent, analytical, and a deep thinker. On top of that, he is kind but also funny, modest yet confident and determined, and above all, thirsty for knowledge. There is no need for Bob to show off his deep knowledge and skills, these are easily recognisable by his sharp comments and his contribution to group tasks. Seeing how Bob approaches the case studies, I can easily tell that his rich combination of knowledge and experiences enable him to deeply understand the nuances of complex organisational problems and find relevant solutions. I am pretty confident that he has an even brighter future ahead!”

Stella Pachidi
Assistant Professor in Information Systems
University Lecturer in Information Studies




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