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Ask me all about the Cambridge MBA - Hui Lynn '16 (Malaysia)


Name: Hui Lynn, Tan
Nationality: Malaysian
Pre-MBA Education: Called to the Bar of England and Wales as a Barrister-at-Law, Admitted to the High Court of Malaya, BVC, Cardiff University, LLB (Honours), Cardiff University
Work Before MBA: Corporate lawyer based in Kuala Lumpur, working with a regional firm with headquarters in Singapore and offices in South East Asia
Work After MBA / Post MBA Goals: TBD

Let me preface by saying that there are tonnes of great business schools out there. You need to find out which you think you can thrive in, and that this is a personal choice. I have not provided much information on the syllabus and curriculum itself, because I believe every good business school will be able to offer you a great program with an amazing curriculum (and plus each school’s website will have detailed information on this). I wanted to highlight the bits and pieces which made the Cambridge MBA so special to me. At the end of the day, yes I would leave this place with an MBA, but even more than that, it is the life at Cambridge, together with the Cambridge MBA, which made all the difference.

Why did you pick Cambridge? Apart from its great curriculum, reputation, and rankings which undoubtedly all other top European schools equally have, I found myself drawn to the Cambridge life. The collegiate system means you get to meet so many other people from outside the MBA, the formal dinners (where you wear Harry Potter like gowns in historical halls) is a different way to socialise with others (MBA and beyond), the thoughts of roaming the halls which Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, and other famous people had walked through instilled a sense of awe and humility in me (not to mention more recent figures such as Tom Hiddleston and . The class size of 157 indicates that you will get to know everyone in the class personally, and get to form a special bond with all of your classmates.

Highlights of the program? The practical consulting projects stand out. There are the Cambridge Venture Project in the first (Michaelmas) term, and the Global Consulting Project which takes places over the Easter break. CVP, as its name suggests, is focused on Cambridge/ London based companies whereas the GCP allows students to undertake consulting projects anywhere in the world. This year, we had students in Brazil, Uganda, San Francisco, Japan, Borneo, Indonesia, Swizterland etc. Names of companies include World Health Organisation, Amazon, Google, ASOS, Jaguar, Bank of America, to name a few. Read more about these stories through our student blog here.

Career Services? Campus recruitment and networking sessions with various companies and alumni start the moment classes begin. We are also assigned personal career consultants, but you are free to seek advice from any career consultant on the panel, and not just your assigned consultant. There are practise interviews, tests, CV sessions, and everything else you need to prepare yourself for your job hunt. Feel free to ask for sessions to be organised and be as proactive as you can. There are also student-led groups/initatives called special interest groups where we are free to come together for anything which interests us, in this case, practising case interviews with one another.

Other considerations? Electives. Look at the list of electives and see if there are anything interesting which you would want to pursue. The Cambridge MBA has an amazing selection of elective classes from healthcare, film business, creative arts and media, to finance, strategy, marketing etc. On top of choosing the electives as your credits, you also have a choice to audit other electives without submitting the coursework. Personally, I wanted to attend so many more classes than I could take on, lecturers are great and you can just sit into any other class which interests you, just be courteous and drop the lecturers an email beforehand.

Things you should not miss out on in Cambridge?

  • Rowing (even if you do not make the team, at least you have the feel of what it is like and will be able to understand the sport)
  • Cambridge Union (Apart from being one of the best debating societies in the world, the Union attracts famous, powerful, controversial speakers in the world. Speakers this year include, among others, Julian Assange, Nick Clegg, George Takei, Sigourney Weaver, Josh Radnor)
  • MBAT (This is the MBA Tournament held in HEC, Paris, every year for European schools to compete in sporting events. I absolutely loved every single minute of this tournament. Join a team, you do not need to be pros, but you do need to be part of this. I picked up 4 types of sports and the bond with fellow athletes if just something you should not underestimate. You will regret not being part of the Cambridge team. Even if you do not join a team, please do make your way to Paris and be part of this.)
  • Balls (There are plenty of balls which you should attend, Winter balls, Spring balls, Union balls, and of course, the Cambridge May Balls. St John’s May Ball has been stated to be the 7th best party in the world (based on an article I read which I have not verified).
  • Formal Halls (These are the best way to see different colleges in Cambridge. There are 31 colleges in total, and you can only attend a formal hall if someone in that college brings you in. These are 3 course meals held in an old hall where you usually have to wear a Cambridge gown.)

Dresscode? Casual wear for classes, except where you or your team are delivering a presentation. Business wear for recruitment and networking events. Outside classes: Men, you will need a tuxedo, bow ties etc. Women, bring all the dresses you have. You will not run out of occasions to wear them.’

Ask me about anything related to the Cambridge MBA. If I cannot answer your questions, I will try to find someone who can.

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