Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why an MBA?

Some posts ago I explained why I chose Cambridge out of all MBA options there are around the world. What I didn’t explain is why I wanted to do an MBA. I probably should have started this whole thing by explaining that.

However, for some unknown reason I didn’t. This is probably because my whole decision process was totally reversed to begin with. I didn’t decide I wanted to do an MBA and went to do the GMAT. Instead, I decided I would try and do the GMAT and see what happened (as explained in an earlier post).
Of course, if I went to do the GMAT it is because I thought this was a possibility. So what did I have in mind? Basically, I wanted two things: i) Change careers; ii) an international experience.

As for the first one, I felt my studies wouldn’t do me any good without having a hands-on experience and global management knowledge. I wanted to move to Investment Banking (at that time...not so sure now). I was already at a PhD level, but it was really hard for me to switch jobs, as many companies were already thinking I was overqualified. So I had the academic background but not the experience (not at least for IB). That means I would be too expensive for a trainee. So I thought I had a good shot if I did an MBA. That way I would add global experience to my technical knowledge, thus being recruited not as a trainee, but as an associate or at least for a position with some seniority.

Secondly, the international experience. This would be a plus in any job hunt, but it really isn’t about that. It is about enjoying a onetime life experience. It is about experiencing so many different things. It’s about sharing experiences with people from all over the world, seeing different cultures, living in a different reality...is about broadening horizons and gaining perspective.

Friday, July 20, 2007


I have spent the last weeks thinking about accommodation. After exchanging some emails with my College and reading many opinions and discussing forums I realised I should consider other options.

Here are my thoughts on college accommodation:

  • Bathroom – 4 people in a house sharing a bathroom is not very nice. From what I heard, some college owned houses have some troubles in having hot water;

  • Kitchen – Often too small and badly equipped. Trying to cook things more complex than toasts can be a problem;

  • People – I’d probably have to share a house with students from other programmes. Will I have anything in common with them?;

  • Rent – To tell you the truth, rents for college accommodation are not that low. For the same rent I can go for private accommodation.

Weighting all these factors I came to the conclusion I’d rather rent a house and share it with some fellow MBAs. At least they will be people I can relate to and of course, the house itself will be much better. Kitchens are often fully equipped and there is always more than one bathroom in a 3 bedroom house.
Even the fact of not being living in college doesn’t change my Cambridge experience as I will be living with other colleagues. Probably, it will be much better because we can invite other colleagues in and have parties or socials diners.

I do believe having a comfortable place to live in is very important. The year will be intensive and hard and being well settled is essential to seize all that Cambridge has to give.