Friday, April 30, 2010

What I don’t like about Cambridge – Part I

It’s easy to praise the Cambridge MBA and to share great memories. After all it was a remarkable year spent with amazing people. However, I’m sure it’s equally useful for prospective students to hear about the things I didn’t like about it or those things that could be improved. That’s what I’ll try to do during the next few posts.

My first note regards my current status as an alumnus. While a student, I had access to many resources, many interesting people and many facilities. As an alumnus, a get close to zero from Cambridge. As I mentioned in a previous post, we don’t even get an email account that clearly identifies us as Cambridge alumni. Unlike most top B-Schools we don’t get an email account like or something equivalent. Instead we get a very basic and poor account with the domain, which let’s be honest, few people know what it stands for. This is a very simple thing that has not been solved yet.

More importantly, there is no connection amongst the alumni community. Most top B-Schools have bill boards or some kind of forum where alumni can share thoughts with other alumni, share employment opportunities and simply find business partners. Cambridge does not have any of that, which I find almost shocking. A great deal of going through business school has to do with the powerful network you’ll belong to once you’re done with your MBA. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen in Cambridge. All there is at the moment is a newsletter, a few pub nights available for the London alumni and a few series of speakers, usually also in London.

Even job opportunities are rarely shared with alumni, except for the odd job that the careers team decided to send out, which happens once or twice a year.
I guess this reflects the young age of the Cambridge MBA. However, ii believe the creation of a strong and well connected network is paramount for any MBA.

Instead, what we have seen so far in the past few years is an increase in numbers of each yearly intake of students and not so much emphasis on the alumni network.