A global reach. An international community. A lifelong benefit. There’s plenty to celebrate about being a graduate of Cambridge Judge Business School. That’s why, this year, alumni from all corners of the globe will be holding a series of events to share their experiences.
In Moscow, the celebrations kicked off in August with a cruise down the Moscow River, organised by the Cambridge Alumni in Business (Russia) Group. One of the attendees was Peter Prabhu (MPhil Management Studies 1991), celebrating a long association with Cambridge Judge Business School – he was one of its first students, after studying for a degree in commerce at McGill University, Montreal, and qualifying as an accountant at Price Waterhouse.
“I realised that academically, I had already studied commerce so an MBA wasn’t really for me,” he says. “I wanted to do a one-year degree with a highly respected university behind me. It was Cambridge Judge Business School’s first year – a totally new programme, and we were taking something of a risk. So it attracted people who were intrepid, who wanted an adventure. And it worked out very well. Even though we didn’t have Facebook or the Internet, we still all kept in touch. We circulated lists of people’s mailing addresses and exchanged letters.”
The Cambridge Judge experience and Cambridge’s international community brought him a broader perspective, he says. “It’s such a rich environment. I was on my feet. I had to defend my beliefs, my social system. I did a lot of debating. I explored everything the University had to offer.”
Co-leading the celebrations in Los Angeles is Disha Patel (MPhil Management Studies 2002), an information technology client lead for global biotechnology company Amgen Inc. Before studying at Cambridge Judge, she was in her final undergraduate year of her computer science and systems analysis degree.
"I’m celebrating CJBS because it was and still continues to be one of the best experiences of my life, she says. “It gave me a solid, world-class business education. But it also helped me further hone my communication, strategic thinking, research, analytical, decision-making, innovation, leadership and people skills which I use every day in my professional and personal endeavours. It was a unique time where I was able to explore various opportunities but at the same time truly understand what was important to me and where I wanted to make an impact."
For Patel, the most important thing she’s taken from Cambridge Judge Business School is the people. “It was truly amazing to be around so many talented, gifted high-calibre people from all walks of life who constantly influenced and shaped me to be the best version of myself.” The alumni group will be meeting for drinks at Ye Olde King’s Head in Santa Monica, “one of the most recognisable British pubs in the world”, on 13 September.
Over in Hong Kong, Kapil Kirpalani (Advanced Leadership Programme 2010) will be celebrating Cambridge Judge by co-organising an Asia Gala Dinner at the Aberdeen Marina Club. Director of Cambridge Judge Business School, Professor Christoph Loch, and Dr Eden Yin, University Senior Lecturer in Marketing, will be guest speakers. Kirpalani is currently Vice President, Legal and Compliance Officer at private equity investment firm HarbourVest.
“The real value-add at Cambridge Judge Business School was the course content,” he remembers. “It was exactly what I needed to plug a lot of my management skillset, or lack thereof. My A-levels, undergraduate, Masters, and further research were all in law. Then after a stint in private practice, I started a hedge fund. Being one of the founders meant a lot of operational and management work, which certainly wasn’t something we were taught in law school. What Cambridge Judge did was allow me to associate with many of the core themes, then pushed those themes through in a manner that was very practical, yet academic, and in-depth.”
He’s still very much associated with Cambridge Judge Business School. “That Cambridge link is so valuable. It’s been great to network with alumni – not just Cambridge Judge people but also, for example, law graduates from the wider University, or economics graduates, or people who work in the same sector and have the same interests. That’s also what we try and do in Hong Kong.” It’s hoped that the dinner – which was a huge success last year – will be an annual event, along with the other meet-ups organised by the Cambridge Judge alumni group in Hong Kong throughout the year.
And in Dubai, Monica Naufal (MBA 2007), also cites her “very close-knit network” as a major advantage of her time at Cambridge Judge Business School. Currently senior credit manager at the Standard Chartered Bank, UAE, she worked for the Central Bank of Lebanon for 10 years before undertaking her MBA and is organising the Cambridge Judge celebrations in Dubai – an Argentinian dinner at Asado in the Palace Hotel on 13 September. She promises a great opportunity to meet newcomers, get updated on alumni activities, and network. To register, email Monica at Monica.Naufal@sc.com.
“I had always wanted to study in the UK,” she says. “What made me choose Cambridge was, firstly, the collaborative ethos and secondly, the wonderful interview experience, which they insisted should be on site.”
“As well as my network, my degree has given me knowledge, which gave me the basis for more efficient decision making, opportunities, a very close-knit network, and confidence, because I know what I’m capable of. And it’s a great privilege to have access to a large network of talented people in different industries. I feel that I’m part of a big family and can reach out to any person if I need help, advice or to be introduced to someone.
"So I’m celebrating CJBS because it’s a community I am very proud to belong to and to represent. Cambridge Judge Business School will always be part of my life and I will always be part of Cambridge Judge. Celebrating contributes to strengthen our relationship with the CJBS family."
Join in the celebration
On Saturday 13 September 2014, supported by the Cambridge Judge Business School Alumni Relations team, alumni groups from around the world will be holding events as part of a global alumni celebration, CJBS Celebrates: Worldwide. To find out more, contact the Alumni Relations team or visit CJBS Celebrates: Worldwide.