Last week, we welcomed 157 students into the Cambridge MBA 2015 class. Yes, it is strange that we call a class by the year that they start and not the year they graduate which is what almost every other school does, but we are part of an 806 year old institution so we can be forgiven for some inconsistencies.
This year’s class has 37% women, which is the highest percentage in the six years that I have been with CJBS. While most schools have also seen an increase in the percentage of women students, this is a big jump for us (last year we were at 30% with a smaller class) and I think part of that increase had to do also with the outreach that our marketing team did.
A one-year MBA programme means a more compressed schedule and this year, we have seen more pressures on the time table at an earlier stage. For example, in the first 8 days we would have hosted two employer events, when in the past we would only have employers presenting after the first two weeks.
This compression of schedule meant that I didn’t have a chance to speak to the entire class as I did two years ago. That year, I reminded the class that, over the course of their MBA, they should always reflect on how they got here. No one had a perfect application so ultimately, each student was sitting in LT1 because the admissions committee and faculty interviewers had seen some potential in them, and taken a risk that this potential could be developed in Cambridge so that they will become students and subsequently alumni who could build on the school’s legacy. This reflection will be important because every student will face setbacks on their MBA. Understanding, and in many cases discovering, their own potential will be an important ingredient for students looking to bounce back from these inevitable setbacks.
I look forward to seeing what mark the Cambridge MBA 2015 class will leave.