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Cambridge University – Judge Business School Essay Analysis 2017 – 2018

Posted on September 11, 2017

Welcome to this article in which we’ll discuss the Judge Business School at Cambridge, UK. If you’re applying to Judge this year, 2017-18, you have come to the right place.

 

Let’s first look at the program. The first thing that sets Cambridge and Judge apart is that though the B-School is relatively new,  have this connection to this university, it’s a tradition! Cambridge is over 800 years old. Just imagine! That’s a lot of history. This is where Sir Isaac Newton actually held Chair. This is the place where the whole university system started. These are things that very few schools can boast of!

 

The second aspect is, If you’re looking for a one year program then yes, Judge has a  great one year program. There are very few one-year programs. Typically, you have two-year programs but the UK usually has a one year program, and of course, Cambridge is one of the best. A one year program entails accelerated learning, so if your opportunity cost is high, this might be the place for you.

 

The third thing is the fact that you’re in an English speaking country if you’ve decided to go to the UK.  The economy and Brexit apart, it’s an English speaking country, and it is culturally very similar. From an Indian perspective it makes a lot of sense to go to UK rather than to a place like France and Spain where language can be a huge constraint for you. Also, back home in India, and in many the other Asian countries, Cambridge has a brand value. You’re going to be Cambridge educated for rest of your life.

 

The last aspect, about the program itself is their curriculum. If you look at the website, they talk about their unique curriculum where they say it’s not just going to be about learning within the classroom but also through all the other activities that you do outside the class, be it Business Plan competitions , conferences that you will attend, or exchange programs, and so on. In fact, this is true for typical European MBA programs as opposed to US MBA programs. US MBAs have a  very quantitative rigour, while in a European MBA, UK MBA, it’s a lot about the experience and the ideas to transform you in that one year.

 

 

2017-2018 Cambridge Judge MBA Deadlines

 

Round 1

Application Deadline: September 8, 2017

Round 2

Application Deadline: October 27, 2017

Round 3

Application Deadline: January 5, 2018

Round 4

Application Deadline: March 9, 2018

Round 5

Application Deadline: May 4, 2018

 

 

 

2017-2018 Cambridge/Judge Essay Questions

 

There are three main essays that the Cambridge MBA application requires.

 

Essay 1: Please provide a personal statement.

This is similar to a Statement of Purpose, which you may have heard of when you were in college.  It must not exceed 500 words, and must address the following questions:

• What are your short term and long term career objectives and what skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you achieve them?

• What actions will you take before and during the MBA to contribute to your career outcome?

• If you are unsure of your post-MBA career path, how will the MBA equip you for the future?

 

Essay 2: What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (up to 200 words)

 

Essay 3: Describe a situation where you had to work jointly with others to achieve a common goal. What did you learn from the experience? (up to 200 words)  

 

 

Essay 1

 

Personal Statement

 

This is similar to a Statement of Purpose, which you may have heard of when you were in college. Let’s look at each of the questions.

 

  • What are your short term and long term career objectives and what skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you achieve them?

 

What is the function, what industry, what geography, and what are the potential employers and f titles you can potentially get? You must be very specific, especially for the short term goal. For the long term goal, maybe it’s okay if you’re not so specific; you can talk about personal aspirations, something that is more of a passion. You have a little leeway to talk about other things. However, whatever you say, it has to be aligned with what you have done. Which is why the second part asks “ What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you achieve them?” This tells them that you’re the best equipped to reach those goals. So it’s very important for you to make that connect.

 

  • What actions will you take before and during the MBA to contribute to your career outcome?

 

 

Here, they ask for very specific things that you’re going to be doing. So again here, there are looking at whether you have the required focus. Have you already planned on what you’re going to be doing in Cambridge? Maybe you want to work in Europe, in which case you’re probably learning another language. One of our students who went to Cambridge actually learned German. In India, we have Max Mueller Bhavan; he learned German from there.  The whole idea was to say that he was already equipping himself for a career in the UK.

 

Another student who wanted to get into the financial world, and had a CA ICWA finance background, ended up taking a CFA. He took CFA level 1 and 2. Why? Because you’re already equipping, you’re not putting everything on an MBA degree and saying that you’re banking on this MBA degree to get a job. This is before you get an MBA.

 

Then, within the MBA program, what is it that you would like to do at Judge. There is a plethora of options; what is it that you’re specifically looking at doing? Articulate this well.

 

  • If you are unsure of your post-MBA career path, how will the MBA equip you for the future?

 

In this case, my suggestion would be to not tread the unsure path. You need to tell them you’re very sure about this but you could possibly talk about a Plan B. Plan A could be to get into consulting, but your Plan B could be to get into operations within a company. The reason behind providing Plan B is to make the school comfortable that this is a person who knows that sometimes the best of our plans don’t work out and we need to have a back-up in place. They wouldn’t want someone coming and saying, “I am putting all my  eggs in this one basket called Cambridge MBA.”

 

How would you structure these 500 words?

 

My suggestion would be to first talk about your background. Who are you? Where is it that you come from? What do you possess? Based on this, where do you want to go? What are your short term and long term ambitions? Then talk about what you are going to do to bridge the gap. This could beat the MBA program or outside of it. So I would probably put around 150 words for each of the three parts and then 50 words for the starting and the finishing. Make sure that you have a strong start, and a strong finish. All put together, this essay should be about 500 words. Again, this is a very classic career goals essay.

 

 

Essay 2

 

What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (up to 200 words)

 

The term “spectacular failure’, if you search for it, you realize it’s a management term that is sometimes used to say, “it’s a huge failure but it’s a failure from which I learned something.” I have heard that in Australia they have elite fighter pilots, and one of the questions that they ask them is “Have you failed at any point of your life?” and if they have not failed, they are actually NOT considered for the program. Guess why? Because they feel that if they have not handled failure, they will not know how to handle failure in the future. It is not a shame to admit failure. A lot of us wonder how we can tell someone that we failed. Well, trust me! Everyone fails in their life at some point or the other.

 

What is important here?

 

How did you bounce back? What did you learn? How does that make you a better person? How are you able to apply this learning to all your future endeavors ? That is what they are looking at! Don’t worry! Whatever your failure, don’t try to mask a success by talking about failures. Some of the mistakes students make is that they start writing “Oh, my project was in the doldrums. We had this….and we’ve been making losses…but…” and they eventually talk about how they eventually became successful. Don’t do that. If it’s a failure, just say you cut your losses and moved on.You could pick a personal or professional incident;  it could be something you learned from a relationship, or maybe something that you learned at work. Just describe the failure, and what you learnt.

 

 

Essay 3

 

Describe a situation where you had to work jointly with others to achieve a common goal. What did you learn from the experience? (up to 200 words)

 

A lot of your MBA experiences is going to be about teamwork. Most of the events, conferences and competitions are all student run. Hence, they are looking for someone who can gel well with others. Here, I would probably first talk about the differences, the diversities in the team. It is very easy to gel well with people who have very similar experiences but if you worked in a team where people have different backgrounds, different experiences, different exposure, you need to say how you were able to build a consensus.  The idea is not to say that you wielded a stick and told them that this was how you wanted it, but say whether you were you willing to let go of something, did you negotiate on something. So they would like to know more about this.After you have done this, say how you became a better person as result of that. How do you take this forward?.

 

I will give you an example of what someone had written about team-work. He said “One of my biggest problems was dealing with another team member. The problem was that whenever I asked him for anything, he would always say he couldn’t do it, and he would never go out of his way to help me. He is a negative guy.” Then he wrote that was one instance when the team member actually came to him and said “Hey, you know, I feel that you’re struggling at this point. Would you like me to help you?”  and he helped him in that particular case. The writer of the essay then asked the team member why he always said he wouldn’t do something when he was clearly helping now.  The team member answered, “Whenever I help someone, I would like to do a 100%. I don’t want to extend my help and then make you feel that I am here and I am not able to work on my promise.” That is the mindset he got to know. It’s always about learning something. That’s the whole idea behind an MBA experience. That’s what this essay is about.

 

So this is pretty much what we have for the Cambridge MBA Program. If you’re looking at applying to Judge we would love to see if we can work together on it. Why don’t you just go ahead, and click on this link below!

 

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