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Meet Cínthia – an MBA role model representing Brazil and diversity across the board

Judge Business School - Wed, 31/05/2023 - 13:34

We meet Class of 2022/23 MBA student Cínthia Passos Maia from Brazil and hear about her journey to Cambridge Judge Business School, with the support of organisations like TalentoTotal, and how she feels about being a role model for Black candidates who are choosing an MBA to progress their own global career growth.

Representing diversity on the journey

Cínthia Passos Maia is the first Black woman from Brazil to study for her MBA in Cambridge. Her journey here was not an easy one.

“I’ve needed resilience. And persistence. If you look at any statistics on leadership in Brazil, you will see that Black people are under-represented. For example, while around 53% of the workforce comprise people of colour, there are only 5% in high leadership among the biggest 500 companies in Brazil. There were a handful of role models, and little support. I am witnessing change, but there is still a long way to go.”

As an undergraduate reading accounting at the University of Săo Paulo, Cínthia was involved in promoting awareness of the low levels of diversity in Brazil and co-founded a Black business student and alumni association of the university, ANFEA-USP.

“Lots of networking groups were emerging at the time between Black professionals in Săo Paulo. We started to receive support from major organisations such as Microsoft and JP Morgan, who organised networking events.”

It was at one of these that Cínthia first heard of Gem McCreary, Founder and CEO of TalentoTotal. “I was talking to a friend who knew I wanted to do an MBA. And he told me about this founder called Gem who had set up a boot camp to help prospective Black MBA students from Brazil progress.”

Support from TalentoTotal

As a Ranger and Airborne qualified former AH-64D Attack Helicopter Pilot in the US Army, Gem McCreary agrees happily that the TotalMBA Prep programme is run along strict disciplinary lines. “Our candidates go through a strict vetting process before getting on to the course. And if they do not deliver, they will not make it.”

Gem is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, with an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. It was when he went to work for Citibank in Săo Paulo that he noticed the poor representation of Afro-descendant and Indigenous (ADI) professionals in leadership positions.

“My father was born in Greenville, Alabama, 130 kilometers from Tuskegee Army Airfield, where the first Black US Army pilots were trained in World War Two. They fought with distinction in Europe and as a Black child their story inspired me to think I could be a pilot too. So now, when I see a lack of diversity, when I think ‘why are there no people here who look like me?’, I try to do something about it.”

Gem’s response was to establish TalentoTotal, alongside Douglas Nagy, Co-Founder of McKinsey & Company’s office in Medellín, Colombia. Knowing that global MBA programmes are a major source of talent for multinationals and leading national companies, Gem and Doug believed that developing an MBA talent pipeline for ADI MBA candidates could change the diversity and leadership landscape.

A GMAT boot camp leading to Cambridge Judge

In 2018, Cínthia was invited to participate in the first TalentoTotal GMAT Boot Camp, which was taught by Cambridge Judge alumnus Jayson Beatty (MBA 2002). “I had 3 years’ experience working in financial services in the automotive industry, two years in valuation consulting, and I wanted to move into strategy consulting. But I was finding practicing for the GMAT exam very hard without any support. The boot camp provided me with much needed professional development, coaching and leadership training, as well as help in finding sponsors.”

In 2020, she attended another event in Săo Paulo, jointly organised by TalentoTotal and Cambridge Judge Business School after Gem had visited the UK the previous year. As he recalls, “From the start we targeted the top 20 to 30 business schools internationally. I interact with all of them and CJBS have been really leaning forward in actively pursuing racial and ethnic diversity.”

A focus on Europe for an MBA

Although Cínthia was applying for business schools in the US, her dream was to go to Europe. “I love the British culture, the artistic drive, but I hadn’t considered Cambridge until I met Margaret O’Neill, Head of CJBS Careers at the time, at the event. She told me how diverse the Business School was. That really attracted me – and now I am finally here, where I discovered there are people of 46 different nationalities in my cohort!”

Cínthia was keen on a one-year MBA course. “It is less of a financial commitment and the top companies are recruiting from the one-year as well as two-year MBA pool. I talked to quite a few former students before applying to Cambridge and when I got my place, I connected up with another Black female student, Daisy Ong’angi from Kenya. We both ended up postponing our places for a year due to the pandemic.”

From strategy consulting to the Global Consulting Project – the MBA experience at Cambridge

Cínthia spent last summer as a pre-MBA Summer Consultant at BCG in São Paulo.

“I am attracted to strategy consulting, but I am also enjoying the opportunities the MBA gives me to broaden my horizons – instead of the Strategy Concentration, I have chosen the Culture, Arts and Media Management (CAM) Concentration to tailor her studies.” She is relishing the intellectual challenge. “It is not just practice, but deep intellectual thinking. I was not expecting such a strong connection to academic research.”

Cínthia is currently applying her new learning through the MBA Global Consulting Project. “The course on Management Praxis is proving especially useful right now when we are working for a real company. It is wonderful to have the chance to try things out in a safe environment and still deliver value to our client. I could travel to Mexico as part of my GCP to explore alternatives for the client to increase its visibility in the region, which is an invaluable experience within the Cambridge MBA and a differential for my professional development as a global leader.”

A role model – leading the way

Gem is justly proud of the first woman to pass through the TalentoTotal acceleration programme to get an MBA place, and only the second in the overall programme.

“It is so important we stay engaged with Cínthia, not just to continue to support her in reaching her professional goals but also so we can show her to our new candidates as a role model. Just twenty years ago, an Afro-Brazilian Black woman studying for her MBA at Cambridge would have been just about as bizarre as her becoming an astronaut. But then that is what people thought at first about the Tuskegee Airmen.”

As for Cínthia, she is keen to show others the way. “It can be hard coming from racialized countries like Brazil where racism is the elephant in the room. But my message is not to be paralysed or afraid but rather fulfil your potential despite bad past experiences. If you are thinking about an MBA, go for it. I am enjoying the experience of a lifetime!

The post Meet Cínthia – an MBA role model representing Brazil and diversity across the board appeared first on Cambridge Judge Business School.

Categories: Technology News

Art and engineering

Department of Engineering - Wed, 31/05/2023 - 00:00
4th year engineering student Yi Chen Hock shares her journey developing her creative and technical skills and offers insights that might help others who are also interested in art and engineering.
Categories: Technology News

My Cambridge Master of Finance – a year of opportunities and personal growth

Judge Business School - Tue, 30/05/2023 - 18:36

Master of Finance student Juncheng Shen tells us about his recent trip to the United States to attend one of the most prestigious events in the investment industry’s calendar. He also reflects on how his year in Cambridge has opened up some unexpected opportunities.

“Sitting on the plane back to the UK, I reflect on the whirlwind few days I’ve spent in Omaha, and the incredible journey that has led me to this point. It’s been a week filled with unforgettable experiences and encounters that have fuelled my passion for finance and investing. As the plane soars through the clouds, I can’t help but smile, knowing that this extraordinary journey has only just begun.”

A front row seat with Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger

Every year thousands of shareholders and investors gather in Omaha, Nebraska to hear Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger give their annual update at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting. Considered by many in the investment industry to be one of the most important events of the year, it provides a rare opportunity for investors to hear from one of the world’s most successful investors.

During the weekend-long event, shareholders will hear updates on the company’s performance, insights into its investment strategy and current macroeconomic trends. The highlight of the event is a Q&A with Buffett and Munger – which can often last for several hours – where shareholders can ask their questions directly to the CEO and Vice Chairman.

Juncheng Shen at Berkshire Hathaway AGM.

For Juncheng Shen, the opportunity to see these two highly respected giants of the investment community up close was a dream come true. “As an investor who has been following these meetings for years, the chance to experience this global investor event in person was beyond words. I was thrilled to receive a student invitation from Berkshire Hathaway to attend this year’s annual shareholder meeting and to represent Cambridge Judge Business School and the Cambridge Investment Management Club.”

A 04:00 wake-up call, to join a queue of several hundred other excited attendees, meant that Juncheng was able to secure a front-row seat. During a 5-hour Q&A session, the audience heard from Buffett and Munger on everything from AI to banking failures and renewable energy to geopolitics, and even shared their wisdom on living life well.

Juncheng explains, “Despite their remarkable ages of 92 and 99 years, the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ and his partner infused the event with a blend of humour and profound wisdom acquired over decades in the investing world. When an audience member asked him about the major mistakes people should avoid in both investing and life, Buffett said: ‘You should write your obituary and then try to figure out how to live up to it’.”

Over the course of the weekend, there were lots of events taking place around the city. In addition to the Berkshire AGM, Juncheng attended the CFA Value Investing Dinner with John W. Rogers, Jr. of Ariel Investments, the Gabelli Funds Omaha Value Investing Conference, and VALUEx BRK2023.

“Meeting like-minded global investors was an amazing experience. One of the highlights was unexpectedly encountering the legendary Li Lu of the Himalaya Capital. I read his books many years ago, and it was fantastic to be able to talk with him in person.”

The journey to Cambridge and the Master of Finance

For Juncheng, his passion for investing was ignited at an early age, when, aged 15, he read the widely acclaimed The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. The book sparked his appetite for investing and a few years later he went on to study for a degree in Finance and Accounting.

During college, Juncheng decided to pursue a career in finance and was selected for the HSBC summer internship programme. After finishing his undergraduate degree, he went on to join HSBC’s highly competitive global graduate programme where he gained a broad knowledge of banking and finance.  

“During my rotation, I gained exposure to covering major corporate clients and was able to participate in the entire deal process, including deal pitching, execution, and monitoring. The graduate programme helped me to not only develop my skills and banking knowledge, but also broaden my horizons in relation to the overall economy and the finance industry.”

While working at HSBC, Juncheng was able to hone his financial analysis skills, and this experience reinforced his interest in becoming a professional investor. He explains, “When working on clients’ capital market financing deals, I found the workings of the financial markets and the companies we covered to be fascinating”.

Certain that he wanted to transition into the investment management industry, Juncheng realised that he needed to expand his finance knowledge and pursuing a post-experience masters degree was the logical next step.

He explains, “I had a clear vision of the type of postgraduate degree I was looking for; a top-tier university with ample resources and a diverse student body, a post-experience programme that would enable me to learn from experienced classmates, and a programme that would specifically enhance my finance knowledge and buy-side skills to facilitate my career transition. After researching several options, I was convinced that the Cambridge MFin met all my expectations.”

Having made his decision, Juncheng applied early to join the 2022 cohort. He received an offer of admission – and was also awarded an MFin scholarship – and began his exceptional MFin journey.

The Cambridge experience and College life

Since joining the MFin programme in September, Juncheng has enjoyed being back in the classroom.

“The academic experience at Cambridge is highly interactive and engaging. The professors are extremely knowledgeable and possess both academic and industry expertise, which allows them to impart insights that go beyond the confines of the textbook. My classmates, who come from diverse finance backgrounds such as investment banking, central banks, and investment management, have contributed immensely to my learning experience.”

With a cohort of 91 students representing 28 different nationalities, there are plenty of opportunities to get to know one another and experience the different cultures that are represented within the class.

“The MFin cohort is incredibly close-knit. One of the major benefits of the programme’s diverse student body is the opportunity to experience different cultures first-hand. For instance, during the Hindu festival of Diwali, our Indian classmates organised a celebration for the class, where we enjoyed great food and cultural experiences. Similarly, my Chinese classmates and I organised a Chinese New Year party, where we made dumplings and introduced everyone to traditional Chinese papercuts and handwriting. These events were a great opportunity for everyone to come together and have fun while learning about each other’s cultures.”

A formal dinner at Trinity College.

When joining the programme, MFin students become a member of one of the 31 Cambridge Colleges. College life offers students the chance to enjoy the many traditions that an 800 year-old University has to offer, but is also an opportunity to meet students from across many academic disciplines.

Juncheng explains, “I am a member of St Edmund’s College, which is a friendly College for mature students (anyone over 21 years old). I enjoy College life, particularly the traditional formal dinners, which are held twice a week. Unlike other Colleges, there is no high table at my College so I have the opportunity to sit with both College students and fellows during the formal dinners. My dining companions often come from various subjects, such as physics, astronomy, computer science, and linguistics. Therefore, my typical Cambridge evening consists of wearing a gown (a type of formal academic robe), relishing delicious food, and having engaging conversations with someone sitting next to me from a different subject area”.

He concludes, “Living, dining, and socialising together with diverse individuals has expanded my worldview and fostered unexpected ideas, which I believe is crucial in the finance industry, where success is driven by people and innovative thinking”.

Life outside of the classroom

During their time in Cambridge, MFin students can take part in a huge range of extra-curricular activities, including sports teams, clubs and societies. There are hundreds of different university clubs and societies on offer, from wine tasting to rowing, and astronomy to Shakespeare appreciation.

When he joined the MFin programme in September, Juncheng soon realised that there were no student interest groups that specifically focused on investment management, so he decided to set one up himself and established the Cambridge Investment Management Club.

He explains, “The club aims to be the place for aspiring investors to congregate and learn, but also accommodate a wider range of investment methodologies and perspectives. Creating a club from scratch can be a challenging task, but I was fortunate to have the support of the MFin Executive Director, Marwa Hammam, as well as our club committee members and other MFin alumni from the outset”.

The club has successfully hosted ten events to date, and it has featured talks by investors from many renowned companies such as BlackRock, Millennium, Fidelity International, Amundi, GIC and Bloomberg. Reflecting on this achievement, he concludes “I am proud to say that the club has grown to become one of the largest student clubs at the Cambridge Judge Business School, attracting many individuals who are passionate about investment management”.

Juncheng has also taken up a brand-new pastime in recent months. “I have also developed a new hobby: punting! Although I wasn’t a natural at first (my first punting experience involved numerous collisions!), I’ve persevered and continued to practice, and after several attempts, I’ve gained more confidence and can now show my friends around – and thankfully, I have never capsized the boat!”

Looking ahead and future goals

With the Easter term well under way, students are starting to look towards the next step in their professional career journeys. After completing his MFin degree, Juncheng is planning to move from banking into investment management.

“My passion for investment management was already ignited prior to joining the MFin programme. However, the MFin has allowed me to unlock my full potential in this area. Through the diverse core courses and electives, the Equity Research Project, modelling courses and asset management talks, I’ve been able to grow and consolidate my knowledge and expand my experience in the field of investment management.”

MFin Christmas party.

And finally, what would Juncheng’s advice be to applicants considering applying to the Cambridge MFin programme?

“I highly recommend the Cambridge Master of Finance programme to anyone who is seeking a finance-focused post-experience programme. It is deeply embedded in the rich history and academic excellence of the University of Cambridge, setting it apart from other business schools in the world. Moreover, its unique programme design and experience provides me with unparalleled opportunities for personal and professional growth. And I feel fortunate to have met so many great friends and people here.”

The post My Cambridge Master of Finance – a year of opportunities and personal growth appeared first on Cambridge Judge Business School.

Categories: Technology News

A test of strength: what is it like to be on the Cambridge Boxing Blues Squad?

Judge Business School - Tue, 30/05/2023 - 17:09

What’s it like to box for Cambridge? Current Judge Business School student Harmanbir Brar tells us how he balances his Master of Finance studies with a gruelling training regime, and how the mental endurance has helped him to succeed on the programme.

Harmanbir Brar (MFin 2022) What’s your background, and what led you to Cambridge?

I was born and raised in Punjab, India and moved to Canada 14 years ago. I then studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, and completed an MBA in Madrid. It was the academic rigour and collegiate system that really drew me to Cambridge. In addition, Dr Manmohan Singh – the former Indian Prime Minister and a fellow Punjabi Sikh who I greatly admire – completed his masters at Cambridge. I visited in 2019 to see what the city was like and was enthralled by all the history here, so I decided to apply.

How did you get into boxing, and how did you get onto the Cambridge Boxing Blues Squad?

I started boxing training in 2017 and began sparring in 2019, but then my training stopped due to the pandemic. I got back into sparring again in 2021 and began training for a fight in Canada. When I got into Cambridge, I took a brief hiatus to relocate to the UK, but quickly picked up where I had left off and decided to try out for the team. Around 250 men and women show up for Cambridge Boxing Blues Squad trials every year, so the competition was tough. I went through three rounds of sparring on separate days and was then told I’d made the 40-person squad.

What’s it like to be a member of the team?

It’s an absolute honour and privilege to be part of the team. The Cambridge University Amateur Boxing Club’s (CUABC) history goes back to 1896, so it’s one of the most prestigious clubs to be part of. Everybody is fighting for their spot in a competition, so there are no easy training days – it is a challenge, but you miss it when it’s done! Everyone pushes each other and improves together. Before Cambridge, I competed in swimming and athletics competitions, and missed training as part of a squad towards an end goal.

What is it you love about boxing?

I played football for a long time before getting into boxing, but in team sports there are so many variables you can’t control. With boxing, having the fitness and technique is all down to you. In the words of Mike Tyson, “Talent? I don’t believe in talent […] It helps when you have talent. But as long as you have a lot of determination and willpower, that’s all you need, and you have to have the will to win”. Also, we spend a lot of time on screens now rather than in nature or doing combat – I felt boxing was one of the ways to connect with my original state.

What kind of training is involved?

We usually have between 10-12 hours of training each week, depending on where we are in the season. There’s also a week-long training camp in January for select members of the squad; this involves training 35 hours in a week, so it’s very intense. Training comprises refining boxing technique, circuit training, running, hill sprints, and fighting in the ring – sometimes with teammates, and sometimes external fighters. The hardest part of the training is the fighting; whether you’re feeling it or not, when you’re called upon to step into the ring, you need to switch it on.

You were chosen to represent the University of Cambridge at the Town vs Gown event – what was that like?

It was a very memorable experience. Hearing the Cambridge head coach Lee Mitchell say I’d been chosen was magical. It felt like not only the past four months of training but also years of working on my fitness was coming to fruition.

When I was in the ring, the atmosphere was electric, with more than 350 people in the audience. However, in boxing there are a lot of factors that can cause a fight to fall through. In my case, I was recovering from a hamstring injury so I was worried about aggravating it. I lost the fight by split decision so it wasn’t the result I wanted, but it went the full three rounds. It was my first amateur boxing bout, and I was incredibly proud to have been chosen as one of the 14 fighters to represent the University of Cambridge.

What skills have you developed through boxing, and how have these helped you at Cambridge?

Physical endurance is the most important skill, of course – if you aren’t in shape, there’s no way you’ll survive the training. Out of all the sports I’ve tried, boxing is the most tiring. When you’re in the ring fighting and tired, 30 seconds feel like 30 minutes. Fitness is tested by coaches taking your weight on a regular basis and bleep tests to measure your cardiovascular strength.

Mental endurance is the second most important skill, because the training is tiring and can be a challenge to balance with MFin studies. I had two Michaelmas exams during the January training camp, which I managed to successfully pass, and definitely improved my prioritisation skills.

Also, in training, you’re bound to have a bad sparring session where you’ll get beaten up in the ring and that hurts your confidence. Training has pushed my limits and helped me to find mental strength I never thought I had. That extra strength has definitely helped me on the MFin, and I hope it will help me in the corporate world too.

What’s your experience on the Master of Finance been like more generally?

The MFin has been hugely enriching in terms of developing my technical finance knowledge, as well as networking and learning from others’ experience. The highlights for me have been the electives on Quantitative Asset Allocation and Algorithmic Trading, through which I’m learning to use Python from a financial perspective, which is becoming essential.

Living in College has been a fundamental part of the experience; while I’m academically immersed in the MFin, I’ve also had a chance to meet people from different backgrounds at Churchill, and attend formals at other colleges too. Our house has eight people, each with different academic and extracurricular focuses, which is why it’s so enriching to learn from one another. Churchill also has exceptional sports facilities – the running track is second to none, and the gym is great – so I think that’s really helped with my success in the Blues squad.

What are your goals for the future?

In the near term, my goal is to get a role in the sales and trading divisions of an investment bank or a corporate finance role in a chemicals company in London or the Middle East. In the long term, I would love to one day move back home to Punjab and open my own boxing gym to help others from the region become champions in the field.

Separately from your studies, last year you won the World Bank’s 2022 Ideathon for Climate Change in East Asia and the Pacific – can you tell us a bit more about this?

The competition was open to 18-35 year-olds across the world, and we were tasked with creating a solution to help make a water and sanitation utility more resilient to climate change. I was shortlisted from 100+ applicants around the globe and my idea made it to the final round of the competition. I then captained a team of 3 to further develop my initial idea and apply it to a case study. For the final round, I pitched this idea virtually, and we won the competition based on votes from a panel of judges. It was a really rewarding experience and gave me the chance to learn from my teammates in Indonesia and Nigeria, who brought their unique perspectives to the challenge.

The post A test of strength: what is it like to be on the Cambridge Boxing Blues Squad? appeared first on Cambridge Judge Business School.

Categories: Technology News

New Associate Professor in Computational Linguistics

We’re very pleased to announce that Fermín Moscoso del Prado Martín will be joining us as a new member of our faculty this August.

Categories: Technology News

The growing importance of ESG – and how it’s incorporated into the Cambridge EMBA

Judge Business School - Fri, 26/05/2023 - 12:42

Interested in ESG? We spoke to current and former students on the Cambridge Executive MBA (EMBA) to find out more about why they chose Cambridge Judge Business School, their experiences working in the ESG sector and how sustainability issues are rising on the agenda among businesses across the board.

Louisa Cox, Senior Director of Public Affairs at Mars Wrigley

Louisa graduated from the Cambridge Executive MBA in 2015.

What are your key areas of focus at Mars? Louisa Cox, (EMBA 2013)

I’m Senior Director of Public Affairs at Mars Wrigley, where I focus on creating the type of progressive policy change that’s needed to ensure sustainable global supply chains. For example, at Mars we’ve been supporting the most recent corporate sustainability due diligence legislation in the EU. I’ve been calling for this regulation to be as robust and specific as possible, since it holds huge potential for ensuring that all cocoa imported into Europe is deforestation free, and that the human rights of farmers at the very bottom of the supply chain are properly prioritised and addressed.

How did you get into the sector and what made you decide to join the Cambridge Executive MBA?

Since leaving university, I’d worked with a number of NGOs in the humanitarian and international development sectors, including Save the Children and Fairtrade. I was lucky enough to spend a few years in Maputo, Mozambique very early in my career. I worked directly with communities recovering from the long civil war and flood disaster there. I noticed first-hand that in order to fix deeply entrenched social problems, NGOs need to work with the private sector.

I came across the Cambridge EMBA and could see that it would offer me an exciting pathway to get as insider perspective of the corporate world, both through the teaching programme and through networking with my peers. I was able to learn a huge amount about how corporates function and what drives them, and that was invaluable.

How did the EMBA help progress your career?

The EMBA gave me a deep and broad-based knowledge around key business functions such as corporate finance, accounting, strategy, innovation and marketing. Given that ESG is now integrated into core commercial practices, having this EMBA background has been a real enabler for me in terms of collaborating with leaders across my organisation to land transformational change.

What does your current role involve?

My current role is Managing Director of Trumpington Farm Company, a large-scale arable farming business that rents farmland from Kings College, Corpus Christi and Jesus Colleges. We also contract farms for the wider University of Cambridge. Alongside that, I’m a trustee of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), and have been investing in agritech start-ups since 2015.

Richard Pemberton, Managing Director of the Trumpington Farm company

Richard is a current student on the Cambridge EMBA.

Richard Pemberton (EMBA 2022)

What did you learn on the EMBA?

The programme has taught me how to be a more effective director, boosting my skills around corporate finance, accountancy, marketing, leadership, negotiation, organisational behaviour and operations management.

The network of colleagues and friends I’ve made at Cambridge has also been remarkable and has made me appreciate the huge benefits of working as part of a diverse team. As a direct consequence of being on the EMBA, I’m now setting up a new agri-tech growth fund with two colleagues.

What did your Individual Project (IP) involve?

My IP examined the viability of viticulture in Cambridgeshire, exploring the relationship between viticulture and the circular economy. The project has shown me that with increased temperatures, viticulture is a viable business proposition in Cambridgeshire, but choosing the right business model is critical. The UK viticulture market is growing fast but is highly competitive.

How has sustainability risen on the agenda for businesses and their leaders in recent years?

Sustainability and ESG have risen very fast on the agenda for UK farming businesses. Climate change and water shortages are especially relevant in agriculture.

We’ve found that our customers are now asking about our ESG credentials and are increasingly demanding that crops are produced in a sustainable manner. As owner and managing director of my business, ESG is always at the top of the agenda when considering future investment decisions and reviewing existing management practices. I believe adopting ESG principles provides a competitive advantage, as well as reducing waste, energy consumption and operating costs.

Sara Hasan, Vice President ESP regulatory reporting of Bank of America Merrill Lynch What do you believe will be the key challenges around sustainability and ESG in the future? Sara Hasan, (EMBA 2018)

The key ESG challenge will be keeping up with the pace of innovation and changing regulations. Managing public opinion and expectations is another key challenge in our sector; agriculture consumes 70% of the world’s fresh water and is associated with CO2, methane and nitrous oxide emissions – but as an industry, it’s also essential to human life. ESG will continue to develop rapidly in the coming years, and I believe that adoption of ESG principles will be mandated by law for smaller businesses.

What drew you to the Cambridge EMBA?

As an advocate for continuous learning, I wanted to pursue an Executive MBA to tap into emerging opportunities, enhance my entrepreneurial skillset and network with diverse cohort members.

The Cambridge EMBA offered all of the above, and in addition supported me with life-long learning through its annual elective offering post-graduation; this allows alumni to come back to Cambridge Judge annually and join existing cohort members for an elective course.

How did the programme help boost your knowledge around ESG?

I’ve always believed in ESG and having a corporate purpose, but the Cambridge EMBA helped me to explore solutions in the space and address a key sector gap. It introduced me to the concept of a circular economy, which I believed in and wanted to contribute towards. The programme was instrumental in enabling me to reflect on and then act on my career aspirations, and helped me to re-align my skillset to find a balance across industry demands, academic research and my passion for ESG.

What practical experience did you gain on the EMBA?

As part of an EMBA consulting project, I was given an exciting opportunity to contribute to a research milestone for the European Commission. The project was conducted as a secondment in Brussels in partnership with Deloitte Brussels. I further expanded my expertise in the area by conducting an individual research project which proposed an ESG Matrix for the financial sector.

What tips do you have for those considering a career in the sector?

I would strongly recommend learning more about the area through university resources, certifications and offerings by CISL. In addition, actively participating in and networking at conferences in the sector, such as the UN COP, is essential to making yourself known by establishing key contacts in the field, as well as hearing first-hand insights and updates from current leaders in the space.

Given this is an emerging area, there are many new opportunities to explore. I’d recommend thinking outside the box and identifying sector gaps and other niches to tap into. The journey ahead is tough and has a lot of unknowns, but if you put yourself forward you can really make a mark in this exciting, rapidly changing sector, and help bring forward a sustainable future for all.

The post The growing importance of ESG – and how it’s incorporated into the Cambridge EMBA appeared first on Cambridge Judge Business School.

Categories: Technology News

Professor Gishan Dissanaike appointed Interim Dean of Cambridge Judge

Judge Business School - Thu, 25/05/2023 - 14:49

Professor Gishan Dissanaike has been a faculty member at Cambridge Judge for over 20 years and has taught generations of students on the MBA, MFin, and MPhil in Finance programmes. 

Professor Dissanaike is a financial economist and holds the Adam Smith Professorship of Corporate Governance at the University. He gained his BA from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, before coming up to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he completed an MPhil and a PhD in Economics. Gishan has also held a visiting faculty appointment at Cornell University and has been consulted by a number of international corporations, investment banks, and regulatory agencies. Prior to joining academia, he worked for Banque Indosuez (now Credit Agricole Group, currently the 3rd largest bank in Europe). He has previously served on the Finance Committee of the University of Cambridge, is on the Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance (CERF) Management Board and is Acting Chair of the Cambridge Judge Faculty Board this year.  

The interim appointment is for one year. A process to appoint a permanent Dean will commence later this year and Professor Dissanaike will work with the University and Cambridge Judge community to deliver our mission to excel, while the search for the next Dean is underway. 

The post Professor Gishan Dissanaike appointed Interim Dean of Cambridge Judge appeared first on Cambridge Judge Business School.

Categories: Technology News

'Stand-out' dissertation receives ACM award

Congratulations to Research Fellow Conrad Watt whose "stand-out" PhD dissertation was recognised by an award today from the Association for Computing Machinery, the world's largest association of computing professionals.

Categories: Technology News

Disassembly of failed appliances to understand how they are made

Department of Engineering - Wed, 24/05/2023 - 00:00
A new teaching extension activity for 3rd year students called Product Disassembly was launched last term.
Categories: Technology News

What links sustainability and distribution networks?

Judge Business School - Tue, 23/05/2023 - 17:15

Professor Khaled Soufani, Director of the Circular Economy Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, discusses the importance of supply chains and reusing waste at a conference addressed by the King of Spain Felipe VI. 

Khal Soufani, Director of the Circular Economy Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, spoke about supply chains and related issues at a sustainability forum addressed by the King of Spain, Felipe VI. 

Khaled, who is Management Practice Professor of Financial Economics & Policy at Cambridge Judge, said in his session on 11 May that sustainability must be incorporated into a company’s policies at every level. 

“The company has to understand the distribution network very well, know the chain of entry and exit of products, and visualise its customers,” he said on a remote link to the conference near Madrid organised by Spanish newspaper Expansión. “This is to find new uses for the products and reuse the components as much as possible for the best purposes.” 

He added that the circular economy is “an innovative technological model that is related to users and governments. We must avoid the accumulation of waste and make the most of waste.” 

Other speakers at Khaled’s panel included representatives of Spanish retail group Tendam, logistics firm Tesya Group and digital platform Forestchain. The King addressed the conference on its opening evening on 10 May. 

The post What links sustainability and distribution networks? appeared first on Cambridge Judge Business School.

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