2005 Cambridge Judge MBA Admissions Chat with Simon Learmount

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Chat Transcript:


AlanAbraham (Dec 7, 2004 10:20:11 AM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com’s International MBA Admissions Chat.

AlanAbraham (Dec 7, 2004 10:20:19 AM)
I also want to welcome Dr. Simon Learmount, Director of Admissions, Judge Institute of Management.

AlanAbraham (Dec 7, 2004 10:20:25 AM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

aspenxtrm (Dec 7, 2004 10:22:33 AM)
What kind of opportunities are there to take advantage of the resources of the broader university?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:23:05 AM)
As a student you are a full member of the university and of course a college which means all of the (rich/diverse) facilities and resources are open to you.

aspenxtrm (Dec 7, 2004 10:23:47 AM)
So then we would be able to take classes in other departments in the college we're in?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:24:19 AM)
Yes, if you can find the time, but bear in mind this is a very intensive one-year programme. Full details of university facilities care at www.cam.ac.uk .

AlanAbraham (Dec 7, 2004 10:25:18 AM)
Simon, if you are looking at an application and the numbers and basic profile is in the ballpark for a Cambridge student, what distinguishes an application that is accepted from one that is rejected?

aspenxtrm (Dec 7, 2004 10:25:40 AM)
True, good point! My other question is admissions related. I was strongly looking at Judge last year (though put off applying anywhere till this year), however I had mentally crossed it off of my list because I seem to remember a 3.5 GPA requirement. Is that still the case?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:26:02 AM)
Alan - Great interpersonal skills - this is a very collaborative MBA.

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:26:59 AM)
Many of our students do have a GPA above 3.5, but a significant proportion do not - its the overall application that is important. A strong, balanced GMAT will compensate for a lower GPA. We don't state a minimum GPA, though we do say that +3.5 is fairly common.

AlanAbraham (Dec 7, 2004 10:27:44 AM)
Simon, how is recruiting going this year? Are there more companies recruiting on campus this year? More interviews scheduled?

aspenxtrm (Dec 7, 2004 10:28:46 AM)
The class size is a bit small, even by non-US standards. Why is that, and how do you feel that impacts recruiting?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:29:17 AM)
We like to think of it as a 'boutique' MBA that focuses very much on developing each class member individually. As for recruiting, we have a different model than US schools which generally aim to get large recruiters on campus. Instead we focus on helping each individual meet their career aspirations - the proof of how successful this strategy is, can be seen in our recruiting figures, which are as good if not better than any other European school.

Petre (Dec 7, 2004 10:33:06 AM)
What's the chance of getting a HSBC loan without credit history?

aspenxtrm (Dec 7, 2004 10:33:39 AM)
How do you look at longer folks? Maybe folks with only 3 years of work experience? I know some US schools are moving towards that direction.

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:34:13 AM)
Pretty good - I believe everyone who applied last year got a loan, though occasionally they were at slightly reduced levels.

aspenxtrm (Dec 7, 2004 10:34:31 AM)
Also, how is the situation there for folks with a family? Is there places for living and such?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:35:23 AM)
Aspen, as a one year programme it is very important to us, so we are strict about a 3 year minimum of work experience - the average this year is six, and the range is up to 19.

Sham (Dec 7, 2004 10:36:46 AM)
In regards to what type of experience, my entire professional career (5 years) is in the non-profit industry; is that a good industry to be applying from?

Petre (Dec 7, 2004 10:36:47 AM)
How do you consider the GPA in university (I was in the most prestigious university in Bulgaria, but I have worked since I was a second year student - you may consider my grades as not perfect)?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:36:53 AM)
Aspen, I believe the accommodations for students with families are better than most other schools - we have the resources of the university to help with family accommodation, childcare, schooling, etc. Healthcare is also free. I can put you in touch with lots of MBAers who brought their families with them for info, if you contact me offline.

Sham (Dec 7, 2004 10:38:02 AM)
Also, how do you view social entrepreneurship? I wish to use the Judge MBA to establish a public organization. Can the facilities at Judge assist in the development of the organization?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:38:12 AM)
Not for profit is something we strongly encourage - it brings great diversity and fantastic perspectives to the MBA.

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:39:48 AM)
Sham - the strength of Cambridge in entrepreneurship goes without saying, see our website, and social entrepreneurship - we are one of the few schools to have a special masters degree in community enterprise - which we draw on heavily in the MBA.

aspenxtrm (Dec 7, 2004 10:41:04 AM)
Simon, how do we get in touch with you?

Petre (Dec 7, 2004 10:41:15 AM)
Simon, I'm mainly interested in Marketing and Entrepreneurship; how do you consider Cambridge's focus on these areas?

Sham (Dec 7, 2004 10:41:20 AM)
Yes, that is true...my desire is to establish an organization that will re-educate women in the Middle East. Does Judge have contacts/faculty/alumni who work in the Middle East or any social organizations there?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:42:00 AM)
Petre - GPA is fairly important to us, but not the most important - I'd want to take into account your GMAT, and also would distinguish between degrees from universities with particularly high entry standards.

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:42:28 AM)
Aspen, the website with all the details is  www.thecambridgemba.com .

aspenxtrm (Dec 7, 2004 10:43:02 AM)
Can you tell us a bit about what you perceive the strengths of your program to be? Maybe finance, marketing, etc? Also, what kind of opportunity is there for language study? I'm interested in operations work, and working in China, and in going over the Judge website I can't find much about operations course work, and nothing at all about languages.

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:43:43 AM)
We have scholarships for students from the Lebanon, and this year students from Iran, Jordan etc. The alumni network is not as strong as say in Europe or the US, but the recognition of Cambridge in the Middle East is phenomenal.

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:44:53 AM)
Petre, Cambridge is the biggest high-tech cluster in Europe, so entrepreneurship is VERY strong and marketing is something that you can easily specialize in by virtue of the customizable programme we have. And bear in mind our CEO in residence is Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi who knows a thing or two about marketing.

Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 10:46:20 AM)
Hello, what are the industries that students are working in after completing their MBA?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:47:03 AM)
Aspen - the strength of our program is the highly practical nature of it (compared to any other school!) and customizability. We have a hugely diverse range of people on the programme (which is fantastic in itself), but this means we have come up with a great structure that enables people interested in IB, marketing, entrepreneurship, WTC to choose electives or projects that meet their needs.

Sham (Dec 7, 2004 10:47:45 AM)
I checked the website for visits, etc, but could not find any visits to NYC recently. Will Cambridge be on the East Coast (NY/BOSTON) any time soon?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:49:46 AM)
Manuel - details are on the website, but in general we have many going to IB and MC (especially as they are now recruiting heavily in these sectors), but also everything under the sun. As I said earlier, we have a diverse class, from whom you learn an extraordinary amount, but this means we focus on helping each student achieve THEIR aspirations whatever they may be.

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:51:43 AM)
Sham, yes we were out on the East Coast in October, but plan to visit again in Feb/March.

Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 10:51:51 AM)
How long does it take to a student to get a job after completing the MBA?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:53:05 AM)
It depends on the individual - almost all seem to have offers by the end of the programme, but they may not take them immediately. This info is on our website, and the stats for the most recent class should be posted before the end of the year - early indications are that they are exceptionally strong.

Sham (Dec 7, 2004 10:53:40 AM)
What is your policy on deferment of admissions based on family circumstances?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:54:55 AM)
Each case is considered on its merits, but in principal no problem - last year 10 people holding offers deferred for various reasons.

Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 10:55:06 AM)
What is the best time to apply for the MBA programme?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:55:51 AM)
Early applicants are much more likely to find scholarships and Cambridge offers a great range of financial support.

Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 10:57:12 AM)
What is the scope of that support, programme fees and living expenses?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 10:59:27 AM)
Depends - loans can cover everything you mention, and each year maybe 10/100 students get full scholarships to cover everything. Another 40% receive some kind of additional award between GBP2,500-10,000.

AlanAbraham (Dec 7, 2004 11:01:11 AM)
Simon, does Judge offer financial aid for international students? Does its loan program require a co-signor?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 11:02:23 AM)
Yes, all financial aid is open to anyone - loan programme co-signor depends on circumstance, but in most case I understand the answer is no.

Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 11:02:30 AM)
Would it be easy for my girlfriend to find a job in the surroundings of Cambridge, or maybe go to London everyday?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 11:03:30 AM)
I can put you in touch with MBAers in similar situations - I know most spouses seeking to work have found good jobs, but of course it depends on the skills your wife has to offer. Cambridge is desperate for good people, there are more jobs available than people.

Sham (Dec 7, 2004 11:03:53 AM)
About how many students apply and how many are accepted per year?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 11:04:30 AM)
Sham - it's about 6 applicants for each place.

AlanAbraham (Dec 7, 2004 11:04:54 AM)
Simon, how do you view military service when the applicant comes from a country where military service is mandatory?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 11:05:26 AM)
Yes, we certainly take it into account, though it depends exactly what you were doing.

AlanAbraham (Dec 7, 2004 11:06:09 AM)
You mentioned that you require 3 years of work experience, would military service count towards that?

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 11:06:27 AM)
Manuel - London is 45 minutes away on the train, if there is nothing suitable in Cambridge.

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 11:06:47 AM)
Alan - yes it would count depending on whether there were elements of the military service that we consider relevant.

Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 11:08:34 AM)
Thank you for the help Simon.

Petre (Dec 7, 2004 11:08:58 AM)
Thanks a lot for the information. Have a nice evening!

AlanAbraham (Dec 7, 2004 11:09:09 AM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Dr. Simon Learmont, Director of Admissions at University of Cambridge Judge Institute of Management.

AlanAbraham (Dec 7, 2004 11:09:20 AM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats, and here is a list of the upcoming scheduled chats: Tuck: Dec. 15 Chicago GSB: Jan. 4

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 11:09:24 AM)
Thanks, bye, have a good evening.

AlanAbraham (Dec 7, 2004 11:09:31 AM)
Please check the Web site (http://www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.aspx#mba ) for details and exact time, because we are varying our chat times this year to facilitate attendance from applicants in different time zones. Good luck with your applications!

SimonLearmountJUDGE (Dec 7, 2004 11:09:55 AM)
Cheers, thanks for moderating.