It is very good to take some time off once in a while and escape Marylebone, the area where London Business School is located. Yesterday, we took a trip to Cambridge to visit a friend and former colleague of mine who is doing her MBA at Judge Business School.
I had heard that Cambridge is nicer and sweeter than Oxford and I agree, it is a very small and beautiful, relaxed town. People seemed very cheerful and happy there, and people walk slowly and don't push you around as they do in London.
I think we got to see almost all the colleges. My favourites were Pembroke College and King's College, though from what I've heard the MBAs usually end up in smaller or lesser known colleges. We had lunch in St Catherine's College where they offer subsidised food, very cheap and quite okay.
In the midst of these old buildings, I had a fascinating talk with my friend's boyfriend who is doing a master's in polymere engineering. Crazy stuff! Did you know they have developed biodegradable mobile phones by now and even contact lenses that turn into water at request? Suddenly I remembered I had met a Colombian girl in Hamburg who works for a polymere company in Hamburg that develops biodegradable shoes and stuff like that, these products don't only dissolve, but if you throw them into your garden they suddenly turn into plants. This is great stuff and I definitely need to look into this field, though I doubt I will ever study it I think it is a fascinating investment opportunity.
We also went river punting which I highly recommend to anyone who visits Cambridge. You get to see all the colleges from the back and can also watch crazy Chinese tourists trying to punt themselves. Obviously, lots of students as well who struggle not to fall into the water.
Being an MBA student obviously I was also curious to visit Judge Business School. It looks like they have very generous sponsors, it is located in a very artsy building that used to be a hospital but has now been converted to a business school. The architecture is very nice and colourful.
What did I learn about Judge? It seems to be very collaborative and friendly with only 110 students per year. Also, the class seems very diverse in terms of backgrounds, they have an age range up to 50 years (vs. 36 at London Business School) and according to my friend many people from charities and public services. The conflict now is that they want to move up in the rankings, which would mean reducing diversity (chuck out those non profit guys for a GMAT800 IT consultant). Let's see in which direction they go, but I definitely liked the school.
They are also going to the MBAT tournament next year so we will meet some more of the class. So, this is what's happening in my life "outside of London Business School".