“Where do I want to go next? What is the next challenge?”
Those are the questions I have been asking myself, for as long as I can remember.
Before coming to Cranfield, I took a gap year. I am from Chile and after finishing my undergraduate studies in Stockholm, where I lived for around 3 years (amongst other countries) I needed time off from studies to plan my next steps. I did not want to rush my decision about a master’s.
During this gap year, I did volunteer work in Turkey, had internships in the UK, Czech Republic and Chile, and a fun trip with my brother to south east Asia which included (by coincidence) Songkran celebration (Thai New Year’s), one of the best parties I have had in my life!
I gained a lot of confidence in my capacity to lead, met awesome people and realized that with the right attitude you can achieve extraordinary things and that you should never listen to those who do not believe in crazy ideas! Also, before this gap year (apart from going to Turkey) I had no idea what was going to happen and took it step-by-step. Now, looking back on that time, I can see how every place added value to my future plans.
It was a really refreshing period where I became more aware of what I wanted, had a lot of fun and learned more than ever (ironically, since it was my only year without formal education!)
And then I was ready to look at my options for postgrad study. As part of my search for universities, I found Cranfield and saw how highly ranked it was, especially the MBA, which is similar to a MSc in Management. After getting my acceptance letter I decided to ask alumni about their experience. I found some on LinkedIn and got excellent comments about lecturers, the career development service and the cohort they studied with.
I saw my expectations confirmed with the great group of classmates and professors I met. My classmates are very special, all with their own stories, academic background and personalities. We have around 20 different nationalities which makes interactions really interesting. We have shared many great moments like an Oxford trip, nights out around the area and an excellent Christmas ball. Even some of them have been at my parents’ place in London and one celebrated New Year’s Eve with my family in Barcelona! Living on and around campus makes us closer compared to students located in big cities because we pretty much live together and spend all our time together in the same place.
The lecturers are really engaging and really like applying theories into the real business world, way more practical than in other universities. The strength of our master’s is the special attention to individuals: small-sized classes (maximum 40-45), personalized help from the career development service and a mandatory internship – they really got your back!
My biggest challenge has been working effectively with multi-cultural teams and I believe all my classmates will agree on this one, for the simple reason that everyone has their own different methods of getting things done. Nevertheless, it has been a huge learning opportunity since working effectively in teams is one of most important skills you need to cultivate to go far as a business leader.
For people coming to Cranfield I strongly recommend to make every day count, attend events the university hosts, talk to people outside your cohort and travel around England or other parts of Europe because it can be really economical if you organise it well.
I am sure my time here will have a profound impact on my life and career because I can already feel more confident about my skills and the impact I can have on others, besides there are exciting events coming soon: a module in Spain, the internship and of course the day-to-day interaction with people on campus. Who knows what will happen in the future? At least I know today I am happy: learning, sharing and enjoying a wonderful lifetime experience!