Cambridge Judge MBA Sample Essays

Free Samples from Past Clients

Cambridge Judge MBA Application Essays 2023-24

You must complete the careers objectives statement and 3, shorter essays:

Please provide details of your post-MBA career plans. The statement should not exceed 500 words and must address the following:

Essay 1: What are your short and long-term career objectives? How will the Cambridge MBA equip you to achieve these?

Essays 2: Looking at your short-term career goal, describe the research you have done to understand how this industry/role/location recruits MBA talent and what they are looking for in a candidate?

Essays 3: How confident do you feel about meeting your short-term career goal? What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you to achieve them, and what preparation are you doing now?

Essays 4: Tell us about a time when you made a professional mistake. How could it have ended differently? (up to 200 words)

Essays 5: Tell us about the best team you worked with. What made the team successful? (up to 200 words)

Optional: Provide an example of when someone else positively impacted your life. What did you learn from this experience? (up to 200 words)

Cambridge Judge MBA Winning Sample Essay – 1

Cambridge MBA Essay 1: Please provide a personal statement. It should not exceed 500 words and must address the following questions:

  • What are your short 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?

After experiencing five roles across three continents at Bacardi, I know that: (1) I want to continue working in spirits and (2) I enjoy channelling my curiosity, analytical skills and collaborative strengths to drive impactful decision-making.

Considering this, my short-term goal is to return to Bacardi as a Senior Analyst on the newly formed Global Corporate Strategy Team and work upwards to a Director position. I am motivated to follow this path given Bacardi’s re-prioritisation of the strategy function and the multifaceted, enterprise-level projects I’ll be exposed to. Moreover, this experience will be invaluable in pursuing my long-term goal – to start a craft spirits company in India.

In my current role, I’m expected to deliver a ten-year growth plan to double revenue for Global Travel Retail. I believe this contribution, coupled with my exposure to various functions/markets within Bacardi will prepare me for my next role. Still, I’m aware of gaps in my knowledge. To make optimal decisions on an organisational scale, I must significantly improve my understanding of Organisational Behaviour, Operations and Corporate Governance. I also know I must develop into a more effective communicator – a crucial skill for Corporate Strategy. A world-class MBA program would help address these gaps and fast-track my professional development.

I believe the CJBS MBA is the ideal program to help me achieve my goals. The rigorous curriculum and varied teaching methods would embed a solid theoretical framework of all fundamental business disciplines. Equally, I’d have the flexibility of tailoring my education by pursuing a Strategy Concentration that will cover pertinent topics for my next role such as corporate structuring, portfolio analyses and M&As. I am also keen to attend a program where experiential learning is championed – the CVP and GCP would enable me to apply the concepts taught in class to real-life situations and improve my interpersonal, teamworking, and leadership skills in the process.

Given my long-term goals, CJBS’s world-renowned focus on entrepreneurship is a key motivating factor in my application. If selected, I will work to develop a business plan by leveraging my Bacardi network and working alongside Indian craft spirit pioneer, Desmond Nazareth, in India prior to matriculation. This will maximise the utility I get from Entrepreneurship Centre during the year. Additionally, networking opportunities and access to people such as Karan Bilimoria (Cobra Beer), would undoubtedly be insightful in setting up my future venture.

Academics aside, I feel CJBS is the best fit for me. As an extroverted introvert, the small class size will help me develop meaningful relationships with my MBA peers. This in turn will better facilitate a cross-pollination of ideas. Outside class, the unique college system will allow to meet people from the wider university. I’m confident I can contribute to the MBA cohort and wider university community with my global perspective, professional experience and learning mindset. My experience in Cambridge as both an exchange and prospective student has only reaffirmed my conviction that CJBS is the right place to embark on a transformative journey.

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

I consider this failure my most spectacular because its effects are still felt today. In my first month as RGM Analyst, I was tasked with assessing the return on investment of Bombay Sapphire promotions executed by Heinemann – the second-largest duty-free retailer. My analysis showed the 30% discount successfully drove incremental volume, yet Bacardi was seeing the negligible financial upside. Digging deeper, I found that Bacardi was paying 70% of the discount. I proposed to renegotiate the Bacardi contribution to 50% equating to a monthly gain of $300K. Anything less would not justify the brand equity dilution of the deep discount.

At the negotiation table, Heinemann rejected our proposal and so Bacardi pulled out of the promotion. Then, Heinemann took retaliatory action, removing Bombay from secondary visibility slots in-store and replacing it with several smaller craft gin brands. Not only did we immediately lose the market share gained during the promotion but lost baseline share owing to the visibility loss.

The most important I lesson learned is to never to so focused on one particular outcome that you close yourself to other potentially better outcomes. Taking a purist revenue approach in this situation meant we didn’t consider other alternatives – potentially better visibility to strengthen market share. Bombay Sapphire today is still below the market share that we had before with Heinemann.

Cambridge MBA 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)

Good leadership is ensuring that a team is greater than the sum of its parts.

My passion for football led me to volunteer as a coach for a group of boys brought together by their common experience as asylum seekers in the UK. I was keen to improve the squad and compete in tournaments. However, the training drills I executed in my first session were met with collective disapproval – I was impeding on their fun. I scaled back the drills, leaving the sessions largely unstructured.

Some weeks later, we played a local team and got thrashed. I used this opportunity to convince the group that we could substantially improve for the tournament with more organisation during our time together. They agreed to my approach. The sessions following commenced with intensive drills and ended with games, which we used to apply skills and positions learned.

We reached the semi-final of the tournament, but the real result was convincing the group that we had a common goal. Demonstrating empathy enabled me to build a mutual understanding and once this was establised, we made real progress in a common direction.

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Cambridge Judge MBA Winning Sample Essay – 2

Cambridge MBA Essay 1: Please provide a personal statement. It should not exceed 500 words and must address the following questions:

  • What are your short 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?

Over the last three years, I have been as a product development engineer at Mercedes. While working across Germany and India on research and product development, I have built strong client-handling and problem-solving skills. In the short term, I want to transition to working in a product manager role in the automotive sector, at a firm such as Tesla or Uber, where I will be able to combine my technical and business skills to push business transformations for product line extensions in existing and new markets. In the long term, I see myself as the director of the corporate strategy delivering both business results and impacting social values.

Through my experiences, I have witnessed firsthand the tectonic shift in the personal mobility industry. The mobility space and the supply chain is becoming more and more complex, resulting in demand for professionals who can lend their expertise in cross-industry functions. At Mercedes, I experienced how a large corporation works and its characteristic challenges. The engagements I lead, such as implementing ‘In-house engineering’ of interior trims require in-depth strategic planning and flawless execution as it involves huge capitals. While executing such projects, I have worked with German partners and teammates of diverse backgrounds, and have learned more about corporate communication in Europe based organization. I have also honed my business fluency in German, which enabled me to build synergy with them.

However, to achieve my envisaged career goals, I need to learn about new markets, frameworks and business models, while also honing my leadership and general management skills. After due research, I believe, CJBS is the perfect B-school to help me achieve my goals.

Thus, I plan to pursue CJBS’ “Global Business” concentration, which will allow me to develop high-impact solutions and pursue new growth opportunities. This specialization, with courses such as “International Business” and “Strategic Change and Renewal” will be an important step in becoming well-rounded product management professional.

Furthermore, the “Global Consulting Project” will enable me to put my theory into practice and learn new approaches to problem-solving from a diverse group of colleagues. I see no better way to prepare myself for my long-term goals than to learn directly by engaging with external companies or organizations. Sharing experiences in a diverse class with over 40 nationalities will strengthen my analytical skills and give me rock-solid insights for making decisions, while CJBS’ international alumni network will strengthen my professional and social networks in the markets where I expect to pursue my career.

I can leverage the school’s proximity to “Cambridge cluster” to work alongside some of the most innovative and well-established companies in Europe’s largest tech world. Additionally, engaging with “Technology and Enterprise Club” will allow me to learn about global business behaviour and apply the insights in my future roles.

I truly believe that CJBS’ diverse community, unique approach to leadership and practical relevance in teaching will help me develop my network and take significant steps towards transforming into a global leader.

Cambridge MBA Essay 2: What has been your most significant professional challenge? (200 word limit)

One of the most significant challenges I have faced so far in my career was when I started working for Mercedes-AMG projects and travelled to Stuttgart, Germany, for my first international assignment. 

I could not seamlessly adjust to different work cultures. Due to my limited understanding of German, I struggled with tasks like negotiating conflict situations with suppliers and faced difficulties in responding to requests from the finance and logistics team. I felt like I am failing in my duties and letting my team down.

I quickly realized that to succeed professionally at a german company such as Mercedes, I need to learn the German language. Learning a language quickly, more than anything else, require deep immersion, wherein I sought support from my teammates. In order to build synergy with them, I took initiative and organized after-work coffee sessions and potluck parties. This not only helped me to successfully integrate but also strengthened the bonding amongst them. 

Given my proactiveness, I was able to build a support group in Germany that quickly allowed me to learn German and I started performing better. Now, I lead the spoken German language improvement program for the entire department of approx. 300 people.

Cambridge MBA Essay 3: What has been your most significant professional achievement? (200 word limit)

My greatest professional achievement has been establishing the “Centre of Competence” for car floor development at Mercedes, Pune office.

In 2017, I was leading the development of luggage trims for Mercedes GLC. However, due to gaps in understanding the requirements from the cross-functional teams, I failed to ensure timely delivery of the product.

Shaken by this failure, I met with the team again and realized that if I worked more closely with the Chassis and Packaging departments, we could have devised a schedule that met the supplier’s requirements. I learned that to optimize the development time, I would need to develop relationships with my cross-functional department representatives and involve myself much more deeply.

I applied this insight to the next project. I established a platform for joint discussion among cross-functional teams and held a series of workshops with various teams. My superiors were impressed with the efforts taken by my team and me.

This accomplishment paved the way for the development of the Centre of Competence to streamline our operations and this project facilitated me to get three new projects from Daimler AG, Germany, estimated at EUR 80M+ for the department which is my most significant professional achievement so far.

Cambridge MBA Essay 4: What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (up to 200 words)

During college, I Co-Founded KVN industries, a supplier of ATV and Go-Karting tires, and manufacturer of transmission systems. We started to sell targeting mostly the participating teams at SAE BAJA India. Within 3-4 months, we received orders from eight participating institutions. We clocked in a revenue of close to USD 11,500 and were operationally profitable.

Given this short success, I ramped up our production. However, within a few months, our orders dried up as I failed to calculate the ramp down phase of the racing season. I was left with a stockpile of unsold inventory and experienced cash flow issues. To encounter the cash crunch and meet the vendor payment commitments, I had to sell this inventory at highly discounted prices. We took a significant financial hit and closed down the business.

The failure helped more in shaping my personality than if I had succeeded the first time. This allowed me to refine my understanding of the market, and competition. More importantly, I learned about how to always build redundancies in a business. This experienced humbled me to the core and made me realize that even when times are rosy, it is always advisable to be cautious and analyze the market.

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)

I am passionate about social development activities. Leveraging my skill-set to help my community satisfies me to the core. During university, I volunteered for SURE India, an organization striving to ensure a clean and cost-effective alternative (‘Smokeless Chulhas’) to clay stove in the rural parts of India.

As part of the campaign team, I lead the promotional activities in 27 villages of Osmanabad district of Maharashtra. However, the lack of digital penetration in the rural areas, language barriers in understanding the viewpoints of the villagers, and hesitance to accept new technology made the overall promotional activities for the team difficult.

With the team of volunteers, we defined media channels for communication, setup channel distribution networks, and develop strategies for innovative door-to-door product demo campaigns.  To tackle the dialect problems, we worked with the early adopters (women) and trained them for effective use of the product. These women acted as channels for the distribution network. We also design a demo-cart to attract attention on the streets of Osmanabad.

These efforts led to the formation of a group of women entrepreneurs. Working jointly with a team and the local community, we were able to positively impact the lives of 650+ households.

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