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Innovation, diversity and a flair for finance: the Cambridge Judge difference


Themes: Finance

New BNY Mellon Scholarships set to broaden access to Business School programmes

City of LondonCambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) is an acclaimed business school at the heart of a world-leading university – and thanks to a new partnership with BNY Mellon, more talented young people will be able to take advantage of its unique learning environment. The New York investment bank, which currently sponsors the Boat Race, is to fund two scholarships on the MBA and Master of Finance (MFin) programmes.

It’s a major vote of confidence in Cambridge Judge’s mission to transform individuals, organisations and society through research, teaching and partnership. Innovation plays a major role: CJBS is known for welcoming a diverse body of students, and for pioneering work in emerging sectors such as culture, arts and media, social enterprise and entrepreneurship.

But underpinning this is sustained excellence in the core areas of business education – notably finance. This expertise provides a firm foundation across the whole portfolio of Cambridge Judge programmes. As well as the full-time MBA and the MFin, offerings include an Executive MBA, research degrees such as the MPhil and PhD, and a suite of Executive Education courses.

Where theory and practice meet

MBA students with an interest in finance have great opportunity to equip themselves with the skills and contacts for a successful career. From week one, the core curriculum includes such courses as Microeconomics, Corporate Finance and Financial Management, and there’s a broad selection of elective courses taught by top practitioners from the world of banking and finance.

During the third term, the Finance Concentration offers in-depth financial training for those with a particular interest in the sector. A measure of the MBA’s success is that on average, a quarter of each cohort will go on to secure a role in finance.

Intended as a premium professional qualification for experienced finance professionals, the MFin has just celebrated its fifth anniversary. Marwa Hammam, Executive Director of the programme, says:

Designed in consultation with the banking and finance industry, it blends the theoretical foundations with the main areas of applied finance via a broad range of core courses and largely practitioner-led electives.

The academic offering is complemented by hands-on project work, as well as an array of speaker and networking events. These give our students access to senior financiers and decision-makers within the industry, who are able to share valuable insights about the developments in their markets.

A new centre of excellence

Further links between Cambridge Judge Business School and the finance industry have been forged by the recent establishment of the Centre for Compliance & Trust. Sitting within the Executive Education division of the School, it aims to explore the ways in which financial services should be delivered in the 21st century by bringing together academics and practitioners in the field.

The Centre’s Executive Director, Richard Hill, says:

“The focus is very much on working in partnership with organisations to help them develop themselves, by bringing in expertise from within the School and the University as a whole. The current imperatives that are being faced in the financial sector can be looked at, responded to, and practical changes can be made.

We can work to put in place the values-led, judgement-led behaviour that the Financial Conduct Authority now requires, in light of the public and political demands for change in the industry. Our first large-scale project is launching at the end of February, helping a major global bank to do exactly that.

Hill makes the point that this is not a one-way flow of expertise, but a free exchange of information that will benefit both the partner organisations and Cambridge Judge. “We’re bringing the academic sensibility, the research knowledge and the ability to engage with the subject area; the partner organisation is bringing up-to-date sector expertise into the mix, so we can reflect on each other’s insights.”

And although the Centre for Compliance & Trust comes under the aegis of Executive Education, its work will have a significant knock-on effect on other parts of the School, including the flagship MBA and MFin programmes.

Richard Hill says: “Once the connections with industry are there, they can be brought in to the wider School, and we’re running events that are open to participants of these programmes. All in all, we’re adding to the broad portfolio of activities that the School does – building a greater reservoir of information, connections and networks that will benefit people across the whole School.”

The will to innovate

Within the broad topic of finance, Cambridge Judge is renowned for incorporating new fields of knowledge into its programmes as they begin to gain importance. Marwa Hammam says of the MFin:

“We constantly integrate emerging themes such as those concerned with the ever-evolving landscape of financial regulation, developments in growth sectors like Islamic finance and developments in the sovereign wealth fund space, for example. This reflects the new research that is constantly being carried out by our finance faculty.”

As well as the BNY Mellon scholarships, the School operates several other schemes to broaden access to its programmes. These include the Ruth Whaley Bursary, which is open to women currently working in the finance sector who have received an offer of an MBA place. The bursary includes a cash award as well as personal mentorship from Ruth Whaley, a senior finance executive with 25 years’ experience.

It all chimes with the Cambridge Judge ethos, according to Dr Simon Taylor, University Lecturer in Finance and Academic Director of the MFin programme.

Our mission has been very clear from the beginning,” he says. “We want to produce the finance leaders of the future, who are equipped to lead institutions and investors wisely – and are fully prepared to handle any future recession.