Another year begins… While most people think of a year as starting in January, the cycle in Cambridge gets going in September (when the new MFin and MBA students arrive) and fully in October (when official term starts and the 11,000 undergraduates turn up).
Our 33 new students arrived on Tuesday – well actually one is missing owing to visa problems, which is very frustrating and we are doing all we can to persuade the High Commission to let her in. The class has expanded from 23 to 25 to 33, a set of data which in the spirit of investment bank forecasting could be fitted to an exponential growth curve, though I doubt that would be wise.
Once again we have a wonderfully diverse group of people, with 24 nationalities, and an average of five years of work experience. Newly represented are Albania, Denmark, Malta, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. The standard remains impressively high.
The first couple of weeks is given over to induction, including the maths & stats refresher course. It’s designed to allow people time to settle into Cambridge, get their practical arrangements sorted out and get to know each other. This year we asked each student to introduce one other, rather than themselves, in just one minute. One introduction consisted mainly of noting that the other student was single and wanted to meet a Chinese girl. This was on the first day. I don’t think we’re running an international dating agency but sometimes I wonder.
The 167 MBA students arrived the day before so the School is now suddenly full of life. We also have a group from China Minsheng Bank here for an executive education course and today there was a very distinguished group of people attending a seminar on complexity (more on this in another blog). So the summer is certainly over.