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Real Humans of Cambridge Judge Business School’s MBA Class of 2020

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Alexandra Hicks, Cambridge Judge MBA Class of 2020

Alexandra Hicks, Cambridge Judge MBA Class of 2020

Age: 27
Hometown: Danville, California
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Oregon, Journalism: Public Relations; Stanford, M.A. in Journalism

Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry)
I began my career as a reporter, but soon after graduate school pivoted into Marketing/Communications. I worked for two years in the Tech industry in content marketing/general marketing roles, then spent the last three years in Healthcare in Marketing/Communications, with a heavier focus on the Communications side.

Why business school? Why now?
As my career has taken me away from journalism and into corporate roles, I’ve become more interested in different aspects of business. While my last job was a great fit at the time, I felt I was outgrowing the role and wanted to explore a bit. I plan to use this year to get a deeper knowledge of different functions and industries and how my particular skill set fits into those, as well as further develop skills that can help me progress in my career.

Why Cambridge Judge? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I was very impressed by the collaborative spirit of Judge, as well as the diversity of the class. As someone coming from a non-quantitative background, I was nervous that I would feel out of place in an MBA program. When I visited Cambridge for the interview weekend, I was so pleasantly surprised.

Every person I met—from faculty, to current students, to my fellow applicants—were so welcoming. People came from a vast variety of backgrounds and were eager to share and learn from each other. I knew right away that I would feel at home here.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2020?
Coming from a Communications background, I have a lot of experience with “soft skills” that others in more analytical roles might not have had a chance to develop as much yet. I’m sure my reporting background will come in handy for my classmates when it’s time to edit applications and CVs.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I did my undergraduate thesis on socioeconomic representation in sitcoms. So, I watched a ton of TV…in the name of academia!

Post-MBA career interests?
I’m interested in employee engagement, culture transformation, and diversity and inclusion, so I’m looking into boutique consulting firms with a focus on human capital, as well as certain internal positions.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Go to the interview weekend! It was hands-down the reason I chose Judge. The flight from San Francisco was definitely worth it.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
I would have spent a little less time studying for the GMAT and a little more time on my application essays.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The Quant section of the GMAT, of course. Use any resource at your disposal: classes, friends, prep books. When all else fails, just pray for luck and try to go in with confidence!

What is your initial impression of Cambridge Judge’s students/culture/community?
So welcoming. Everyone here is incredibly friendly and engaged. People want to get to know each other and share their own experiences. It’s a fantastic community to be a part of.

One thing you have learned about Cambridge Judge that has surprised you?
The college system has definitely surprised me. As an American, the concept of having your college within the University is a totally foreign concept. But it’s a great opportunity to make friends outside of Judge and further bond with your classmates that are in the same college as you.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Honestly, finance. But one of the great things about Judge is that you have a five-person study group, as well as the rest of your classmates to lean on during the courses that are more difficult for you, just as you’ll help them with your area of expertise.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
The Global Consulting Project. And, of course, attending events like formals and May Balls with my classmates at their different colleges!

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.