Joanna Lu (Cambridge)
Name: Joanna Lu
Hometown: Canton, MI
Education: (undergrad): University of Michigan
Current MBA program: University of Cambridge – Judge Business School
Bio: I’m originally from China, but moved to America at age 4. I lived most of my life in Michigan and went to the University of Michigan for undergrad, where I got a bachelor in business administration. After graduation in 2012, I worked for 3 years at Capgemini as an IT-strategy consultant. This gave me the chance to fly around the world, and develop my project management and analytical skills. I then decided to go the Judge Business School in Cambridge for my MBA. My hope is to use my MBA to transition careers into corporate strategy/finance either in the US or UK.
Describe a typical day as a MBA student: I wake up at 7:30, check some emails, eat breakfast, and get ready for the day. We usually have classes for the full day from 9AM to 5:30PM with a couple of coffee breaks and lunch break. I go to class (9 to 12:30), socialize with students during break, attend the 2nd half of class. I usually have a group meeting during lunch. After classes, I do a little bit of work in the library before having dinner with friends/ classmates. Then I go home, exercise/ do some work, sleep.
Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I was an IT-strategy consultant at Capgemini Consulting in Chicago for three years.
Why did you choose this business school?: I chose JBS due to the strong, well-known “Cambridge” name, its unique 1-year program (compared to 2-year programs in America), and having the opportunity to study abroad.
What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school?: I would recommend to focus a lot of your efforts on writing quality essays. Also once you’re accepted, make sure to visit the school before making a final decision!
What is/was the most enjoyable part about business school?: The best part about business school is meeting and getting to know the other students. It is so diverse here, and I can learn so much from each individual student.
What is/was the hardest part of business school?: Finding a job is always the most stressful and difficult part of school. It is especially challenging at Cambridge because most job openings are in the UK or around Europe. If you’re looking to work in Asia or America, there are less direct opportunities and you will have to reach out to specific alums and/or networks. It is also hard to balance the workload, the job hunt, while still maintaining a social life is hard.
Where will you be working after graduation?: I am still searching for a job either in the US or UK. I am targeting a strategic planning role in the tech industry.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career or at your school?: I successfully lead a cloud for sales implementation project after only 2 years of working at Capgemini Consulting. It was also my first managerial role.
Favorite MBA Courses?: Corporate Finance taught me the basics of finance, which was all very interesting. Management Praxis was a good class to learn more about working in groups and how to manage others.
Fun fact about yourself: I love to travel and have been to 25 countries in the past 5 years. Hoping to reach 30 by 30 years old.