Though she’d lived in the United States for 25 years, Caroline Jarvis opted for the United Kingdom to pursue an MBA degree. The 29-year-old, who graduated a couple of months ago, chose Cass Business School at London’s City University over Judge in Cambridge and Cranfield School of Management, for the school’s team spirit and diverse student body.
Jarvis didn’t even visit the Cass campus to make her decision. After she met a representative at an MBA fair in Washington DC, she “knew instantly” that the School was for her. The UK’s one-year programs suited her life plans, but Jarvis was particularly attracted to Cass’s focus on group work: “You learn… that you are dependent on your team, and your team is dependent on you… and that you can’t be a good leader all by yourself.”
Jarvis already had a connection to the UK, which made it easier for her to cross the Atlantic. “I was born in England and have always loved London. Enrolling at Cass was the perfect justification to go back”, she says. Another reason was the school’s international student body: “I have always thought of myself as a very open-minded person, and I wanted to meet people from different backgrounds.”
Growing up in Connecticut, Jarvis feels she was exposed to strong national prejudices against other cultures. Although her parents had raised her to be an open-minded and tolerant person, she wanted to broaden her horizons. One of her first experiences at Cass was a students’ teaching day: “Students from places like Iran and Pakistan were giving lessons about where they were from. It was amazing and eye-opening to hear their stories,” she says.
She even made a few new American friends: “Cass has actually made me realize how diverse people from the United States are”. However, she adds, when you’re surrounded by people from 25 different countries, after a while it really doesn’t matter where you are from. Jarvis thinks this melting of national barriers happens more on UK than on US campuses.
Cass professors have supported Jarvis on an unusual career path. She says faculty helped her to stimulate creativity in herself and others. The former charity fundraiser currently works in private banking in the City, and recently co-founded a confectionary start-up.
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