Monday, 2 January 2017

The Smith Family's journey to Cranfield

It's a big decision to uproot your family of 5, sell almost all of your worldly possessions that don't fit into a few suitcases and fly to the other side of the world to a small town in Bedfordshire, but that is exactly what we did. It's been 4 months since my family and I moved from our family home in Baldivis, just south of Perth Australia, to our new temporary home in Cranfield for me to undertake the 12 month Cranfield MBA.

Upon arrival in the UK we spent 6 days at the Union Jack club just near the London Eye and spent nearly every waking hour exploring the city, and living like proper tourists. We traveled on red double-deckers, the tube and on foot across most of the inner London Area. We went for a ride on the London Eye (with fellow Cranfield student Matt Faul from NZ), a chair ride across the Thames and attended an underground restaurant themed like the Amazon jungle. All in all, it was an amazing week that the family isn't soon going to forget.

After our week of fun and adventure, it was time to head to our new home in Cranfield for the start of the school year. In line with me starting my full time studies at Cranfield, our eldest children Emily and Ella started at their new school which I am happy to say they are thriving in. While Caris, my wife, could have taken this year as an opportunity to take it easy at home with William, our youngest, she has instead taken the role of family's representative to assist other partners and family members of the students on the course. Caris has also started a weekly play group to keep other pre-schoolers in the course socially active with other children (particularly difficult during the colder months), and taken up the secretary role in the Women in Leadership society.

A snapshot of our time here so far
With the school year finishing, our family is enjoying a very different festive season to what we are accustomed to (unfortunately I didn't come good on my promise of a white Christmas to my children though). We were kindly invited to spend Christmas with the family of one of my class mates in the town of Woodbridge in Suffolk. we were trully humbled when one of their family friends offered for us to stay in their house while they were out of town despite not knowing us from a bar of soap. On boxing day, we went out to the "beach" and walked along until we found a suitable area to make a fire and cook up our lunch; scrambled egg and salmon on sourdough.

Quick introduction to me and the Cranfield Australian Alumni Scholarship

For anyone interested in my background, please head over to the Cranfield Australian Alumni Scholarship (CAASF) webpage and have a look.

I strongly urge anyone with an interest in business education to consider this scholarship. The CAAS is truly distinctive, not only due to it being the largest dollar value scholarship awarded each year to an Australian, but because of its selection process and what you learn about yourself in the process.

For anyone doubting their ability to make it through the selection program or gain entry into Cranfield you needn't. Whilst the process is rigorous, anyone with a healthy dose of motivation and ambition can make it through. It's worth noting that I do not have a business background and do not hold any formal education after high school, so if I can do it... Anyone can!