Graduation Story - Benjamin Tan

After growing up in Singapore, studying in San Francisco and working there for the best part of a decade, when Benjamin Tan applied for a Master of Finance degree at Cambridge, he was looking for a change of pace.

“I’ve had a lot of big city exposure,” he says. “It was exactly the course I wanted, and once that offer came through I was never going to turn it down! But I have to say, I was also looking for those collegiate vibes.”

Ben’s year at Cambridge was perhaps defined more by the rhythms of the Judge Business School than those of Darwin – his social life revolved around the international cohort of the Master of Finance programme, and he filled his spare time running the Cambridge Business School Club. But he also found time to sample the University’s varied extracurricular options, from cycling to blind wine tasting.

“I enjoyed the opportunities to spend time with students from across Cambridge. That’s not something that happens much at other schools, in my experience.”

Darwin itself provided ample opportunity to develop a social life on a collegiate scale.

“I was attracted by the fact that it’s a bit of a no-frills College! It’s super-homely, everyone’s super friendly, and it’s much smaller than some of the more Disneyland Colleges. I ate my meals there, used the library, used the punts, went to BOPs, Formals and the May Ball, which all added to the amazing experience. And DarBar definitely gets an honourable mention!”

Ben has now moved to London, where he splits his time between fintech startup, Floww, and venture capital firm Force Over Mass.

“I knew I wanted to work in the VC and Startup ecosystem, and that the Master’s course would be a good stepping stone into that fast paced environment. I ended up getting the best of both worlds in addition to having satisfied my intellectual curiosity with the Master of Finance.”

At Floww he finds himself surrounded by other Cambridge graduates, including a fellow Darwin alumnus. Those collegiate vibes he was searching for could well be lifelong.