Saïd Business School alum, Cesar Ortega-Domene, was working as a project manager with Alstom Power in the energy generation industry, when he decided to take an MBA.
"After five years as a project manager I reached a level of seniority that was difficult to overcome without a Masters in Business Administration. I hoped that the MBA would help me find a head office based position," he says.
Cesar planned to find a position in a business development role. During the MBA, however, he discovered a passion for the financial services industry and tailored his studies accordingly, opting for electives that allowed him to gain a good insight into the industry. "The careers sector consultants were also extremely useful", says Cesar "They helped me to identify the best matches for my career and the opportunities in the field," he says. "The fact that dozens of companies visited the School willing to meet Oxford students also gave us a huge networking advantage compared to some other business schools."
Indeed, in his capacity as a career representative in finance, Cesar met Antonio Horta-Osorio, Santander UK's CEO when he was at Saïd giving a speech. This meeting eventually led to an interview with Santander, and then Cesar's appointment as an associate director for the large corporate banking group in London. "As a member of the relationship management team I support the relationship directors in researching new prospective clients, and maintain relationships with existing clients," he says. "I do that through the preparation of pitch books and business proposals. I also coordinate with product specialists in the preparation of documentation for contracts implementation."
The MBA experience has done much more for Cesar than allow him to switch sectors, though, he says. "My year at Oxford has allowed me to be part of a great community of incredible people - people with the power to change the world, and make it a better place. Most importantly, the MBA has given me lifetime friends from all around the world," says Ortega-Domene.
"But don’t expect the MBA to give you all the answers. It is a powerful tool that if used properly will get you where you want to go -just be sure you know what that goal is."