This morning I was thinking: what makes Oxford, Oxford? Specifically, what makes Saïd Business School so different? Other business schools are known for educating their students to be excellent financiers or consultants. Oxford Saïd is known worldwide as the place for people who want to make an impact through global business. And it is very true. I have seen this in the application process, the courses, labs, and the teachers, among many other things. But where I really get to experience it, every day is with the people.
My classmates are incredible human beings, with great aspirations, and a common goal: to have a positive impact on the world.
Many people want to do an MBA to 'grow their network'. And while that approach seems highly transactional to me, I can say that the MBA has something incredible: you effectively grow your network... of friends.
With these seven incredible people, I play tennis, cook Mexican food, watch soccer, walk in the park, and discuss the existential problems of the world. People with different perspectives than mine. From all over the world. People that every day I learn from and who inspire me to be a better professional and person.
This is something I am sure I will cherish and be grateful for as my career progresses.
Meet seven of my amazing classmates (and friends):
Where do you call home? My parents were born in Italy and Hungary, but I was born and raised in Germany. I consider myself European in the first place but try to explore and cherish the social and cultural heritage roaming from each of these backgrounds. This can lead to particularly interesting combinations - like cooking, and heartwarming pasta - while having an exceptionally dry sense of humour.
What did you do before the MBA? I was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where I focused, mostly on the life sciences and healthcare sectors. I have also done work in the global public health sphere, with McKinsey as well as other organisations like higher education institutions and foundations.
What is a current world problem you want to help solve? I am interested in solving the world’s biggest health challenges and - without having a background in their life sciences myself - I believe that my contribution lies at the intersection of three areas: improving the means and methods of preventative healthcare; catalysing systemic healthcare innovation through an engineering and design mindset; destigmatising healthcare issues across different cultures and societies.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I would like to think that by my 30s, I will have acquired sufficient knowledge and resources to support people’s health journey through my own projects, whether that’s in the form of a company or a different but comparably impactful set-up.
What has been your favourite part about Oxford? The MBA peer group. Every day when I go to school, I am certain that I will have a conversation inside or outside of class from which I will learn something new. The diversity of views that I’m interacting with on a daily basis is something that makes my Oxford experience unique. I am also endlessly amazed by the profound expertise that people have in their respective fields and how effectively they manage to integrate and communicate it as part of the MBA. Last, but not least, the team spirit within the cohort is something that makes me feel safe and part of a larger family.
Fun fact about you? I still access Netflix through my ex-girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend’s family account. If anyone wants to share a student access - hit me up.
Every day I am certain that I will have a conversation inside or outside of class from which I will learn something new.
Where do you call home? Home-home is Romania, a cute little town in the middle of Transylvania. Home is London.
What did you do before the MBA? I worked as a data scientist for QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey.
What is a current world problem you want to help solve? Gender inequality and access to education.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Hard one – I see myself working with a great team to solve the world’s problems that I am passionate about.
What has been your favourite part about Oxford? The community for sure. The MBA attracts an incredibly diverse cohort and I find it amazing how quickly I felt at home in this group.
What is something you're passionate about? I’m passionate about gender equity and social impact. At Oxford I get to learn more about both: I’m the co-chair of the Oxford Women in Business Alliance and take part in Impact Lab – a co-curricular designed for students who are committed to impactful careers and leading systemic change.
Fun fact about you? When I left for university, my parents 'replaced' me with a talking parrot. To this day they claim the timing was a coincidence.
I was amazed at how much everyone truly hopes for the achievement of their peers and will do just about anything to help them achieve it.