One year into the Oxford 1 + 1 MBA, one year into policy, business and purpose

3 minute read

I absolutely loved my job back home. I got the opportunity to work with dreamers and doers at the forefront of business sustainability, alongside social entrepreneurs, activists, public servants, and many others. 

I oversaw the Peruvian Social Enterprise Platform, KUNAN. Together with a small but powerful team, we showed that business – no matter how small – could grow to create profits as well as change lives. I was part of a greater network of ecosystem builders worldwide that strived to demonstrate the relevance of bridging the private and public sectors to allow and scale impact-first businesses. 

Indeed, the government is the institution with the legitimacy and resources to foster impact-driven enterprises through well-established public policy. Nonetheless, oftentimes, the private sector still perceives it as an inefficient regulator. The public sector has its own perception of the lack of consciousness of businesses in their pursuit of profits, sparking conversations around taxes, and negative externalities, among many other issues.

We need to act together, not only business and government, but business and all the other sectors and industries that are actively working to promote justice, inclusivity, and accessibility in society. 

The 1+1 MBA seemed the perfect combination for a career path that connected two worlds – business and policy. I decided I was going to apply, knowing the academic rigour it entailed, and do my best to be accepted into not only one of the world’s top universities, but also the one that housed what is colloquially known as the ‘Impact MBA’.

It is hard to believe that more than one year has passed since I became a 1+1 student. I’ve officially completed the Master of Public Policy (MPP) at the Blavatnik School of Government, and I’m currently undertaking my first term at Saïd Business School. 

I cannot start to express the journey I have been through by being part of two excellent departments, and part of the bigger 1+1 community. These are two departments that, for lack of a better word, believe in business to the extent they want to keep it, but also challenge it to provide more responsible and sustainable value creation. They see business and the MBA from very different perspectives, given their backgrounds and very diverse +1 master programmes, from water science to African studies, or my very own fellow MPPers.

Focusing on the latter, it has been encouraging to be able to listen, be taught by and debate with faculty who are leading the conversation around the role of capitalism, from Colin Mayer in the Business School to Paul Collier in the School of Government. Both programmes have and keep on equipping me with the correct toolkit and network for a career that aims to design and propose large-scale changes in business law and regulation, attract the most competitive practitioners to the for-profit impact field, and demonstrate that business is indeed a crucial change agent to achieve prosperity. 

However, what I hold closest, and dearest is being able to meet amazing and diverse individuals, experts in policy and business, pioneers in many fields and countries, but, overall, friends.

Having an MBA and an MPP from the University of Oxford is a privilege. What I look forward to from now on is doing my best to put it into practice. I want to leverage my previous knowledge and network with the one that this 1+1 MBA is giving me, and channel it into my passion: scaling impact-first businesses, re-allocating capital market resources to strategic and innovative business initiatives in developing economies – such as my own, doing it always from the intersection of the public and private sectors, and enjoying the process of doing so.

For now, I will keep on absorbing everything that these two years in Oxford, the MPP, the MBA, and the greater University are giving me...eternal streets and buildings, vast and romantic meadows and parks, awe-inspiring libraries, and one-of-a-kind students, professors, staff, and people. If you’re considering a 1+1 MBA, don’t doubt it, go for it. And if you have any questions, I’m happy to help.