Preparing for the Oxford Saïd MBA

4 minute read

Please tell us a bit about yourself!

I grew up in Lima, Peru in a low-income family. In fact, that 'disadvantage' made me fight even harder for what I want and took every opportunity that I was given during my life. I graduated with honours from university and have an Industrial Engineering degree. My professional journey led me to the cosmetic industry in one of the leading cosmetics companies in Latam, Belcorp for almost 8 years, focusing on marketing practice and achieving the Pricing & Revenue Manager position for the last 2 and half years.

My free time splits between keep learning new skills, the last one was learning archery; traveling, hiking and volunteering.

Why did you choose to pursue the Oxford MBA?

This journey began several years ago. I took an English course in the UK, and I felt in love of the international exposure I experienced. Since then, I only knew that I wanted to study outside my country, and in the upcoming years that dream took form and I was able to define the why and where.

After 8 years in Belcorp, I realized that it was time to take a step aside and experience what other geographies, industries and positions could offer me. So, taking an MBA was an obvious next step for me. Once I knew the why, the where was a piece of cake. I wanted to study in Europe and in a business school that could provide both the skills set to pursue the next step in my career as well as to challenge the biggest problems that our society are facing. It’s not hard to tell, that Oxford was at the top of that list.

How have you been preparing to start the programme in September?

Since I got accepted, the last few months have been full of information, opportunities, meet-ups, calls etc. I think what has helped me the most has been the calls with my future classmates, they are such an amazing bunch of people from different backgrounds and nationalities, keen to help you in anything. During this time, I’ve been in several meetings that I lost the track, but what I’ve learnt the most is that my cohort has the same concerns and worries as I am, together we’re helping each other to succeed and to have one of the greatest experiences of our lives.

My career objective is to switch into consulting, so since several months ago I’ve been focused on networking with people on the field, talking with my future classmates and even apply to a Pre-MBA internship in BCG (Boston Consulting Group), where I’m working right now. Oxford has a one-year program so take as many opportunities as you can to achieve your own goals and if needed start the work before the year begins.

What do you hope to gain from the Oxford MBA?

I hope to gain the most rewarding experience of my lifetime. I haven’t started yet the year, but the glance of what Oxford has to offer, my classmates, events, alumni testimony and so on have made me believe I would have such an amazing year ahead.

The year would be surrounded by many things, but one of the things I want to get is to be sure that my transitioning into consulting is the next step for me. My post-MBA goals are clear now: get a consulting position in one of the big three management consultancies and work in consumer goods and retail practice. I know that many can change in a few months, but for now I’m working hard to achieve that goal.

What are you most looking forward to from the year ahead?

I’m quite aware that the experience can be overwhelming, and the FOMO is real. So, it’s important to me to get a balance during this year. I want to enjoy the experience as well as keep in mind that I won’t be able to be everywhere. What I’m looking for is a balance between classes, networking and social life. It’s true that I need to keep in mind my post-MBA goals, but I want to enjoy the journey, because I’m sure I won’t have this experience never again.

What advice would you give to those who are working on their application?

Enjoy the journey, since the moment you start with the application process take in mind that everything you’re doing is for your objective and each sacrifice that you are making will pay off.

Network, network and network, you may realize if something is for you only by talking to people. One of the things that made me decide for Oxford was the many calls that I had with alumni and current Peruvian students. Their warm, care and help during the entire process was one of the key factors of my decision.

Last but not least, dream big!! In my wildest dream as a child, I would imagine being telling my story to future Oxonians. The journey may has not been as easy as you may think, but the prize is more than worthy: being a future Oxford alumnus.