The decision to pursue an MBA can be daunting - it’s a major financial commitment, time away from a stable income, and if you’re an international student like me, distance from friends, family and home. Yet, I’m about to start my next chapter at the Saïd Business School, and here’s why!
A little bit about me before that:
I was born and brought up in India to an engineer father and a homemaker mom. Growing up in a small town, I learnt to value my proximity to nature, people and more importantly opportunities that came by harder. I have an undergraduate degree in Economics from a liberal arts school and knew very early on that I would be most fulfilled working in the social impact space, using my time and energy to create tangible changes in the lives of others.
I’ve worked at a health-tech start-up creating solutions to help early detection of non-communicable diseases, following which I pivoted to impact measurement at 60 Decibels. Here, I’ve worked across sectors like workforce development, energy, financial inclusion and agriculture. I’ve been able closely learn about the impact investing and management space through my time here.
When I’m not talking about work, I’m usually running, hosting friends for meals or listening to books. I love exploring cities on foot and generally love spending time outdoors.
What led me to the Oxford MBA
I’ve spent the past four years working in a start-up and at an organisation that helps thousands of social enterprises globally understand whether and how much social good they are creating. This has helped me experience first-hand the importance several organisations place on creating positive outcomes for whom they are creating solutions. In India alone, millions of capital flows in the form of impact investment. However, the general trend with the industry is to use proxies for impact measurement instead of actually investing in listening to the customer voice. While there are budgetary limitations, there is an opportunity to innovate what and how we learn about we don't yet know.
I wanted to pursue the MBA to complement my existing skill-set in measurement with business acumen. In order to help create better systems for measurement, I want to understand how businesses function, how investors/funds operate and most importantly meet people who can help me learn from their experiences in these domains!
The choice of applying to and picking Oxford was the easiest decision in the year-long process involved in the MBA application cycle. Impact was front and centre in the school’s program, activities and people.
What I'm most looking forward to from the year ahead
Impact is precisely what I’m looking forward to gain from the next year! I hope to absorb the experiences not only at Saïd Business School but also within the larger Oxford ecosystem, make connections that go beyond the one year and gain first-hand experience of the sector I want to transition into. Speaking to alumni, I’m most excited about being part of the Impact Lab where I hope to meet similarly motivated peers from various departments, participate in the Turner MIINT competition to get a flavour of impact investing, and take globally immersive electives.
I have no doubts that the time outside of the classroom will be just as fruitful – attending formals with peers, running around Port Meadow, and exploring the town in the year ahead. I’m looking forward to what I’ve been told is a truly transformative period.