Grasping the rapidly changing global business landscape

4 minute read

Tell us a little about your career background?

I have a background in tech, working for several dynamic start-ups and large tech multinationals companies such as ASML (semiconductors). 

In startups, I mastered the art of transforming ideas into action, laying the foundation for my business development and innovation strategy experience. At ASML, I navigated program management in corporate functions focusing on compliance, underscoring the importance of integrating regulatory insights with technological advancements. My deep interest in emerging technologies and their interplay with regulation brought me to the decision of pursuing an MBA at Oxford.

Why was an Oxford MBA important to help you understand a global view of business where markets, trade and work are transforming at a rapid rate?

An Oxford MBA was pivotal for grasping the rapidly changing global business landscape, which I learned both from courses and from exposure to such a diverse cohort of students. Engaging with classmates from around the provided real-world insights into a wide range of markets and industries.

Direct interactions with industry experts, exemplified by experiences in entrepreneurial finance (loved the session where Beverly Jones from Clean Growth Fund spoke about venture capitalists needing to upskill and be re-educated on how to invest in hardware businesses) and machine learning for business (enjoyed engaging with Agni Orfanoudaki on how to create a system that is self-regulated hence automatically regulating the market) courses, bridged theoretical knowledge with practical applications.

Additionally, electives requiring engagement with academic literature such as the elective on innovation strategy offered a deep dive into understanding the forces shaping global trade for innovative products, preparing me for a comprehensive global business perspective.

Turning to your personal career journey, did you know where you wanted to head in your career before your MBA?

Before my MBA, I was uncertain whether to pursue a career in startups or big tech, although I knew I wanted to stay in the technology sector. To explore these paths, I engaged in various opportunities, including the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), which provided insights into different facets of the tech industry. 

Although there was an element of luck in where I landed, my strategy focused on securing internships rather than participating in structured hiring processes. This approach led to an MBA internship at Google, where I contributed significantly to a business finance project for the Ads, ultimately converting this experience into a full-time role in a strategy and operations function in Cloud.

How did the resources and opportunities of an Oxford Saïd education and career development assist you?

The resources and opportunities provided by an Oxford Saïd education significantly aided my career development. Even before beginning my MBA, I engaged with career coaches such as Dan Kiernan and James Henton, who were instrumental in refining my CV and career narrative throughout the summer and the initial months of the program. 

This groundwork allowed me to strategically enhance my narrative through targeted networking, including reaching out to professionals at e.g. IBM. Furthermore, the career services facilitated connections with Oxford alumni at Google, whose guidance and support were invaluable. 

Thank you, Moriah, Tayler, Daniel, Nicole, Khalida, Corinna, Utkarsh, Peter, Emily, Raj, Max, Kiana, Anna, Annabella, Patrick, Omar, Lucy, Suyash, Chima, Victor, Parag for your support. I would not have been able to do it without you. This comprehensive approach, combining personal initiative with institutional support, was key in shaping and advancing my career trajectory.

Now you have taken your next career step, what recommendation would you give to incoming students embarking on their MBA programme?

Embarking on an MBA program, especially one as intensive as a one-year course, demands strategic focus due to the necessity of making hard choices. My advice to incoming students is to prioritize clearly and choose three main areas to concentrate on, recognizing that it is impossible to do everything. 

Whether it is preparing for consulting case interviews or engaging in a research project, select activities that align with your goals. Utilize the unique position of being a student to reach out to industry professionals, fostering curiosity about their motivations and career paths. This approach is a low-risk, high-reward method of exploring potential career directions. Additionally, proactively leverage the resources provided by the school and the wider Oxford community to maximize your MBA experience.

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