Exploring the next chapter: the Oxford MBA

4 minute read

At the time of writing this blog post, it’s been over a year since I had submitted my MBA application to Saïd Business School. It’s been a bit longer since I first explored its MBA blog to learn from current and past students about their motivations and perspectives about the programme. It’s a surreal feeling to now have the opportunity to pay it forward and help others decide whether to embark on this exciting journey too. I had a similar feeling when HSBC offered me the unexpected opportunity to move to London from New York back in 2016. It’s a sense of adventure and opportunity that excites me. As I’m about to meet a fantastic group of people while attending one of the greatest universities in the world, I don’t expect this feeling to wear off anytime soon. So how did this journey begin? 

During late December in 2020, I had a call with two of my former roommates. In the midst of Covid, we made it a habit to keep in touch as best we could. During this particular conversation, we were reflecting on where our careers had taken us and where we could see ourselves in a future that was shaped by a generation defining event. Having worked my entire career at only two global banks, and despite the potential opportunities to pivot within the industry, I had a strong feeling that I had to take a big risk on myself and explore new opportunities that could be more impactful to our global community. This feeling was driven further by my latest work related to climate change as a product and delivery manager at HSBC. I felt a strong connection to the ambitions the bank were hoping to achieve in this space. However, I felt my role within this could be bigger. Coupled with the fact that I aspired to further my education at some point in my life, it seemed the perfect time to begin exploring a new path for my personal and professional self. Also, the fact that Covid had shut our social lives down, the window of opportunity opened to properly prepare for the GMAT! 

As my exploration into programmes progressed, I knew my focus was to stay in the UK and explore universities that had a similar and serious commitment to climate and sustainability. Further, my interests in exploring this through the lens of consulting or finance helped narrow down my search. It was upon speaking to students and staff at Oxford Saїd that I felt that this was where I wanted to be next. The school highly values impact and its focus on building a diverse community of people dedicated to this space cemented its place at the top of my list. Since receiving my offer to attend, my cohort has had numerous calls together and we’ve met many of the exceptional staff. Since accepting, I feel very welcome and the imposter syndrome has (mostly) worn off! 

While in the programme, I’m very keen to explore sustainability and practice the art of consulting. I’ve had the early opportunity to become the VP of Events for the Oxford Sustainable Finance Student Society and I expect to be heavily involved in both the Climate and Consulting Oxford Business Networks (or OBNs as they are referred to). This just scratches the surface in terms of extracurriculars on offer. As I continue to meet more people, I learn of new and exciting programmes and events going on at the university. The biggest challenge many of us will face this year is deciding what to say no to in our soon to be very busy lives!  


For those interested, even in the slightest, in exploring the MBA path, my biggest tip is to connect with current and past students early. Finding people through this blog was my first step! I was never much of a networker but there hasn’t been a single person from the school I’ve connected with who hasn’t had the time to chat for a few minutes about their experience. Though you don’t need a precise 5 year plan, be sure to reflect first on where you’ve been and where you’d like to go in the future. Research the MBA programme and outline a few key questions you’d like to ask people. It’s a great way to get the most out of your conversations.  

As I look at the year ahead, I’m most excited to meet and work alongside some of the brightest people in the world. I know this will be a once in a lifetime experience but through the relationships I build this year, I know I’ll have new friendships to enjoy the rest of my life!