Everyone I’ve spoken with from our incoming class seems really excited to get to know their other classmates. Of course they are! We’re quite fun and interesting people, if I do say so myself.
But we also have a quite large class size of about 320. There’s no way you’ll be able to truly get to know everyone at the start of the term. So let’s get a head start.
This is the first in a series of spotlights on some of your fellow students. I’m featuring here some of the classmates I met during my May Experience Weekend at Oxford. Interested in being in a future spotlight? Email me at doshi.sd “at” gmail.com.
I like to make things better, first as a strategy consultant and later in my work for a sustainable investment forum. I love cycling long distances (currently from Prague to Istanbul) and painting walls. My academic background is in artificial intelligence and logic.
What do you love about cycling long distances?
When cycling, you move slower, and therefore you see more detail. Also there is a charm about moving on muscle strength, with all of its clichés; days that seem easy – few hills, quiet roads – but turn out to be dreadful because your legs just won’t do what you want them to do, and days with steep mountains that you do effortlessly, because you have “good legs” that day. I guess that is also why it may be nice to try sometime. Next to the dose of fresh air, that will also give you a fresh mind.
Have you thought about where you might cycle with Oxford as a starting point?
From Oxford, I would cycle through Wales, on to Scotland, and then take the ferry to Northern Ireland – to explore the United Kingdom before the Brexit becomes official.
Why Oxford Saïd?
Business school embedded in a top university and focus on world-scale challenges.
What are you most looking forward to?
My name is Gediz Karaca and I am a construction professional. So far, I have been involved in various construction projects, ranging from skyscrapers to subway tunnels, and after the MBA I want to get involved in management consulting of capital expenditure projects.
What are you most proud of among your accomplishments so far?
In construction, there are typically hundreds of workers working at height, underground, or in the presence of powerful machinery. Construction team leaders always struggle to maintain focus and safety. In developing countries like Turkey, there are at least 3 casualties in construction sites every day of the year.
I consider my biggest accomplishment so far as having no casualties under my supervision. With the help of proper risk management and crisis management techniques when needed, I managed to prevent fatal accidents in projects I work in.
I hope I can say the same sentence at the end of my career and enhance our civilization without losing anyone in the process.
What’s one construction project you find inspiring, anywhere in the world?
Elon Musk’s Hyperloop.
Everyone knows about systems used in hospitals to transport blood samples and documents, right? Usually there is a tube system that operates with pressure differences to transport documents very efficiently.
Similarly, the Hyperloop is a human-sized tube system traveling more than 1000 kph. This system will operate with pods for 8 to 10 people and aims to reduce travel time from San Francisco to L.A. to 30 minutes. The project is in pre-construction testing stage, and it would be the next big thing in transportation.
Why Oxford Saïd?
I decided on Oxford Saïd for two reasons. Firstly, it is embedded into a world class university which comprises not only business school but also all other departments which will broaden our visions and enable us connect with specialists if we want to. Secondly, this year there will be 320 students, which is a decent number of people to network, not too small and not too large.
Who are you, in three sentences?
Wow, this is a very big question, I would prefer 3 words: Change, Compassion, and Passion.
I am a passionate Colombian woman. I love to use what I am and who I am to make the world a better place, especially for those who were born in environments that lack of opportunities. I love transformation and constant learning.
Tell me about your sustainable energy non-profit, AccesoSolar.
I grew up in a lower middle class home in Colombia, in a household of ten people, including three foster children. My parents always sought to help others in need, despite their own financial challenges. These values I learned as a child seeded my passion for social causes. After working for a major US utility (PG&E) and for a global renewable energy company (SunEdison), I took action and ultimately founded AccesoSolar.
We are currently working to provide access to cleaner, sustainable, and more affordable water for 800+ people in Las Piedras, Sucre, Colombia. This community has suffered for nearly six years of violence and terror from illegal armed groups. Our project will replace their existing gasoline water pump with a solar-powered pump. The expected fuel cost savings are US$1,700 annually (average household income is US$3/day). It will also abate approximately 4,216 kg of CO2 emissions annually and eliminate the risks involved in transporting fuel by motorcycle.
To date, we have garnered support in country from SWISSAID, built out the preliminary engineering plans for the project, planned for the system sustainability, secured a local contractor to handle construction, and launched our fundraising campaign. I am extremely proud of AccesoSolar’s achievements thus far, despite the countless number of challenges we constantly face. I am confident that we will continue our mission.
Why Oxford Saïd?
What surprising thing did you learn during the Experience Weekend?
Back to top of article