Welcome to Oxford! I’ve just arrived (like many of you), and it’s suddenly far easier to meet fellow students and find new guests for my student spotlights.
Below are two more fellows for you to meet during our MBA Launch and afterward. Interested in being featured in a future spotlight? Email me at doshi.sd “at” gmail.com.
My name is Melis Karaca, and I am from Turkey. I was an internal auditor in a bank for 7 years. I have specialised in fraud investigation and IT project management, but I wish to take my career a step further by doing an MBA and continuing as a consultant specialised in commercial banking and fraud investigation.
So you are a detective! Any crazy fraud stories?
I was once assigned to catch an external fraudster. He was a cyber-criminal who defrauded VIP customers of the bank for 8 months. It was like in the “Catch Me If You Can” movie.
Every time the bank changed its security policies according to my suggestions, he improved himself and found another way to steal. At the end of 8 months, we tricked him into coming in person to a branch by changing the security protocols, and then finally caught him with the police! Apparently, however, I heard that he came out of prison 2 or 3 years later by telling the authorities that he had “eye cancer”…
How can businesses better prevent fraud?
First, businesses should implement systems that are alert to any patterns that reflect fraudulent activity. Big data must and will be an essential part of antifraud efforts. That integration is what I worked on for 2 years as an IT Project Manager.
Second, businesses must also monitor the people who run these very systems. Finally, businesses must follow current trends and technology and continually enhance their systems. That’s how, for example, a business could identify new fraudulent patterns that can be added to the detection system.
Why do you wish to shift from being an in-house specialist to a consultant?
I want to use my expertise in internal auditing and fraud investigation in consulting. I realised that consultants’ exposure to different organisations in rapid timeframes broadens their perspective and deepens their experience. Likewise, I hope that consulting in this field can increase my knowledge and learn best practices against fraud, including with industries other than banking.
Why Oxford Saïd?
1. Oxford Saïd’s mission, which fits well with my career and vision.
2. The charm offered by both the University and the City of Oxford.
3. Our class size and diversity, which I think will broaden my perspective far more than I expect.
I am South African, with a strong Italian heritage. I have lived and worked in Africa and Europe, and studied with an American university. I spent the last 6 years with a company that helps business tap into opportunities presented by digital and am passionate about using technology for social good.
I believe I am defined by my family and friends, travelling, exploring new cultures and perspectives, challenging thinking, stimulating conversation, and experiencing a few bumps along my journey. I am driven to seek opportunities outside my comfort zone and by a desire to keep learning.
I know you are passionate about the natural wonders of your homeland. Tell me why.
Not only are Africa’s wildlife and wilderness areas iconic, but they are also inextricably linked with the future development of the continent. Africa is experiencing incredible growth and presents great opportunity for businesses. I believe that through conservation, education, community, and business, we can help safeguard this natural heritage and support the continent’s growth and future of its people.
Much of your experience is at Quirk, a “marketing agency born digital.” What brought you there?
I strongly believe that any professional in business must understand how to operate in a digitally enabled world. Quirk focuses heavily on digital work. Their graduate programme let me build experience across various disciplines before I specialised.
It also presented the opportunity to work across markets and industries. The clients ranged from challenger brands like Capitec Bank, which is rethinking the banking industry in South Africa; to start-ups like Aflix, a video subscription platform launched in Africa; as well as global players like SABMiller, Warner Bros and Unilever. My work was equally varied and included traditional campaign work, digital consulting, and capability building.
Why Oxford Saïd?
There are so many reasons! Oxford Saïd has a unique integration with the wider university network. I hope to expand my thinking through the people I meet across all of Oxford and build a network at the same time.
I also believe that ours is one of the most forward-thinking business schools. Our year is tailored to assist us in tackling world-scale challenges such as through the innovative GOTO; there is a focus on responsible leadership and social innovation, particularly through the Skoll Centre; and the school is actively recruiting more students from Africa.
The people I have met so far have probably been the biggest factor influencing my decision. Our classmates come from so many different backgrounds and perspectives; the alumni and outgoing students I met went out of their way to offer advice; the staff at Oxford Saïd took a genuine interest in my application, making sure I didn’t feel like just a number. Each time I reached out to the Oxford Saïd network, I was more convinced that the business school was a natural fit for me.
I want to use this year to explore new globally tuned opportunities—perhaps in operations or finance—that may be either complementary or unrelated to my past experience. Our programme and the university have much to offer, and I hope to learn as much as I can both in the classroom and through participating in the various academic, social, sport, and college events on offer. This will no doubt make for a rich and rewarding year.Back to top of article