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Tiffany Handley

Degree:

MBA

Location:

United States

Year:

2017-18

By Tiffany Handley

Introduction to Tiffany Handley

Q1. In one word, how would your best friend describe you, and how would you manager describe you?

Best friend: Hermione
Manager: Dynamic

Q2. Tell us about where you have come from and what has led you to Oxford.

I have worked in non-profits since I graduated college. I led two eleven month, eleven country backpacking trips across five continents. Since then, I have lived and worked in Malaga, Spain, where I mentored peers in non-profit and business start-ups.

It was a childhood dream to go to Oxford. When I began looking at graduate programs, Oxford fell into my lap serendipitously. Within ten days of my asking for more program information, I had applied and was sitting in an executive diploma classroom for my first module. I didn’t bother to apply anywhere else for my full-time MBA.

Q3. What have you done to prepare yourself for the MBA?

Taking the diploma in organisational leadership showed me that I was more than capable of thriving in an MBA program, and sparked the interest to know more than the HR lean. Since then, I have read several prep books, researched companies, met with people in various industries, and taken four courses online to make sure my math is up to snuff! (Non-profit work hasn’t kept me on Excel or crunching numbers too often).

Q4. What do you hope to gain from completing your MBA?

In my past work helping people with start-ups, I found myself constantly reinventing the wheel. I read books, watched TED talks, and collated all my own resources. I am looking forward to being taught how to be more efficient with this work, while also learning the breadth of opportunities out there. Additionally, the priceless value of a global network of peers with whom I will have personal relationships.

Q5. What is the best advice you received before commencing your MBA?

Use WallStreetPrep to take courses in accounting, finance and Excel because there will be people in your cohort who have been doing this for their whole careers! (So intimidated).

Q6. What excites you about your new journey at Oxford?

1. British people make me happy. I’m American— superlatives are an expected fluency. We speak in absolutes. I look forward to living amongst people who understate their emotions and thoughts in their speech. Brits are nuanced mysteries, and Oxford is quintessential England in my idyllic, story-filled mind.

2. International peers and teachers. I chose an overseas program because I did not think my American mind set of business would be challenged in an American program. Sure, there would have been other international students, but the perspective and the majority would have shared my same cultural understanding. I want to be in the minority and challenged to know why I believe what I believe about business, and whether I believe it simply because it was how I was raised.

Q7. What do you think will be the most challenging part of the programme?

Not being swept away by what everyone is involved in, but reflecting and being specific about giving my time to that which is authentic to my value system and passions.

Q8. How do you plan to take the learnings from the MBA to influence positive change?

I want to work with companies (development consulting, impact investment) that are looking to fight local and global challenges with business solutions. I believe the emergence of companies with double and triple bottom lines is pointing us towards a larger existential conversation about human value, responsibility and global purpose, and I know an Oxford MBA will open doors and equip me to be a part of those conversations.

Q9. Lastly, what’s your favourite hashtag?

#BEinyourlife

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