Tara Protheroe




United Kingdom


Non profit



By Tara Protheroe

Introduction to Tara Protheroe

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

Best friend: Adventurous
Manager: Trustworthy

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

An English girl with a thirst for adventure, I’ve lived and worked for most of my life within 50 miles of London but travelled extensively in my free time. Following a BA in English Literature, I began my career in the Charity Sector at Cancer Research UK and worked in a number of
project-management focused roles in innovation and health information. Four years on, I’m keen to deepen my theoretical understanding of business and also make a move into the corporate world – a quest that has led me to undertake the new challenge of an MBA at Oxford.

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

I applied early to the MBA programme and continued working for 10 months after getting my offer. I used that time to learn as much as possible in my role and organisation, to really understand my motivations and to consider the strengths and weaknesses I’ll need to build on
during the MBA.

I’ve also spoken to as many people as I can about the MBA experience at Oxford and elsewhere, and got to know a few of my new classmates pretty well, both via social media and in person. And of course I’ve read books. Lots of books!

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

I hope to re-focus my career goals in a structured environment, build on the skills I need to achieve those goals and to learn from a fantastic group of people who will (fingers crossed) go on to become lifelong friends and future business contacts.

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

Be impressed by your classmates and learn as much as you can from them, but don’t let the tremendous talents surrounding you make you feel inadequate, or like an impostor. You bring plenty to the table, and there’s a reason you’re here.

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

Getting the chance to return to university and study something I’m really passionate about. I still remember the feeling I had at the Oxford open day. Sitting in the taster lecture, debating the marketing practices of online travel firms, I felt exhilarated. It was what I’d always dreamed of from a university course, and I’m so excited to be spending a year in such a stimulating environment.

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

Finding a balance between taking opportunities and focusing my time on the activities that are most relevant to my goals and personality. It will be a challenge to restrain myself from signing up to 200 clubs, positions and extra courses in the first flush of enthusiasm!

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

I intend to build on my previous experience in public health and continue to work towards improving health outcomes. I am particularly passionate about products and services that enable people to take charge of their own health and wellbeing, and I aim to apply the learnings from the MBA to help create and improve such initiatives.

Q9. Lastly, what’s your favourite hashtag?

#foodwithaface (because surely all food can be improved by adding a face?)

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