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Malina Keutel

Degree:

MBA

Location:

United States

Industry:

International Development

Year:

2017-18

By Malina Keutel

Introduction to Malina Keutel

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

Best friend: Good listener (sorry two words!)
Manager: Self-starter

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

I’m originally from the West Coast of the US, and have spent the last few years in San Francisco working for Girls Who Code – a national non-profit focused on addressing the gender gap in tech. This experience, building on past work, has made me interested in how to improve efficiency in the non-profit sector – with a focus on organizations supporting the expansion of economic and leadership opportunities for women. I’m particularly interested in connecting female entrepreneurs to venture capital funding, as I know that lack of diversity and unconscious bias within VC firms is disadvantaging the growing number of female founders. An MBA at a diverse international institution felt like a natural next step toward this goal!

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

I took a business math fundamentals course in the fall to brush up on core skills and to build confidence in subjects I hadn’t touched in years (found it simultaneously reassuring and intimidating!). I’ve been doing some practice case studies, and recently cracked open the Wall Street Prep materials.

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

I want to move beyond identifying inefficiency to bringing thoughtful, ethical, and sustainable solutions to the table.

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

Keep an eye out for news or articles that remind you of past professional connections, and use those as a basis for genuine networking touch points throughout the year.

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

I’m excited to meet and learn from classmates from around the world! I sought out an international program that attracted students from diverse industries because I wanted to challenge my own assumptions and get out of a US-centric echo chamber.

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

With so many competing demands on our attention and energy, I think prioritizing the highest impact opportunities (and saying no to others) will be a challenge!

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

Long term I hope to apply the skills I gain to a strategy role at an organization advancing women’s economic opportunities, ideally by connecting female entrepreneurs to funding. Short term, I’m interested in gaining exposure to diverse business structures and challenges through private sector work. No matter where I land, I want to continue advocating for more inclusive business practices, and to be a part of support networks for women in positions of leadership.

Q9. Lastly, what’s your favourite hashtag?

#outsideisfree – I love long distance cycling and backcountry camping when I’m not thinking about work 🙂 I’d love to see the outdoors become more accessible to women, and the hashtag is a good reminder that getting outside rarely costs money, and that the outdoors are open to everyone!

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