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Arjun Bardhan

Degree:

MBA

Location:

India

Industry:

Management Consulting

Year:

2018-19

By Arjun Bardhan

Get to know Arjun Bardhan

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

Best friend: Golden-Hearted

Manager: Organised

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

I hail from a small town in India. I have lived in the US for the past 7 years. I have 10 years of technology and management consulting experience in the Property & Casualty insurance industry. I have always consciously tried to select roles, projects, and locations that would help me to continually learn and grow.

I have always been passionate about two things – learning unique aspects of different cultures and making a difference to the society through actions. My father told me stories of his trekking trips to the Himalayas and how those trips and interactions with people broadened his mind. I too, try to bring an open mind to places I travel to and the people I meet. In the USA, I have been inspired by a culture very different from the one I come from, and I have learned how people approach decisions from different points of view. Most of my hobbies and my love for food and cinema stem from my love of exploration and evolve as I learn about different communities and cultures.

Oxford is the perfect place for me to be because it aligns with both of the things I care for. Not only its diverse student body, but its philosophy of doing socially responsible business also is something I am really looking forward to losing myself in. I believe it will be a great opportunity to learn from a diverse and global student body, share my experiences and become enriched as a human being. Saïd Business School’s core value of making an impact to society through doing business responsibly resonates deeply with me. Doing business responsibly and thinking about long-term sustainability while building relationships with customers is something I have followed at TATA (my employer) throughout my career.

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

During the MBA year, I am going to be away from my family. So the first thing I did was quit my job early so that I could spend as much time as was possible with my wife and 1-year-old son. I know it would be incredibly hard for me to be away from them and whatever time I got prior to my MBA, I wanted to be with them. I also enrolled myself into Harvard Business School’s CORe of Readiness program – a 150-hour global certification program on the fundamentals of business based on Harvard’s signature case-based learning model. I also completed certification courses related to Digital Transformation, Moving to Cloud etc. I interacted with a few alumni as well. Apart from that, a significant amount of my time was invested in getting my paperwork ready, related to visa, CV, and Careers Academy and refining my career goals and developing a career narrative.

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

An MBA from Oxford will not only help me to better understand how to structure and motivate a team but will also train me in the fundamentals of international business management, competitiveness and the critical factors that influence how one global business is more successful than another. I can hone my problem solving and critical thinking skills and make a larger impact on the community through a combination of business and technology.

The interactions with such a global and diverse student body, not just in the business school, but in the wider university, will give me a great opportunity to expand my horizon.

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

The best advice that I have received is to maintain a balance between being explorative and staying focused. While studying at Oxford is a lifetime experience and you should constantly reinvent yourself and try out new things which you probably wouldn’t get to do anywhere else, it is also important not to lose sight of your priorities and remain focused.

Q6. What part of the programme are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to interacting with my classmates. The prospect of meeting and sharing life experiences with such a talented and diverse student body is incredibly exciting and I am sure it would be one of the most cherished experiences of the entire programme.

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

I think the most challenging part of the programme will be to prioritise the tasks. There is so much to explore and learn at the business school and at the wider university, but given the limited time and intensity of the core programme, I don’t think it will be possible for me to try out my hand at everything I would want to. So, the challenge would be to have my priorities set and manage the time effectively.

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

  • Influence and make an impact to the organisation where I work post-MBA, and to society at large through my business knowledge and leadership skills
  • Innovate products that have the ability to change the landscape of any industry and are profitable, economically viable and socially sustainable
  • Mentor and inspire other students

Q9. Are there any sports teams, societies, or clubs you’re hoping to become a member of?

Well, I have heard that if I could think of a club or a society, it is there at Oxford. To be honest, I haven’t had the chance to explore all the clubs. I would definitely like to be involved in football and table tennis. I will also try to explore the societies and clubs related to cinema, food, and photography.

Q10. Lastly, what’s your favourite hashtag?

#Insurtech

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