Q1. In one word, how would your best friend describe you, and how would you manager describe you?
Best Friend: Cognitive
Manager: Problem Solver
Q2. Tell us about where you have come from and what has led you to Oxford.
I am a mechanical engineer by qualification and training, having studied both in India and the UK. Post graduating, I worked for a start-up specialising in technological innovations in fleet management, where I got the opportunity to delve deeper into behavioural aspects of systems design. I then moved on to Tata Technologies to work on larger design projects. It was at Tata that I started investing additional time in social ventures. My experience volunteering for Teach for India and few other NGOs compelled me to shift careers from engineering to social impact.
I joined Dasra, a non-profit in Mumbai in 2014 and I worked on many different developmental areas such as drought relief, menstrual hygiene, local governance, access to healthcare etc. An area that has been close to my heart is utilising Gender Lens in program design of non-profits and social businesses. I am excited to explore this at Oxford, as the school has a major focus on social impact and entrepreneurship.
Q3. What have you done to prepare yourself for the MBA?
My focus has largely been 2-fold: internal and external. From an internal point of view, I am prepping myself to be able to sit in classrooms again, learning to meditate so as to be able to thrive in the chaos of an MBA and preparing to try a whole lot of new things. From an external point of view- I am largely focusing on skilling myself in areas of interest by taking online courses and relevant projects at organizations I am volunteering with right now. There is so much happening at Oxford that I want to be able to fully leverage my time here.
Q4. What do you hope to gain from completing your MBA?
I would want to get a better understanding of the global economy and also learn how innovations can transcend boundaries. On the personal front, I hope to make great friends and build lasting relationships.
Q5. What is the best advice you received before commencing your MBA?
I was told to be very clear about what I wanted out of the one year and to go for it. I have since been deliberately working on a plan- adding to my to-do lists and creating an outline for the road I will travel. Of course, things will and can change along the way and I am looking forward to seeing how much of my path I will stick to.
Q6. What part of the programme are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to the labs I have signed up for. Apart from that, I cannot wait to get started on the entrepreneurship project and perhaps spend some time at the Oxford Foundry.
Q7. What do you think will be the most challenging part of the programme?
Being able to sit in class for an entire day. Jokes aside, I feel the first couple of months is going to be tough largely because I have been out of classroom for a while. Apart from that, being able to choose the right opportunities and staying on track will be challenging because of so many exciting things happening at Oxford.
Q8. How do you plan to take the learnings from the MBA to influence positive change?
I want to be able to further the cause of Gender Lens in investing as well as in program design of social enterprises. Life experiences, requirements and challenges of men and women are very different and not considering these unique sensibilities while designing developmental programs can lead to disproportionate growth and development. I want to tackle this gap post my MBA.
Q9. Are there any sport teams, societies, or clubs you’re hoping to become a member of?
I am looking forward to joining the Social Impact Oxford Business Network and the Oxford Hub.