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Constance Kratsa

Degree:

MBA

Location:

Greece

Industry:

Cosmetics

Year:

2016-17

By Constance Kratsa

Interviews with Alumnae: Constance Kratsa

I was born and raised in Athens, studied Law with Economics (BA, LLM) at University of London, QMUL & UCL and went on working in Marketing in Consumer Goods & Cosmetics. After living in five countries across three continents for studies or work and a decade of career in managerial roles at blue-chip multinational corporations I applied for the Oxford MBA.

My year in Oxford was an unforgettable experience. What made it such were the insightful classes, the great professors as well as the strong connections I made and the relationships I built throughout the year. Before starting I was told that I would learn mostly from my peers and I wondered at the time “how could it be possible to learn more from students than professors or textbooks?”. Now I know that the reason is that exchanges –whether in the classroom or not– with such a diverse, intellectually curious, socially responsible and interesting group of people always push you to become better. Raising topics and ideas with them elevate the discussion and challenge you to think differently or learn more about new issues.

As an amateur theatre actor of many years I loved that I could continue my passion during my Oxford year along with other activities. I realized my dream of learning fencing and I organised the TEDxOxbridge event with diverse speakers from around the world as well as Oxford and Cambridge. I have made friendships that will last a lifetime who I still regularly see or touch-base online.

I’m currently working in London as the Head of Marketing at Estée Lauder for Europe, Middle East & Africa Travel Retail focusing mainly on the business at airports. It might appear odd for some that after my MBA, I continued my career in Marketing and Cosmetics, as it is a common assumption that people do an MBA to disrupt themselves. The truth is that each of my roughly 300 classmates decided to join the programme for completely different reasons and what I discovered is that we didn’t do all the same MBA but there were about 300 different MBA experiences based on our interests and course choices. An MBA can be adjusted and customised to your needs and it’s a rare lifetime occasion to “pause” anything you do and experiment for a year with new learnings, new interactions, new experiences and even new hobbies. An MBA is a great opportunity for personal development and it helps to further build professional skills. After this year I went to a new company and a different market but I was well-equipped to take on my new professional challenge, ready to manage a larger team, a larger region and a bigger budget.

I have to admit that sometimes I look back and I feel that my year in Oxford was all like a dream, but definitely an unforgettable experience that I will cherish forever.

Constance Kratsa, Oxford MBA class of 2016-17.

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