Tell us about yourself: A self confessed “Weekend Warrior” spending my free time running marathons and cycling across continents. Professionally, I have over seven years experience in Strategy focused roles, firstly with Deloitte as a Management Consultant before moving in-house with a fashion retailer. Most recently, becoming self-employed to work in the Health & Wellbeing sector.
Sector/Industry you worked in pre-MBA: A mix of Consulting and Strategy in Fashion and Health & Wellbeing
Sector/Industry you are hoping to work in post-MBA: Health & Wellbeing / Sport
Country of residence before coming to Oxford: A proud Yorkshire lass
College: St Catz
|Q1. In one word, how would your best friend describe you, and how would your manager describe you?|
|Best friend: Inspirational
|Q2. Tell us about where you have come from and what has led you to Oxford, and more specifically, the Oxford MBA.|
|I graduated from The University of Exeter in 2012 and went straight to London to start my career with Deloitte. I was a Management Consultant with them for over five years; working mainly in Finance and helping CFO’s to achieve their vision. I qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant but knew that pure accounting was not something I was interested in doing.
By now I had found running, cycling and endurance sport as an outlet and way to relax – Consulting can be all-consuming if you let it be, so I really needed a hobby that I could focus on outside of work. In 2016, the opportunity to take part in Deloitte Ride Across Britain came along and in the September of that year, I cycled 969 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats, in 8 days. It was an incredible experience and I loved it.
I then took 6 months off work to travel and I started with yet more cycling; beginning in Vietnam and cycling down through Cambodia, and into Thailand.
The time away from work gave me head space to think about my future and I knew it wasn’t in Consulting at that time, so on my return I switched to work in fashion – another one of my passions.
I moved into a more strategic role with Boden, the fashion retailer, and joined the newly-formed Strategy Team. It was the right time for me to move “in-house” and I worked very closely with the CEO and her top team to help them craft the future strategy for Boden. It was a great two years.
I applied for the Oxford MBA towards the end of 2019 – I knew I had outgrown my current role and believed the Oxford MBA would help me to decide my future career path. I knew I wanted to work in the health and wellbeing space; after all, it’s my passion and they always say that you should do a job that you really love.
I also knew I wanted to set up my own business at some point in my life – it just felt like the right time never really appeared. However, little did I know it would come along sooner than I thought.
At the end of 2019, due to personal reasons, I quit my job in London and moved back home to Yorkshire. I had trained as a Personal Trainer a couple of years earlier, and whilst I was at Boden, I ran a very popular weekly circuits class.
The time seemed right and in between Christmas and New Year I set up my new business and by January 2nd I already had my first clients.
Over the course of 2020 I have worked with over 25 clients promoting health and wellness, and the results have been incredible. Obviously, Covid-19 hasn’t helped a new business, but I have a proof of concept which I want to work with post-MBA.
|Q3. What have you done to prepare yourself for the MBA?|
|I haven’t perhaps followed the conventional path of doing lots of prep work, researching post-MBA moves, or brushing up on my accounting. I actually took some time off to have the single best experience of my life so far.
After finishing work with my last client, I packed up my bike and cycled 1,000 miles, on my own, from my home in Yorkshire to Vienna.
It was an incredible three week experience, and it was the best decision I took: to take some time away from the all-encompassing prep work and give myself some time to pause, reflect, and look forward to this incredible year.
|Q4. What do you hope to gain from completing your MBA?|
|The confidence, skills, knowledge and network to set up a successful and impactful business of my own
|Q5. What is the best advice you received before commencing your MBA?|
|Enjoy it – the year will fly by
|Q6. Do you have any advice about the Oxford MBA application process for candidates thinking of applying?|
It seems a bit silly to say, but I was so close not to applying because I didn’t think my GMAT score was up to scratch. One of the things that makes Oxford so great is that they look at you as a whole person; all your achievements, previous work experience, and references to come to a final decision, not just a GMAT score.
Yes, the GMAT is important and you want to do as best as you can, but it’s not the be all and end all.
|Q7. What part of the programme are you most looking forward to?|
|The amount of choice we have to craft the MBA that works best for us. I’m excited to choose the electives and get the most out of them for my future career.
|Q8. What do you think will be the most challenging part of the programme?|
|I’ve been told by plenty of people that it will be time management and saying “no” to things!
The opportunities to get involved with so many different aspects sound endless so fitting everything in sounds like it will be a challenge.
|Q9. How do you plan to take the learnings from the MBA to influence positive change?|
|I have now had the taste of running my own business and the direct positive impact I can have on people’s lives. It’s really fulfilling and I want to go back to that, but on a much bigger scale. I plan to use all of my learnings and connections I make over this year to really turbo-charge that.
|Q10. Are there any sport teams, societies, or clubs you’re hoping to become a member of?|
|I love running and will miss my current club (Doncaster Athletics) so I will definitely be looking at joining the Athletics Club or Cross-Country club.
I also enjoy taking part in Triathlons so it would be great to be part of the Triathlon club.