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Diego Rojas-Arancibia

Degree:

1+1 MBA

Location:

Bolivia

Industry:

Public Sector

Year:

2022-23

By Diego Rojas-Arancibia

Learning how to better serve

Warren Buffett once said he was lucky to be born American. After living, working, and studying in the United States, I came to the conclusion that he was right; my experiences in the US and Europe have shown me that there is a huge gap of opportunities for people born in developed countries to those available for people in the developing world. Two years ago I decided I wanted to study for a masters degree so I could go back to my region (Latin America) in a position that would allow me to create social impact by working on closing this gap of opportunities.

At that point, I knew I wanted to do an MBA. I see entrepreneurship as a way of creating tools and services that reach the most in need, giving them the opportunity to achieve their personal and professional goals. An MBA will teach me the skills needed to succeed and foster entrepreneurship, and connect me with peers with similar aspirations. Moreover, I also knew that I did not just wanted to focus on creating profits, I wanted to combine these new skills with a deeper purpose: to create social impact. Four years ago, I co-founded and to date I still lead an NGO in Bolivia focused on entrepreneurship and education. I have experienced how “having a great purpose” has helped us grow to a group of more than 250 volunteers, and to directly impact more than 5,000 Bolivian. When thinking about applying for an MBA, I was convinced that I wanted my career to always be intrinsically attached to social impact.

So two years ago I started talking to MBA students from different Universities and countries, studying for the GMAT, and planning my next years. After a deep research and a long application process, I ended up having to choose between INSEAD, Wharton, Yale, and Oxford . They all presented me with great opportunities, but during my application process I came to find a phrase that changed it all: “A world better led, better served, and better governed”. As soon as I read this phrase, I knew I wanted to find out more about this program. So I found the Blavatnik School of Government and its MPP program. What struck me from Oxford and the program was that it offered me a unique opportunity to learn how to become a better leader who understands and cares about global issues, and to learn how to work together with people of diverse beliefs in order to create better outcomes. Moreover, it was not only Blavatnik who had this philosophy of “preparing leaders for the task of making a better world”, but Säid Business School also had the same vision, and as I came to find once I arrived to Oxford, the whole university and all of its students aim at this goal. These combination of factors, made me realize that an MPP+MBA program at Oxford was a one of a kind opportunity to combine my passion for entrepreneurship, education, and social impact. Additionally, it would teach me how to better serve my country and my region; I decided to pursue this path.

Just two weeks ago I started my MPP program at Oxford, and during these two weeks I found many different reasons to reassure me that there is no better place for me to learn how to be an impactful leader once I finish this two years journey, than Oxford. I have come to know amazing people, students and professors alike. The diversity of opinions, background, and perspectives shows me every day how little I know, and how much I can learn from casual interactions and meaningful discussions alike. I have to admit that I have to spend long hours studying and reading, but every lecture has been deeply planned and time flies when I am learning so much. Additionally Oxford offers so many opportunities to interact with socially responsible global leaders whose lessons and experiences keep broadening my view of the world. I have just started my experience in Oxford, and I already know that once I graduate from my two degrees, I will be totally transformed and ready to undertake my next and more important task: to work tirelessly until there comes a day in which a Bolivian will not dream on migrating as the only solution for accomplishing her dreams, a day in which she will be able to fulfill her dreams at home.

Diego is an Oxford 1+1 MBA Pershing Square Scholar. Find out more about the Oxford-Pershing Square Graduate Scholarships.

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