Q1. In one word, how would your best friend describe you, and how would you manager describe you?
Best friend: Considerate
Q2. Tell us about where you have come from and what has led you to Oxford.
What country you are from, where you have lived/worked, your area of expertise, any personal experiences you believe have shaped your decision to arrive in Oxford
I was born and raised in China, and went to Australia for undergraduate. I have been living in Australia ever since where I spent most of my time in Adelaide and Perth.
My international student experience has a profound impact on my life and it has also cultivated my passion for education. I was working in the strategy and corporate development function for Navitas, a global education company, for two years. I was working very closely with key decision makers to develop and deliver strategic initiatives that shaped the future of the organisation. I was also responsible for managing EdTech investments and helping early-stage EdTech companies to grow and scale. Prior to pursue my career in education, I had four years’ cross-sector strategy and operation consulting experience in Australia, Singapore and China.
Working in the education industry has always made me want to experience a student’s life again so I have decided to take MBA to round my skillset. My husband and I both wanted to spend more time in Europe after our elopement in Europe last year. I was accepted by three top-tier European Business Schools, but when we came for the Experience Oxford Weekend in January this year, we were convinced that Oxford was the one as the Oxford experience would be truly unique!
Q3. What have you done to prepare yourself for the MBA?
Knowing that I wanted to explore more in EdTech sector, especially in venture capital / entrepreneurship, in the last six months, I have changed my job focus from corporate strategy development at the group level to EdTech investments for the corporate venture arm.
I have talked to a number of recent Oxford graduates, including MBA and non-MBA alumni, for their advice and tips. I have connected with a number of industry professionals to get their insights into the career that I am considering post MBA. I have also completed a number of online courses in the areas that I am interested in, including WallStreet Prep for the Finance Lab. Also, I have started to build my “Oxford Wish List” which I am hoping to tick off.
Lastly, relax and reflection! My husband and I are going on a two and half weeks road trip around the UK before the course starts.
Q4. What do you hope to gain from completing the program?
I see the next 12 month is the time when I will push myself to step out of my comfort zone and explore the areas that I am less familiar with (but interested in). I hope to develop a well-rounded business skillset and become more comfortable in making decisions in an uncertain and ambiguous environment.
I would also like to build long-lasting friendships with the MBA cohorts and genuine connections with the broader university community.
As my husband is accompanying me along the MBA journey, I hope that he can also have a fruitful experience in Oxford through leveraging all the opportunities that Oxford has to offer.
Q5. What is the best advice you received before commencing your MBA?
Hard to pick the best one, I will list the top three best advices I have received:
– Be open-minded as your plan may change and it is totally fine if it does change
– Figure out what is important to you during MBA and pace yourself well
– Really get to know your classmates, especially those who are very different from you and you would not usually talk to
Q6. What part of the programme are you most looking forward to?
I look forward to the integrative modules as part of the standard program. I also very much look forward to other opportunities outside the curriculum, such as Oxford Seed Fund, debate / speaker sessions at the Oxford Union and formal dinners at different colleges.
Q7. What do you think will be the most challenging part of the programme?
Time! There are so many interesting and exciting opportunities to be part of at Oxford, so I will have to figure out the most effective way to manage my energy and time.
Q8. How do you plan to take the learnings from the MBA to influence positive change?
To me, there are two parts of learning from MBA: tangible learning (e.g. technical skills) and intangible learning (e.g. network / connections). I hope to apply these learnings for my future career to drive innovation and international collaboration to provide the broader access to quality education that has better student outcomes.
Q9. Are there any sport teams, societies, or clubs you’re hoping to become a member of?
I will join the tennis club. Pending on the time, I am also interested in giving rowing a try.
I will certainly check out the Oxford China Forum and would also like to get involved with MBA women’s initiatives.
Q10. Lastly, what’s your favourite hashtag?
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