Isadora Oliveira









By Isadora Oliveira

Get to know Isadora Oliveira

Q1. In one word, how would your best friend describe you, and how would you manager describe you?

Best friend: Authentic
Manager: Resourceful

Q2. Tell us about where you have come from and what has led you to Oxford.

I was born and raised in Brazil and have always had a deep desire to travel and get to know different people and different perspectives other than my own. That’s why I chose to get a BA in International Relations, International Marketing and Business at ESPM São Paulo.- precisely because I wanted to understand the world around me. After internships at HSBC Global Asset Management and Nielsen, I landed an internship at Google, where I then stayed as a full-time employee for five years. Self-motivation, excellent communication, strong personal organisation and problem-solving are essential skills to have when working at a global, extremely fast-paced company like Google, so my experience there was essential for me to develop all these skills and learn that I still wanted to know more about the world. I then pursued a part-time masters degree in Marketing and Branding from Business School São Paulo while still working at Google, and I learned about the power of marketing as a strategic tool to design better products and services for the world of tomorrow.

After my masters, I felt I still needed to develop more business skills in order to become the leader I want to be in the future. I also knew that, as someone whose greatest joy in life is learning, I needed to be in an intellectually stimulating environment. Finally, I don’t think that businesses can stand alone in our society today, so I was sure I had to choose a programme that discussed diversity, sustainability, the social impact of business and how to lead with purpose. Putting all that in perspective, Oxford Saïd’s programme was the perfect choice – the school’s vision (“a world class business school community, embedded in this world-class University, tackling world-scale challenges”) perfectly resonates with me.

Q3. What have you done to prepare yourself for the MBA?

I worked until the end of August, so spent a lot of time making sure everything was in order before I left. In parallel, I took quantitative review classes online to prepare for all the Business Finance modules that await for me in the programme, spent a lot of time with friends and family and took the time to explore São Paulo, where I’ve lived for the past 6 years. Being in the unique position of someone who is about to move across the ocean to begin a full-time MBA programme, I also enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on my priorities and goals for the future.
Finally, I connected with some alumni who gave me great insights and tips on how to prepare for the big move ahead!

Q4. What do you hope to gain from completing your MBA?

I hope to gain more business skills and insights that will help me become the well-rounded and purposeful leader I aim to be, and to work in diversity initiatives to leave a legacy for the next class. I’d love to create meaningful and lasting connections with my cohort, and to enjoy everything the wider University ecosystem has to offer.

Q5. What is the best advice you received before commencing your MBA?

I was advised to spend some time reflecting on my priorities and objectives before the programme started so I could keep them clearly in mind as the chaotic (incredibly rewarding and mind-blowing, yes, but still chaotic) year ahead unravels. As I mentioned above, I took that advice and enjoyed the time for self-reflecting, even though I’m not sure that will be enough to cope with all the FOMO that comes with studying in Oxford!

Q6. What part of the programme are you most looking forward to?

I believe that innovation comes from exploration, so I can’t wait to explore all the different perspectives my classmates will bring to the programme. I’m also looking forward to learning more about how to tackle world scale problems, one responsible business practice (or GOTO project!) at a time, and to learn more about possible career paths in social impact.

Q7. What do you think will be the most challenging part of the programme?

Oxford is an incredibly vibrant city and, with so much going on, it’ll be hard to not feel like I’m always missing on something interesting happening somewhere!

Q8. How do you plan to take the learnings from the MBA to influence positive change?

This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about. I’d like to inspire more people to pursue higher education programmes like this one, and to become a leader of positive change myself (and hopefully the MBA will help me come up with more ideas).

Q9. Are there any sport teams, societies, or clubs you’re hoping to become a member of?

I’m a strong believer in diversity and equality as drivers of change, so definitely initiatives like the Women’s Leadership group. On the sports side, I feel like I should try the quintessentially Oxonian experience: rowing (even if that means waking up at 5AM in the dead of winter to train on the river…)

Q10. Lastly, what’s your favourite hashtag?

#itsanoxfordthing.- magical!

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