Niharika Naveen




United States





By Niharika Naveen

Get to know Niharika Naveen, Class of 2020-21

Tell us about yourself: A compulsive reader, armchair TV critic, sometimes writer/editor who stumbled into a job as a Mergers and Acquisitions consultant! Currently exploring my interest in investing and start-up of all shapes and sizes anywhere in the world.  I love learning about what other people are doing!

Sector/Industry you worked in pre-MBA: M&A Consulting
Sector/Industry you are hoping to work in post-MBA: VC and Tech
Country of residence before coming to Oxford: USA
College: Green Templeton College
Social Media: LinkedIn:

Q1. In one word, how would your best friend describe you, and how would your manager describe you?  
Best friend: Relaxed
Manager: Dependable

Q2. Tell us about where you have come from and what has led you to Oxford, and more specifically, the Oxford MBA.
Though I grew up in Mumbai, India, I’ve spent my entire career living and working in New York City. As an M&A consultant, I got a front row seat to the complicated and messy but fascinating inner workings of companies amid “once-in-a-lifetime” deals – from spinning off a third of their business to revamping their integration strategy. At the same time, I started advising some early stage start-ups in my network: working through business model design, go-to-market strategies etc and found myself energized and motivated to learn new things every day. So I was naturally drawn to Oxford’s entrepreneurial and international program – it seemed like the perfect opportunity to see how I could combine my skills in M&A and Operations to find and work with start-ups.

Q3. What have you done to prepare yourself for the MBA?
A key part of my MBA goals is also to transition geographies – so I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people in my chosen field in India and the UK. Coming from consulting, the more data I’m able to gather and the more people I’m able to talk to – the more confident I feel!

Q4. What do you hope to gain from completing your MBA?
I hope to brush up my finance skills and arm myself with a better understanding of tech and the strategic currents driving the future of businesses globally. I’m also committed to making impact central to my thinking and get a better understanding of how to translate what “impact” means tactically on the ground.

Q5. What is the best advice you received before commencing your MBA?
Preparation meets opportunity! I’m so proud to be among these brilliant and inspiring classmates, and I hope that we’re able to drive each other to greater heights!

Q6. Do you have any advice about the Oxford MBA application process for candidates thinking of applying?
Authenticity is key. Also, given that Oxford is a one-year program, its worthwhile to do some introspection on concrete career goals before you apply.

Q7. What part of the programme are you most looking forward to? 
I’m looking forward to the Entrepreneurship project – it’ll be a safe space to test myself and build something new! I’m also very excited to learn more about the Oxford Seed Fund, the Creative Destruction Lab and so many other extra-curriculars – Oxford is teeming with avenues for innovation and exploration.

Q8. What do you think will be the most challenging part of the programme?
I think focus will be hard – on multiple levels – there’s a wide array of opportunities and narrowing them down already seems daunting. And returning to the academic world requires a type of focus as well!

Q9. How do you plan to take the learnings from the MBA to influence positive change?
I’m already learning so much from my fellow classmates who have explored and innovated for positive change on so many fronts. In addition to the classes and electives, I think there is a degree of osmosis and learning from other people’s responses to challenges which will be extremely valuable.

Q10. Are there any sport teams, societies, or clubs you’re hoping to become a member of?
Weather (and COVID!) permitting, I would love to take this opportunity to learn Golf – and Oxford Ladies Golf Club sounds like a very warm and inviting group of fellow enthusiasts.
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