Youmna Sirgi




United States





By Youmna Sirgi

Meet the Oxford MBA Class of 2021-22: Youmna Sirgi

We are excited to welcome the Oxford MBA Class of 2021-22 to Oxford this September. Get to know our incoming students in this blog post series as they prepare to join Saïd Business School.

Tell us about yourself

Sector/Industry you worked in pre-MBA: Technology/Consulting

Sector/Industry you are hoping to work in post-MBA: Venture Capitalist/Technology/Social Impact

Country of residence before coming to Oxford: United States

College: Keble

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

Best friend: Genuine
Manager: Curious

Tell us about where you have come from and what has led you to Oxford, and more specifically, the Oxford MBA.

Coming from a technology consulting background, I’ve seen how important it is for business-minded individuals to be at the forefront of technology modernization, along with data engineers, computer scientists, etc. I decided to pursue an MBA so that I could gain analytical and financial skills to help scale technology businesses at a rapid pace. My decision to come to Oxford, however, was entirely about the people. My classmates come not only from Wall Street and consulting backgrounds like myself, but also from non-profits, foundations, and classrooms. My professors are global leaders in using ‘business as a force for good’ and the opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation are endless. It is this global ecosystem of mission-driven entrepreneurs and leaders that convinced me to pursue the Oxford MBA.

What have you done to prepare yourself for the MBA?

The ecosystem around Saïd has done a great job of involving incoming MBA students in activities to prepare for the upcoming school year. Our Telegram groups of incoming students have been active for more than 6 months leading up to the program. The Careers office (especially Dan Kiernan from the Impact sector) has been an active resource on the career tracks and has invited students to multiple seminars, coaching 1-1s and panels several months prior to the MBA. The extracurriculars and Labs have held informational sessions to educate students about areas we can get involved in and the school has provided us with timelines for applications and pre-coursework well in advance. Overall, I feel prepared and excited for the upcoming school year due to the amount of interaction that has already preceded our program’s start date.

What do you hope to gain from completing your MBA?

Upon completing my MBA, I have two primary goals. My primary goal is to develop a robust network of classmates and professors that I will be able to lean on throughout the next phase of my career. I have already been very inspired by my fellow classmates and am looking forward to collaborating with them during the program and the years that follow. Secondarily, I am excited to acquire the critical skills necessary to understand the financial and operational aspect of running a business, especially within start-up investors like VCs and technology companies.

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

The best advice I’ve received is to be intentional about time management during the MBA in order to connect with classmates and professors outside of ‘structured activities,’ such as classes, organizations, or meetings. The countless extracurriculars at Oxford and the intensive curriculum make it easy to overcommit fast. I’m trying to leave time in my schedule to build organic relationships, in addition to the relationships I’ll build through the program.

Do you have any advice about the Oxford MBA application process for candidates thinking of applying?

Be the most genuine version of yourself throughout the application process. Oxford really isn’t looking to build a class of cookie-cutter students that all have the same test scores, resumes, and responses to interview questions. I bombed the easiest interview question (Explain why dogs or cats are better… I hesitated at the simplicity of the question) but walked out of the interview feeling like I had presented an accurate representation of who I was, and that made all the difference.

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

First and foremost, I’m really looking forward to getting to know my classmates. From the conversations we’ve had leading up to the program, I have already been so inspired by everyone’s stories. In addition, there are a lot of great opportunities during the Oxford MBA to partner with mission-driven start-ups, including Creative Destruction Lab, the Entrepreneurship Centre, the Liber Project and the Oxford Seed Fund. I’m excited to get hands-on experience working with entrepreneurs to compliment the curriculum.

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

The program hasn’t even started and I’m already having a hard time picking what I want to spend my time doing! I think the most challenging part of the program will be choosing where to focus my time to get the most reward (personally and professionally) from the upcoming year.

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

Across all industries, consumers and investors alike are seeing that impact-driven businesses can be financially successful businesses (happier employees, better customer awareness, etc.). To continue this shift, more data is needed to provide investors with confidence in their ESG-based investment decisions. More analytics are required to track the environmental and community impact of businesses globally. Faster APIs are needed to connect an exponentially large pool of data. I plan to use the learnings of my MBA to help businesses use technology in a smarter way to support impact-driven organizations.

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

Within Saïd, I am planning on joining Oxford’s Women in Leadership Alliance and am applying to the Oxford Seed Fund and Creative Destructive Lab. Outside of the business school, I’m really looking forward to becoming a member of the Oxford Union. I’m also considering joining my College’s choral program and intramural sports teams.

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