Ishani Tagra









By Ishani Tagra

Meet the Oxford MBA Class of 2021-22: Ishani Tagra

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: Banking

Sector/Industry you are hoping to work in post-MBA: Banking / Retail

Country of residence before coming to Oxford: India

College: Green Templeton College. Choosing Green Templeton was an easy option for me because it was one of the few ‘Graduate Only’ colleges. I wanted to spend most my time getting to know people, their stories and learn from their experiences, GTC fulfilled all those criteria for me.

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

Best friend: Curious
Manager: Zealous

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

I was born and raised in the capital of India (New Delhi). I pursued my Bachelors (Hons) from University of Delhi and began my career in consulting with KPMG India in their Risk Consulting Division. My focus was primarily on the Financial Services Industry which included clients across the sector (Banks, NBFCs, Micro-capital firms, etc). However, I wanted to pivot into a role that combined my passion for creativity and data and that’s how I landed up in the Consumer Marketing & Customer Experience division at American Express India. I have worked on many projects to reduce cost, improve process efficiency & many ‘drive to digital’ initiatives. At many times in my career, I have felt the need to be a leader that leaves an impact, not just on the people you are working with but also on the other stakeholders (and that includes the end customers).

Oxford has been a dream university for me, as it is for so many of us. My goal to come to Oxford was simple, to meet and learn from the experiences of people. We often underestimate the power of other people’s point of view because we are focused on sharing our experiences. The most beautiful thing about the Oxford MBA and why I was drawn to this program is that this place gives you the opportunity to meet and learn from people who might be doing something completely different from what you are. The college system at Oxford gives you access to a community where you will meet people who might be lawyers, physicists, doctors, politicians… (the list is endless) and form bonds for life.

What have you done to prepare yourself for the MBA?

To prepare myself the Oxford MBA, I went to the best bet – The Alums. I spoke and connected with multiple students from the previous cohorts and learnt about their time at the program. I spoke to them about the electives they would recommend, the pubs that had the best food, things to avoid etc. I think speaking to them has made me better prepared from the journey.

What do you hope to gain from completing your MBA?

Meaningful connections.

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

The most common, and truthfully, the best advice I received was to take time off from work before commencing the MBA. There is so much happening around the university, not just your course, that you will always feel the need to be “present”, which can get a little overwhelming sometimes.

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

  1. Just be yourself. While this might feel like an extremely vague advice to some, I can assure you that if there is one thing that the people here truly value the most, it’s your ‘uniqueness’. Whether it’s your successes or your failures, don’t shy away from sharing what you have learnt from those experiences.
  2. Speak to the alumni. They are the ones who have been through the process and know what it is like, what kind of people the school is looking for and how you might be able to articulate your work better. I cannot emphasise on this point enough!

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

Personally, I am really looking forward to the Matriculation Ceremony (for those who might not know, this is a ceremony where you are ‘officially’ enrolled into the University of Oxford). Dressing up in the traditional sub fusc and walking into the Sheldonian theatre to experience this magical moment is something that I have been waiting for.

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

Balancing my time spent in different activities. Like I mentioned before, there is always so much happening around the university, whether it’s some debate, punting, case competitions, formal dinners or a quiz night in a random, old pub. To prioritize and deal with the FOMO would be the real challenge.

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

Oxford is a big advocate of sustainability and impact. It’s very easy to see the ideology immersed in the core of the course, whether it’s through main subjects or the projects such as GOTO (Global Opportunities and Threats Oxford). During my time here, I hope to learn from my talented classmates and apply my learnings in the corporate world. We, as leaders of tomorrow, need to start thinking about the future now. If we all do our bit, we can collective bring the change!

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

There are countless number of societies and clubs at Oxford, and it almost doesn’t feel fair that I need to choose a few. Keeping the time commitment at the business school in mind, I wish to be a part of the Oxford Women in Leadership Alliance and Oxford Student’s Union. I also wish to be a part of the Art Club!

Find out more about the Oxford MBA and start your application today.
Back to top of article

Share this post:

follow us in feedly