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Meet The Oxford Saïd MBA Class Of 2017

Sagar Doshi

University of Oxford, Saïd Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: In love and loved, irreverent, energetic, future-focused, technophilic, intentional, companionable, joyful, and hungry.

Hometown: Long Grove, IL

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve always loved games of all sorts. In particular, I’ve never grown out of a childhood love of video games. In fact, I strongly believe that video games can be used to tell stories that no other medium can, and to share experiences that are more visceral than those of any other. In fact I’ve spent the last few months trying to actually build games myself. Haven’t made too many yet, but here’s what I have so far: beroshi.itch.io. Let me know what you think!

Undergraduate School and Major: Stanford University, Political Science

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • African Leadership Academy – Tech Advisor (short-term)
  • US Federal Communications Commission – Special Assistant to the Chairman
  • Protocol Link, Inc – Partner, Business Development
  • Google – Product Specialist, Mobile
  • Google – Account Manager, Partnerships

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Being part of the team at the FCC that passed the Open Internet rules. Those are the regulations that safeguarded net neutrality for all Americans. It helps us keep our Internet an even playing field, with the lowest possible barriers to entry. It unlocks innovation and new business ideas in the US for years to come.

I served in the government as an aide to the Chairman of the FCC. I got to see every part of this challenging, fascinating debate over an incredibly complex issue, and I’m so proud of our outcome.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Do you have a hypothesis of how you might want to spend your life? Have you considered the highs and lows of your life and understood why they felt that way? Have you identified at least three potential career paths that get you excited? Have you really, honestly figured out what values matter most to you?

Don’t go to business school without reflection. Business schools the world over offer you so much to do, but it’s also easy just to be swayed by social momentum if you don’t have yourself figured out. I wish reflection about one’s own strengths, weaknesses, sector interests, and functional interests were a part of every undergraduate experience, but it’s not.

We’ve so often been told to pursue our passions, but not all of us have a clear idea of what that means. Set aside a little bit of time to go through activities like the Flower Exercise from books like What Color Is Your Parachute? If physically write down your answers, you’ll be better off. Then, when your MBA comes around, you’ll know exactly what to zero in on.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? No major business school can match the powerhouse of diversity that Oxford Saïd offers. It’s not just lip service. More than 90% of our student body comes from outside the UK. The biggest subgroup is North America, but North Americans don’t even squeak past a quarter of the class. I’ve met classmates who have run anti-trafficking nonprofits, wearable tech incubators, and even oil rigs. A disproportionately large number of students want to go into social impact careers. If you want to surround yourself with people who will teach you from a wide range of angles, this school is the place.

Furthermore, the college system at Oxford (think Harry Potter houses, where your social and sport life is in your house, while your academic work happens in a mixed environment outside) means that you share meals with people with entirely intellectual perspectives than you. In my college, I’ve met students in music, linguistics, medieval history, astrophysics, applied math, theology, and computer science. Many of these people actually share my interests, while arriving there from their own unique direction. The best innovation happens at the juxtaposition of unalike ideas, and this university breeds that mix. In many business schools, not only do the students generally come from just a couple traditional industries, but the business school itself is often isolated from the rest of the university. Not so here. Oxford Saïd is intensely, proudly, and intentionally interdisciplinary, and all of the MBAs get to reap the benefits.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? Product Manager or Game Producer at Oculus/Facebook.

After working at Google (and loving it), I realized that I get a huge blast of motivation from feeling like my work is at the cutting edge of our civilization. That’s grandiose, of course, but I’d much rather work on big, risky projects for new markets or ideas that aren’t entirely viable yet than on projects that are a more assured.

The FCC taught me about the cycles of media technology and what the future of the Internet might hold. For me, that future is an immersive, ubiquitous Internet. Virtual and augmented reality are quite flashy right now, but for good reason! I buy into Mark Zuckerberg’s bet.

I’d love to work for Oculus, but smaller VR or game studios would also be extremely exciting for me. In fact, I’d probably prefer smaller teams that are growing fast. Please let me know if you have any ideas!

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? Sagar is a great friend! And more importantly, he’s a good person. He’s lots of fun, reliable, and trustworthy. I can’t wait to work with him sometime soon.

  • geoff elliott

    An interesting discussion. however, how do reconcile that most business schools teach/replicate 1970s/80 Anglo?US management models and concepts which are invariably reductionist and analytical. they are predicated on the Cartesian paradigm

  • Spartan 22

    I imagine that being a 1-yr program makes it more difficult for career switchers to get placed. Also, Europe is in a bit of an economic “down” period (particularly places such as Spain, Italy, France, etc). Your best bet remains a top 15 U.S. based program unless you’re adamant on working in Europe

  • radish

    It was Steve Ballmer NOT paul allen!

  • tamix

    I heard he was a saudi businessman with a controversial business career in arm dealing and other questionable things. The students union and many faculties and professors and alumni of Oxford protested such degrade and urged the university to decline the fund, but they couldn’t find any alumni who can fund a business school. Cambridge has managed to get its business school named after one great alumni, but oxford could not. Many attribute this to the unloyal alumni and weak network nature of european schools in general. Partially because they are public, but essentially it is a cultural thing. I heard also that the current dean has persuaded Paul Allen of microsoft to donate to the school to name it after him, but he refused.

  • DD

    Comes from a syrian businessman named Wafic Said who donated funds to start the business school at Oxford.

  • Rimond

    What does the word of “Said” mean ?!

  • thor

    Not even the INSEAD or LBS program?

    No offense, I agree the top US programs (HBS, Stanford GSB, Wharton, Haas, Sloan, etc) are stronger. But I think your general view on European business education is myopic. Perhaps that’s caused by your lack of exposure to, or lack of knowledge about, European business schools.
    The only advantage I can see of attending a top US b-school is its ability to send its graduates to top banks and consulting firms, which I admit, they offer very lucrative remuneration packages to fresh MBA graduates. But other than that, I think there’s no clear advantage of attending a top US b-school vs a top European b-school. I don’t think the scope, lectures, professors, level of difficulty (standards), students or facilities vary significantly that an MBA candidate can confidently differentiate any major distinction favoring the top US b-schools.
    I’ve visited Oxford-Said, Cambridge-Judge, LBS, Warwick, Manchester and LSE (which doesn’t offer MBA but is also an excellent choice for those who want a career in banking and finance), and I’m quite impressed with Oxford Said, Cambridge-Judge, Warwick and LSE (in that order) the most.
    Personally, I’d go for Oxford or Cambridge if I can’t get into what I consider the top 5 MBA programs in the world: Stanford GSB, HBS, Berkeley-Haas, Wharton and MIT-Sloan. Meaning to say, Oxford-Said and Cambridge-Judge are, for me, the better choices than Chicago-Booth, Kellogg and Tuck. But then again, I’m one of those who think Yale-SOM and Columbia are better choices than Booth, Kellogg and Tuck.

  • josh

    It is quite surprising that the GMAT range starts from 550 while in their website they say the threshold for admission is 600 !!

  • Hayward78

    Which points? The post’s points seem valid!