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!

  • Tesla

    For DPhil, yes, For Politics, Economics, Social sciences, yes, but for professional degrees such as MBA, No, it is not a dream school. In fact, I don’t believe in any european based mba.

  • Yaniv

    University of Oxford, undergrad, MPhil programs, DPhil, are all different than the MBA program there. The Mckinsey chairman and CEO is a DPhil graduate and he still believe that the MBA there is way behind Indiana and CMU, let alone Darden or Tuck.

  • Mhier

    Dream university. Dream program. But I don’t think I have what Oxford is looking for in a candidate.
    Oxford Said is better than Yale SOM or Dartmouth Tuck and such school.

  • C. Taylor

    Correct.

  • Brad Headley

    I thought that the two “classes” of students’ pay excluded from salary reports were 1) sponsored students returning to their previous employer and 2) students engaging in entrepreneurial activities after business school.

  • C. Taylor

    No.

    “These aspects of the school have always been its pride but also curse when it comes to rankings”

  • Sandra McNeal

    Oxford is undoubtedly best in the world for Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship – two career tracks that generally provide comparatively low starting salaries. These aspects of the school have always been its pride but also curse when it comes to rankings, which generally are based on very skewed statistics.

  • C. Taylor

    Oxford is currently somewhere between Yale and McCombs, depending on your purposes.

    EU guys don’t have to score as high on the GMAT, so they don’t bother. This fake ‘MBA-Recruiting’ guy is trying to mislead you on a number of points.

  • MBA-Recruiting

    Well, for me it is obvious that Oxford MBA is totally different thing than Oxford University other degree programs. MBA is new thing to both Oxford and Cambridge. In fact, both business schools of Said and Judge are not yet accredited by the AACSB. They are very new. They are just like the Carey business school of the great university of JH. People in business world, and people who know MBAs, know that both MBA programs of Oxbridge are mature yet. They need time. They, however, got an unmatched asset of the brand of Oxford and Cambridge, and they need to build very smart on it. But, the reality is that MBA industry is changing and there are lots of good players with mature, and already established alumni base and stable recruiting clients.
    It was not surprise for me that Oxford MBA did so poor in the marketplace. Go to MBB recruiting websites, and you will find that they recruit from Oxbridge for undergrad and other degrees, not the MBA. The Cambridge MPhil in finance is its flagship, most prestigious program, not the MBA. Oxford PPP is its most prestigious program, not the MBA. Keep in mind that, MBA is really really an american thing and highly regarded by the american corporations, continental european companies prefer Master of management degrees at schools like HEC Paris, ST Gallen, etc.. MBA is seen as executive thing. In england, the good business professional would have done his/her undergrad at Oxbridge and MBA at INSEAD, LBS, or M7 in US, it is quite rare to find someone with oxbridge undergrad will back to his/her alma mater for MBA. Also, keep in mind that the employment numbers of Cambridge are also comparable to Oxford, the difference is that Cambridge manipulated the figures by adjusting to PPP, and therefore numbers looked bigger ! anyway, I always say, for anyone want real and genuine MBA experience, to do it in US, any top 30 MBA program will provide much much better experience than any other non-US school including those of INSEAD, LBS, and IE. Just look at any employment report of any top 30 american school, Vanderbilt, USC MArshall, INDIANA, Emory, ..etc to see the very obvious difference.

  • Brad Headley

    Can someone please explain to me Oxford Said’s poor performance in employment statistics? It baffles me. Any U.S. business school in Top 25 seems to outperform Oxford MBA graduates in terms of starting salary, % hired, etc. Why?