Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
After spending a magical year at Oxford, Daniel Drummer is returning to McKinsey, brimming with ideas and energy. And you could consider his time away a year well spent. During his time at Saïd, Drummer was elected to be the investment manager for the business school’s Seed Investment Fund. Further, he heads the Venture Capital team at the Oxford Business Network for Private Equity. He also led his team to a final round appearance at the Wharton LBO Challenge in New York City and organized the NextB2B Forum, a leading startup conference, in both Frankfurt and London.
Hometown: Stuttgart, Germany
Undergraduate School: Frankfurt School of Finance and Management
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor degree in International Business, Master degree (LL.M.) in Corporate Law
Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I started my career in London at the Investment Banking division of RBS. Later, I took over a business management role for the CEO of Western Europe. Following this strategic role, I joined McKinsey & Company in their Financial Institutions and Private Equity Practice.
Where will you be working after graduation? I will return to McKinsey & Company. The time at business school has reassured me that this is a great place to work. Yet, I will come back with lots of new ideas, eager to bring them to fruition. I will take on a more senior role and internally shift focus, getting involved in building the digital/big data capabilities of the firm.
“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I came to Oxford for the first time. The magic this place entices is hard to describe.”
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…Richer as measured in British pounds, but infinitesimally poorer in terms of friendships, experience and clarity on my future path.”
What are your long-term professional goals? I want to help drive innovation, especially in the financial system. I am fascinated by working with or within disruptive companies and helping them succeed.
Favorite Courses: Rethinking Business – a course that fundamentally challenges the underlying assumptions of the ‘rules of the game’ for international business. It combines elements from economics, history, politics and even philosophy.
Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? One of my most successful professional projects was an engagement for a European retail bank. I was leading the working team on the ground. The CEO had set extremely ambitious goals that we should help achieve. The challenge was to drive both digital innovation and cultural change at the same time – all within a rather conservative organisation. Over five months, we worked very hard and closely together with various teams across the organization. At the end of the year, it was great to see: The retail division had more than doubled its net profit and even overachieved the set targets. Until today, I have stayed in close touch with key contacts from the client side – always remembering those crazy months…
Who would you most want to thank for your success? My grandparents. They have always been my role model, having instilled an attitude of hard work in me, while always staying grateful and humble.
Why did you choose this business school? Saïd Business School’s focused one-year MBA program seemed very compelling to me. It also provided the opportunity to become part of Oxford University, one of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions. With its focus on entrepreneurship, private equity and venture capital, I chose Saïd over other schools – and never regretted it!
What did you enjoy most about business school? The people. Within the MBA, I was lucky to make friends with many class mates which will last far beyond our time here. And even beyond the business school –Oxford’s unique college system ensures that I meet a variety of people outside the MBA program. I usually have dinner every night with academics from all fields and subjects, enjoying conversations about neuroscience, quantum computing or the real story of Mozart’s death.
What is your most memorable moment from business school? Talking to Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, about regulation in Europe, wondering – how did I end up in this conversation…
Fun fact about yourself: Back in high school, I won an eating competition, successfully handling 1.5 kg of German ‘schnitzel’…
Favorite book: The Bible keeps being a great source of inspiration, wisdom and challenge for me. On a more modern note, Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace is still one of my all term highlights.
Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction. When it comes to movies, Quentin Tarantino is my hero.
Favorite musical performer: Art Tatum – in my humble opinion, the best jazz pianist the world has ever seen.
Favorite television show: ‘Last Week Tonight’ with John Oliver – his ability to address complex social issues and make you laugh and think at the same time is incomparable.
Favorite vacation spot: I have a special love for Asian countries. But just to relax for a while, I love the US West coast. Whenever time allows, I am visiting friends in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, enjoying the sun, the entrepreneurial spirit and the unpretentious way of life.
What are your hobbies? I love music – so much that I even transported my piano from Germany to Oxford. I am also passionate about sports, playing in my college’s football (soccer) team and being part of Oxford University’s Polo Club. And whenever I have free time, I travel. Next stop on the list: the Democratic Republic of Congo.
What made Daniel such an invaluable addition to the class of 2015?
“Daniel Drummer has achieved an outstanding academic record on the programme thus far, and has been an active member of the Oxford Saïd Seed Fund. Daniel has generously shared his expertise and knowledge on new venture formation with his peers and has made other generous contributions of his talents to the class.”
– Dana Brown, Director of the Oxford MBA