Meet The Oxford Saïd MBA Class of 2016

Alexia Doyamis

Alexia Doyamis

Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Hometown: Garden City, New York, US

Undergraduate School and Major: New York University, Political Science and European & Mediterranean Studies

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Deutsche Bank – Client Analyst, Business Analyst

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE?  The GMAT requires significant preparation and dedication. I do recommend a prep course, if possible, but at the end of the day it is a strategy test. Do practice exams or questions to get a handle on (1) How the GMAT phrases their questions (i.e. what are they really asking?) and (2) To learn how to work faster and more strategically. What do I mean by more strategically? You may think you know how to solve a problem, but if you also know that this topic or type of problem usually takes you 4 minutes instead of 1-2 minutes, don’t waste your time. Make an educated guess, and move on. Knowing that it is OK to not answer every question and to take the test more strategically was the hardest thing for me to really get a handle on during test prep.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? The best piece of advice I was given is that you should only apply to schools you would actually want to go to. B-school selection varies dramatically from applying to undergraduate university in that there is no need for ‘safety’ and ‘reach’ schools. If you don’t get into the programs you actually want, you simply don’t go that year. This was a real epiphany for me. So, do adequate research and visit if you can. At the end of the day, only apply to the schools and programs that interest you. It is an investment in your future, and don’t get bogged down by rankings and prestige if you can’t actually see yourself going there.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? Go in with a plan of attack. It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process, especially with the numerous application rounds most schools offer. Choose your favorite schools to apply early (round 1 or 2), and put in the effort to make those applications outstanding. Do your research into your school’s specific program and use your essays to explain why their program would most benefit you. Also, have short- and long-term goals for after B-school – and use your essays to really highlight how a program would help your reach these goals. Interviews are a great way to put a face to a name, so my only suggestion is that you prepare as you would for any other interview. Finally, regarding recommendation letters, my one piece of advice is only to give your selected recommenders plenty of time and give them all the necessary details from the onset.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? There are so many different reasons why I choose Oxford Saïd – I was looking for a European school. I wanted a renowned university. The one-year program was attractive as I wouldn’t be out from the job market for too long, and their focus on social innovation (in particular the Skoll Centre) was exactly the type of program I was looking for.

However, these are the reasons I applied to Oxford Saïd. The reason I choose to enter into the 2015-2016 class was ultimately because of the people – both the people who worked at the school and who I interacted with during this process – as well as the other MBA candidates who I met over the past few months. During the application process, I appreciated that I wasn’t just a number. From the beginning, I was receiving personal emails from the recruiting team and they were always available to assist and answer any questions. Furthermore, I attended several Oxford Saïd events and met many potential classmates, and I was in awe at the caliber of the individuals that were entering into the program. Everyone has an amazing story, and even greater goals, and I am honored to be amongst them.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? My biggest fear for next year is that there just won’t be enough time to do everything I want. In actuality this is entirely possible! The program and the university have so much to offer, and choosing what to prioritize will certainly be a challenge over the first few months. Ultimately, because I want to change careers after finishing my MBA, the biggest achievement for me would be to set out next September confident in my career trajectory, armed with the knowledge and skill sets acquired over the past year to get me there.

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