Meet The Oxford Saïd MBA Class of 2016

Juan Gabriel Herrera Indacochea

Juan Gabriel Herrera Indacochea

Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Hometown: Lima, Peru

Undergraduate School and Major: Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas – UPC, Business and Marketing major

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • Ipsos – Market Research Analyst (2007 – 2009)
  • BCP – Market Research Specialist (2009 – 2013)
  • BCP – Multichannel Initiative Leader (2013 – 2014)
  • BCP – Electronic Channels Deputy Manager (2014 – 2015)
  • UPN – Market Research Professor (2012 – 2014)
  • UPC – Market Research Professor (2015)

Volunteer work:

  • TEDxTukuy – Special Project Director (2013 – 2015)
  • I.C. – Volunteer Advisor and Researcher (2013 – 2015)

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? First of all, be absolutely clear about why you are applying for the MBA. This is essential because in one moment you will find yourself trying to solve a geometry problem and you need to be sure what the bigger purpose is. Remember, as Simon Sinek describes in his famous TED talk when he describes his “golden circle,” “people don´t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Apply this principle to yourself.

Then, find your own pace for the process. You will speak to many people who will tell you their success formulas for getting a high GMAT or GRE scores. What I think will really help you is to spend some time finding the right place, the right time, the right music for you to feel comfortable, and create your own process for studying.

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? My advice is to fall in love with the schools you are considering applying to. I understand that ranking is important and it should be considered as part of the school profile, but not as a main characteristic. Rankings are more of an indication of how good they really are at delivering their academic promises. Take your time and do a lot of research, talk to as many alumni as possible, send them emails, meet them and understand how the school influenced them.

In my case, I wanted a school that shared my philosophy of finding business opportunities in relevant world issues and helping our societies prosper by making the best from such opportunities and that is why Oxford Saïd was the right match for me.

To sum up, I would say that finding the right list of schools is all about understanding who you are and what you want and matching those two with the school’s philosophy.

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? Enjoy the moment! After studying very hard for the tests you need to take, this part of the process is the one that will help you understand what it is that you are really looking for in a school. Take your time, forget about what you think is expected from you, give yourself the license to dream about any future you want to have and imagine how you would like to get there. This is an introspection moment for you, in which you will naturally put the pieces together of the journey you have had until this moment and the one you are about to begin. Finally, about the recommendation letters, ask people (current or former bosses especially) that know the skills that really make you unique and not necessarily the people who are better ranked in the organization they work for.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Firstly, I wanted to study in an English-speaking program because I knew that way I could meet people from many different backgrounds. At this point in my life, I have become familiar with the Latin-American and the US cultures, but I know little about European and Asian cultures. So, the UK became the perfect place to start looking for top MBA programmes.

When I found out about Oxford Saïd and the GOTO initiative, I immediately knew that it was the place for me, because of its philosophy to deal with the big issues the world is facing such as poverty, inclusion and demographic change and find business opportunities in order to create a better world. I am convinced that Oxford Saïd is the place where I will achieve all of my potential.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? My main goal is to widen my problem-solving scope, by working with students from different professional and cultural backgrounds. I also believe that the experiences working with different local and international projects will help me achieve this goal and understand how to make bigger and long-lasting impacts in the organizations I belong to professionally and as a volunteer.

Also, as a member of non-profit initiatives, I hope to learn how to scale the impact in order to provide more people with opportunities to develop the skills to leave poverty and become their own decision makers. I know that I will meet many people who are already involved in this kind of organization. I look forward to sharing our experience for mutual benefit, in order to create an international network of talented and inspired professionals, willing to work together for a cause that can create a relevant impact in society.

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