Meet The Oxford Saïd MBA Class of 2016

Tana Jambaldorj

Tana Jambaldorj

Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Hometown: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Undergraduate School and Major: Harvard College, A.B. in Economics with Secondary Field in East Asian Studies

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: I first spent two years with Rio Tinto in Australia as a Business Analyst, first with the Technology & Innovation division and then at Northparkes Mines (a copper and gold mine). From there, I joined Oyu Tolgoi LLC, a copper and gold mine in my home country Mongolia that is managed by Rio Tinto, as a Value Chain Strategy Analyst.

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? I followed Beat the GMAT’s 60-day study guide and found it very effective- I followed it strictly for the two months, took the test once, and achieved my target score. You can use any other study plan or create your own, but I found the consistency and structure of a strong plan and clear timeframe to be key. Initially, committing 3-4 hours daily (and more on weekends) alongside full-time work was challenging, but once I got into a rhythm, it even became enjoyable to an extent!

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? While it was tempting to try and apply to as many schools as possible, I found it would be too time-consuming and would compromise the quality of my applications. Each school has its own set of essay questions and requirements that often don’t overlap with that of other schools, so each application requires a lot of individual time and attention. So, it is best to spend the time at the start defining your personal objectives for business school and researching schools that can best serve your interests. I ended up deciding on four schools. Also, I found that it is best to apply to all your schools in the same round. Otherwise, you will find yourself having to make a decision on some schools before you’ve heard back from the rest.

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? The application process is very time-consuming, so it’s best to go in with a clear plan with staged deadlines. Once you get the GMAT out of the way, essays will take up the bulk of your time, but you definitely need to set aside enough time for seemingly straightforward things like gathering and scanning all necessary documents and uploading and submitting the applications.

For the essays, it was really helpful for me to first brainstorm the personal qualities and stories that I wanted to portray in my application. Then, I could use the various assigned topics to tell these stories. Once they were written, I had several different friends read them and provide honest input over multiple drafts. Having a number of people that know me well read the essays was great because they each had unique insights that became invaluable to forming the final drafts. Similarly, I found practicing for admission interviews with different people (preferably those who had already been through the MBA admission process) to be very helpful.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I was very drawn to the Oxford MBA’s focus on social entrepreneurship and its culturally and professionally diverse student body. As someone from a developing country, I am always interested in learning from the experiences of others around the world and identifying opportunities that can be implemented in Mongolia. I feel like Said Business School, along with the wider Oxford University community, offers a unique program to achieve my goals as an aspiring entrepreneur who plans to return to Mongolia after graduation.  Furthermore, I was very fortunate to be a recipient of one of two Global Shapers Community Scholarships the School is offering to MBAs.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? My goals for my MBA are to hone my business idea and receive input from leading thinkers and businesspeople and have the chance to expand my global network. However, ultimately I am looking forward to an unforgettable year meeting new people in a dynamic environment, embedded within one of the leading and most historic academic institutions in the world.

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