Meet The Oxford Saïd MBA Class of 2016

Matt McGrath

Matt McGrath

Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Hometown: Brookline, Massachusetts

Undergraduate School and Major: Vanderbilt University (BA Political Science)

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Albright Stonebridge Group (Director; previously Associate, Special Assistant)

The White House (Intern, Office of the Vice President)

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Test performance is a function of preparation and timing. I took both the GRE and the GMAT, and always thought of the tests like training for a race. You first want to learn the course and then run a few practice races. A key element is timing; you want your performance to peak on—or as close to—test day as possible.  I actually took the GMAT about two weeks after my performance had peaked. Having talked to friends about this, I think the ideal amount of time to prepare for the GMAT is about two months.

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? An MBA is meant to help your long-term career, so identify the schools you would want as a long-term partner.  Spend time upfront researching and identifying the schools that have the people, curriculum, and resources to support your career mission. If you aspire to make a career in infrastructure investment, for example, find the school with the most expertise that will support your mission and remain relevant on a 20-year basis.

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? No regrets!  Be visionary and bold in your applications. You don’t want to look back in a year’s time and wish you had done something differently.  I’m really glad that I didn’t hold back in my applications – even those that were not successful.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I chose Oxford because I think it is the most forward-thinking business school and offers a view of global markets that is well-suited to the next 20 years of business. This is reflected in Said Business School’s mission, to educate leaders who will take on world-scale challenges, and its curriculum, which includes the innovative Global Opportunities and Threats Oxford (GOTO) program.  This focus on global macro issues resonates deeply with my background at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global consultancy advising on issues arising at the intersection of the public, private and social sectors.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? As global markets become more complex and volatile, having command of the “global CEO’s toolkit” – people, capital, information and technology – will become ever more important.  I look forward to getting much smarter on all four of these dimensions and applying each to help build our global firm.

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