Yale School of Management
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: British, chartered accountant; spent the last year working in northern Iraq in oil & gas
Hometown: London, UK
Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve had the privilege to visit 43 countries, with Cuba and Cambodia topping my list as favorites.
Undergraduate School and Major: King’s College London, Computer Science
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: After a gap year’s travel post-graduation, I joined Baker Tilly, a financial services firm in London, where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant. After some great client experiences in oil and gas, I took a role with Afren, a British oil company, as an accountant focusing on operations in East and West Africa. I was offered the chance to transfer within the organization from London to Houston, with an internal promotion, in order to bridge a communications gap between offices. In late 2015, I moved from Texas to Erbil in northern Iraq, taking up a role at Gulf Keystone Petroleum as a consultant in FP&A, tasked with improving management reporting and financial analysis.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: A highlight has been presenting financial information to government committees, senior management of partner companies, and high-net worth stakeholders (think Forbes rich list). As someone who isn’t a naturally inclined professional speaker, being out of my comfort zone in that setting was a big accomplishment.
Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? The adcom wants to get to know you and understand the ‘why’ just as much as the ‘what’. Really contemplate the professional and personal decisions that have led you to apply to b-school and the motivations behind those decisions.
If you’re aiming for a top GMAT score, I’d encourage you to view the questions as tests of logic and reasoning rather than simply as math or English problems – and, of course, practice, practice, practice.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Yale SOM’s mission is to educate leaders for business and society. Working in the oil industry in Africa and the Middle East, I can attest to the potential that mission has to improve lives, which definitely drew me to the school. Additionally, as an international student, the Yale brand’s association with excellence is world-famous, and so SOM’s deep integration with its parent university was a big draw, as was the amount of international opportunities for study and networking.
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My long-term goal is to be part of the management team of an internationally focused energy company – one which positively impacts the communities in which it operates. There are a few routes to get there, and so in the short-term I’m really looking forward to exploring the possibilities that the Yale MBA provides to achieve my ambitions.
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I’d like my peers to feel that I enriched their time at SOM by bringing diverse international experience to discussions, and for them to agree that I took full advantage of the many opportunities available at Yale.