Meet Oxford Saïd’s MBA Class Of 2018

Ash Walker

Saïd Business School, University of Oxford 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Recovering lawyer whose promising sporting career was cut short by a severe lack of talent.

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Fun Fact About Yourself:  When I was a baby, Morgan Freeman took me from my mother’s arms and quietened me with his soothing voice after I disrupted the filming of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (starring Kevin Kostner) with my foghorn-like wail at a castle in France.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of New South Wales, Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Commerce

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Acting CEO – La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council

Corporate Advisory Lawyer – Gilbert + Tobin

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Although I worked on a number of market leading transactions at Gilbert + Tobin, I count my biggest accomplishments to be the various pro bono matters in which I played a meaningful role. An example of one such matter is that of a youth mentoring charity which needed to carry out an organisational restructure to allow it to be eligible to receive a substantial amount of government funding. The charity had received prior advice on a course of action which would have led to high transactional fees and stamp duty costs. After giving the situation a great deal of thought, my colleagues and I devised an approach which led to minimal transaction costs. This was not only a great result for the charity but also for the youth they mentored as it allowed for those funds to be directed towards much needed community programs.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? My single piece of advice I would give to future business school applicants is to make every effort to visit the business schools to which you are applying. Internet research is, of course, very useful, but I found that it is difficult to get a feel for a particular university unless you are right there on campus. I believe that talking to students, teaching staff and administrative staff on site is the best way to understand what makes a particular business school tick and work out which university is the best personal fit.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? My long-term career goal is to assist in establishing economic independence for my local community and the wider Aboriginal community. I was drawn to Saïd Business School by its unique ability to combine financial expertise with social impact to create an environment where business can be used as a vehicle to bring about meaningful and lasting change. I believe that studying an MBA at Saïd will assist in developing the financial acumen, corporate strategy and organisational leadership skills I need to reach my goal of using Aboriginal owned businesses to create wealth within Australian Aboriginal communities. 

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I realise that my long-term goal is rather lofty and understand that any positive change that I will be able to bring about will not be immediate. With this in mind, I will be content to be in a position where I am building my practical business skills by learning from leading professionals while dealing complex business issues. I have managed to secure a summer internship at Boston Consulting Group so am hopeful that I will be working in a full-time role in the Sydney office after completing my MBA.

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Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business

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University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business

Notre Dame University Mendoza College of Business

UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business

New York University Stern School of Business

University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business

University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business

MIT Sloan School of Management

University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Columbia Business School

INSEAD

Yale School of Management

University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management

UCLA Anderson School of Management

HEC Paris     

Emory University’s Goizueta Business School

Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

Harvard Business School

Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business

University of Washington’s Foster School of Business

University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management

University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flager Business School

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business

IE Business School

Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business

Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management

Washington University’s Olin Business School

University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School