Laura Aristizábal Borrero
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
“Lawyer and business consultant with a passion for social impact, politics and serendipity.”
Hometown: Bogota, Colombia
Fun Fact About Yourself: I have more than 130 K Twitter followers.
Undergraduate School and Major: Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogota)- Lawyer with a specialization in Public Law.
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: McKinsey & Company – Business Analyst
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Having a lawyer’s education, my greatest achievement was becoming a successful consultant who was faced with excel models, financial statements, macros and other topics that I did not study at undergraduate level.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Diversity in geographies, personalities and backgrounds. I’ve met doctors, lawyers, journalists and designers that are studying the MBA with me.
Aside from your classmates, 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? The University as a whole. Being part of a prestigious university like Oxford not only gives you an academic degree but also allows you to be part of all the curricular and extracurricular activities of the university. Studying in a place like this, full of history and magic, is an experience that you can only have in a program like Oxford Saïd. It is a university whose prestige and academic level is known globally and in every field and I want that because I want to work with people who are not only business-oriented.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? The social impact lab. I want to focus my career in social impact and there is not a better place to do it than working with the Skoll Centre.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? With more than two years working as a lawyer, 3 years working as a consultant and with a background in law, this is the perfect moment to learn the skills that you need to work in business. I’ve learned those skills working for McKinsey, but I want to compliment my education with the theoretical components of an MBA.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? An MBA and most of all, an MBA in the University of Oxford is a life-changing experience academically, professionally and personally and that makes it worth the investment.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Dual programs with LLM in Columbia and INSEAD- Sorbonne.
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I prioritized the university and the diversity of the class. As tools to prioritize, I used conversations that I had with alumni, conversations with people at my Firm and my “feeling” towards the university and the recruitment teams and faculties. These conversations helped me also to research culture and to evaluate my fit with the University and with the program. When I talked with some of my mentors at my job and in my general life, I knew the Oxford MBA was a fit for my career goals.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? When I was studying law I did Consultorio Jurídico – the mandatory social work for law students and I realized that access to justice for poor people is not recognized by the population as a right but as a privilege and it is guaranteed in Colombia only by the Public Ministry and by the Consultorios Jurídicos. This leads to the fact that citizens who most need a lawyer, leave their cases in the hands of the most inexperienced people.
That moment shaped me because I understood that opportunities in life help you to “be more” but that only makes sense if you learn to serve better. Since then, my entire career has been focused on having a social impact on everything I do. The impact does not always have to be macro, it can simply consist of improving the lives of the people with whom I have contact on a day-to-day basis.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? I want to work in something related with social impact from the private or public sector.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself with my social enterprise or doing politics in Colombia, always looking to generate a social impact in my country.
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