2019 Best & Brightest MBAs: Sergio M Navarro, University of Oxford (Saïd)

Sergio M Navarro

Oxford Saïd Business School

Motivated and determined entrepreneur, innovator, and future surgeon with global experience in healthcare, technology, and finance.”

Hometown: Pella, Iowa, United States

Fun fact about yourself: I have hiked in six of the seven continents.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Ancient and Medieval Studies

Baylor College of Medicine, MD, Global Health

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Goldman Sachs, VP, Finance Division.

Where will you be working after graduation? Orthopedic surgical resident, United States.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Saïd Business School Alumni Annual Fund Scholar, 2018-19
  • Trinity College Saïd MBA Scholar, 2018-19
  • Trinity College Research Award Grant, 2019
  • Global Anaesthetic Surgery and Obstetric Collaborative Annual Meeting, Top Research Presentation, 2018
  • NDORMS, OOEC and Global Orthopedics Groups, Research Fellow
  • Saïd Business School, Strategy and Innovation, Research Assistant
  • Saïd Business School, 2018-19, Impact Lab Fellow

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? One notable achievement has been being selected as one of Oxford’s Impact Lab program fellows. The Impact Lab is a co-curricular pathway including modules, leadership development, and an impact investment boot camp. After a tough selection process that gathered Saïd’s most talented global innovators, leaders, businesspeople, and future social entrepreneurs, I was selected to participate in this year’s cohort and help form the new curriculum and shape the direction of the Impact Lab in the future.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My proudest career achievement has been my transition from the world of business finance into the world of healthcare. It was a decision that required sacrifice, courage and perseverance, and one that has helped me grow tremendously as a person and a professional. The transition has helped how individuals persevere through adversity to follow their goals. It has opened exciting new doors in my life, including being a co-founder of AUGMENTx, a medical company specializing in augmented reality rehabilitation.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Marc Ventresca. He provides real-life examples of innovation across industries and teaches by engaging and challenging at a personal level. He is devoted to teaching us in new methods and practical approaches to management and strategy, as well as introducing relevant recent topics in strategy. Taking his courses has changed my perception of the world and helped me grow as a healthcare innovator and strategist.

What was your favorite MBA Course? My favorite MBA course has been Impact Lab, which is an experiential course that teaches students how to transform business and society by first changing themselves. My biggest takeaways from the class were to understand better what I want in my life, how I picture myself as a person and businessman, and what role I want to have in the society, as an innovator and social entrepreneur in healthcare.

Why did you choose this business school? Oxford is a beacon for innovation, academic excellence, and entrepreneurship in the world. I chose Oxford to gain from its expertise in responsible business and its leadership in innovation and social entrepreneurship, in addition to its opportunities in healthcare globally.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be genuine and tell recruitment who you are and what you hope to accomplish at Saïd. Be yourself in the application process, and seek to define what makes you different from the rest, whether in terms of your life ambitions or outlining the things in your life that have helped you grow and learn.

Think back a year ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? I wish I had known about the terrific opportunities to work with colleagues and, faculty, both at the business school and the greater University of Oxford campus were, as well as the extent of transformation that the MBA program would provide as a launch pad to work and engage with other entrepreneurs and innovators in the field of healthcare. With a small group of talented individuals within the program, we have been able to create a prototype healthcare application for use at AUGMENTx that will use machine learning technology to help surgeons and hospitals make better informed clinical decisions.

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past year, how has business school been transformative for you? Oxford and I share a common vision in that we want to create, inspire, and lead in a global setting, being able to see and drive change. My time at Oxford has been transformative as I have been able to learn both from the course and my future classmates, open myself up to a wider set of influences, allowing me to combine healthcare, engineering, and finance by bridging innovation from initial vision to final impact.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Our class is incredibly talented and diverse, but I most admire Garang Dut, a friend and surgeon, who worked with Atul Gawande at Harvard before Oxford and grew up worlds away in Kenya. He fled war-torn South Sudan in his childhood, to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor, and is a leader in our MBA program. His resilience to overcome obstacles and determination to pursue his dreams, by becoming the best version of himself, is an example to all of us at Oxford.

What is your favorite movie about business? Margin Call.

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean? GIIRS which is pronounced ‘Gears” and stands for the Global Impact Investing Rating System.

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…continuing to learn from leaders in their field, both in the operating room and collaborating on research opportunities to extend knowledge and open avenues for innovation.”

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? For the overall experience at Oxford along with the lifelong friends and colleagues I’ve made this past year: priceless.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? My top two are currently trekking the Annapurna Circuit to Everest Base Camp and successfully summiting Mount Kilamanjaro.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As an engineer, entrepreneur, and surgeon pursuing his dream of creating a more equal world using innovation and technology, as well as a good friend and colleague.

Hobbies?  Hiking, traveling, lacrosse, and surfing.

What made Sergio such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Sergio is an inspirational MBA candidate who is driven in his desire to use technology, data, and medicine to change the world for the better.

Very few people succeed in reaching the top echelons of the finance industry, but fewer still would then commit to such a profound career change as Sergio has. This brave move typifies his personality and ambition and demonstrates his commitment to solving world-scale problems. We are proud to have Sergio in our cohort this year.”

Ian Rogan

MBA programme director



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