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GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
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GMAT 700, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. South East Asian Product Manager
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GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Investor To Fintech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
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GMAT 600, GPA 3.2
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GMAT 710, GPA 7 out of 10 (top 15%)
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GMAT 750- first try so might retake for a higher score (aiming for 780), GPA Lower Second Class Honors (around 3.0)
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GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Colombian Sales Leader
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Emory Goizueta | Mr. Family Business Turned Consultant
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Meet the MBA Class of 2021: Olivia Xu, Imperial College

Olivia Xu

Imperial College Business School

I think I can describe it in two. Dessert Person.”

Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a fencer, and I used to fence competitively in high school.  I have many opinions about the merits of each weapon.  (Hint, foil is the superior weapon!)

Undergraduate School and Major: Amherst College, BA in Mathematics and Statistics, Pre-Medical

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Lose It!, Data Analyst

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Imperial’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school? Why was it so important to you? The most important aspect about Imperial’s MBA for me is the fact that the Business School is part of a larger, highly regarded STEM institution. Coming from a STEM background myself, it was important to me that I found a business school that would be able to make the most of my technical background and translate that well into business.

The second most important part about Imperial’s MBA that led to me applying is the small but diverse class sizes. I went to a small liberal arts college for my undergraduate degree, and there I found it much easier to make meaningful connections and feel like a part of the community. I wanted to emulate that experience for my graduate degree, so having a class size of less than 70 really means you can get to know everyone on a personal level.  Additionally, at Imperial, the class size does not mean a sacrifice in diversity, and it feels to me like there is no true majority in nationality or background.

What club or extracurricular activity excites you most at this school? I am currently on the committee of a new club called the Imperial MBA Women Club, which aims to form a community connecting MBA alumni and current MBA women across the different MBA programmes within the college.  From speaking with alumni in the previous class before mine, there was a need to form a club that connected MBA women across years, and I feel lucky to be here at the right time and place to help make that happen.  I’m also planning on joining the Energy & Sustainability Club, and the FMCG, Luxury, & Retail Club, as I wish to work at the intersection of sustainability and retail.  Outside of professional development, I love playing sports, so I plan on being an active member of the Snowsports club, the Fencing club, and the Swimming club.

What makes London such a great place to earn an MBA? How have you taken advantage of London to further your business education? Another main reason why I wanted to apply to Imperial’s MBA was the location. It is located right in the middle of London, with access to many fantastic opportunities. Because I’m interested in working in sustainability and retail, there are many companies that are based in London doing the work that I am passionate about, which means many opportunities for me to connect with like-minded people. From the beginning of the programme, I have been using my candidacy at Imperial to network and interview at companies that I would not have had access to otherwise. Along the same vein, I live close to a charity shop, so I am able to volunteer there once or twice a week, which has been an incredible opportunity to learn about how a second hand shop operates, as well as give back to the community. Besides coursework, I have filled my days off with sightseeing and learning about London’s rich history. There is plenty to do both by yourself and with classmates!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: At my previous employer, Lose It!, I was the designated analyst for the growth and marketing teams.  Towards the end of my time there, I built multiple dynamic dashboards for different user and financial metrics that were pertinent to each of the teams.  I used software that was new to my team, taught myself how to use it, and then was able to be the point person on the data science team to help troubleshoot my teammate’s issues.  Additionally, the dashboards allowed marketers to be more independent in their workflow, as well as be able to closely monitor metrics they had not been able to previously. Overall, it streamlined the process between data science and marketing, giving everyone more time to focus on more complex reporting.

Outside of my job title, I was also part of our in-house DEI team; I also formed and commanded an internal Green Team, and I started and led a monthly book club.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I wanted to pursue an MBA because I felt that I was at a turning point in my career. I had been working at one company for over three years, and I knew that staying there would mean more upward movement, making it harder for me to give up what I had built to start in a new industry. Knowing this, I tried my best to acquire as many technical skills as I could, since I knew I wanted to move out of the technical role into a more business role.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My defining moment was when my former workplace underwent an internal restructuring, and I was moved from the growth team to the data science team. Once that transition occurred, I realised I did not want to pursue a technical role for the rest of my life. That change inspired me to research going to business school, taking the GMAT, and starting to talk to people about business school and what it could do for me. Once I discovered Imperial and other STEM schools like Imperial, I knew I had found the right spot for me.