2024 MBAs Abroad: Aditi Angiras, University of Oxford (Saïd)

Aditi Angiras

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford

Home City and Country: New Delhi, India

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Yara International, Senior Manager – Social Impact (India) & Impact Communication (Asia & Africa)

How has studying business in the United Kingdom enriched your learning experience? The global perspective I’m gaining is invaluable. With classmates and professors from all corners of the world, understanding diverse viewpoints and cross-cultural dynamics has added crucial context to business concepts learned. Group projects and discussions are far more nuanced thanks to this worldwide wisdom in the classroom. We’re at 51% female in this cohort, which in itself is such an enriching experience.

The UK’s position as Europe’s financial and business hub offers unparalleled access to major corporate headquarters, startups, investors and more. This ecosystem strongly complements in-class teaching, through projects, internships, and networking at industry events.

What has been the toughest transition to living in the United Kingdom so far? What have you done to overcome this difficulty? The biggest transition has been adapting to the weather in the UK, coming from a tropical country where it is sunny most days. The frequent rain and changing temperatures took some adjusting, especially impacting my health and well-being initially.

Realizing the strong link between weather, health, and the ability to fully focus on my academics and social life, I am prioritizing finding ways to take better care. Joining an outdoor university sports club is next on my agenda to not let weather limit my activities.

What school service has been the most helpful in transitioning to living in the United Kingdom? How has it helped you adapt? The MBA administration team at the business school has been tremendously helpful in my transition to living and studying in the UK. Right from the application process to after arriving on campus, they have provided extensive guidance and support – be it scholarships, visa-related, or registering with a doctor.

The two-week intensive induction session after arriving was invaluable in orienting myself to the MBA experience. Through various workshops, talks, and social mixers, I gained deeper insight into the coursework, career opportunities as well as other aspects of life as an Oxford student.

What has been the most interesting cultural nuance of people living in the United Kingdom? Why has this struck you? The incredible diversity and global mindedness across the UK, especially in university towns like Oxford, has been the most striking cultural facet since moving here. Despite students coming from vastly different backgrounds, there is a warmth and politeness that immediately provides a sense of belonging. Additionally, there is vibrant participation in cultural events, from concerts and museums to food festivals, that draw locals and students alike.

Are you seeking a Visa to work in the United Kingdom after graduation? If so, what obstacles have you faced and how did you overcome them? Yes, I intend to apply for the Graduate route visa to work in the UK after finishing my master’s degree. As an Indian student, this visa presents a valuable opportunity to gain work experience here, which would otherwise be difficult without the automatic right to work.

Thus far, I have faced no major obstacles in planning to apply thanks to the straightforward eligibility criteria – completing my degree in the UK and holding a valid student visa. The application process also seems convenient with online forms and 8 weeks standard processing.

Overall, the Graduate route removes barriers for international students like me, especially from the Global South.

What have you done to make it easier to make friends with people from outside your home country at business school? I decided to get a head start on this by organizing a pre-MBA weekend getaway to Edinburgh with my new classmates. I knew that once lectures and assignments kicked in, we’d have little time left to connect, especially with people outside our cultural comfort zones.

Over a third of our diverse class joined me to explore Scotland before campus life kicked off—the perfect icebreaker! Chatting over haggis or hiking to Arthur’s Seat, the informal setting and activities let us bond without pressure.

My co-planners spanned nationalities too, letting us collaborate and get to know each other better before we even departed! Who knew harmonizing hotel choices and logistics could yield such cross-cultural connections? Judging by the enduring relationships forged, this investment clearly paid dividends across a global spectrum of my peers.

What piece of advice would you give to an international student looking to study in a UK graduate business program? While academic excellence is key, be sure to fully immerse yourself in everything this cross-cultural experience offers.

Join diverse university societies to expand your social circle beyond the usual bubbles we often unconsciously inhabit.  Some of your most rewarding relationships may come from those whose backgrounds vastly differ from yours but where you discover kindred spirits.

Make the most of weekends without coursework to explore the UK. Wander off the tourist trail to uncover where locals unwind – Cotswold, Bath, even Cambridge.


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