“Caring and passionate problem solver that loves to laugh and has a tendency for clumsiness.”
Hometown: Zurich, Switzerland
Fun Fact About Yourself: I can put both my feet behind my head without a warm-up – not a very useful skill but can be funny at parties when dared to demonstrate.
Undergraduate School and Major: I studied Management and Economics at the University of Zurich
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Associate (consultant) at McKinsey & Company
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Receiving an offer from a prestigious consulting firm such as McKinsey was a huge accomplishment for me at the time. This is especially true because of my background: graduating from a non-target school and being a first-generation University grad in my family. However, the accomplishment that makes me most proud looking back was watching my clients grow during our projects together. Being able to impact other people’s journeys and careers through one’s expertise and the trust they have put in you is a very humbling experience.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Energizing – all interactions I have had so far have been positive and have triggered some reflection within me. There is so much to learn from my classmates as they are all from different parts of the world and have gained experience in different industries and functions.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The school’s focus on sustainability and entrepreneurship. At Saïd, sustainability is more than just a side note. It is engraved in every class: in Analytics the example data displayed was about CO2 levels in the atmosphere and in Accounting we talked about how to measure and disclose climate-related KPIs and so on. Additionally, there is a large range of courses that specifically focus on sustainability such as Impact Investment, Regenerative and Circular Economy or the GOTO (Global Opportunities and Threats Oxford) program. Furthermore, Saïd truly fosters entrepreneurship. We are closely connected to the Oxford Foundry and there are regular opportunities to gain support for your own idea or connect to an early-stage start-up.
What is the most “Oxford” thing you have done so far as a full-time MBA student? Matriculation – wearing the sub fusc (academic dress) and marching through the historical city of Oxford to attend a matriculation ceremony held in Latin with my fellow Christ Church College members was a truly memorable Oxford experience.
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? There is no one challenging question that stands out to me looking back. Overall, I was impressed that in our essays we had to write about a statistic that surprises us rather than just another personal motivational essay that goes through several hundred improvement loops. The interview itself felt like a conversation between two people on the same level. I was very relaxed and able to truly be myself. That is exactly the advice I would give to anyone applying to Oxford or anywhere else for that matter: relax and be yourself. If it is a fit, it will work out. If not, another opportunity will present itself.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My defining moment spans over an entire year: at age 16 I participated in a high school exchange program in the USA. Having grown up in a small town, surrounded by the Swiss Alps, my childhood was idyllic. Already as a teenager, I had the desire to see more, experience more, learn more, and ultimately be more. That year gave me the first of what have now been many opportunities to do so. It taught me to appreciate cultural differences and has enabled me to navigate in a multi-cultural environment. Furthermore, it awakened an unquenchable desire to travel, learn and experience the world.
Where do you see yourself doing ten years from now? This is one of those questions that gets harder to answer as we continue to live in an ever faster changing world with increased complexity. In ten years, there will be hundreds of new professions that do not exist yet. Given that I am very interested in innovation and digitalization, I assume that the job I will hold in ten years will be one of those newly created jobs. Just recently I read about the relatively new roles of Chief Experience Officer and Journey Strategist (HBR article “Competing on Customer Journeys” by my McKinsey colleagues D. Edelman and M. Singer). I immediately identified with those roles and maybe that will be me in 10 years.