Meet the 2022 MBA Class: Adriana Solano Zárate, University of Oxford (Saïd) | Biden News


“Costa Rican Industrial Engineers are passionate about self-improvement, supply chain management, air dance, coffee and dogs.”

hometown: San Jose, Costa Rica

Interesting Facts About Yourself: I studied in acting academy and acted in several theaters simultaneously to study my bachelor in Industrial Engineering; little did I know that acting would come in handy in the years to come when I have to make presentations in front of large crowds at my workplace and even in business school.

Undergraduate Schools and Majors: University of Costa Rica, Industrial Engineering

Recent Employers and Positions: Procter & Gamble, Latin America Supply Network Operations Service & Inventory

Apart from your classmates, what is the important part of Oxford Sad’s The MBA Programming that led you to choose this business school and why is it so important to you? That is how the school is embedded in a world-renowned institution like the University of Oxford, and how the program focuses not only on business from a traditional perspective but also on sustainability and social impact. Oxford Saïd promotes students not only to seek successful careers in business, but to commit to becoming impactful leaders who address social, health and environmental concerns. It is this mindset that business leaders can, and should, be a force for good that drew me to this school.

What’s the most “Oxford” thing you’ve done so far as a full-time MBA student? On the day of my first “regatta” (rowing competition), I dressed in my college colors and headed to Boathouse Island to compete with my crew against other colleges. Just before our race, sirens started sounding all over the island and all the races were suddenly stopped; it turned out that there was a swan swimming in the river Isis, and since all the swans in England belonged to the Queen, all activity had to be stopped until the swan had swam safely from the regatta. Complete with singing “Hip hip hurray!” at the end of each race, lifting our cox to take traditional end-of-race shots, and closing the evening with dinner in the famous Christ Church hall, and doing the most Oxford thing I’ve done so far.

Oxford is known as a place where worlds collide, be it in the classroom or the dining room? What is the most interesting interaction you have had so far as an Oxford MBA student? Back in November 2021 I had the honor of meeting Dame Sarah Gilbert, developer of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Gilbert attended lectures at Oxford Saïd, where he discussed the main challenges faced during the vaccine development process. After that I, along with several classmates, had the honor of attending a dinner where we had the opportunity to chat with him. It was interesting and humbling to hear him explain the challenges faced during the vaccine development process and how he challenged them, also to learn from his response to vaccine skepticism and even personally thank him for his relentless efforts to make vaccines a reality. This is the kind of experience I’m sure I can’t get anywhere else.

Describe your biggest achievement in your career so far: About 4 years ago, I was offered the opportunity to undertake expatriate assignments to my company Headquarters in Latin America, which is located in Panama. I moved from my hometown in Costa Rica and for the first time I experienced life in a foreign country and culture. I consider this expatriate assignment the greatest achievement of my career; it was a life-changing opportunity and helped me grow tremendously both personally and professionally.

Describe your greatest achievement as an MBA student so far? I feel very proud to have been selected as one of the co-chairs for OBN Global Industries. Oxford Business Networks (OBNs) are student-led groups focused on different industry sectors, working to promote networking opportunities and knowledge exchange among their members. Together with my co-chairs, we aim and have worked to create opportunities, exchange thought leadership, and promote social intrapreneurship in the Global Industry. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences in the MBA so far.

What other MBA programs are you applying to? Nothing, Oxford Saïd was the only school I applied to. I am 100% focused on getting accepted into the University of Oxford, an institution I have admired since childhood.

What is the greatest enlightenment you have had about yourself or the world since you started your MBA program? It’s okay not to know exactly what’s next for you after an MBA. I came to the program with a clearly formed idea about the next step in my career. However, I was confronted by world leaders, first class lectures, an amazing group of 350+ people. Walking down the aisle of the oldest university in the English-speaking world, really allows you to see beyond barriers and broaden your perspective. Now I know that there are countless opportunities I could pursue, and this makes me doubt what next steps I should take — but that’s okay, I’m not alone on this journey; I navigate together with my classmates. What’s important is to know your goal, in my case to have a meaningful and impactful career; to detail, the MBA is a formative journey that allows us to question and reassess opportunities to find the best path for each of us.



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