Diana Pastrana




Puerto Rico




Jan 2016 - Sep 2017

By Diana Pastrana

Why I decided to apply for my EMBA at Oxford

Throughout my career, I have often looked around my office, top management, boardrooms – and wondered: “Where are the people that truly represent me? Who up there is speaking up for me?” I always seek those Latina role models in the boardroom of companies I have worked in, but I have yet to find them. While women are becoming more prevalent in high-level positions, there are still, unfortunately, very few Hispanic women in positions of leadership. A year ago, I finally decided to something about it, in order to someday, become the same kind of leader and mentor I have sought.

Although we have come a long way, women are still making less than their male counterparts for the same jobs, and often feel forced to leave their jobs to care for their families, since they do not receive enough compensation, paid time off, or maternal leave benefits. These issues will never change unless women are better represented in upper management across a diverse set of industries, as well as in policy-making and governments around the world. My desire to be in a position of influence, in order to make a difference, is my main motivation for joining this distinguished program.

The past 10 years of my professional experience have made me a strategic marketer with a deep knowledge of media and advertising. However, I believe that to become a well-rounded professional, I need to gain a 360-degree perspective on the core elements of business administration. I am hungry to learn about other disciplines such as accounting, global economics and finance to explore how these play to my strengths, and firm up my skill-set after graduation.

I will continue to grow, pursue higher-level opportunities and reach my fullest potential with the invaluable help of this programme. I aim to prove that honest, hard and intelligent work, can result in well-deserved promotions that allow an executive to be part of changing policies that improve people’s lives. I will make it my mission to be an example to women that come from diverse cultural backgrounds or developing countries, for whom there are more hurdles, and who are under-represented within their industries and governments. I want to make sure their voices – our voices – are heard.

When it was time to choose the ideal Executive MBA programme for me, it didn’t even come close. I was motivated by Saïd’s diversity of students in terms of professional and cultural background that I will get to collaborate with, along with the programme’s mission of improving, not just the students’ career prospects, but the future of the world in general. Thinking about the possibility of being mentioned in the same breath as the programme’s successful alumni, and to have the dream opportunity of bringing continued honor to the Oxford name also drove my decision.

I am certain that joining the Oxford Executive MBA program will provide me with invaluable wisdom, the right tools and a network of colleagues to put the knowledge I acquire into action. Having this incredible opportunity will equip me with the confidence that I can make my ambitions come to fruition. I exhort any professionals out there seeking to go above and beyond the path that has been laid out for them to consider this prestigious programme that will allow them to make a difference. I can’t wait to begin my journey in a couple of months.

Back to top of article

Share this post:

follow us in feedly