Oxford Executive MBA Women’s Scholarship Winners Q&A

Two exceptional female candidates have been awarded with scholarships for the September 2017 iteration of the world-class Oxford Executive MBA, a programme designed to help business leaders to study whilst continuing to thrive in their careers, no matter where they are based.

Dr Pamela Walker, Head of Health and a Director at Incite, has been awarded with the Forté Foundation scholarship for women.

After completing her Doctorate in Experimental Psychology and Neuroscience at Oxford, Pamela forged a career in the pharmaceutical sector working first in clinical trials followed by research and consulting. In 2013, she joined Incite to develop its health practice and establish the business as a key player in the pharmaceutical space. Delivering significant year on year growth for the business, she works with clients across the globe to commercialise emerging assets and unlock opportunity for their products, portfolios and franchises.  She is also a mentor as part of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, supporting the next generation of female leaders in their careers.

Elena Mariotti is the recipient of the Oxford Executive MBA Scholarship for Women in association with the 30% Club.

Elena is the EALA Leader of Accenture’s Digital Corrosion Management across the UK, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. As Manager, Elena has been working in multimillion digital transformation programmes for major energy companies, leading multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural teams and helping senior clients optimise operational efficiency and reduce costs. Elena is also the Leader of Accenture’s Partnerships and External Events for Accent on Gender initiatives in Resources for the UK and Ireland, supporting women’s growth in the Energy & Utilities Sector. For her relentless passion to make a positive impact in the Energy Sector and fostering inclusion & diversity, she recently featured in Management Today and The Sunday Times as one of the 35 Under 35 Business Women in the UK.

After completing their first week on the Oxford Executive MBA, the two scholarship winners interviewed each other about their experiences.


PAMELA: This first week was no doubt life changing for many of us. What was most surprising for you?

ELENA: I was astonished by the greatness of my cohort, a unique mix of very successful professionals, each of us with profound stories, with great careers, at different stages of life and with different ambitions for the future, and at the same time united by the desire to challenge ourselves once again, share our ideas and emotions, contribute to make a positive impact in this world. In just one week I had some of the most inspiring and deep conversations ever, built friendships with persons I would have never met otherwise, from so many different sectors, countries and walks of life. I feel so proud to be part of such a high calibre cohort, humbled by their great stories, and energised for the journey that I have started with each of them.

Besides the cohort, I was also surprised by the world-class EMBA faculty, who do not “just” teach business topics, but deeply touch our emotions and bring out the highest authenticity from each of us. These things made me feel immediately part of a unique and world-class community.

And for you, did the experience meet your expectations?

P: In all honesty, the experience has far exceeded my expectations. Something I had not, personally, anticipated. As you mentioned, our cohort is magic. I have profoundly enjoyed spending time with individuals, getting to know their stories and what drives them. The enormous amount of energy, excitement, brilliance and collaboration is deeply humbling.

From an academic perspective, I have been completely blown away. I completed my Doctorate at the University in 2005 (in Neuroscience) and knew very little of the business school at that time. My perception was that it was slightly different from the more academic departments. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The quality of lectures and curriculum are absolutely Oxford, yet applied in a practical way to foster incredible leaders and game changers. For me, it is a wonderful homecoming.

Looking ahead to the coming months of the programme, what are you most eagerly anticipating?

E: I look forward to seeing how each of us in the cohort will evolve as leader and person – through this inspirational journey that we are undertaking with the EMBA. Most of us will eventually pursue paths different from others, but we will all be linked to one another thanks to the Oxford Community.

I’m also excited to collaborate on the Entrepreneurship project and have some ideas brewing. How this way of thinking is embedded in the teaching is fantastic. What do you think you will take from this?

P: I completely agree. The entrepreneur mindset we are honing is awe-inspiring. It has only been one module, but I feel galvanised to see and think outside the box. I feel challenged to push myself outside of my comfort zone, step into the unknown: to grow not only as a business woman, but also as a person.

E: All of this will stay with us for life, supporting and inspiring us to positively contribute to our societies and the business world.


To find out more about the Oxford Executive MBA and the scholarships available for exceptional female candidates, please visit www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/emba.

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