Meet the 2021 MBA class: Dániel Léderer, University of Oxford (Saïd)
“Aimed at redistributing knowledge from Oxford colleges to the villages of Nograd.”
Hometown: Budapest, Hungary
Fun fact about yourself: I played chess before I could write or read and, according to my father, I managed to beat the whole family. Not that I can remember.
Undergraduate and major school: University of St Andrews, Economics and International Relations
Most recent employer and job title: Milestone Institute, CEO
Apart from your classmates, what has been the key element of Oxford Said’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Three aspects played a major role in the choice of Saïd Business School. First, it was the program’s emphasis on social impact, ranging from the activities of the Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship to our core Global Opportunities and Threats (GOTO) course – which, the year of pandemic, looked at achievable systemic change. ideas in response to the crisis. Second, the School’s recognition of the economic importance of Africa, which also translates into the continent’s 13% student ratio and their enriching contributions to our classroom discussions. Third, it is the integration of the program and the school into the larger network of colleges and universities, which provides access to a wide range of disciplines and interdisciplinary perspectives.
What’s the most ‘Oxford’ thing you’ve done so far as a full time MBA student? It was biking in the rain at 5:50 am through the dimly lit cobbled streets of Oxford to get to our Boatclub on time, followed by a rowing outing in the mist, dark and cold and the sounds of the crew’s dull roars and shouting our coxswain. When we came third out of over 40 boats at one of the Oxford regattas, the hard work paid off in the end.
Oxford is known as a place where the world collides, whether in the classroom or the dining room. What has been the most interesting interaction you have had so far as an Oxford MBA student? One of my most interesting interactions are my counseling sessions with my counselor at Warden’s Lodgings at New College, which sometimes involves a glass of red wine and a fireplace. Every time we meet, I receive inspiring leadership training from him based on his extensive experience as a former global CEO of a large international company and his passion and knowledge in the humanities.
Describe your greatest achievement in your career so far: I founded an Institute of Advanced Studies with over 350 students enrolled in its four-year academic program. It had over 100 courses, a faculty of 100, and a community of over 1,000 alumni. Over 150 of our graduates went on to study at the universities of Oxford or Cambridge. Our goal was to outsource the social engineering of Hungary’s future leadership to the best universities in the world. The network and the accumulation of human capital form an ecosystem of spin-offs that are part of the same mission, and assist in the management of the diaspora and the comings and goings of human resources, ideas and opportunities. Our spin-offs are made up of a boutique management consulting firm, which works with our faculty, several non-profit organizations and real estate development projects that aim to create space for new partnerships in the capital and a rural campus in the countryside. I see my greatest success not in its implementation, but in the fact of having been able to abandon it completely by coming to Saïd.
Describe your greatest achievement as an MBA student so far? Joining the Oxford Seed Fund as a Director has certainly been one of the most exciting opportunities I have had at Oxford. Sourcing and working with start-ups founded in the pre-seed and early stage of the Oxford ecosystem and working with the wider VC community has been a very intense and truly inspiring experience. The Oxford Seed Fund has been the leading investor in companies such as Onfido and Go1 and the OSF portfolio of 15 companies has raised over £ 200million in follow-up capital.
What other MBA programs have you applied to? I only applied to Saïd.
What has been the biggest revelation you have gained about yourself or the world since you started your MBA program? Appreciate the importance of a limitless imagination. Human thinking takes place under constraints, but paradigm shift, innovation, and system reset occur by breaking the chains of those constraints. Before the Haitian revolution, few believed in the ability of enslaved people to maintain their own freedom. When the “College in Cambridge” was founded (aka Harvard) it was just a copy of its English counterpart and few would have imagined its current position in higher education. A week before the pandemic hit, no one would have imagined the flights would ever stop.
DON’T MISS: MEET THE OXFORD MBA CLASS OF 2021