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Grace Stephens

Degree:

MBA

Location:

United States

Industry:

Real Estate

Year:

2018-19

By Grace Stephens

How Time Flies

It’s come to that time now in the MBA where pervasively everyone is saying, “How has time gone so quickly?” It’s not as if we don’t know that it is going to be a fast and intense year. Believe me, we are told that probably 20 times before we ever step foot in Oxford.  But it is one thing to be told and nod your head along, seeming to understand, and it is another to live it

The programme has moved at a rapid pace especially since the beginning of Hilary Term. It really does feel like in a blink of an eye that February, March, April, and May happened. I can certainly recount the many fun activities that occurred along the way and the photos to prove it, but I still add those all up and think “No…no…there’s no way that was THAT long ago. It happened last week!”

For instance, I still am sitting here thinking MBATs was a week or at most two weeks ago. No, one month. And that afternoon sitting at the Perch post-exams at the end of Hilary feeling wiped, but also absolutely loving the afternoon outside with fellow MBAs? That was surely a month ago. No, that was over two months ago.

Certainly, with some bittersweet feelings I find myself wondering where the time has gone, but I am very much comforted by the fact that the time has gone via a whirlwind of learning, fun times, and a bevy of spirited friendships that transcend a simple time period. On the journey to the Oxford MBA programme, I was always wondering who I would meet and what my classmates would be like.  I did not imagine the people who are here with me now and I mean that in the best way possible. I could only have underestimated the accomplishments, potential, diversity, supportiveness, comradery, aptitude, creativity, the list goes on. They constantly surprise me even today and we are coming close to the end, but that’s the truth.

I think moving into electives only now has exposed classmates passions, knowledge, and other insights that the core courses could not. These courses have also challenged us – I heard one classmate recently say that he thought this was his busiest term yet in terms of workload, but it had been the most enjoyable thus far because of that challenge. Juggling academic, professional, and social lives is nothing any of us are not already familiar with prior to the MBA, but is takes on new meaning when the intensity level is cranked up in our lives.

There’s only a few weeks left of Trinity and the presence of an ever-looming deadline does what it always does to me – bring out my best as I work under pressure – and in this case that means taking on more than I ever would to squeeze every bit out of the Oxford experience. I sign up for even more speaker sessions, college dinners, coffee chats, mentoring meetings, treks, workshops, etc. just because I realise how precious this time is in my life. While the end is in sight, I choose now to focus on the present.  While I am excited for the future and can’t wait to see what lies ahead for me post-MBA, every day is a gift here and there is still so much to do.

I get the question often now by people in my life outside of the MBA who ask, “Is the Oxford MBA what you thought it would be?” My answer is yes and no, and I think that’s the way it should be.

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