Julia Montgomery





By Julia Montgomery

An MBA Abroad: Reflections and Learnings from my Oxford MBA experience

Today (September 17) marks exactly one year since I started the first day of my MBA program at the University of Oxford. Candidly, to reflect for too long on this past year gives me both a sense of overwhelming happiness and pride, as well as a bittersweet feeling knowing that it has come to an end.

As I look back on the adventures and learnings, I experienced more than I actually thought was possible. These experiences included:

  • Getting to know most of the members of my 313 person cohort – whether that be in classrooms, common room chats, happy hours, dinners, or travels around the world
  • Taking courses by world-renowned professors who are subject matter experts in their fields
  • Receiving distinctions in math-heavy courses despite it being my historically-weakest subject (Accounting AND Business Finance)
  • Traveling across Europe, USA, and Africa with classmates, often on top of full course loads
  • Receiving the Dean’s Commendation Award from my MBA cohort

The list could go on for many lines, but the main shoutout goes to my incredible cohort of people who made this experience so special for me.

If I had to give an incoming MBA student (Oxford or otherwise) advice, these would be my takeaways:

  • Your time is your most valuable resource – use it wisely. The people you connect with, the classes you take, the extracurriculars you do, and the trips you go on will be some of the most formative parts of your experience, so be intentional about how you spend your time.
  • Push yourself outside your comfort zone. An MBA is an opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds than you, to attend events you normally have been able to go to while working, and to learn topics that will enrich your professional as well as personal life.
  • Figure out what you really want. An MBA gives you (some) space to take a step back and reflect on your career thus far, and where you want to go moving forward. Take advantage of that opportunity before diving straight in again.

A huge thank you to Liam Kilby from MBA Recruitment and Admissions for giving me the leap of faith to come to Oxford Saïd Business School MBA program, to Tom Lawrance from the SBS Career Development Centre for helping me and my classmates find job opportunities, and Bindu Garapaty and Paul Hesselroth for being amazing mentors and supporters throughout my journey. It truly does take a village!

Looking forward, I am excited to begin the next chapter of my career in marketing at Amazon Web Services, based in London. Onwards and upwards!

This blog was originally posted on LinkedIn. View the original post and more from Julia here

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