Energy and Resources
I had to miss the first two weeks of class – bugger!
After the crazy whirlwind journey of hauling my wife (Jenny), dog (Hunter) and myself into Oxford, detailed in my last post, the saga was still not over and in order for Jenny to obtain a dependent visa, we had to go to Belgium – at 35 weeks pregnant.
So my first learning experience at this world class university was through a laptop screen sitting in an apartment in Brussels. The bright side was that we had plenty of delicious chocolates to eat, tasty beers to drink and contemporary art galleries to visit (thanks Caspar!) which most definitely helped.
What made it worse however, was that whenever the lecturer asked the class to discuss with their neighbour their perspectives of the topic at hand – which happened very often, all I heard was a wave of noise through the earphones and a feeling of FOMO kicking in real hard!
We finally returned back to Oxford, visa in hand and with one of the biggest sighs of relief we’ve ever had. At last, I was able to physically attend class and socialise with my classmates, one of the most important aspects of any MBA.
A week or so later, our son Henry ‘墨子 주’ Wang was born!
Aaaaaand I’m out of action and away from class again…
A week later, I am slamming head first into exams, final paper submissions and team presentations. How on earth did I get through all that whilst caring for my wife and newborn on minimal sleep?
Time to introduce my team – Team 8.
This is a team that trusted and respected one another from the very outset. They supported me through this period without hesitation, and not only that, provided love and encouragement to Jenny as well. We continuously worked around each other’s hectic schedules and adapted to every curve ball that was thrown at us, and achieving outstanding results in everything we did.
I am so grateful for my team and without further ado, I want to showcase them to you!
Robert Forestell – studied at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where I coincidentally also studied during my undergrad semester abroad! He’s a Canadian through and through, incredibly approachable, treats everyone with respect and carries himself with immense humility. He previously worked at McKinsey & Company, and leveraged his consulting experience to help frame the challenges we were presented with in our various assessments. He’s also an amazing ice hockey player and was selected to be on the Oxford Blues ice hockey team!
Caspar Jopling – prior to working at Sotheby’s in New York City, he graduated from Harvard University and Eton College. His love and passion for art is undeniable, his enduring levels of energy and tenacity are unbelievable, and his capacity to give and care for others is uncapped. He has been earmarked as one of the top 25 rising art dealers in the world and will undoubtedly become a force to be reckoned with. His unwavering levels of commitment to the team motivates us all to give our utmost effort. He’s an avid rower, and we all hope that he represents Oxford in the historical boat race against Cambridge!
Chika Kawagishi – previously worked at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Goldman Sachs in Tokyo, Japan. She is lively, happy and is a source of energy for the entire team! Despite being a proven high achiever, she carries herself with deep humility and gratitude, and gives the team courage to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones by being courageous through her own actions.
Mahi Khakhar – a driven and motivated superstar from Mumbai, India that worked in venture capital prior to studying this MBA. She was elected the Co-Chair of the Oxford Women’s Leadership Alliance, which is a testament to her superior levels of leadership and charisma. She is full of laughter and empathy, and a member of our team that respectfully challenges our perspectives to drive for a better and more well-rounded outcome.
Victoria Udom – an inspiration. She was formerly the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment in Nigeria, and prior to that she worked in New York City at JP Morgan. She is Co-Chair of the Finance branch of the Oxford Business Network and is a Saïd Foundation Scholar and Forté Women’s Fellow. Most importantly, she injects confidence into our team, has a great sense of humour and motivates us all to do better without taking things too seriously!
Even during all this madness, the team still found the time and thought to send Jenny flowers and chocolates after giving birth to Henry! ❤
Prior to the MBA, I was told by graduates that I will make friends during the course that will become close friends of mine for the rest of my life. Being the cynical person that I am, I shrugged this off, however, the experience that I have had so far has demonstrated to me that this is in fact true and something to be cherished.
This blog was originally posted on LinkedIn. View the original post and more from Kenny here.Back to top of article