My journey at Oxford Saïd so far
I can’t believe it’s 3 months since I arrived in the UK and started living this dream of doing a world-class MBA at Oxford and I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who contributed to making this dream a reality.
I pinch myself every time I think that I’m here, doing what I always said I would do. So, since T’is the season of sharing, I believe that an update of my experience so far would be a great gift for the season.
Michaelmas term has come to an end, officially marking 1/3 of the program and there’s just so much I could say about my experience so far. My time here has been one of great learning, relearning, and unlearning, and here are a few observations I want to highlight;
- Connecting with 355 people from 71 countries has been the most life-changing and humbling experience. I’ve met an olympian, a set of twins running a biotech startup, heirs to billion-dollar enterprises, a prolific pole dancer, a guy from a country I’ve never heard of before (Turkmenistan) to mention a few, all brilliant and impressive set of people connected by a shared purpose to make this world a better place.
- Embracing who I am as a person has never been more empowering. Our magic is truly in our individuality and while I am owning mine, it has opened me to so many opportunities and connected me to so many people that I couldn’t imagine possible.
- This program has been a test to truly master multi-tasking and time management, a must-have skill for every business leader. Juggling family, classes, extracurricular activities, social activities, and career activities is a wild flex and often leaves me exhausted but I find strength in God’s word every time my resilience is challenged.
- FOMO has never been so real! Literally, every second here is laden with activities and I have to consciously and constantly decide which ones serve my purpose, in order to decide what is worth my time or not. This level of steady real-time decision-making requires a strong sense of self and knowing exactly what you want out of the program.
In hindsight, I constantly thought about what impact I wanted to leave here at Oxford. It’s always been my thing to leave a place better than I met it and even though I wasn’t clear how that would play out initially, here are a few things I’ve been up to;
- I’ve launched the “SBS Connect” program which is a cross-collaboration among current MBA, EMBA, MMPM, and MFE cohorts, to create connections along with career interests
- I created a job board to streamline communications around internships and full-time job vacancies for my cohort
- I have initiated an internship career fair to facilitate interactions between employers and members of the cohort ahead of summer
- I Co-founded the Oxford Hub of the Impact Consulting Group, a management consulting firm providing high quality, affordable consulting services to socially-driven organizations contributing to achieving the UN SDG’s within Oxford
I’m very fortunate to be in this position to even have experiences to share. It has taken the support of a village to get me here, so I am conscious of making every moment count by being the best I can be and by doing that, letting them know I don’t take their investment in me for granted.
Finally, if there are any takeaways from this write-up, especially for incoming students, it would be;
- Be a person of value. Opportunity follows value and you should seek to be associated with it.
- Give of yourself freely to your peers within the cohort. Your gift will make a way for you, so make it a habit to contribute in a positive way to the experience of others.
- Be prepared to unlearn stale things, learn new things, and relearn the things you need to stay with you.
- The program will stretch you financially, mentally, emotionally, and physically, so don’t be shy to ask for help and speak up if you feel overwhelmed.
- Stay humble, stay thankful, and be a beacon of positivity wherever you find yourself.
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