Jessica Nemzoff




United States





By Jessica Nemzoff

Surreality: From Horses to Hogwarts

It has been just over a month since I have been in Oxford, but yet somehow it still seems surreal. I find myself wandering around thinking – I actually go to school here? How exactly did that happen?  – and then conclude that this couldn’t possibly be real life. Oh, but it is and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it! To give this blog a bit of context, perhaps I should tell you a little about myself first, and how I got to this Hogwarts-esque land of Oxford.

As a little girl, my mother asked me what I wanted to do after school – my response: “I want to ride ponies!”. She found this to be a rather perplexing answer given I had never seen, let alone sat on a pony at that point in time. Regardless, that’s how it all started. Not long thereafter I took my first riding lesson, and the rest is history. I set my sights on the Olympics and in an effort to fund my endeavors built a business brokering competition horses between the EU and US within a highly selective market. Countless people have asked me what you are probably wondering now: Why leave the horses and your business behind/why a career change? To answer: Horses are my grand passion, they always will be, but in simple terms – I just wanted more out of life from an intellectual standpoint and I wanted to contribute more to the world than to just buy and sell horses.

Through building my business, I was able to recognize that many of the skills that enabled me to successfully navigate the rather unruly “Sport of Kings”, could also be directly applicable to other industries and endeavors. Healthcare is the global issue I have chosen to tackle, but I will go into more detail as to what that grand plan entails at a later date in time. That being said, I came to the realization that I needed to learn a thing or two before embarking on this journey, and applied to Oxford – only Oxford. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. At the end of the day I truly felt that Oxford was the place for me, I wanted to go somewhere that would not only foster thinking outside the box, but that would also give me the environment, classmates, and tools to actually bring some of my crazy ideas to fruition.

Thus far, every person I have met here at Said is absolutely incredible, the knowledge and diversity of my classmates truly can’t be captured in words. I feel beyond fortunate to not just be at one of the top universities in the world, but to share this experience with what is undoubtedly the coolest group of people I have ever met.

I’ll sum it up with my favorite line of the day: “Try to think, it’s the best way to learn”, said the professor to the class.










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