Sam Peter




South Africa





By Sam Peter

The new to-do list


Michaelmas Term (the first term at the University of Oxford) is saying its last goodbyes and with those goodbyes the first chapter of my MBA journey comes to an end. I have been surprised by how quickly the time has flown and by the level of growth and change that has taken place in such a short space of time.

Oxford Blues Rugby team at Twickenham, three weeks before recording a famous 43-6 victory over the old foe, Cambridge University

Oxford Blues Rugby team at Twickenham, three weeks before recording a famous 43-6 victory over the old foe, Cambridge University

The one year programme is fast-paced with every day demanding your presence, attentiveness and astuteness. Most days begin at 8am (6am for the rowers) and end at 2am, with the completion of the following day’s case study preparation.
Outside of the arduous course work, there are looming job application deadlines, interviews, rugby games, Christmas parties and innumerable social events. The volume of engagement is high, however the life the programme grants you is invigorating.

Three months in, I believe one of my biggest learnings has been my improved prioritisation techniques: making sure I cover the topics and attend the events and talks that will yield most positive to my post-MBA goals.

Jack Dorsey at the Oxford Union

Jack Dorsey at the Oxford Union

At an event hosted by the Oxford Union, Jack Dorsey discussed how he initially prioritised his roles at Square and Twitter, the companies he founded. He took us on a journey of managing both roles and it was apparent that time devoted to activities is more fruitful when you are passionate about them.

The end of term has been busy with multiple course hand-ins and exams. I have however moved away from writing simple to-do lists, with basic tasks that need completing on a day-to-day basis, to writing to-do lists with a purpose for the week, allowing me to bend each day towards these goals.

As the class breaks for the Christmas period, all are aware of the crunch period that the first three months of the year holds as we aim to bring our learnings together and apply them to the next phase of our lives. Synonymous with Twitter’s 140 characters, our time is limited and should be spent bringing forward the message we want to impart on those around us.


You can read Sam’s blog on the Financial Times here.

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