Nitisha Agrawal






Operations Management



By Nitisha Agrawal

My First Day at Oxford Saïd

328 individuals from 58 countries, no this isn’t a conference or a sports tournament, it’s our MBA class for the year 2016-2017 at Oxford Saïd! The resounding applause on the Dean’s first few words evoked a plethora of feelings in me. The first day at B-school was a lot of what I had expected. A few inspirational speeches, welcome addresses, introductions to the college faculty and a GREAT deal of socializing.

In particular, I would like to mention my interpretation of a few excerpts from the dean’s speech which a lot of us in the room could relate to :

Now that you are here, you have 4 responsibilities –

  • The first of which is to “develop a skill set” – That was the plan right ? Should be fairly straight forward.
  • The second one’s exciting! “Get to know your peers” – This one short year will take each of you through an unexplored path together where you will share moments of happiness, sadness, weakness, strength and many others. Converting these moments to memories is your job and hey – lookout for any of you making headlines in a few years!
  • Great, so now you know over 100 names with 50 friends and 10 good friends. But, “who is the most important person you need to know extremely well? YOURSELF!” This might be the biggest investment you have made in yourself. Take time out for yourself, introspect, reflect regularly and carve a path to be the best you can be. As the Dean said, “Compete with yourself and collaborate with others”.
  • The Oxford brand gives you a bigger responsibility than being just a student. As they say, “To be inspired is great, to inspire in incredible” So keep inspiring, keep helping, keep respecting, keep contributing, keep moving ahead.

Oh but why are you here in the first place?

– You have all left your comfortable (in most cases) jobs, your families (with 90% of the class from outside UK) and friends behind to be here for the next one year. You’ve all had fairly successful careers, so why are you here? It’s because YOU are not happy! And you want to be a better version of yourself. Go ahead and do it.

Fantastic, I feel awesome after listening to this. For a general euphoria check, I would like to revisit these questions often in the coming year :

Are you still anxious?

– So well, quite a few initial items have been checked off the list. The bank account, bike, settling in, first day dress code discussions and the likes. Wondering how the coming term will be and what it is to write exams after the few years at work.

What are you looking forward to this month?

– With a lot heard about the GOTO program unique to Oxford Saïd, I am looking forward to getting into our working teams and getting started !

To summarize :

Strangers to Friends,

Some straight roads and many bends,

Exams to graduation,

Some small talks to many realizations,

We’re all in this together, so let’s learn, enjoy, dance and sing,

Because my friends, this experience is indeed an OXFORD thing !

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