HKN Padiachy






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By HKN Padiachy

Getting Uncomfortable

As Michaelmas term comes to an end, it is time to go through what was indeed an adjustment chapter,  especially considering Oxford’s intricate web of customs and traditions.
Some of this term’s (unusual) experiences would have been:

1. Wearing a bow tie for the first time after having been through several Youtube tutorials on how to properly knot that ‘beast’.
2.Sitting for formal exams dressed in a traditional gown (applicable to all genders) and wearing that same bow tie.
3.Learning about Steve Bannon and why him speaking in the Union created such an uproar.
4.That inner Oxford banter in referring to Cambridge University as ‘the other place’. (I would love to know what they call us)

Above all this programme offers a wonderful opportunity; that of getting uncomfortable.

Revelling in the comfort of tested grounds has a certain charm however trying new things has always been a key element in the process of learning. It can be daunting though; one can always be intimidated by the prospect of making a fool of oneself in front of more seasoned peers or the extra efforts required in trying something completely new. Even the Oxford dictionary (It helps when we got our own dictionary 😉 ) has a word coined to describe that fear: neophobia.

Hence it is thankworthy to note that the business school, its faculty/staff, and our cohort have all helped in creating a conducive and non-judgemental environment for pursuing new interests. Whether you wanted to learn more about the completely disruptive world of Artificial Intelligence or just have a go at  salsa lessons, there has been no better time nor place to be bold and test new pursuits.

On a final note, we all have by now properly acquainted ourselves with the frantic pace of the programme. At any moment, its demanding requirements can have a toll on our emotional health. As such, the business school has been running a peer support programme for several years, caring for the welfare of its student body. The present peer supporters are twelve MBA students who have applied for, been selected, and accordingly trained to effectively assume that responsibility.

Our MBA comrades can reach out to a peer supporter whenever they feel the need to talk through any issue that is having an impact on them and their emotional balance.

Now my fellow supporters and I realised that in contrast to our undergraduate fellows who are accustomed to that kind of structure, it has been intimidating for some of our MBA peers to use that resource for a certain number of reasons. I will be completely honest with you; in a not so distant past, I would have been a perfect representation of the supposedly stereotypical male Oxford MBA guy who would have snugly eschewed that dreaded feelings talk. Eventually I learnt that having that conversation in the relevant context and right way and processing those same emotions can just be another normal healthy mechanism to cope and deal with what life throws at you. Hence if at any point you do require our humble support, we will always be glad to offer an attentive ear.

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