Jiaxian Shi









By Jiaxian Shi

Taking Oxford MBA learnings from the classroom to the real world

Have you ever applied what you have learnt in the classroom to the real world as the MBA journey is approaching to its end?

Perhaps many of my fellow MBAs are still in the process of finding a permanent job, like I am, and are eager to bring new wind and implement change in their companies. However, the management skills gained in the MBA should be applied not only to business operations but also to more daily situations.

One of the examples of this is Negotiation. Negotiation is one of the most popular lectures throughout the year and Saïd Business School had to arrange four different sessions to accommodate all the students who were interested in it. The materials used in the class were mainly business oriented, but you do not need to wait until graduation to test this powerful skill. In the job-hunting process, the salary level is a good target for negotiation. When going back to your own country, you also need to negotiate an acceptable solution if your luggage gets damaged (unfortunately this happened to me). You can even negotiate with your family to decide who to take care of the children or who to do the house cleaning work. Just keep in mind that it is always good to be moderate in this kind of negotiations, so never push too hard.

Besides the early implementation of your MBA skills, there are also a lot of chances for you to further your learning and deepen your understanding of what you learnt in the classroom.

Especially in this pandemic time, it’s helpful to figure out what kind of measurement people are taking to keep businesses running while averting the risk of spreading the virus. I went to the Tate Modern Art Museum in London, and I was impressed that they managed to accommodate the large audience while providing a reassuring environment. Apart from all the common arrangements like booking online for particular time slots, compulsory face coverings, and providing hand sanitiser all over the site, the museum presented four separate routes for people to choose and these routes were so well designed that there were very few intersections and overlaps. Meanwhile, all the routes focused on different topics so people with different artistic interests could be separated accordingly to reduce the congestion of each route. To design such a route would require mastering operation theory, which includes data collecting, process optimisation and business impact analysis. So why not try observing the operation improvement efforts in the museum while enjoying the pleasure of arts?

An MBA is for young professionals to improve their management skills and to learn new things about the business world, but it also helps to ignite curiosity in everyday life. Keep learning and keep practising, and you will eventually find that the Oxford MBA experience opens the door to a new world where the boundary between business and life becomes blurred and a load of opportunities are just waiting for you to explore.

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