In reminiscence of module one of the Executive Diploma in Global Business.
What is my driving force behind participating in this executive diploma? To be part of more than just an institution but a community of ideas that dates back to 1096AD. To contribute, in a positive way, to society, my environment, and to be successful in the global arena of business. In doing so, I hope to propagate the quality that is the University of Oxford and Saïd Business School.
My first week in Oxford was filled with a tremendous amount of sensory absorption. The buildings were spectacular, the history was rich, the people all had a purpose in their area of expertise and how they were going to transform the world. It all culminated into this focal point: I am part of this extraordinary experience and the learning that was to come.
One of my most memorable activities in Oxford was meeting all my fellow colleagues studying the diploma programme. The class had such a variety of working backgrounds, cultures, and countries of origin. Getting to know them and what their aspirations were for during and after the programme was an insightful exercise. One of the key takeaways from this was that networking was very important through conversation. It opens you up to a world of learnings, possibility, and opportunities which you may have never thought accessible.
Insights from module one: Global Strategy
The lecturers were fantastic, and the discourse was challenging but enlightening. A team of lecturers taught myself and my cohort along with guest speakers coming into class intermittently, so no day was ever the same.
These are my key takeaways, however there is certainly a lot more content condensed into a few days of classes that will invariably cater for your needs and perspectives of the business that you work in.
Appreciating national markets and how they differ – This was very insightful in understanding the key differences in national markets and why imposing the existing strategy to other countries may not work. What components of the business and strategy are needed to change without compromising the core essence of the product/service delivered.
Understanding non-market forces such a culture, politics, regulations and institutional structures – Non-market forces play a much larger part in understanding how and where to expand internationally. This was especially true of countries with differing ideologies, regulatory systems, and general cultural behaviours.
Understanding global trends and whether your firm should decide to expand operations internationally – Part of the discussion was focused on whether you can feasibly adapt to the target market and the changing global economic environment.
Aligning a firm’s organisational structure with a chosen global strategy – Firms need to be aware of how to manage risk and efficiency to create an organisational structure that caters for each of the markets they participate in.
Managing global teams through cultural awareness – In an interconnected world, it’s important to understand how teams can differ in the way they work.
Producing a presentation of a real-world business case with my group in front of an ex C-suite representative of Procter & Gamble – Time constraints to solve the problem, and with which to make the presentation, made this exercise highly impactful, utilising everyone’s capacity and resourcefulness to solve the question at hand. We were then questioned as though we were in front of the P&G Board in order to promote our strategy.
Once I had arrived back to work, I immediately applied my new knowledge into practice by driving the conversation about how to expand our business both nationally and internationally, utilizing the different perspectives and frameworks provided during module one. My colleagues were taken aback at how the frameworks could open their way of thinking and direct them towards new opportunities and focal outcomes.
Thinking of applying? Here’s my advice
After only one module, I can already highly recommend applying to study the Oxford Executive Diploma in Global Business. Not only will you benefit from the knowledge bestowed upon you, the networking within the University of Oxford, your colleagues and the college you are associated with, but also the renewed vigor and purpose that this programme facilitates and the breadth of opportunities that await.
The admissions team are very helpful during the entire process of the application, and I would recommend reaching out to them for guidance. It is the University of Oxford, so be aware that the standards of entry are representative of its branding, however work experience and qualifications both come into account in the application process.
There will be two essays to submit along with your application. Take the time to construct a well written essay answering the questions posed which will be a mixture of your experience, business and what you bring to the cohort of new entrants.
I hope to see you at Oxford and please feel free to reach out if you would like to have a conversation with me about my experience.