Reflecting on this year’s Oxford MBA Africa Blog Series

5 minute read

Working on the Oxford MBA Africa Blog Series over the past several months has been an exciting experience as we have journeyed through the MBA, reflected on our experiences, and shared the lessons we had garnered on our way to Oxford. This blog is to share the vision of the Africa Blog Series and curate a post that captures all our stories, share the powerful lessons this initiative has taught me, and, most importantly, pass on the baton to the Class of 2024.

While applying for the Co-Head of Outreach of the Oxford Africa Business Alliance position, I committed to helping attract deserving Africans who consider the Oxford MBA out of their reach to the programme. When I wrote this application, I did not know how to do this. However, I soon realised that we could leverage the power of storytelling, an art that is centuries old across Africa, to attract more Africans to the school in line with the Africa initiative. This worked well as I reflected on my experience and how stories from Oxford Saïd students and alumni inspired me throughout my application. I was privileged to have access to a network that willingly answered my questions, helped me with mock interviews, and helped me review my application essays. I also had a strong support system that motivated and encouraged me every step of the way.

Aside from the alumni community, the Oxford Saïd blog was another source of great inspiration. Armed with these insights, I led a drive to increase the number of stories by African MBAs on the Oxford Saïd blog. I wanted us to tell more stories that would demystify Oxford and make it relatable so that potential and future students across Africa could see themselves here through us. I wanted to create a system that allowed for the documentation of these stories in a way that increased the accessibility of information beyond our circles.

So, we decided to bring Oxford Saïd and the larger Oxford community to you through our stories, thereby democratising access to such valuable insights, leveraging the already existing far-reaching Oxford MBA blog, and contributing to the commendable work of the MBA recruitment and admissions team.

Throughout this season, we have curated a list of stories to motivate those in the application and recruiting process, inspire others to apply, and inform future students on how to position themselves to be great fits. Below is a list of blog posts which have magically told a strong story guided by the vision of demystifying Oxford and sharing stories we would have loved to read on our way to Oxford:

Preparing for the Oxford MBA

Financial considerations and scholarships

Competitions, clubs and societies

Africans in Oxford

Support for invisible disabilities

Life in Oxford

Nostalgic reflections

Many thanks to everyone for sharing their stories! I know it took a lot of commitment to do so, especially due to the intense MBA and your highly competing priorities, but I am glad you could invest in future Oxford African MBAs in this way. Special thanks to the Oxford Africa Business Alliance Committee members for your diverse support in this initiative, especially my fellow Co-Head of Outreach, Oghomwen Gwen Nehikhare, and the Manager of the Africa Initiative, Tammy Brophy, who capably oversees the Africa initiative.

To the Class of 2024, the next season of the Africa Blog Series rests with you. Without you, only one season of the Africa Blog Series will exist. We hope you build and improve on this initiative. It was heartwarming to meet some of you during MBA launch week and hear how our stories helped inspire, motivate and convince you to come to Oxford. As you go through the year, please share your own stories and remember how our stories made you feel while doing so.

To the Oxford Saïd team that supported us in publishing and sharing these blogs with our community, we say 'Sanibona', a Zulu endearing greeting, which is used as a 'Hello', but translates to 'We see you'.

The most powerful lesson the Africa Blog Series has taught me is to sell my vision and allow others to bring their best and most authentic selves to help realise that vision. All of these stories came from the most authentic selves of the writers, and this authenticity made the stories relatable and impactful. To quote the Associate Dean of the MBA and Executive Degrees at Oxford Saïd, Kathy Harvey, ‘Good stories are not about process, they are not about policies, they are about people.’

As we say in Dagbanli, ‘Mpaya’, that is to say, ‘thank you’.

Oxford MBA