Two months into the Oxford MBA, it feels like so many things have been moving forward. First and foremost, the breadth of unique traditions that only Oxonians get to experience has been nothing short of incredible.
Like every other Oxford undergraduate and graduate degree, the MBA cohort was formally enrolled into the University of Oxford through a matriculation ceremony held at the Sheldonian Theatre back in mid-October. As I was attending the event wearing sub fusc (Latin Oxford term used to describe one's academic gown) with my college Christ Church, the Vice-Chancellor welcomed us in Latin to celebrate our admission to the university, and encourage us to make the most of our time in this exceptional place. The whole day felt really special as all Oxford freshers were in town, celebrating with friends, family, and their college community. Taking the freshers' class picture in Christ Church Masters Garden ahead of the formal ceremony felt equally special, as members of Christ Church were brought together as an academic community across disciplines and seniority for the very first time. Speaking of community, learning that Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the world wide web and first web browser, is also a member of Christ Church as a computer science professor, was particularly inspirational.
Such a college community also became an opportunity to join the Christ Church Boat Club and experience rowing. Being able to row on a foggy morning before having breakfast in hall ahead of class, then dinner later in the evening with fellow members of the Graduate Common Room (GCR) is definitely a routine that one could hardly get tired of. We usually spend the rest of the evening in the GCR itself, once used by Albert Einstein, to discuss or simply enjoy wine and cheese. Whisky and wine tasting sessions were also organised over Michaelmas term, which were delightful occasions to open fine bottles among friends!
One of the other prominent Oxford traditions is the Union. The Oxford Union has been the debating home to many emblematic speakers from all fields over the past two centuries, including fellow Oxonians Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Bill Clinton, David Cameron and Emma Watson, but also Dalai Lama, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Giscard d'Estaing, Jack Dorsey, Eric Schmidt, Peter Thiel, Bernard Arnault, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Morgan Freeman and Diego Maradona, to name a few. As a lifetime member, one of my first debates tackled the legitimacy of businesses with regard to their influence on the conduct of public affairs. At the end of the debate, the audience had to physically vote in favour of the proposition or the opposition through dedicated exits.
Last but not least, I decided to start exploring an entrepreneurial idea I have had in mind for quite some time. Indeed, after studying both in France and the UK, getting to work with talent from all over the world back in 2018 was one of the highlights of my first summer internship at the European HQ of Facebook. What struck me was the lack of collaboration between talented profiles from each European country prior to them getting to join such selective international companies, or rarely graduate from two different higher education systems. Upon joining McKinsey & Company in London as a digital-focused senior consultant then product manager, it became even clearer that European ventures as well as large corporations strive to compete with best-in-class US and China-based players in the years to come. As a result, they also need to better leverage the wealth of talent available in Europe, by disrupting their talent sourcing approach in a way that matches Gen Z's aspirations and content habits.
It led me to launch RightPick, which allows talent from top European universities to browse exclusive job offers in consulting, finance and technology that exactly match their background, industry of interest and seniority across Europe effortlessly, while businesses reduce recruitment frictions, cost and time to market by scaling up their workforce seamlessly. Starting from Oxford, word of mouth spread so well across European universities that it triggered a significant user traction on the early access portal, to the point where the project got incubated at OX1, Oxford's incubator programme backed by Entrepreneur First, Christ Church and Magdalen College. I really look forward to expanding RightPick to the wider Oxford community and beyond in order to aim at helping hundreds of thousands of qualified professionals find opportunities that suit them better across Europe. Here is the early access portal.