My journey at Oxford Saïd so far

3 minute read

I can’t believe it’s three months since I arrived in the UK and started living this dream of doing a world-class MBA at Oxford.

I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who contributed to making this dream a reality. I pinch myself every time I think that I’m here, doing what I always said I would do. So, since this is the season of sharing, I believe that an update on my experience so far would be a great gift for the season.

Michaelmas term has come to an end, officially marking one-third of the programme and there’s just so much I could say about my experience so far. My time here has been one of great learning, relearning, and unlearning.

Here are a few observations I want to highlight:

  • Connecting with 355 people from 71 countries has been the most life-changing and humbling experience. I’ve met an Olympian, a set of twins running a biotech startup, heirs to billion-dollar enterprises, a prolific pole dancer, and a guy from a country I’ve never heard of before (Turkmenistan) to mention a few. These are all brilliant and impressive people connected by a shared purpose to make this world a better place.
  • Embracing who I am as a person has never been more empowering. Our magic is truly in our individuality. While I am owning mine, it has opened my eyes to so many opportunities and connected me to so many people that I couldn’t imagine possible.
  • This programme has been a test to truly master multi-tasking and time management, a must-have skill for every business leader. Juggling family, classes, extracurricular activities, social activities, and career activities is a wild flex and often leaves me exhausted but I find strength in God’s word every time my resilience is challenged.
  • FOMO has never been so real! Literally, every second here is laden with activities and I have to consciously and constantly decide which ones serve my purpose to decide what is worth my time or not. This level of steady real-time decision-making requires a strong sense of self and knowing exactly what you want out of the programme.

In hindsight, I constantly thought about what impact I wanted to leave here at Oxford. It’s always been my thing to leave a place better than when I arrived and, even though I wasn’t clear how that would play out initially, here are a few things I’ve been up to:

  • I’ve launched the ‘SBS Connect’ programme, which is a cross-collaboration among current MBA, EMBA, Master's in Major Programme Management, and Master's in Financial Economics cohorts, to create connections along with career interests.
  • I created a job board to streamline communications around internships and full-time job vacancies for my cohort.
  • I have initiated an internship career fair to facilitate interactions between employers and members of the cohort ahead of the summer.
  • I co-founded the Oxford Hub of the Impact Consulting Group, a management consulting firm providing high-quality, affordable consulting services to socially-driven organisations contributing to achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals within Oxford.

I’m very fortunate to be in this position to even have experiences to share. It has taken the support of a village to get me here. I am conscious of making every moment count by being the best I can be and, by doing that, letting them know I don’t take their investment in me for granted.

Finally, if there are any takeaways from this write-up, especially for incoming students, these would be:

  • Be a person of value. Opportunity follows value and you should seek to be associated with it.
  • Give of yourself freely to your peers within the cohort. Your gift will make a way for you, so contribute in a positive way to the experience of others.
  • Be prepared to unlearn stale things, learn new things, and relearn the things you need to stay with you.
  • The programme will stretch you financially, mentally, emotionally, and physically, so don’t be shy to ask for help and speak up if you feel overwhelmed.
  • Stay humble, stay thankful, and be a beacon of positivity wherever you find yourself.