Cohort to community: my first months in Oxford

3 minute read

When I was asked to write a blog post reflecting on Michaelmas term, I thought a lot about what topic I wanted to choose. Should I discuss the many amazing (albeit slightly bizarre) Oxford traditions, like sub fuscs and punting? Or perhaps the unique learning experiences I’ve had so far through courses like Global Rules of the Game? Those are all excellent topics, and they deserve to be covered! But as I sit here after final exams are completed and all my assignments are handed in, I realize that while I should be feeling an overwhelming sense of relief, I mostly feel a bit sad – sad that Michaelmas term has flown by, that I am watching so many people head off for holidays at home and abroad. And it hits me – the best part about Michaelmas term was not what I did, but the people I did it with. 

So that’s what I want to share with you: courses and professors and career services don’t make an MBA, people do. And I’ve met some of the most incredible people at Oxford.

When I chose Oxford’s MBA program, it was in large part because I felt there would be a cultural fit. I figured a program that focused on impact would attract people for whom those ideas resonated – people who are open-minded, kind, generous – and that was the type of environment I wanted for my MBA. I’m so lucky to say that the people in Oxford’s MBA program have surpassed even my wildest expectations.

In the past three months, I’ve watched as a cohort became a community. A place where people care about and support one another. Friends bring each other soup when they are sick. Student council organizes for everyone to receive gratitude journals so we can practice gratitude and mindfulness. A classroom cheers for a group of classmates to give them confidence as they prepare for a final presentation. A few amazing individuals organize hours of support sessions for exams to make sure that people who feel behind can go in feeling comfortable with the material. No one forced or asked any of these people to do these things – rather, they wanted to.

I have spent Michaelmas term doing some incredibly special things – matriculating into the university, exploring Oxford, taking weekend trips abroad, and enjoying college dinners, to name a few. But what made them truly special was the people I shared those experiences with. People who have started businesses, written books, and volunteered all over the world. People who are kind, generous, and supportive. People who will introduce you to someone in their network just because they think you will get along, or join you for Domino’s after a long day. 

I knew coming into the MBA that I was doing it in large part for the people, but I don’t think I realized just how impactful that could be. I haven’t just become part of a network, I have become part of a cohesive and caring community.

Thank you, MBA class 2022-2023 – I can’t wait to see where the next eight months takes us.