Unraveling my Oxford dream: a journey of passion and pursuit

3 minute read

Raised in a modest family on the outskirt of Jakarta, Indonesia. I have experienced the weight of high hopes and expectations as the firstborn and the first grandchild of the family. My parents, from my formative years, instilled in me the pivotal role of education in shaping one’s future. They invested immensely in my education and involved me in diverse learning classes. I did it all; starting from swimming course, piano lessons, to arithmetic classes. My parents are the stereotypical ‘kiasu’ - directly translated as ‘fear of losing out’ for Asian parents. I can recall a meltdown over arithmetic homework around the age of eleven. It was a painful moment then, but now, a memory I can laugh at.

These experiences molded me into a competitive individual. I was laser-focused on my studies and thrived academically. Amid my routine, reading was the only escape. This might sound cliché, but it was through my obsession with Harry Potter that I dreamt of studying at the University of Oxford. Unfortunately, my little dream was soon overshadowed by mundane realities, and I gradually forgot about it.

Years later, my career path led me to the banking industry. I spent the first five years developing various banking products for the retail segment in Indonesia. I derived great satisfaction from building financial products that added positive impact to people’s lives. In 2021, the opportunity to progress my career brought me to Singapore. I switched roles as a Technology Business Analyst, focusing on developing digital channels for retail banking customers and delving into the technical aspects of technology and digital product development.

Reflecting on my long-term career goal, pursuing an MBA degree would be a pivotal steppingstone. Saïd Business School offers a great MBA program which aligns with my interest and aspiration. The School also provides inclusive scholarships and grants for students from diverse backgrounds. The Laidlaw Scholarship particularly resonated to me. In one of the interviews, Lord Laidlaw shared a mission of breaking the glass ceiling for women to reach the leadership roles in global companies. Having been working in the field that is dominated by male, I strongly believe we need more female leaders to drive the business forward.

Selected as one of Laidlaw Scholars felt so surreal. This opportunity extends beyond financial support, offering invaluable access to a community of scholars. Saïd Business School represents a confluence of my aspirations, academic interests and professional goals, allowing me the prospect to contribute meaningfully to the domains I am passionate about and realize the dreams incubated in my modest upbringing. Over the next year, I aim to hone my business skills, forge meaningful connections, and immerse myself in the vibrant culture of Oxford.

Oxford MBA