Feeling empowered at Saïd Business School

3 minute read
School class in progress

I was born and raised in Ecuador, amidst the freshness of the Andean mountains. At 18, I arrived alone in France with the purpose of learning French. Nine months later I obtained my high school diploma in literature like any other French student and started working part time, as a cleaning lady and a school assistant, to fully pay for my superior studies in Europe. I became a mother at the age of 30: being a mother is by far one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had. At 35 years old I qualified for Saïd Business School. 

I am back to work now after an incredible week spent at Oxford, where I have made good friends and learned much more than I could have imagined.

Our first module for the Oxford Executive Diploma in Organisational Leadership is over. We have an amazing cohort from more than 25 nations, representing diverse sectors: medical, law, defence, education, consultancy, banking/financial services, human resources, general business, construction, industrial manufacturing etc.

I feel empowered by the diversity and humanity of my lovely mates and the amazing lectures and exchanges we had together on key topics: leadership, motivation, people performance, institutional culture and complexity.

In addition to this, what makes the Oxford experience very exciting is the atmosphere that is all around. You can feel the energy of many years of world-class learning history. The University of Oxford is all around you during the day and the night too!

We were pampered by the very professional team who lead this diploma. We were amazingly welcomed with a dinner at Pembroke College on the first evening and all the many little tailored details really made the difference!

The cherry on the top! We closed this amazingly flavoured week with a short stretching exercise and singing an African lullaby which has a strong significance: bowing to our Mother Earth. I believe that this song really illustrates what we have created together during this week: a very dynamic, diverse, human, respectful and strong team of worldwide individuals who have become more than classmates. We are now good friends.

The lullaby ‘Kokoleoko’ goes like this (Ecuadorian version, ‘Cocoleoco’):

Cocoleoco mama coleoco
Cocoleoco mama coleoco
Maaaaaaama ma coleoco
Maaaaaaama ma coleoco

This song is now accompanying us on our Oxford journey (some Organisational Leadership friends went back home singing it in their heads – myself included!) I am sure that this will empower us as a team, as individuals, and as society contributors.

Thank you all for this beautiful experience. Let’s do this together!

Special thanks to the #OxfordSBS team and lecturers for the very professional course organisation #OxfordDipOL2020. Thanks to Kevin Young, Matthew Wallen, Kate Richards, Alison Hill, Sue Dopson, Michael Smets and all the Oxford professionals who we did not see in person but who are doing a great job for us!

Class singing