In 2022, with over 10 years of experience with a global development institution, financing infrastructure in emerging markets, I began to question where I was in my career and what I would like to do next. I was looking for the next step in my learning journey; one which would challenge me intellectually and where the learnings I would gain could be directly applied to the real-life business challenges that I faced. Oxford Saïd’s Postgraduate Diploma in Global Business promised to take me on that journey. I applied without hesitation, and I feel extremely fortunate to have been offered a place on this rigorous, selective, and intellectually-challenging programme. I am writing this first blog entry to share my reflections and key insights after the end of the first module on global strategy.
A spot on, straight to the point ‘deep dive’ into the diploma life
It is Wednesday, January 25th, 8:12 a.m. A high-speed train from London Paddington arrives just on time to Oxford Railway Station. In winter, Oxford looks absolutely stunning with its cold frost and sunshine. It’s a short walk across the road to the West Wing of Oxford Saïd; the Thatcher Business Education Centre – home to the Oxford Executive Diplomas. The first module kicks off right on time with introductions, and it turns into an exciting, and rather intensive, week! The lectures, discussions, and group exercises are all dynamic, lasting the full day, from Wednesday - Saturday. These are taught by distinguished senior experts in international business with frequent breaks in between to network, connect with your peers and digest the content. During the evenings, conversations continue over drinks and meals, sometimes in one of Oxford´s famous colleges.
A modern, relevant, and thought-provoking programme, with both academic and practical content
The first module, Global Strategy, covers matters such as competitive advantage, business environments and the cultural nuances of what it means to ‘go global’. It offers an excellent opportunity to evaluate a real-life business case and offer a strategic solution. The solution is then assessed by a guest protagonist, who influenced the actual outcome. Typically, you have at least two business cases to read ahead of each day during the module week, which are then debated in class. As an Oxonian, each of us are lucky to have access to unmatched intellectual resources and materials via the School’s library. Top tip: do all the pre-readings ahead of time to be relevant and present in the class discussions!
A truly global conversation
Without a doubt, the programme cohort is very diverse: we are experienced professionals from 35 countries with 20 different nationalities (not counting the fact that some of us do not live in the country we are from!). Such diversity lays the foundations for a truly global conversation. I am utterly impressed with how many smart individuals are sitting next to me in class!
A journey of knowledge
I thoroughly enjoyed my first module and stay at Oxford. I am learning so much from my fellow classmates and the faculty. I am certain that what we will learn here will stay with us for the rest of our lives. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of the Oxford community. Quoting Jonathan Dawson, Senior Programme Manager of Executive Degree Programmes at Oxford Saïd: ‘Please expect to work hard and to be challenged … it is Oxford, after all!’
To conclude, whether it is about improving your leadership skills, staying abreast of global agendas, launching your own new business or preparing for a new role, everyone has their own distinct reasons for coming to Oxford. As such, I am excited to see where this journey of knowledge will take me and each of my fellow classmates over the course of the programme and beyond!