After successfully advancing my career for over 25 years and reaching a C-suite level position at a leading international telecommunications company, my curiosity and passion for learning led me to embark upon the Executive Diploma in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Business at Saïd Business School.
As I write this, I have already completed three of the four modules, and I would argue that this is one of the best investments in my growth that I have ever made. ‘Why are you so happy to invest your time and resources into this postgraduate diploma?’, you might ask? Below I have tried to summarise the benefits:
1. Wide-ranging focus
Firstly, the Executive Diploma in AI for Business covers all aspects of AI application in business. This includes:
- An understanding of the value artificial intelligence brings to an organisation, its stakeholders, and customers
- The technological and organisational capabilities necessary to implement AI successfully
- Examples of organisations who have successfully created and harnessed a ‘culture of innovation’
- The compliance, ethical and regulatory issues relating to artificial intelligence in business.
Very few professionals possess knowledge in all the above-mentioned areas, and this diploma programme has equipped me with a holistic view and understanding of all these facets of AI.
Even professionals who have worked with artificial intelligence for many years cannot explain the exponential growth of AI and its benefits based on economic theory. However, the programme sessions have helped me to understand and articulate this, as they are designed to demonstrate and explain the link between AI and economic theories, offering a specific and unique approach to understanding AI’s ways of working and business benefits. During these sessions, we discuss many use cases regarding how to practically implement AI, how to use AI to improve operations, and how to utilise AI to improve business. We’ve also discussed how to distinguish fake artificial intelligence systems, reflected upon the unintended consequences that AI can lead to and have had brilliant discussions about innovation.
2. Brilliant guest speakers
A second benefit, which adds many flavours to the sessions, is the opportunity to learn from a range of guest speakers who share their stories of successfully implementing AI for many different purposes. Dr Alex Connock, one of the Co-Academic Directors on the diploma programme, invites a great variety of guest speakers who represent different industries and geographies and have deep, practical experience in implementing AI.
The third benefit has to be the people you meet and collaborate with during your studies – here I mean both the brilliant professors and your cohort mates. I have met people from different businesses and geographies who have carved fantastic careers and yet have an ambition to grow and an interest in AI like me. Thanks to the brilliant recruitment process, my cohort is comprised of a lot of high calibre people. We enjoy discussions throughout our formal classes, and many of these continue over formal and informal dinners and social events. I’ve made so many new friends during my time on the programme and have enriched my network with exceptional peers.
4. Oxford experience
Finally, the programme wouldn’t be what it is without the Oxford experience around it. The Oxford professors guide you through the programme and offer invaluable recommendations for books and articles to read to enrich your learning, which you can access in the university libraries. I have also joined the Oxford Union and some of the Oxford Alumni groups, where you become a member for life, are connected to Oxford forever and can access a range of benefits.
What do these benefits all mean for me?
The experiences I’ve had on the programme so far have prepared me to have mature and holistic discussions with C-suite executives in my industry, investors, government officials, AI professionals and coders, digital transformation leaders and more. I can honestly say that this unique experience and new-found knowledge is helping me to realise my ambitions and potential.