A tapestry of growth and transformation

4 minute read
"" credits to Virgyl Sowah

The Oxford Real Estate Programme stands as a transformative chapter in my educational journey, marked by a profound sense of belonging, meaningful relationships, and invaluable insights that have already begun reshaping the trajectory of my career. Having been away from the classroom for 19 years, the experience at Oxford felt like a homecoming, a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation that surpassed any prior educational encounter.


Building connections and community

The first segment of my Oxford experience revolves around relationships – an essential element that elevated the program from a mere academic pursuit to a life-enriching journey. From the very first night, a simple dinner with colleagues; Nate Carson, James Buckingham and Hayynam Allawati, catalysed a camaraderie that became the backbone of a supportive and collaborative community. What was initially a gathering for sustenance unfolded into the foundation of enduring connections.

Being the only African and the sole black person in the programme was a distinctive aspect of my journey. However, the inclusive nature of the Oxford community ensured that I was never treated differently. The warmth and acceptance from backroom staff, facilitators and fellow learners created an environment where diversity was celebrated, contributing to a sense of unity that transcended cultural differences.

A poignant testament to the strength of these relationships occurred on my birthday. The entire class paused to wish me well, forming an unexpected yet heartfelt celebration that encapsulated the familial bonds forged during the programme. This collective expression of goodwill resonated deeply, evoking the warmth and support reminiscent of my family back home in Ghana.


The wisdom of strategic debt

The second part of my Oxford journey uncovered a profound lesson – the strategic use of debt as a catalyst for growth. The programme's exploration of this topic went beyond theoretical discussions, providing practical insights that have already influenced my approach within JL Properties, my company in Ghana, and I loved Yair Ginor’s 22 Bishopsgate experience.

Understanding that ‘debt is good when leveraged wisely’ became a guiding principle that transcended financial management. The nuanced discussions and real-world case studies illuminated the transformative power of strategic debt utilisation. This insight has been immediately applicable, reshaping decision-making processes within my portfolio of companies and contributing to their financial resilience.

The programme's approach to debt was not merely about financial strategies; it encompassedcap a holistic understanding of the intersection between market dynamics, economic landscapes and prudent financial decision-making. This comprehensive insight empowers me to navigate the complex terrain of the real estate industry with a strategic and informed perspective. It was very profound and also an eye opener because I am a traditional real estate developer and not a real estate investor.


Unveiling the power of the ‘Ls’

The final part of my Oxford journey delved into the significance of the ‘Ls’ in the real estate industry – Land, License, and Legislation. These topics were presented with a practical, raw and relatable lens, making them immediately applicable to my professional endeavours.

Rental emerged as a key player in the real estate industry, serving as the foundation for stability and adaptability to market trends. This understanding has already influenced strategic decisions within JL Properties, enhancing its capacity to navigate a dynamic market. The rental aspect interwoven with its social approach was my biggest takeaway from the course. 


A continued journey: enrolling in another programme

The impact of the Oxford Real Estate Programme has been so profound that I have eagerly enrolled in another programme with Saïd Business School. This decision is a testament to the programme's excellence and my unwavering commitment to continuous growth and development.

Returning to Oxford is not merely a quest for additional knowledge; it is an investment in ongoing professional and personal enrichment. The thirst for knowledge extends beyond the realms explored in this first programme, encompassing new topics, emerging trends and advanced insights. This commitment to education as a lifelong journey aligns with Oxford Saïd's ethos of intellectual exploration and transformative growth. 

A tapestry of growth and transformation

In conclusion, the Oxford Real Estate Programme has woven a tapestry of growth and transformation, encompassing relationships, financial wisdom, and practical insights into the real estate industry. The sense of belonging, the wisdom gained, and the immediate application of knowledge in my professional pursuits reflect the programme's holistic impact.

As I reflect on this multifaceted journey, I carry forward not only the lessons learned within the hallowed halls of Oxford but also a profound appreciation for the enduring connections formed and the anticipation of future growth. The Oxford Real Estate Programme has not only shaped my present practices but has ignited a fervour for continuous learning, positioning me to navigate the complexities of the real estate landscape with renewed confidence and insight.

Ending on lighter note, I want my colleagues and in fact and facilitators to all remember that subgroup 4 won the pitch, the Ridgeback Capital Group made up of the very focused Hayynan, the numbers man Nate, the very cool Alawi, my good self and the very affable Guillaume. I know Andrew Baum, our evergreen professor, won’t forget!


Oxford Real Estate Programme