And just like that, the Oxford MBA class of 2022 is over halfway through the Hilary term.
This has been a life-changing year and, given the recent milestone, here follows some reflections on my journey to date.
The MBA class is vibrantly diverse and I am no exception. Growing up in a small Cumbrian village, north of the Lake District, my life was quite different. Many of my weekends were spent on a dairy farm, starting the day in the milking parlour before 5am.
Having completed my Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering, combined with a year at Shell where I worked onshore and offshore in the North Sea, I made the decision to move to London to join global construction firm Multiplex, on their graduate programme. During my time there, I worked on the delivery of high-profile projects, including 22 Bishopsgate. But I had a growing desire to develop strong commercial acumen alongside my technical skills and experience. I felt it was the right time to pursue an MBA.
I kicked the year off by proposing to my now fiancée at the end of an exhilarating MBA launch, taking everyone – friends, family, and new classmates – by surprise. Right from the start, Oxford has been a whirlwind of remarkable experiences. A highlight has been the Asset Management Masterclass, an extracurricular course held at the School over an eight-week period. In each session, we were joined by industry practitioners from the buy-side and the sell-side with whom we were able to engage directly – asking the toughest questions. We were always provided with measured and astute answers. In our last session, the class was joined by leadership from Lone Pine, NEST, Oppenheimer & Co, and Industry Minds Research, where much of the discussion centred around shifting market dynamics.
As Co-Chair of the Real Estate Club, I take a leading role in organising guest speakers from industry, who shed expert insight and wisdom from their years of experience. Alongside my studies, club activities, extracurriculars and numerous college dinners, I am undertaking a term-time internship at Gresham House. As part of the sustainable infrastructure investment team, I am applying knowledge gained on the MBA alongside experience in industry: a prime example of the Oxford MBA’s ability to equip candidates with the tools to transition and accelerate their careers.
No matter how busy the weeks get, I find the time for coffee with my fellow classmates, whose diversity brings a wealth of invaluable perspectives from around the world in conversations that often focus on innovation, politics, economics and creating positive impact. The openness and collegiality of the class is a key strength of the MBA programme here at Oxford. I also keep a little time free for tennis; the coaching at the University sports centre is fantastic and adds yet another opportunity to meet Oxford students outside the School.
Looking back, I thought I would share my top three pieces of advice for incoming MBA candidates:
- View time as your most important resource – think hard about what you want to walk away with and prioritise accordingly (you can’t do everything!)
- Find the right mentor to provide the insight, advice and support necessary to achieve your goals.
- Make the most of any events to meet and get to know your classmates – you never what you might learn!
Looking ahead, I am excited to continue on with Hilary term as I start new modules in Business Finance Plus, Capitalism in Debate and kickstart the Entrepreneurial Project in recently formed teams. Trinity term will follow, which I am equally eager about; this is when I will start my chosen electives in Negotiations, Private Equity and Real Estate and Real Assets to name a few. I also hope to start rowing for my college next term, if time allows!