‘Let both machines and humans do what they’re good at. Together, who know what we can achieve.’
This quote from Andrew Stephen, Co-Director of the Executive Diploma in Artificial Intelligence for Business, still really resonates with me. Here’s why.
I work in international education. My school offers various international education pathways, from a typical international high school route through to global exchange programmes for students studying all over the world. Previously, our students, who study around the world in countries such as the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, France and Finland, could also visit and study with us in-person in China. But the pandemic completely changed how students could study. Travel restrictions were put in place, and we had to reimagine our approach to education. That is where digital learning and AI comes in. We had to build an online learning platform for our students so that they could continue to connect and learn from home around the world. It was about creating a new and immersive digital learning experience.
My role is focused on bridging the gap between the technology and the final educational experience. I am the link between the artificial and the real, the machines and the humans.
It’s safe to say that I’ve always been a huge advocate for lifelong learning, and I’m particularly interested in the rise of new technologies that will enhance education experience of future generations. 2020 was a pivotal moment where we really saw the importance and need for this played out on the world stage. It was a push for innovation that we all needed. For me, it highlighted the importance of three key areas: leadership, people, and change. I felt it was imperative to enhance my capabilities in these areas, and this ‘golden triangle’ became a key focus for me and my studies over the next two years.
By the winter of 2021, I had completed a number of executive programmes focused on these three pillars, but I still felt something was missing. I needed to learn how to use artificial intelligence (AI) effectively and innovate in my profession, otherwise, how else would I be able to create an unrivalled digital experience for our students?
When I joined the 2022 Executive Diploma in AI for Business cohort, I was nervous. I would always ask myself: ‘what can AI do for me?’ and ‘will I fit in?’. If you feel like I was, then you have to study this diploma! It will open your heart and your mind and prepare you to face challenges in the future that you aren’t even aware of yet. You will undoubtedly bring some brilliant experiences with you onto the programme which will be relevant to your peers and professors, regardless of their own backgrounds. In fact, the professors will want to learn as much from you as you do from them! Learning from such diverse experiences will improve your abilities, your readiness for future challenges and develop a global perspective.
Crucially, you don’t have to be an AI expert to get a lot of value from this programme. Some people have strong technical backgrounds, and others have strong industry experience. The diploma encourages you to open your mind to new ideas and creative solutions to common challenges. It’s for experienced professionals who know their industry well and are passionate about the potential AI can deliver. The programme effortlessly combines industry experience, specialist perspectives and academic discourse on AI, enabling you to take on board innovative ideas from other industries and to apply them to your own.
Studying this Executive Diploma prepares you for the future. It encourages you to ask the right questions, even if you don’t have the right answers. You feel safe and supported, and it’s ok if you don’t know the answers. It’s about creating a community, expanding your support network to help your development and to answer the questions you have, to solve a challenge.
The programme is not only filling that gap in my knowledge but is also fulfilling my dream to study at Oxford. If I can inspire others to go for it and pursue their ambitions by studying this programme, then I’ve achieved my goal.
I’m enjoying this programme so much, that I am already planning to study the Oxford Executive Diploma in Strategy and Innovation and the Oxford Executive Diploma in Global Business too!