Dreaming big: from hard hats to Oxford caps

3 minute read

What does it take to turn a dream into reality? Is it sheer determination, unwavering passion or perhaps a stroke of luck? My journey to Oxford has been a quest to find the answer. As I sit in my college room preparing to start classes next week, I am compelled to reflect on the remarkable journey that has led me here.

My undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering has led to a diverse career spanning infrastructure development, manufacturing, business administration, and consulting. In 2018, while working as a consultant, I developed an interest in solving business problems. This led me to manage a manufacturing and construction company, where my passion for business grew. However, I quickly realised that to drive meaningful change, I needed to speak the language of business fluently. That’s when I started researching different MBA options to find the best fit for me.

I grew up in a small town in Kenya, where Oxford is a familiar name. I grew up reading textbooks published by the Oxford University Press, the Oxford Dictionary and Helix Oxford Math Set (I don’t know if all these are affiliated with the school, but you get the point!). Despite the familiarity, I had never met anyone who had studied at the University of Oxford. Hence, the school seemed out of reach for a normal girl like me and was never really on my radar.

The dream to pursue my MBA at Oxford was born when I attended an Oxford MBA event in Nairobi. I discovered an International MBA program with a unique focus on Africa, a continent often overlooked in the global academic landscape and aimed to develop African talent. Oxford's intentionality about Africa's talent and potential deeply resonated with me as a pan-African who envisions a career addressing Africa's most pressing challenges. It was an immediate fit.

I still vividly recall the day I received my admission offer. I was ecstatic. I shared the news with my nearest and dearest while swearing them to secrecy as I was anxious about the cost of the program. Here’s an interesting tidbit: the cost of a top-tier MBA program can exceed the price of a luxury car! The Laidlaw Foundation Scholarship has been pivotal in turning my wildest dream into reality. It was only when I received the scholarship that it truly sank in – I was about to embark on an incredible adventure!

Looking ahead to the coming year, I am filled with promise and am eager to embrace the boundless opportunities. The program's collaborative and experiential nature, exceptional and diverse cohort and focus on impact excite me. I am keen to experience personal growth and development, spend time with some of the most intelligent and inspiring individuals and to engage in fun college activities such as punting!

My journey to Oxford is a personal milestone and a significant step towards empowering African women to contribute to Africa’s development and global progress. In this vibrant learning and collaborative environment, I am confident that my Oxford MBA experience will be a transformative chapter in my journey, enabling me to make a lasting impact on the challenges facing our world today.


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