This past month, I once again walked through the doors of the Sheldonian Theatre. It was a full-circle moment, donning the same sub fusc attire as matriculation and staring up in awe at Robert Streater’s ceiling fresco that depicts an embrace of knowledge and expulsion of ignorance. However, this time, my family was in the stands and we were there to celebrate and reflect on my MBA journey that was coming to a close.
12 months ago, my mind was racing with questions on what the Oxford experience would be like, what career path I would take, and what connections I would forge in and outside the classroom. Fast-forward to graduation, those questions had been answered and replaced with strikingly similar ones about my next stage of life. While I was grateful and excited to have accepted a consulting role in London, there were still so many unknowns that made exiting the theatre just as daunting as before.
Our ceremony provided a space for us to feel proud of our accomplishments and set high ethical standards for our careers moving forward. Our faculty speaker, Dr. Alex Connock, encouraged us to be bold in our decisions, quoting Franz Liszt: ‘My sole ambition as a composer is to hurl my javelin into the infinite space of the future.’ We are all destined to branch off in a thousand directions—and hopefully many of those will intertwine—but our thread of consistency will be an education rooted in doing good.
As the MBA Programme Team shared their closing remarks, I looked up to see my mom and sister cheering and felt comforted in knowing that I had their support as I embarked upon a new career in an unfamiliar city. An MBA does not mean I will always have the answers, nor does it ensure I will always make the right decisions, but it certainly has equipped me to critique the status quo and maintain intellectual curiosity. If anything, my apprehensions highlight a key concept across our classes: no problem, especially on a global scale, is static or linear. An MBA is another—albeit powerful—toolkit to assist in tackling them.
Oxford is a strange, unique and wonderful little world that was a privilege to experience so personally. I will miss the community (and food) of college dinners, the spirited classroom debates, the glorious architecture and the ability to walk to my friends’ doorsteps. However, as a life-long Oxonian, I now proudly bear the responsibility of upholding the University’s values and look forward to contributing positively to the people and opportunities in my future. Thank you, Oxford; and thank you, Saïd Business School. I hope to see you very soon.