A civil engineer walks into a financial strategy lecture...

3 minute read

‘A civil engineer walks into a financial strategy lecture in Oxford.' It sounds like the start of a joke, but that’s how my first day at Oxford began.

How did I end up here? And what was it like? Let’s start from the beginning.

The perfect fit

I have always known that I wanted to further my education and was looking for something like an Executive MBA but with a deeper focus on my personal development areas. As I was researching options, I came across the Oxford Executive Diploma in Financial Strategy and it sounded like the perfect fit - a programme that would give me a clear vision and road map for the future, equipping me with the practical frameworks to measure my progress and deliver the best results for my clients.

The practicalities of studying at Oxford

Walking into the business school on day one, as the only engineer in the cohort, initially felt a bit strange. I remember thinking: ‘How will I fit in?’ But as we started the classes, I quickly realised that we were all connected by a shared goal: to find the right vision, tools, strategy and direction to prepare for the future. We might all come from very different walks of life, but that common goal, mindset and classroom in Oxford brought us together. It turned out to be very easy to break the ice!

Motivation to lead

The programme structure felt relaxed and accommodating, allowing you to digest the insights from a case study in between the lectures and then providing the chance to discuss how you could practically apply the findings in the sessions themselves.

The course material was well selected and highly valuable, bringing in interesting case studies from the pre-reading which we then dissected in class and applied to our own business challenges, sharing ideas and experiences as we went along.

We also had the opportunity to present our own challenges to the class for their input. Suddenly you had all these amazing people in the room not only interested in your challenge, but who also wanted to actively help you to solve it.

If I had to summarise the programme, I would say it encourages you to think, do and lead. You are encouraged to think about the challenges you face and then make things happen.

Unlocking opportunities and adding value

Looking ahead to the future, I hope to gain a suite of practical professional frameworks from the diploma that I can apply in my daily work to deliver superior results for my clients. I am also confident that it will unlock opportunities for me to pursue further study if I want to, either by applying to study an Executive MBA at a later date or a PhD if I wanted to go deeper into the content.

Shaping the future

I was delighted to receive a Women’s Scholarship and this is something that I hope to ‘pay forward’ in the future by supporting an alumni-funded scholarship for other female entrepreneurs to be able to access the benefits of this Oxford programme.

Oxford Executive Diploma in Financial Strategy