By Trinity, I had solidified friendships, Oxford felt like home and it finally started to get warmer and sunnier, but it was bittersweet since it also meant the MBA was soon coming to an end.
This term was my favorite even before it started thanks to the Egypt trek during the April break. Over 100 of us gathered in Egypt for a week of activities and adventure across Dahab and Cairo. Dahab showed us the beautiful Egyptian beaches and nature. There we did everything from snorkelling in the Red Sea to riding all-terrain vehicles in the desert. Cairo was all about history. Our visit to the Great Pyramids of Giza was definitely the highlight. If you have the opportunity to join some of these treks, I fully recommend it, it’s a great way to bond with classmates in a more laid-back setting.
Once the trek was done, it was straight to London for this year’s fintech elective. Around 40 of us gathered in Shoreditch for a week-long immersion into the London fintech space. Shoreditch is the tech hub in London and Ripple (the company where I did my MBA internship) has its offices there too, so besides learning from fintech leaders about different niches within the space and exploring London with classmates, it was great to get to better know the area I would be working at during the summer.
Then it was time to go back to Oxford where, with the return of nicer weather, I enjoyed various Oxford traditions, such as punting, croquet and college balls. Punting on the canals is a beautiful small-group activity, but do not underestimate it. Make sure that you go with someone that knows how to punt (otherwise you may find yourself spinning in circles, I speak from personal experience!). Croquet on the other hand is a relaxed field game which many colleges have the space and equipment for. A friend from Christ Church invited me to play with a few other MBAs and it was such a fun time. Also because of the weather, this term is, in my opinion, the best for college balls.
I went to the Merton College Ball in June and having gone to two winter balls I can say it really makes a huge difference to enjoy the outdoors, show your elegant outfits without freezing, and see the sunrise for survivor hour. I also recommend taking advantage of the beautiful Oxford nature. I feel grateful to have celebrated the end of my time at Oxford on a sunny day with a picnic at Christ Church Meadows surrounded by 30 or so MBAs who I had the pleasure to get close to over the year.
Once Trinity term was over, I moved back to London for my summer internship, which was focused on developing Go-To-Market strategies for Ripple to enter the Private Equity Fund tokenization space. This was a great learning experience that allowed me to build upon my track record in fintech. However, I think it’s important to acknowledge that there was a bit of an adjustment period after the MBA. For me, it felt strange to not have a new event to go to every day and to no longer be surrounded by my classmates whom I had seen almost every day for the past nine months. But after a month or so, muscle memory kicks in and you re-adjust to reality. In my case I came to appreciate the stability of having a routine again and once work started calming down, I made time to reconnect with MBA classmates that stayed in London too.
This year will remain in my memory as one of immense personal development, where I got to develop leadership skills through my role as co-chair of the fintech club, public speaking skills through the various presentations for class project and people skills through the various group assignments. I leave Oxford with a greater sense of confidence, knowing that I have the skills and capabilities to pursue my goal of building a career in the fintech space, not to mention the many amazing friendships I hope to keep for the years to come and all the beautiful memories we built together.
Thank you Oxford!