'We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.' - Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Oxford has cast its enchanting spell on me over the past year, and it's been a truly remarkable journey. My time here has been enriched with experiences, both within the MBA program and beyond. The diverse backgrounds and perspectives of my classmates have been a constant source of inspiration, and we've shared many unforgettable moments – from the magnificence of college formal dinners to the serenity of canal-side strolls, the natural beauty of Port Meadow, and lively debates at the Oxford Union. I've also had the privilege of exploring internationally with my peers through a ski trip to Andorra, competing in the MBA Tournament (MBAT) in Paris, and participating in international electives at the University of Cape Town, where we learned about the unique opportunities and challenges of doing business in Africa, and the University of California, Berkeley, where we immersed ourselves in entrepreneurship and innovation.
On the professional front, this year has been nothing less than a magical exploration of entrepreneurship from both the operator and investor sides, as well as impact, which were my primary motivations for choosing Oxford for my MBA.
I've been fortunate to take on various roles, such as co-chair of the Entrepreneurship Oxford Business Network, through which I've had the privilege of supporting entrepreneurial MBA students in their journeys alongside my brilliant friends Vicki Powell, Karan Savra, and Farrukh Mukhitdinov. I also served as an MBA Venture Consultant at Creative Destruction Lab, where I gained exposure to top entrepreneurs and investors, and provided advice to a Swiss climate tech venture on its business development - this experience enriched my strategic thinking and deepened my understanding of advanced technologies and solutions.
To better understand the world of fundraising, I served as an Investment Director at the Oxford Seed Fund, working closely with numerous entrepreneurs and learning about the intricacies of venture due diligence, eventually investing in several highly promising startups (check out the great work of Folasade Ayoola and Diego Rojas Arancibia). Additionally, I was the Oxford team lead for the global Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) and a member of the Oxford Finance Lab. These experiences further enhanced my management and investment skills, which I promptly put into practice by acting as a business mentor at J.P. Morgan, where I supported a Royal Marines veteran business owner.
To gain a deeper understanding of the Global South, I initiated an Entrepreneurship Project, Orzila Strategy, with the aim of establishing an investment readiness program for startups in emerging markets. This endeavor provided me with valuable lessons in leadership, functioning as a superconnector, navigating success, and managing failure. Additionally, I had the privilege of serving as a research fellow for the United Nations Development Program and the Global Resilience Partnership. In this capacity, I conducted a comprehensive analysis of blended finance approaches designed to support organizations aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 19 developing countries. This work provided me with insights into the unique challenges organizations encounter as they strive to strike a balance between making a positive impact and generating revenue.
As I reflect on this transformative year, I realize that, despite the immense professional growth I've achieved, the most significant aspect of this year has been the people – and I must once again express my deepest gratitude to my new friends, as well as my family, partner, and friends back home. They serve as a constant reminder of how much brighter life becomes when we are surrounded by individuals who truly see us for who we are and offer unconditional support.
Now, as I conclude my MBA journey and step into the next chapter of my life, I eagerly anticipate staying connected with Oxford and contributing to the community, and I am honored to have been appointed by the University's alumni board, alongside my friends Tomer Amir (MBA) and Aviv Yehezkel (EMBA), to lead the Official Oxford Israel Alumni Society. Reflecting on this appointment, it’s impossible to overlook the ongoing war in Israel. My heart aches for my nation while I write these words and I hold onto the hope that the future will bring an end to suffering and loss of life. My earnest wish is for a prosperous and peaceful future for my country and the region, and that hope remains steadfast.