Career development, ‘Doughnut Economics’ and Potter-themed ball at Natural History Museum

4 minute read

Hilary term (known more fondly as 'Hellary' Term) was quite the ride. The term was a bit stressful for so many of us in the cohort but we also had some amazing highlights!

The job hunt

For most MBA students, landing a job they love is one of the most important outcomes of the program. Hilary term is packed with MBAs applying for jobs and interviewing for them. I found out in December that I had been invited to interview with BCG, a consulting firm that I was keen on joining.

With the first interview scheduled for mid-January, I spent all of the winter break and the first week or so of Hilary term preparing for the interview. Practising case interviews is tedious, with some of my classmates and I practising remotely during the break. I even managed to rope my wife into the madness and had her interview me (an activity she described as 'painfully mind-numbing'). But all of this practice helped me improve drastically. The Career Development Centre at the business school also made several resources available to us – including expert interview practice, sessions on behavioural questions and more.

I had my first round of interview on Friday 13 January (a great date for an interview!). I was anxious going in, but all that practice paid off and I was informed by the firm that I had made it to the final round the Monday after. After the first round, I worked on improving the problem areas my interviewers highlighted. 

Thursday 26 January was the decision round. This set of interviews went much better than the first, with the time between the two interviews really helping me settle into my interviewing comfort zone. 

And then I waited. The wait is always the most anxiety-inducing part of the process. But thankfully, I got a call the following afternoon. It was the most thrilling experience of my MBA so far.

My takeaway from my recruitment experience is this – recruitment is a team sport. I can point to multiple moments during my journey when a friend or mentor gave me advice that helped me overcome a hurdle. My close friends, classmates, the Career Development team and many kind strangers are the reason I was able to achieve this.

Academics in Hilary – Doughnuts and parametric insurance

As someone who has only engaged with economics in its traditional, Keynesian form, I was keen to look for ways to challenge my conception of the field. Kate Raworth’s course ‘Doughnut Economics’ fit the bill. Kate is an economist and author who is known for developing the concept of 'doughnut economics.' Her ideas about doughnut economics propose a new economic framework that takes into account social and environmental factors.

Over the course of eight weeks, the course introduces and rationalises the concept of doughnut economics and implores its attendees to incorporate the doughnut framework into their thinking. While I didn’t agree with everything covered in the course, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about new ways to approach economics in a manner more appropriate for the 21st Century.

The other key academic highlight of my term was my Global Opportunities & Threats, Oxford (GOTO) assignment. Working with five of my classmates to deploy an innovative business concept to solve a real-world challenge was exhilarating. We chose a project to deploy parametric insurance to improve resiliency against natural disasters in hurricane-prone Puerto Rico. Meeting with practitioners, picking their brains on possible challenges, and designing a workable solution was challenging. But much like Doughnut Economics, GOTO helped me learn how business solutions can be designed in a manner that serves a broader system of players and helps solve large-scale problems.


The Harry Potter Ball

Oxford throws quite a few unique experiences at you from a social life standpoint too! Some of us from the MBA attended a Harry Potter-themed ball at the Museum of Natural History in Oxford. Organised by the Oxford University Harry Potter Society, the ball was unique in its theme and allowed us to unwind after a tough term (and be a bit silly).

Oxford MBA