The positive evolution of learning for one sustainability professional

4 minute read

I was fortunate to undertake and complete the Oxford Leading Sustainable Corporations Programme back in 2022. It was not an easy task to identify the right programme as most of the world’s leading universities now also offer such courses. However, it appeared to me that this Oxford programme stood out for having world renowned tutors/lecturers; a well-structured curriculum looking at the concept holistically; excellent reviews; featured interesting industry case studies; and integrated a framework/methodology for change.

In this blog, I will attempt to cover my personal experience undertaking this programme and how I was able to integrate the learning points to benefit my work.



The programme lasted for 12 weeks with a mixture of offline and live content. It covered a myriad of relevant topics which reflected the holistic nature of sustainability.

The main challenge I faced was to juggle between my busy work schedule for a private bank and taking this course. However, I must say that the programme is particularly well suited to accommodate working professionals as it allows flexibility and personal time management. For me, it meant working late hours and over the weekends, but it was all worth it.


Learning experience

In terms of my learning experience, it was highly refreshing and an excellent update on the latest developments in the field of sustainability. I recall the well-developed online learning platform where I was able to access all content and key information regarding the course from my mobile device while on the move. For me it was a positive evolution from my university days where all the teaching was in person or printed format; we have gone a long way for a better learning experience!

I also found that the content was well thought and balanced to keep up with the flow and offered options to deep dive into each topic.

When it came to assignments, the questions were well thought out and required deep reflection fully utilising the content that was progressively rolled out module by module.

Something that also stood out besides the programme’s faculty was the quality of the guest lecturers featured including Al Gore and CEOs of large multinationals.


Personal growth

For me, this programme was an opportunity to refresh my existing knowledge in the field. Anyone working in sustainability would know that it evolves extremely fast and that continuous learning is essential. When I completed the course, I felt more confident and knowledgeable on certain concepts such as international regulatory developments.

However, the most valuable aspect of this course for me was the methodology gained in terms of implementing a sustainability strategy within an organisation, something that the course progressively provides through the assignments. When I stitched together all my answers to the assignments at the end of the course, it became clear what was missing in my organisation and how I could apply this learning to address the gaps. It happened at about the same time I was due to update some of our sustainability strategies which I saw as an opportunity to integrate the learnings from this course which has since served us well in progressing the company’s agenda forward.


Challenges and lessons learned

Another challenge I faced was to 'unlearn', in a way, what I have experienced so I can absorb new concepts. This required openness of thoughts and acceptance that certain aspects of what I thought about certain aspects had to change. In the end, this has proven successful and certain processes were even reviewed to match the learning points. Another obstacle was the format of the assignments which often limited our answers to a certain number of words. I first found this limiting but after a few rounds of submission I found it useful to structure my thoughts and only focus on what was important. This was also a useful learning point to make my work more efficient



In summary I really enjoined taking this course which was enriching and useful in my day-to-day job as a sustainability professional. The combination of quality, innovation and well-structured curriculum was useful to help formulate aspects of our sustainability strategy. It was also reassuring that many aspects of what we had already done at Bank of Singapore were aligned with what was presented in class.

In the end, I would highly recommend this course to anyone willing to better understand corporate sustainability and looking to apply their learnings in a business context. While many courses remain theoretical in nature, this programme is highly practical!

Oxford Leading Sustainable Corporations Programme