And so, the adventure begins!

3 minute read

It was only three weeks ago when I boarded the bus to Oxford and it already seems like a truckload of experiences. From biking by the Thames Canal, dancing to Bhangra tunes in pubs, attending ‘Harry Potteresque’ formal dinners to having drinks with dinosaurs, it’s been a surreal experience.

I come from India – a bustling, growing country with immense diversity, ambitions, and, yet, a sense of community. Growing up, I recognised the severe social adversity around me and how access to opportunities could limit an individual’s overall development. 

Looking back, these experiences have guided the majority of my decisions: from pursuing a career as a social impact consultant at Sattva Consulting to working as an educational mentor for Make a Difference, a non-profit focused on the education of children from shelter homes. I hope to continue in my journey towards greater equity even after my MBA.

It’s been almost six years of relentless work and I was nervous about being back in a classroom. Getting adjusted to the technology, extreme pace of work, and being at your best in all kinds of settings takes a toll pretty quickly. But I soon realised that I was not alone in feeling this way and I have multiple ways to seek help, get advice, and progress in my learning journey. Furthermore, living within my college, it was not too hard to find like-minded individuals and I have now started to feel much more at home in Oxford.

Moreover, I realise the sheer grandness of the Oxford experience and I am learning to soak it in one day at a time. On one day, you could be sitting in Port Meadow admiring the swans and horses and, on the next, you could be talking to the co-founders of global businesses. I was particularly inspired by a panel led by Alan Jope, describing how Unilever has been taking strides to make its value chain sustainable. Maybe capitalism isn’t as bad as you’d imagine?

The MBA experience at Oxford is not just about academic work and parties – but also about building lifelong connections with a very rich community. I am hoping that this will be one of the biggest takeaways after my year. I am excited about student clubs such as Impact Lab, Creative Destruction Lab, industry-focused business networks, and culture-driven societies that are aplenty. 

The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

Christopher McCandles

I have probably signed up for more than I can possibly fit into my schedule. But that’s a problem that is easy to deal with. The bigger concern is to not get bogged down by how overwhelming all this can be, to be focused on my larger vision, and to have a fulfilling year. I’m hoping to achieve all this and more during my year.