So much of life is determined by pure randomness.
During a long Analytics lecture, my mind drifted away from the content and landed on the footnotes of the slide where Sidney Poitier’s quote was mentioned. The quote got me pondering on the weeks that had passed and the weeks that were left to come before the end of Michaelmas term.
Weirdly enough, some of the most exciting things about being at Saïd Business School have taken place outside of Saïd Business School. As paradoxical as it may sound, the opportunities in the wider Oxford ecosystem is one of the reasons that I came here. From joining the Oxford Artificial Intelligence Society to getting into the Global Leadership Initiative, and from participating in an Effective Altruism program to attending a Design Thinking workshop. Random it has been indeed.
These experiences have taught me many things. For example, with the Oxford Artificial Intelligence Society, I got a chance to build relationships with external sponsors and contribute to the growth of the society. This gave me first-hand experience in pitching and selling ideas. Similarly, Oxford’s Effective Altruism (EA) group allowed me to delve into many interesting subjects such as existential risks from emerging technologies. One takeaway for me was that we cannot take a simplistic approach to existential risks and need to consider complex paradigms. I spent a lot of time thinking about risks from Artificial General Intelligence and how to create incentive structures for corporations to mitigate these risks. One gap that I see in the current system is the lack of interconnectedness between governments, policy institutes and corporations. A last takeaway from my EA experience is the following quote from Peter Singer: 'Because we are all products of our time, intellectual humility is the healthiest posture we can adopt. Not having simple answers may make us uncomfortable, but I tend to think it’s productive discomfort.' These are words I try to live by.
So, to summarize, one thing that I learnt from one of my favourite core courses, Analytics, was that randomness can be your friend. And boy, have I taken that to heart. I’m nervously excited for what next term has in store. Till then, I want to sign off with a quote that embodies the inspiration I have taken from each and every MBA classmate of mine: 'own who you are and make it irresistible'.