Hungry to learn
I completed both the Entrepreneurship: Venture Finance and Entrepreneurship: Venture Creation Programme at Oxford because early in my career, I was always hungry to learn and grow. My work involves connecting with startups on their fundraising journeys and presenting their ideas to investors. These interactions sparked a fascination in me for this industry, one I see myself shaping in the future. Oxford's online programmes felt like the perfect way to dive deep and equip myself for that journey.
When I looked into various online executive courses, the Oxford entrepreneurship programmes stood out. Not only did it encompass every aspect of the world of launching and financing a business, but, importantly for me, it included perspectives from both entrepreneurs and investors. This is what really hooked me as it was perfect for my current role. From diving into the entrepreneurial practices of crafting business plans and projecting cash flows, to understanding how investors evaluate and rationalise valuations. Both the programmes gave me the skills and knowledge, already proving essential in shaping my career path.
When I joined the programmes, I had two main goals. I wanted to dive deep into venture finance and entrepreneurship, understanding everything from investor dynamics to funding cycles. Plus, I aimed to gain hands-on skills, like financial modelling and better communication with stakeholders, that would directly elevate my work. In short, I was looking for a game-changing experience that would give me both the confidence and practical tools for my career. The quality of content, and different methods of learning, ie the use of eye-catching infographics, mind-teasing quizzes, and lively group discussions made each module fun and exciting. In this regard, the programmes exceeded my expectations.
What I found most useful was the module on evaluating investment opportunities and how investors dive into due diligence. This part was like unlocking a practical toolkit. It gave me a clearer roadmap for sizing up potential ventures and making smarter choices. The use of case studies and guest speakers who brought their rich industry backgrounds and entrepreneurial wisdom to the table was also incredibly useful. Their real-world stories illuminated the challenges they've tackled on their own entrepreneurial paths, providing really useful insights.
Navigating the programmes
However, navigating the programmes had its own set of challenges, particularly when it came to translating the wealth of knowledge from each module into concise and focused assessments in a week’s time. The task was to seek and apply the valuable information, acquired throughout the modules, into succinct responses for assessment questions that often didn’t exceed 200-300 words. Yet the guidance from the programme faculty in open forums equipped you with the skillset to, thankfully, complete all of the assessments on time. Receiving your grades every week made the assessment process challenging but also extremely rewarding.
Since completing these programmes I constantly find myself applying the techniques I learnt to my day-to-day. For example, I'm currently collaborating with an entrepreneur, guiding their idea towards becoming a tangible, growth-ready proposition. Moreover, I had a means of showcasing an opportunity from a startup company to potential investors, a significant moment for me that ultimately led to a successful investment being made.
To those considering the entrepreneurship programmes, I wholeheartedly recommend taking the plunge. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur looking to finesse your pitch or an ambitious investor aiming to master the funding landscape, the Oxford Entrepreneurship programmes are like the link that connects what you learn in theory to what you can actually do in the real world. My journey on both has been a fantastic experience filled with challenges, insights, and transformative moments.