Reaching a qualitatively different standard of living

4 minute read

Having 20 years of work experience, more than 10 of them managerial, an economics degree and MBA in strategic management, two global relocations to new countries, I felt quite confident. My last move to Switzerland was more significant for me in the professional field because I used to work in the CIS market and, now I have created my own business in Europe, this is a completely new world for me. I am engaged in the creation of entrepreneurship training programmes for women, youth and social entrepreneurs.

I am used to approaching everything very competently in life and I wanted to expand my international networking opportunities, mostly in a female environment. This is specific to my business so it was important for me to learn new cultures in a fairly short time. I also wanted to gain new academic knowledge as a leader, and not just rely on my intuition. The academic base is very important for my business.

I've heard about the Oxford Women's Leadership Development Programme for a long time, but I think everything has its time. Having already had a good educational foundation and entrepreneurial experience, it was important for me to gain knowledge about how to be a leader in completely different contexts and cultures, and I also wanted to communicate with other women leaders and listen to their success stories. 

In my blog, I will share my experience of studying at the Oxford Women's Leadership Development Programme and why I chose this one.


Why should women pay attention to leadership with a female accent?

The six-week programme is structured in such a way that from the very beginning I had to determine my place as a leader, that is, my starting point where I am now. What kind of leader am I now? 

I didn't have an understanding of how to evaluate myself. After the first module a picture formed in my head, which was supplemented by a large amount of material on the basis of which I could determine at what point I am now and where I should move on. 

From the very first week, we met all the participants in the discussion groups, and it was incredible. The women were from different parts of the world. When I watched the interactive map of who and where they were located, I was very excited that I was in such a wonderfully international community among successful and intelligent women. We found a common ground online very quickly as if we had known each other for a very long time. I think this is the difference between programmes where only women study. A supportive and kind atmosphere, while we discussed the achievements and successes of each participant in each new module. We also discussed a lot about gender bias in the workplace.

For me, modules 2 and 3 were very valuable and useful, where we considered the context in which we are as leaders, which is very important to choose the right business strategy, as well as the topic of cross-cultural communications. While studying the material on the platform, I simultaneously bought recommended books and read them to immediately apply everything in my work. A distinctive feature of the programme is that everything I went through can be immediately put into practice and the result will be visible very quickly. 

The final modules forced me to expand my global thinking very much, because a true leader must be able to go beyond their current business situation and think with a broad strategic horizon. It wasn't so easy for me at first. The weekly feedback about my assignments from the curators helped me reflect more on this topic and reach a new level of my thinking.


Levelling up

I got an incredible amount of information that I really needed during these six weeks, and I began to apply more than 50% of the knowledge I gained during my studies. I improved the quality of communication with my team and I became much better versed in the cultural characteristics of my partners from different countries. I also took into account the context in which I work and saw the reasons for my misunderstanding in some issues. I talked to amazing women who successfully combine a wonderful career and motherhood, I received valuable advice from our tutors who have extensive professional and life experiences. I was energized by all the women for my upcoming achievements. We met with one of the participants of the programme in Budapest last week, and we continue to communicate with the rest and share our success online. 

I highly recommend all women for whom the topic of career and business is relevant to take this programme. This will take you to a completely different level. 

Oxford Women's Leadership Development Programme