We are committed to having a direct impact on the path of the individual lives of our African students. Our main aim is to be a part of the positive change in the region, by cultivating talented African MBA students while educating the whole of our student body about Africa’s intellectual wealth and economic potential. The diversity of our students, whose broad range of experience and background stimulates and strengthens the classroom discussions, is a key factor of the success of our programme.
Our focus for our African students is not limited to their academic performance and career opportunities, but is also concentrated on their social, cultural and religious well-being.
In response to the specific challenges faced by our African applicants, we have employed a designated Africa recruitment lead who heads up our Africa outreach and provides support for applicants during the admissions process. The Recruitment Manager for Africa brings a personal passion to see African applicants overcome the challenges of creating an application, taking the required tests and to be considered in the best possible light by our admissions committee. This includes hosting School-led information and recruitment events that include one-to-one support sessions accross the globe and in many African countries. These events, which are hosted by faculty and senior leaders from the business school, allow us to reach and connect with talented individuals and provide vital support. We offer to candidates in the region GMAT preparation training, full assessment and feedback on an individual’s candidacy and CV, and application support. We facilitate connections between current students and alumni, who also support our candidates.
As a School, we have actively encouraged talented individuals from across Africa to have the self-assurance to apply for a rigorous programme at Oxford. By reviewing applications holistically, on a case-by-case basis, we are able to identify key leadership traits and potential. This methodology has enabled us to build a case for non-traditional, highly-promising applicants to be awarded places on our programme. Many of our African students have a joined our programme with a range of GMAT scores or undergraduate degrees; this is a reflection of our all-inclusive approach to reviewing applications as well as considering factors such as social, economic or cultural influences.
Our main aim is to empower our students to develop and expand their networks through a variety of student activities, and their leadership potential through mentoring and counselling, including academic and social support. A number of community building initiatives include the annual Oxford Business Forum Africa, where students work collectively with the Business to organise a flagship multidisciplinary event that addresses African politics, business, technology and academia. Many other social and cultural events hosted at Oxford ensure our students have the opportunity to celebrate their cultural diversity within their shared African heritage. Our talent development initiative, which includes one-on-one executive coaching and mentoring, is key to increasing self-awareness and enables the development of leadership skills.
The School is planning to host annual retreats for our African students to further enhance their skills as leaders in the varied and complex emerging markets of the African continent.
We provide a platform for our African students to engage in volunteerism, internships, entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, as well as connections to an international network of Oxford alumni, all of which enhances their ability to contribute to the growth and development of their home countries. Career focused student-led trips to African countries, in the form of student treks, help students to meet with a range of companies in different industries, and deepen their personal knowledge and interest in the African continent. Many of our students also choose to work on consulting projects with organisations in African countries, providing an opportunity to expand their network, gain practical experience and demonstrate their skills to potential employers.
We also have an onsite careers centre, which provides career counselling and connections to employment opportunities in students’ home countries. Career fairs and distinguished speaker events expose students to business and career opportunities on the continent. We continue to expand our Africa initiative to increase strong connections with organisations and potential employers for our students. Through activities at the School, the MBA programme, our executive education practice and our academic research, we continue to expand the community of individuals and organisations working with us and create opportunities for our African students and alumni.