Winding up at work.

I have less than 50 days left in the city before I wind up for my hometown. Last week I let the management at my office know of my Oxford admit and my decision to put in my resignation. It was harder than I was expecting, but the response I received from most of my seniors was very endearing. My Product Owner told me that they were anticipating such an announcement from me soon enough, but were hoping to find some means to retain me in the organisation. However, since they knew Oxford was my dream school, they were delighted to know that I made it and were supportive of my decision. 

Regardless, putting in my first ever resignation at my first ever job felt like a bit of a heartbreak. I have enjoyed my time here and shared a brilliant comaraderie with my peers and management. And I’m glad I will be leaving not on the note that I was desperate for an escape route, but that I have an opportunity I cannot afford to miss.  

We discussed my career plans and post-MBA interests. We also explored the possibility of me coming back to the organisation after the course ends, constraints being that the role is in accordance with the skills that I pick up over the year and of course that my loan repayment is managed comfortably. Unfortunately, there is no HR policy at my organisation for sponsoring my MBA unless I did it from one of the affiliated colleges in India after spending more than 5 years here. Great to know still that I can always return, an option definitely worth giving a thought over. 

I serve notice period of two months, during which I will help transition all the work I was responsible for, document critical information so it doesn’t get lost with my exit, and also help find a suitable replacement. It’s a bittersweet feeling in the team, after having spent close to 4 years with them. If only I could be at Oxford and YET hold on to the products and releases I’ve worked on, that now seem to be like my babies, which I do not have the heart to abandon! 

But the heart’s got to do what it’s got to do! 


College admission

A few days back I secured a place at Green Templeton College at Oxford and have also applied for college accommodation. Considering that I am Round 2 admit and I am applying to what is considered a ‘safe’ choice of MBA students, I am confident of getting a place soon.

Oxford is a ‘collegiate university’,which means in addition to securing a place at your program you also have to enroll into a college in the University. Only then is your admission process considered complete, securing a place at Business School is not the end of it!
It’s a trifecta approach to academics:
1. The University – that enrolls you, conducts examinations and other formalities, conducts the marticulation and graduation ceremonies, etc.
2. Said Business School – for lectures and everything related to the course.
3. College – For socialising. There are 38 distinct autonomous colleges in the University, each with its own unique character. College is where you spend rest of your non-academic time at, interact with co-students from other programs/departments, eat, participate in extra-curricular activities and/or also reside. Colleges play a significant role in academics for undergraduate students, however for MBAs they do not matter much as most of our teaching is supervised by SBS.

Students make their preference for colleges based on a number of factors, it is essentially a personal choice. While some prefer the older ones ( Balliol, Merton etc), others like to be part of colleges that have had famous and notable alumni ( Christ Church, Magdalen etc). There are also colleges with intense sporting facilities and their own rowing teams (Keble, Trinity). For most of the MBAs (and for me) distance from the school is an important factor given our intensive schedule over the year, and we will anyway be spending most of our time at SBS.

Another factor to keep in mind while applying for colleges is that there are varying seats for MBAs in each institute. The more historical and popular ones are more difficult to get in with only about 1 or 2 seats for MBAs. Also, not all colleges have accommodation available, only first year undergraduate students are guaranteed a place to stay in college. That said, there are students who still go ahead with the college of their choice and take off-campus accommodation that is closer to SBS.

Green Templeton College (GTC) has maximum number of seats for MBAs and is often the most preffered choice given its distance and accommodation availability. I chose GTC because I want to be close to my cohort and the school, as I will have a lot to learn from my peers. While I am at Oxford, I hope to not miss visiting each of the other colleges!

This link on Oxford website may be useful focollege profiling and selection –
I also found this link useful when I was researching for colleges, although most of the information is pretty undergrad-centric –