Today was the last day of our three-week Launch, that ended on a high note with a drinks and dance reception. The class decided to shift the party outside of the school, while I excused myself to some quiet time in my room. As I reflect on the three weeks gone, my mind is getting overwhelmed trying to register all that I have experienced so far – met 350 future friends from 54 countries on the first day; interacted with an Olympic silver medalist (Said alumni); spent an evening with Dinosaurs; attended live Oxford Union debate (bucketlist item checked off); mastered an African hymn (also shamelessly sang the same outside the Oxford Union at midnight yesterday!); discussed the complexity of Brazilian indirect taxes with a stranger over dinner; pitched a business idea to the American Ambassador to UK; learnt punting from a high school student at Oxford; pondered over how a group of business students can help make a significant social impact– and many more.
My motivation behind joining an MBA program was much beyond the academics and recruitment. The idea was to spend a year on introspection and self-development, to push my boundaries to learn something new each day and to get a broader perspective of life. Three weeks of the Launch, apart from acclimatising us to the course, staff and the place also taught us to introspect and reflect. A few activities during the Launch made us sit back and think about why we do what we do, why are we here and what we hope to achieve. These are questions my mind often wonders about, or rather, wanders around. It would be unfair to say that I have found my answers already (as a classmate rightly joked about at the end of one such session “I find it hard to talk to myself!”), but I did find the sessions extremely useful in identifying and understanding various aspects of my personality to be able to leverage my strengths and work on my weaknesses going forward.
Dean Tufano in his keynote on the first day mentioned that joining Oxford was a choice we made for ourselves. But I also strongly relate to what Dr. Kurt April pointed out to us during discussion on Leading from own Diverse Narrative – that it is a privilege to be here among the brightest and most talented minds from all across the world. Coming from a developing economy with an experience level below average in the class, I find it intellectually exciting to look through the narratives of others from the other end of the telescope that I have been accustomed to. What strikes me the most about my batch is, regardless of the personal accomplishments, the humility and enthusiasm with which each one of them comes with to learn and collaborate. The diversity in my class is incredible – teachers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, ex-servicemen, models, economists, journalist – which will make for a truly enriching experience.
Before coming to Oxford, there was just one thing every body I spoke to from the school had to say to me, which is that time runs at lightening speed here and before you know it is over. It has been three weeks since I came here, which in hindsight would mean that roughly about 6% of my MBA is over. That really does hit hard, doesn’t it?
If the Launch is any bit an indication of how the coming year is going to shape up, I am excited to be here.