Michaelmas term officially got over on the 18th, by when a lot of classmates had already taken off for their christmas vacation. I too headed off to Edinburgh for a few days before Christmas with a small group of batchmates. We had an exciting time exploring the city and the highlands, and decided to visit again over the year when the temperature is more friendly. Needless to say, it was a much needed break for me – I used this opportunity to switch off, reflect on what the past three months meant to me and what I hoped to expect from the coming year.
After ringing in the new year from various corners of the world (mine was relatively quieter with brother at London), the batch started pouring back into Oxford for the revision week. We were done with Analytics exam in MT Week 9, but Business Finance and Technology- Operations exams were due for HT Week 0. Still hungover from the vacation, it was a challenge to get around Cash Flows, Asset Pricing, Process optimizations, 3Ms and what not. I decided to study in a small group – locked in a room in the school – where we split topic among ourselves and brainstormed together on concepts and past exam papers. This strategy personally worked well for me as there was a lot to learn from each other’s experiences and also ensured none of us slacked off with our pace.
We all braved our way through the two exams – dressed in the traditional subfusc, pink carnations this time for luck, wading our way through in swarms to the examination halls. I am pretty satisfied with my performance, although in hindsight I feel I could have put more effort in Operations theory (was dreading Finance and spent most of my time on it).
On Friday, there Experience Weekend at Said for students with an admission offer for next batch. I along with 4 others from my batch got an opportunity to interact and share our experience with the offer holders, followed with one on one conversations in an informal setting. We were happy to talk to them about our experience and hopefully helped address most of their apprehensions about life after joining the program. I did not get to attend the Experience Weekend during my admission process due to work commitments, but I would highly encourage applicants to avail this opportunity to learn more about theschool and their people. Getting an MBA and choosing the school that is the right fit for one’s expectations from an MBA is a crucial decision, open days as these give a great chance to help make that informed selection.
HT Week 0 concluded with a formal dinner at Exeter College, with the dean, some members of the faculty and advisory along with potential incoming students and more batchmates. Formal dinners are an intrinsic part of the Oxford culture wherein members of the University dress up for attending dinner in a hall and masters cloaked in robes say grace (with an exception of few ‘non-religious colelges’) at the high table and others follow suit prior to eating. Dinners are great way to socialise outside of the business school and with the wider university community, something that makes studying at Oxford a unique experience.
A brief about Exeter – close to 800 years old, this is the fourth oldest college in the University and was an all-males institution until 1979. The college has one of the most beautifully designed chapel and also boasts of some of the most celebrated alumni, including the author J.R.R Tolkein and also J.K. Rowling as the honorary fellow. Each college is unique in its own way and has a distinct characteristic to it. The more I learn about these places, I feel priviledged and humbled to be walking down the same alleys that have centuries of history and grandeur to them.
It’s late in the night and I should end my post here. The weather forecast hints at the possibility of mild snowfall tonight, I am excited!