Oxford MBA

“Houston, we have lift off…” Launch weeks, Zoom workouts, and lots of rain…

It’s been over 10 days since my last post….WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?! It is also October now, which again, blows my mind: where has the year gone…?

Birthday twins with the Business School

We have just completed our two week “Launch” programme; essentially orientation sessions on career development, personal impact, and working in our teams, to get us prepared for our first core modules to start tomorrow.

These first two weeks have been a whirlwind. Most days we were on Zoom calls, either as a full cohort, in our sections of 40, or sometimes in even smaller sections of 20. You need to be prepared to be on camera at all times: my Yorkshire Tea mug has become a standing feature and I bought an orchid to sit behind me, after we had a session on “Personal Impact” and the key takeaway was: “make your background look pretty”.

Beside from lots of Zoom calls, we have been doing lots of Covid-safe socialising. Read: lots of six person dinners, drinks and coffee chats, which actually has been really good because it has meant we could spend quality time with classmates and actually get to know them, rather than a fleeting conversation at most “networking” events you’d go to in pre-Covid times.

I have also squeezed in some running (yes, I’m back running!); a bike ride out into the Oxfordshire countryside before it gets too wet and miserable, and earlier this week I led my very first Zoom HIIT class for the rest of my cohort. It was really fun. And actually really quite a sweaty workout! With no equipment, a little space in my living room and only 30 minutes, I was impressed with myself!

Now is also the time to put applications in for various co-curricular activities that are going on (as if doing an Oxford MBA isn’t enough!) So, rather bravely (?) I put myself forward for Co-President of the Student Council, because why not?! And I’m also applying for a course run by the Entrepreneurial Centre called the ‘Ideation Lab’.

As it is Oxford, everything is über competitive and in high demand so there are lots of application forms and deadlines to meet. We’ll find out about the Student Council later this week and fingers crossed my Ideation Lab application is successful, as it sounds really interesting.

Tomorrow we start our core courses in earnest. These first four weeks are focused on Accounting, Tech & Ops, and Organisational Behaviour. There is LOTS of reading and prep to do before each class and then no doubt, loads to do afterwards! The subjects are more interesting now (I did a Business undergrad degree) than when I first learnt about them, as I have eight years experience working in businesses, so I can actually apply the learning to the situations I’ve been in, rather than it just being theoretical when I covered it ten years ago.

I say this now, but let’s see how I am this time next week as I’m drowning in a sea of reading and case studies, wondering where my social life has gone!

Annoyingly, these past two weeks have been slightly ruined by an intense allergic reaction I seem to be having. I’ve had it twice within two weeks and I can’t work out what the autoimmune response is to. It’s very intense though, shall we say. My skin becomes covered in blotchy patches and it really isn’t ideal. Thankfully, my college Dr has referred me to an allergy clinic for testing so fingers crossed, within a few weeks I should know what the cause is.

And so to finish this blog post, I must touch on the disappointing news of the day: Eliud Kipchoge came 8th in the London Marathon. I was genuinely upset by this! I was sad for him mostly. In his press conference afterwards, when trying to dissect his race performance, Eliud commented: “I’m really disappointed but this is sport. It’s what normally happens in sport. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not suicide for Eliud Kipchoge to be beaten. I have more marathons. I will come back again.”

So it turns out, he is human after all…

College official and Covid secure

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