I’m writing this fresh off the back of writing my final blog post for the Business School. Do I do anything other than write blog posts? Who knows…
Anyway, due to the aforementioned, I am feeling rather emotional and teary-eyed. What a week it has been for emotions: happiness and jubilation mixed with sadness and tears – celebrations tinged with a strong sense of mourning and loss. It sounds so incredibly morbid but this really is the end now. I know I’ve written a few blog posts where I have announced how I’ve finished, and completed all my essays but now, for one last time I can really say: “MBA: completed it, mate”.
This week has been the infamous Capstone Week. A week of parties and celebrations, Oxford traditions and MBA moments. Monday feels like a lifetime ago, but if I really think back through the haze of lack of sleep and unlimited Prosecco, we started off with my takeover of the SBS Instagram account. In the day, Jas and I made the most of the beautiful weather and our very talented cohort, to have some photos taken of us for our new business. Takura, one of our classmates, took some shots so fingers crossed, he captured our good sides!
Monday evening was the first official event: Welcome Drinks at the Ashmolean Museum. It was so lovely to see everyone a bit dressed up and celebrating the start of the week with family and friends. It was on Tuesday that my parents arrived. After an early morning call with the team that awarded us with our business grant, I did a lovely run around Oxford before meeting my parents at their hotel.
It was another warm day and the evening’s event happened to be in a non-air conditioned museum; this meant everyone seemed to congregate around the doors to the Natural History Museum! Again, it was another fun evening filled with lots of free alcohol and introducing family to new friends. Once the event was over and the parents headed back to the hotel, a group went to Sandy’s, a piano bar in Oxford, for a bit of Tuesday night dancing.
Nobody wanted to stay out too late as Wednesday was the big day. The end of course, graduation ceremony. A wonderful celebration of the year, held at Oxford Town Hall. Our second time of donning the full Harry Potter style sub-Fusc, which in the heatwave of September wasn’t ideal: whoever made black tights compulsory didn’t make that decision in 28 degree heat!
The ceremony was a mixture of music, speeches and student procession. One of our accounting Professors, Richard Barker, delivered the faculty speech, but I think everyone was in agreement that the best speech of the day went to Jas and Alex: a view from the students. It was so good and brought a tear to most people’s eyes!
After the ceremony I had lunch with my parents at my favourite Oxford spot before the students headed to the Oxford Union to hear one final debate. My parents were staying in a hotel literally across the road from the Union and had organised a little party for some of my friends afterwards! It was so nice to celebrate with some champagne and an amazing cake!
The day was just a whirlwind of activity and no sooner had one event finished, that we had to get moving to the next one. After our little party we all went home to shower and change before heading to Keble College for a formal dinner. It was so lovely to experience that with my parents and have the chance it dine in an Oxford college for one final time.
By Thursday I was really starting the flag! But it wasn’t over yet; Thursday evening marked one of the main events of the week; the MBA Ball. An evening of glitz and glamour back in the Town Hall, with free-flowing Prosecco, a band and DJ. It was such a fun night and there were lots of sore heads on Friday!
I did a trip to London on Friday to continue my housing quest. Somewhat unsuccessful again, I returned with some places booked to see this Monday, ready for one final MBA party. A rooftop party to close off the week and to celebrate Jez’ 30th- another fun night that ended in Plush, one of Oxford’s finest clubs!
As you can see it’s been a week of full on partying and celebrating. A chance for everyone to let their hair down after a tough year. A tough year to complete an MBA programme – during a global pandemic. However, we definitely made the most of it.
It’s also been an emotional week; lots of tears as we say goodbye to friends leaving for far-flung places. Australia, America and Africa will all be gaining some wonderful people; I’m so glad I have a group of 311 people to call on whenever I find myself travelling again – free tour guides to roughly 62 nations; brilliant!
And so, what’s next. Well, the most pressing issue for me is still finding somewhere to live. I will be leaving my Oxford flat by Friday at the latest, so who knows where I’ll be writing this blog from next weekend. Destination: Unknown.
Later this week I hope to share the post I wrote for the Business School on my final reflections. This one has been far too long to do that here, so for now, I will sign off for one final time from Oxford. No longer a student but an official Oxonian and graduate.
I hope you’ve enjoyed following this chapter of “Yorkshire To…” and as we close off this section, I look forward to the next one as a new entrepreneur back in the Big Smoke. Yorkshire To London, here we go…