Jan 2015 - Sep 2016
So here we are, after months of preparation, application forms, essays, interviews and soul searching, I’ve done it and been accepted to the Oxford Executive programme. Everyone keeps asking me if it was hard to get in and I have to admit that my answer is NO if you want to do it for genuine reasons. You need to really understand why you are putting yourself forward for a lot of work both on the programme and at your full-time job and what you aim to get out of it. Yes, that old chestnut…work…no it will not get less, you will still need to deliver the same if not more at the office. Don’t forget the EMBA is your way to develop, and what better place to apply this learning other than your work environment.
Sunday 17th of January – welcoming dinner for EMBA class at the Ashmolean. If you have not visited the museum then you should, it is fantastic. I have to admit I felt like a dignitary dining privately at such an iconic place. The first thing that struck me was the amount of people I would have the opportunity to speak to, learn from and build a relationship with. There are 75 of us and this first week was a marathon to make sure I spoke to everyone. Don’t be afraid though, the course is so interactive that you do eventually speak to the majority of people, if not all. We have serious folks, funny folks, but most of all professionals with an average of more than 10 years experience who are here to support each other in a non-competitive way. Absolutely loved it and was still buzzing a week after we left!
During the week we had to get through the mandatory admin stuff and all this is taken care of by a more than capable support team. Once we got through all that and we were set up it was time to experience the teaching! Do you recall what it was like in your undergraduate and/or postgraduate degrees? Well,its nothing like it! This is Socratic, interactive, amusing with the odd joke thrown in. You are being taught by some of the top academics in their field with experience of working in the market and with research performed alongside big blue chips. It is all real and related to your experiences out there. OK there is some theory as you need to build on something but that is quickly surpassed by the case studies and discussions around them.
In the week we covered a taster of Operations Management, Leadership fundamentals, Firms and Markets, Relationships and Finance plus the introduction to the GOTO project. Last day was on Data and Analytics and probably the first full on lecture we had all week. Now I’m pretty sure Dolores (our lecturer) will not thank me for building up the hype around this but yes we have a whole week of this during February. The week ended on a high with a full on debate at the Oxford Union on Saturday morning. There were two sides, pro and against the argument, and must admit some of my fellow EMBAs are made for public speaking…House of Commons style…you know who you are! Then there was lunch and a train/bus/car/plane journey home.
What a week! Number 2 is just round the corner and have to say I feel like a kid in a candy store…even though I’ve got enough studying for a lifetime. So better get back to the articles before I get told off by the rest of my study group.Back to top of article