Tom Wheatley




United Kingdom


Financial Software


Jan 2017 - Sep 2018

By Tom Wheatley

A Locals Journey to Oxford

My Oxford experience started a full 2 years before I applied for the Executive MBA. I had known for almost a decade that I wanted to do an MBA but wanted to feel like I had achieved more in my professional life before applying. The only trouble was once I had achieved more and started a family I had no time to attend a full time course for a year! At this point the Oxford EMBA made sense; a part time course spread over just the right amount of time with a focus on putting the best back into my own business rather than about a change of career.

Despite living less than 15 miles away from Oxford I visited the city rarely and therefore took the opportunity to explore it further in advance of my application. College tours can be arranged very easily and the bus tour that leaves from right outside the school is highly recommended. The open days are probably the best way to get a feel for Saïd Business School and I met some amazing people in the few hours I was there. If you miss out then you may be able to arrange a short tour of the Thatcher Business Education Centre where the EMBA is taught.

Saïd Business School also runs a number of events throughout the year. I took advantage of an invitation to the Entrepreneurship Forum and was fortunate enough to enjoy talks with Biz Stone of Twitter and Phil Libin of Evernote. Another event with Reid Hoffman from LinkedIn really gave me a feel for what is to come and the level of access Oxford has to influential business people.

The real selling point of the Oxford EMBA for me is the global focus and the quality of the cohort. While the entrepreneurship aspects are of particular interest to me the broader subject of social entrepreneurship is something I have been avidly reading up on in advance of the programme.

After speaking with friends and colleagues about considering an application the final decision came when our accountant said she didn’t want to see me at the next year end until I had applied!

Having been slightly trepidatious about the application essays they are actually a joy to write. Yes, you will never get them perfect and its difficult to stop tweaking them but it is very satisfying to finally submit them. The turnaround time for applications is very quick and a decision is usually received a couple of weeks after the deadline.

The interview process was quite nerve wracking for me. Although I regularly pitch to C-level executives from small hedge funds to larger multi-nationals it had been nearly 10 years since my last interview at an asset management firm. However once through the door and met by a representative of Oxford Saïd they quickly put me at ease, making me wonder why I had spent the few hours before nervously contemplating what was to come.

Hearing if my application was successful didn’t take long and I already feel like I have had a great experience. I cannot wait for the programme to actually start!

Back to top of article

Share this post:

follow us in feedly
  • Antonio Potenza

    We GOTO together! Happy to have found a brother in spirits that shares similar passion.