Alfredo Ajjam Altimari






Oil and Energy


Jan 2017 - Sep 2018

By Alfredo Ajjam Altimari

Yes or No?

We are always busy in our own personal-life-style-bubbles and our precious time makes us postpone those non-urgent important things. Can I do it mañana?

Since I was 23, I wanted to do an MBA. Every now and then, I researched about MBA programmes and those universities offering courses. I visited a few campuses in different countries, put together the admission requirements, and for one reason or another decided not to enroll but to wait for next year. It was important, but not urgent. In this period, many interesting things happened in my own bubble – career opportunities growth, job assignments in exotic countries, starting a married life, and new born babies. Were my excuses for postponing the MBA valid? Was the waiting too long?

The time passed and 15 years later here I am doing an Executive MBA.

There are many reasons to believe that the right time to jump into this ‘adventure’ is after so many years of career exposure, or after marriage, or before the first baby is born, or after achieving any other personal milestone. The truth is, from my personal experience, that there will always be a better period to enrol -but not now- as we are always busy and have little time.

If you are willing and thinking seriously of doing an MBA, don’t think too hard. Just go for it. Be happy and thrilled to become a student again. The MBA will help you to understand many concepts, tools, frameworks, theories and ways of thinking that you did not even know existed, or perhaps refresh the concepts again. You will discover so many unknowns-unknowns about technical and non-technical subjects that will make the entire learning experience very satisfying. Most importantly, the MBA will help to expand your network as you will meet smart people working in different industries around the world. And if you are going for it, willing to spend the money, and have lots of energy, then why not try one of the top ranked programmes in the world?

I am very satisfied and proud of being a student of Said Business School at the University of Oxford and a student member of Keble College. What a great curriculum, team of professors Oxford EMBA Jan17 cohortand multicultural and diverse cohort. We are 70 students all with different views, experiences and aspirations. We are all striving to make this world a better place to live within our own spheres of influence.

At the moment, I have completed over one third of the nearly two years program. It goes quickly, so it is better to keep on top of it and continue to get the most possible out of every module.

While drafting this note, in parallel, I am planning in a spreadsheet the hours I will have to spend effectively within the next thirty days (transitioning from Module 6 to Module 7) for tackling my MBA next activities: reading Strategy papers and articles, glancing at the Marketing textbook, drafting two essays, setting the next trans-Atlantic teleconferences and a few other things. At the same time, I pause for a few seconds, and reflect on what I was doing ten days back, and smile: the Economics assignment was truly a challenging one. However, without any doubt, it was worth spending the extra hours researching and learning about GDP, Total Factors Productivity, expected exchange rate, money supply, and many other important economics concepts.

And… suddenly I get interrupted… just next to me on the sofa are my children asking to go out for an ice cream.

Is it all manageable?

The answer is YES. It is about keeping all the balls in the air, smelling the roses and enjoying the ride. The adrenaline keeps flowing. There are many other EMBA students in my cohort going through a similar experience, so I am not alone. Also, there are many others who have completed the program successfully already.

Jumping into the Executive MBA at the University of Oxford has been a great decision. If I you are asking yourself if you should enroll and go for this academic and personal challenge, I would suggest a straight YES! Comment below if you want to learn more.

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