Mustafa Abbas




United Kingdom




Sep 2018 - May 2020

By Mustafa Abbas

The Journey Begins

Khalil Gibran — ‘Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.’

The class of EMBA-S18 was reminded of the poetic words of Gibran as we commenced our programme, perhaps as a gentle and kind reminder of the discomfort we were now embracing. 

In this blog I hope to offer a short insight into the plethora of reasons offered for attending the EMBA at Oxford. 

We have all come with an infectious passion to learn and grow together and it is a privilege to meet so many accomplished men and women from different walks of life with a shared goal of self-development. 

The EMBA cohort is both international and rich in a variety of vocational experiences. 

The opportunity for introspection and reflection are significant driving forces for some attending this course. Others are here for the powerful badge of credibility and the assumed promise of higher compensation. A courageous few wish to build their own businesses. Some even have come to enjoy the delights of this beautiful city with the noble excuse of study. 

I was an undergraduate at Merton College and it was a truly enriching experience. Humbled by brilliant academic minds, tutorials were stretching and we learned by interrogation. Critical thinking was prized and I felt that I was at the epicentre of knowledge. I treated the world as any PPE-ist would, with swift deference to capitalism. After graduating, I joined an investment bank. 

Some years have passed. I am here because, having gained some expertise in my chosen field, I wish to augment this with business analysis and strategy so that I am more able to contribute in my vocation and also to society. There can be no better way to do this – I have reasoned – than an EMBA. I am here to grow and learn from the best and, hopefully, to make some lifelong friends along the way. 

The journey has begun and I have – at least temporarily – abandoned my lust for comfort. 


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