Jan 2020 – Sept 2022
My first week as an Oxonian flew by way too fast. To all my dear friends and family who asked how it went – it was so humbling that I felt like a grain of sand, yet it was so enabling that I felt like there are no boundaries to what I could accomplish.
Oxford. I tried to recall the first time I came across the School. I surmised that I was about 7 years old when my mother gave me a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, published by the Oxford University Press. Being on the campus grounds was quite surreal. It marked the start of a new chapter.
Our experience began with a welcome dinner at the Ashmolean Museum, where we met our cohort and the programme team. Immersed and inspired by thousand-year-old sculptures and art, we shared a memorable evening filled with questions such as “where are you from?”, “what do you do?” and “what brought you here?”. Those curious conversations continued throughout the week.
Next morning a few of my new friends walked from our residence to Saïd Business School (SBS).
We arrived at the lecture room where we would be challenged, surprised and transformed in the next 21 months and beyond.
Diversity is Beautiful
Over the next few days we dedicated a good amount of time getting to know each other. There were 74 of us in the cohort representing 33 nationalities and 23 different industries. Diversity came in countless forms. Each of us had a unique combination of upbringing, professional & personal experiences, motivations, strengths & weaknesses, struggles, dreams and goals. We are all storytellers and it was truly fascinating.
To prepare us for the coming months, there was an emphasis on honesty, be ready to unlearn what we know, be open minded and be free. The narrative of accepting and embracing diversity organically prepared us for equipping ourselves with multiple tools and fill our minds with vast point of views for different situations.
Thursday night we headed over to the historical Divinity School (or you may know it as the Hogwarts Infirmary that Harry Potter attended) in our gowns and sub fusc for the matriculation ceremony. It was a short but touching ceremony. By the end of it, we officially became a part of the Oxford community. Many pictures of many happy and hopeful faces were shared within the new global family.
Highlights and Takeaways
There were many invaluable moments and lessons. Of those, here are the ones that made a special impact on me:
Oxford, thank you and see you again in a few weeks… enough blogging, back to reading.Back to top of article