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Jonathon Seaton

Degree:

Diploma in Global Business

Location:

United Kingdom

Industry:

Education

Year:

2015

By Jonathon Seaton

Taking a risk

Four days of classes, a very memorable stay in Oxford and the opportunity to meet and connect with an amazing set of classmates. That would be module one on the Oxford Diploma in Global Business nearly complete.

So, as an entrepreneur, why would I choose to study business at Oxford? Was I not busy enough? Well, yes, I was busy, but that in part was the point. I knew it was time to realign my vision and gain two key elements which are overlooked in the rush to constantly change and innovate: insight and strategy.

First – Insight
Despite best efforts, any web entrepreneur will tell you how difficult it can be to get out and access a diverse set of views and experiences. As humans, we tend to stick to what we know, to spend time with those with whom we are accustomed. As the leader of a business operating in over 160 countries daily, I was aware of the need to get out into the unfamiliar and get fresh perspective.

If I was looking for new views and opinions at Oxford, I certainly found them. No matter how creative and open an atmosphere you create in your own business, this will never give you face to face connection with professionals working in a whole range of roles and coming from around the world. I found that the information I have gained (and given), and the connections I have made have significantly broadened my horizons. As importantly, I have met a really fantastic new group of friends.

Second – Strategy
I decided to undertake the course to gain a core understanding of global strategy and the supporting frameworks. After the first module was complete, I returned to work with one question on my mind – how could I apply the learning quickly and to most effect. So, how did I get on?

Rather surprisingly, I got on really well. Joining the course fell at a particularly helpful time for the business, as we were in the process of finalising our 2015/16 planning. The frameworks learnt have proved to be entirely complimentary to ongoing planning and further, provided for a very valuable global viewpoint. As an entrepreneur, I am very used to making quick decisions, getting things moving and generating almost constant change. Whilst none of this has changed, we do now have a range of business methodologies by which we can take a broader view of markets, which allows us to make better informed decisions.

So, did I take a risk applying to the course and working through the reading and classes when I could have been working on the business? Absolutely, then again, the insight and strategic thinking that I’ve gained makes that initial risk appear completely non-existent in retrospect. Risk? What risk.

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