Paulina Abramowicz


Diploma in Strategy and Innovation







By Paulina Abramowicz

Module 2

Well we all officially “survived” our first exam together with all the pomp and ceremony involved of imparting what we have learned…. simultaneously anxious and excited, all decked out in our sub fuscs ready to board buses to examination schools, I think preparations were equally as nerve racking as the experience itself but needless to say, it is not an experience not to be well prepared for…pages and pages of reading to get through, quotes and theorems to synthesize, frameworks to learn and critique and for me, everything brand new…I tried to remind myself the one mistake that seems so easily forgotten in these circumstances…to simply answer the question… I enjoyed game theory the most but we were only able to go as far as, in the words of our Strategy professor “baby game theory”.

Hidden away in the Bodleian is the beautiful Duke Humfrey’s library, where the distractions of “panic on WhatsApp” easily melted away…personally, I felt equally anxious that I put on the right set of pantyhose and that I looked up my candidate number as I was about the exam itself… of course all went smoothly and fine, particularly for those of us who knew that the only way to crack the third question was with game theory, my favorite thing :)…now the two month long wait awaits to get our scores shortly prior to our next exam in July!

Not surprisingly, I could not help but attract a few adventures along the way…at the library of all places! As a result, I have been dubbed the “library paparazzi!” by classmates. There are strict rules at the older libraries of Oxford – forget about bringing pens, highlighters or water and the ever essential pound coin that you need to secure a locker (which is a complete scarcity after 20 minutes of opening hours)… mistakenly, I did not realize this while visiting the Weston Library and once discovered working with a highlighter, I was promptly escorted from the library by security…my very first experience of the sort …pictures are not allowed either…it took me 2 hours to muster up the courage and use all the strategy I have learned to go upstairs to the rare desks at the Duke to snap a photo …so herein below lies a rare glimpse! Needless to say I am convinced that studying at the Duke is always more productive than studying anywhere else in the world…it is a magical and beautiful place, resembling Hogwarts in its beauty and mysticism, where one will not have any trouble focusing no matter how jet lagged or exhausted.

Lectures were enthralling once again and all the intellectual energy kept our fatigue at bay…I felt like I was at an interactive innovation TED talk for 9 hours a day…just soaking it up. History of electrification was fascinating and I cannot wait to read it. None of us needed name tags anymore and the intimidating competitive atmosphere from Module 1 melted into a pot of carefully thoughtful insights and well positioned questions…we are all learning from and pushing each other and it could not get any better…

With stress come parties and we had no shortage…we have all somehow decided that sleep is very much overrated…I have learned that mixing a lot of champagne, white wine, red wine all on an empty stomach might not bode so well for my “Systems 2 thinking processes” at formal hall but I am grateful that all the dance practices have come in handy….. Over the span of a few nights, everyone I thought I was competing against have suddenly turned into my “complementors” and many to friends…how is it that it is possible to bond with people so quickly?

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