Miyo Tanaka


Diploma in Organisational Leadership







By Miyo Tanaka

Oxford Saïd pushed me further up the ladder of life

“To develop my own leadership skills in a diverse learning environment and expand my global network” – this was my goal when joining the postgraduate diploma program in Organisational Leadership at Saïd Business School. The school provided me with valuable experiences greatly exceeding my expectations.

Upon participating in my first module in March 2016, I was absolutely fascinated with the breathtaking surroundings. With Gothic architecture such as the Radcliffe Camera, splendid museums including the Ashmolean Museum, and more, Oxford is an unbeatable destination for those who are eager to satisfy intellectual curiosity from various angles. The historic structures were magnets for a heritage enthusiast like me. In fact, I missed the first 30 minutes of my first module exam as I was captivated by all the glorious details of the Oxford Examination Schools designed by Sir Thomas Jackson. I was scared I was going to fail until I received my exam result. Since earning my diploma, it has become one of my fondest memories of Oxford.

The Radcliffe Camera

The Radcliffe Camera and All Souls College in Radcliffe Square.

Saïd also provided me with a valuable opportunity for global networking. It was a precious opportunity to interact with gifted people from all over the world, gifted not only in intelligence but also great humanity. They offered help for everyone both inside and outside the classroom at any time. Through discussions with my cohort, I learned how to tackle real-world challenges by applying learnings from the programme. I was also inspired to create more feasible strategies within my organization. The various thoughts and opinions I observed from my cohorts with different cultural backgrounds also broadened my viewpoint in working with global and regional teams.

I was warmly welcomed to every class after surviving my 16-hour flight from Japan to the UK. Outside of class, the group social networking session was very active. I was impressed that a couple of my classmates instantly called my hotel in Oxford to have the front door unlocked for me on one occasion when I messaged to say I was locked outside. If the hotel’s staff hadn’t come quickly, I think they could have received phone calls from all 50 of the cohort.

All of my peers were the salt of the earth. I learnt true leadership peer-to-peer from them, in addition to what I learnt from the lectures. My network with them is a treasured asset. I’m delighted to continue to read about everyone’s professional and personal successes on SNS even after graduation.

I appreciate all the support I received from faculty and staff of the diploma programme. Saïd’s faculty is totally dedicated to our needs in the class. A wide range of teaching methods including interactive lectures, group work, and case studies helped me gain deeper insight to lead the change in my organization.

Saïd’s faculty and staff provide positive support for our success. In fact, when I was overwhelmed both professionally and personally during Module 3, they listened empathically and advised me to suspend my student status for a year. It was the best possible advice and the staff was well prepared for me when I returned the following year to earn my diploma. It’s no exaggeration to say that it couldn’t happen without their support.

The programme has already made a huge contribution to my professional life. My learning at Saïd has opened doors as well as transformed me into a leader capable of making strategic decisions and navigating an ever-changing global environment.

I encourage myself by using Winston Churchill’s quote, “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” and add to it my phrase, “without the loss of confidence or mindset as a leader fostered through the Saïd’s diploma in Organisational Leadership.”

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