Shweta Honavar


Diploma in Strategy and Innovation


United Kingdom


Financial services



By Shweta Honavar

The start of my Oxonian journey

One of the scariest and nerve-wracking events for a 40-year old lady, apart from being aware that I hit 40 and also that I’m disclosing it here, and being a mother to a teen, a wannabe teen (hubby) and a puppy entering his teens, is getting back to studies!!

Of course, you know that when you are filling out the application form, writing pre-admission letters etc. but nothing prepares you for the moment when you are finally sitting in the room. The sickening feeling in the gut, questioning life decisions (most of them), self-doubts, etc. etc. all happened in a span of 20 mins from the time I reached Saïd Business School.  I have done a lot of courses upskilling myself as part of my professional journey but very few of them were in classrooms, therefore, believe me when I say it was overwhelming, intimidating, exciting and invigorating – a rush of emotions!

A very famous physicist once said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Prof. Teppo Fellin (Programme Director and Module 1- Strategy leader), I feel, follows this by rote. The lucidity in his speech and simplicity of the language buoyed by his energetic personality made life in the class a lot easier than I feared it would be. The exercises that made up part of the strategy sessions, conducted by Prof. Teppo, brought the cohort – a class of 62 from 33 countries from diverse domains together brainstorming, collaborating on case studies, sharing life and professional experiences. A cognitive diversity so amazing that one could dip in this pool of talented minds and emerge enriched.

Group activity

We were fortunate to have an opportunity to listen to George F. R. Ellis, the eminent physicist, mathematician, cosmologist and an authority on The Big Bang and other cosmic mysteries, he spoke about Complexity, Reductionism, Emergence and Values and the analogy it shares with organisational structures and behaviours.

We have now finished Module-1, after a week I’m not sure I’d say it’s become any easier 😊 but having made some friends and finding commonality with my classmates has definitely put me more at ease and gives me a feeling that we are all in it together. A camaraderie, I hope and pray shall stay and will take us all through during this wonderful experience.

The highlight of the week was the grand tour of the hallowed grounds of St. Edmund Hall (the last surviving medieval hall at the University), Corpus Christi College and Exeter College, which boasts a pretty impressive array of alumni including 58 Nobel prize winners (who have either studied or taught at Oxford), 27 British prime ministers, famous writers, etc. We were in the very place that many former Prime Ministers and Presidents of the world and other eminent personalities rubbed shoulders, laying the foundations for influencing the world. Visiting the stunning college buildings of the oldest university in the English-speaking world leaves one in awe, not just for the architectural beauty surrounding you but also for the age-old traditions followed even today. For me tradition characterises Oxford as a historically and culturally rich city, and I’m ready to partake in all traditions, quirky or otherwise.

I’m limiting my words and thoughts for now. But will be posting more as we progress through this journey. For now, I’m focussing on preparing for the Module 1 exams and getting excited about the opportunity to wear the subfusc 😊

Saïd Business School
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