Bruce Watley


Diploma in Strategy and Innovation


United States





By Bruce Watley

The Oxford Experience

In the United States we have a number of institutions of higher learning, some that have very deep roots and heritages like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.  However, when you really think about educational institutions with very deep roots and heritages none compares to the University of Oxford.  As you walk by historic colleges and soak in the history I was in awe thinking about individuals like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Adam Smith, T.S. Elliot, John Wesley, John Locke, and the list goes on who walked these streets, attended these colleges, or spent time in these classrooms.  As a student at Oxford you are actually becoming part of a historic lineage.

Ever since I first stepped foot in Oxford almost 6 years ago, I have wondered what it would be like to be part of and experience this unique educational system.  I started to explore how I could embed myself in the Oxford experience and came across the diploma programs at the Saïd Business School. For me, I was looking for a way to further my knowledge base in an area of study that I had an interest in and the Diploma in Strategy and Innovation stood out to me. When you think about it, the application of strategy and innovation concepts help individuals within an organization identify core capabilities, become very focused, and discover ways to leverage strengths for organizational growth.  In a world where industries are changing due to a number of influences, organizations need individuals who understand how to create value and a long-term plan for growth in order to thrive.

If I were to highlight just one of the amazing aspects of this program it would be the ability to connect with individuals from all over the world.  Not only do I get to learn about subject matter that interests me, I am also able to learn about it through the lens of other industries, other cultures, and from unique perspectives, experiences, and applications of the content.  The interaction with others on a global level is one of the many aspects of the program that drew me to the Diploma in Strategy and Innovation.

I have to add that the faculty, who are experts in their field, are able to lead robust discussions by examining concepts through the use of case studies.  Learning through the case study method also brings practical application into the classroom, provides robust discussions, reinforces theoretical concepts, and develops our ability to think critically about a variety of business situations.  In addition to class-wide discussions, we participate in small groups to delve deeper into the cases to discover strategy concepts and/or justify why a specific strategy did or did not work.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my first impressions of Oxford and the Diploma in Strategy and Innovation program.  I am looking forward to sharing this journey and the Oxford experience with you!  Cheers!

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