Hanif Sangi


Diploma in Organisational Leadership


United States





By Hanif Sangi

The Module 2 in to the City of Dreaming Spires-Oxford and the views of the River Isis

Have you wondered about the life and study in Oxford during the Spring? Today I am sharing my experiences and lessons learned from the Module 2 of our course that took place in April 2018.

After nearly two months of being away from Oxford, the executives who are part of the Post-Graduate Diploma in Organizational Leadership cohort 2019 flew back to the lovely and historic city of Oxford. We were welcomed by the cherry blossom tree colors that were about to dwindle, and the perennial Darwin tulips that were blooming in the lush green meadows surrounded by historical Oxford colleges with stunning architectures. The banks of Isis, also known as Thames River, were bringing crisp and chilly air in the evenings with a magnanimous motion. Our pre-course day started with the brainstorming and preparing for the exam that was bringing some unease for us, but the joy of seeing each other certainly over arched that anxiety.

The morning of Module two started with a bus ride to the examination center followed by a two-hour exam based on the leadership framework and models we learned during Module one. As per Oxford tradition, we all dressed up in a dark suite, black shoes, a white shirt and a white tie for men, with a fine looing mortarboard and a gown. Some chose to give it a touch of white carnation. Women leaders had different choices.

Throughout our four days of module two, our days and evenings were full of reading, classes, business case analysis and various group activities. After the exam, we went through a small-group executive leadership coaching session where we assessed our challenges and reviewed NEO personality test results with an accomplished executive coach.

Professor Teppo Felin, an Army veteran of Finland, took the helms on the remainder of the module and unleashed the power of teaching through a strategy deep dive. We started with the Strategy and Competitive Advantage and then moved to statistics and analysis. Professor Felin emphasized the significance of organizational structure, uniqueness and execution of strategy in a methodical way.

The elite college of Oxford University is Pembroke. During module 1, we were honored with an opportunity to break the bread and socialize. However, during module 2, we were blessed with a delicious dinner at the fourth oldest college of the University, Exeter College. These opportunities provide a life-long personal and professional enrichment in these privileged venues.

As we are all aware “April showers bring May flowers,” so the weather in Oxford was rainy but it didn’t prevent our flamed executives in the cohort from going on a walking tour of the city. We stopped from time to time to hear the rich history of prominent architectures in the city that carries thousands of years of history into its fold.

Another notable opportunity was to chit chat with other executive leadership program participants and EMBA students. This helped us with networking and expanded professional links.

Thanks to Professor Sue and Gemma for spearheading this unique and insightful module.


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