Vaniah's MBA Diaries

On Saturday 1st October 2005, I started an MBA course at the Said Business School, University of Oxford. I'm still wondering how it all happened that I ended up here but I guess that we must all play the hand that we are dealt. So that I don't forget, this blog is intended to document my business school adventure.

My Photo
Location: London, United Kingdom

I was born on the sunny tropical isle of Jamaica, and as soon as I could organise it, I moved to colder climes. Crazy huh? After finishing a stint in the city know for its dreaming Spires and knocking around Sweden for a while, I've finaly decided what my next adventure should be. My lovely (Swedish) fiance and I shall be travelling around the world after our wedding in August. Going full circle that is...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What happened next

The journey continues and I'm on to the next destination... Sweden!

As promised, here's the link to my musings on my adventure:


Monday, September 18, 2006

It's been a pleasure

How can I adequately write this post? Last Friday we had our final dinner together as a class. This was the last time that we would all get together and eat a meal, drink some wine and enjoy one another's company before we scatter to the ends of the world. A joyous occasion - we have come through much together and succeeded where others have failed, and a sad occasion - from this point onward, nothing will ever be the same again.

I looked around at my table, populated mostly by classmates from my college and smiled as I remembered meeting some of them during week 0 of Michaelmas. They have become true friends and I hope that we manage to stay in touch through the busy times ahead.

I look around the room, there were some people who surprised me, others who changed before our eyes. Some with whom we had our moments, good and bad and others who, I'm sad to say, I never got to know.

It reminds me of a song by LeAnn Rimes which goes like this:

Sometimes the time comes along
When it's time
Time to move on
You'll still be there
In everything that I do
And wherever I go I'll remember you

I'm not one for long goodbyes, so I'll make it quick. I hope you've enjoyed my blog, that it has informed and inspired you and if some day you'd like to look back and remember, it will be right here waiting.

As for me, it's been the most memorable year of my life, and one that I will remember forever. But for now, all that remains to be said is... Goodbye.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

So you think it's all over...?

Having completed our final exam last Thursday and had my sigh of relief that the MBA was all over, it was a bit of a shock to get a call on Friday afternoon with the news that we had received a viva for our final summer project. Now a viva normally means one of two things: 1) you are boarderline fail and they would like to give you a chance to defend yourself or 2) you are boarderline distinction and they'd like to make sure.

We were actually neither of these, they give out a prize for the best SCP and we were one of the teams shortlisted! Wow! Yikes! So it was back to the drawing board again pulling together a deck for our presentation and preparing for the many possible questions that they could ask.

We find out tonight who won the prize and even if we don't, it's a great experience that we can all put on our CV :)

On another note
It's nice to be able to surf the internet again. Here is a random article that I found that is almost worth a read :)

Update: We were robbed! No, not really, the Russians won the best SCP prize, and from the sound it it, they deserved it.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

McFaddenplace Productions

Unmissable. Check out a short video put together by Kelly, wife of one of my classmates, which beautifully commemorates our End of Course ceremony.

The Big day...

...came and went in a bit of a blur. I guess that's what happens with things like this, everything builds up to a single day, and then before you know it, it's all over.

The morning dawned bright and sunny and beautiful. After brunch at the cafe in St. Margarets, we headed along to the Sheldonian for the ceremony. It was very nice to see everyone there with their parents, walking past the men with bowler hats guarding the gates and into the Universities ceremonial hall.

It was a lovely ceremony, the Chancellor of the University Lord Patten was in attendance and gave a lovely speach. He was outshone however by both of the MBA speakers - Rachel Wagner and Graeme Glover who between them managed to sing and mention Hugh Grant!

Then we were each called to the front and shook the hand of the Dean Prof Anthony Hopwood.

Beautiful. It would not have been a proper celebration without the odd bottle of champagne or four which were dutifully shaken up and opened. The ceremony was followed by a reception at the business school and then dinner and drinks afterward.

It's funny, it's (almost) all over and yet it hasn't sunk in yet... maybe over the next week or two it will become more real and then I'll know that it's time to move on, to move back to real life. *sigh*

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Parents everywhere!

We all love them. And appreciate them, and cringe inwardly at the 4th time they tell that embarrassing story from our childhood, but deep down, we are dead chuffed that they made the effort to come all the way here to witness our final, defining, SBS/Oxford moment. Of course, it is a wonderful opportunity to attend a real Oxford ceremony held in the Sheldonian with all the pomp and ceremony that few institutions can do better than Oxford.

So what do you do with 200 sets of parents who descend on Oxford the day before the End of Course ceremony? You take them to a beautiful old pub called the Trout Inn, in Godstow, near to the spot which was the inspiration for Lewis Carol's 'Alice in Wonderland', let them meet each other then sit back and enjoy the day.

Tim's parents, Marty's parents, my Dad

The weather has been beautiful and it gave us the perfect opportunity to show of the beautiful English countryside at it's best. The two mile walk from the Trout took us along the Isis which is the name for the Thames as it runs through Oxford and provided us with some superb shots.

Then up to my college to show my father my college home. The St. Hugh's gardens were in full bloom which made for a truely memorable time. I only wish that my mother could be here to see it as well...

Dinner was again with more parents and this time at the Head of the River, location of the famous Head of the River boat races and destination of the students after the Torpids and Summer 8's races.

We all had a lovely time.

The Blog
Who would have thought that these musings of mine would have generated so much talk! It's been wonderful to get such positive feedback about a project that was intended to record my MBA adventure to ensure that the experience was not lost in the mists of time. I can't tell you how much it means to me to know that it was widely read and enjoyed and even passed on to other friends and collegues.

The question I keep getting asked is "Will you continue?" and the answer is, I don't know. I have certainly enjoyed keeping the blog this past year and the MBA has provided me with a huge source for material. I can't imagine that the rest of my life will continue at this pace but you never know... I have tended to take life as it comes and try to make the most of every situation so we'll see. I won't sign off just yet though, there's still a bit more left, the ceremony today, the many dinners and celebrations, a viva on Wednesday...

The Final Countdown

With red carnations abounding signifying the Final exam of our MBA, and a beautiful clear day to welcome us, we sat in a nearby coffee shop or stood outside the Examinations School waiting to cross our final hurdle.

Once seated in Sub Fusc in our rows, there was an anouncement of the three golden rules from Tomo, our Accounts professor in Michaelmas. These rules shall remain a secret for all MBA classes alone to hear.

Ironically, the Examiners are not without a human face. At the end of the exam, they anounced to us that despite the reputation of MBA classes in the past, we have been the most well behavied group ever, and then let us out of the school into the beautiful (and normally closed) side entrance to the Schools.

It is difficult to describe the feeling walking out of those doors. A mixture of relief that it was all over, sadness that it was all over and apprehension that it was all over. A rollercoaster of emotions that left you feeling just... well... in need for one more tradition. The Turf.

Our adventure is well and truely coming to an end. Next stop, the parents, the ceremony and the dinner(s).

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


is our last exam and the final requirement of the MBA. Wow! I can't believe that it's almost over. I'm about to head to the Examinations School to collet the case that the exam will be based on and pick up my red carnation to wear for the end. That's it.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Do Not Disturb

Ok, so I'm now back in Oxford and back to the grind - for the last time on this course I hope. We're doing our writeup of our Summer Consulting Project which is due on Friday so it's heads down and hands chained to the keyboard. :(

I'll come up for air on Friday then it's party time!!