Amit Bothra


Masters in Major Programme Management





By Amit Bothra

Why Oxford? Why MMPM (Masters in Major Programme Management)??

Almost everyone I’ve met in the past nine months ever since I’ve started with the MMPM course at Oxford had these two pertinent questions, why Oxford and why MMPM ?

Initially I was perplexed why everyone is asking the same questions, have I made some major blunder, I mean a course from the University of Oxford isn’t it a no brainer whatever it might be, doesn’t matter!

I guess times have changed and the choice prospective students have in today’s time is unprecedented but in my personal opinion one thing has not changed and that is the Oxford reputation and brand. Without a doubt there is only one other in the UK and only 84.1 miles away, whatever, but sorry I live closer to M42/M40 and Oxford is on M40.

College rankings are a different beast but no rat race can beat the prestige, honour, reputation and history of some of the world class institutes. So there you go I cannot answer the first question any better than this, don’t ever ask me again why Oxford. In my world of watches analogy can anyone ever answer why Augment Piguet or Vacheron Constantin or Patek Philippe over any other watch brand after all they all show time and I’d love to have them all.

To be fair, educational courses at this level are much more than a designer brand and certainly far more than just another academic degree. The power of relationships, networking, knowing the who’s who is far higher and result yielding than anything else and no one can doubt that Oxford is definitely a good place to get exactly that. This also includes the guest lecturers and visiting faculty members which one would expect Oxford and Saïd Business School in particular to call in. Next thing for me personally was the library and the collection of books, journals, articles, scripts, though I didn’t know the name of the Bodleian Library till I was there attending the first module. If some of you have read my first blog you probably would know by now that I am a value seeker and I am trying to increase my ROI by borrowing as many books and reading most of them if not all. I’m sure we all know these are two very distinct activities.

My rationale behind choosing this course over anything else was very simple as I wanted to do something non-technical in the space of project management and something more comprehensive, more scientifically embedded in research and academic rigours, radical, something which had a hope in the hell to change the discipline of project management for good. Speaking to some of the alumni did help in the decision making process but one expectation was cut right to size from day one: this won’t be a course where I would come back with a case full of tools ready to be used at work after every module as most of us consultants are ingrained from very early days to seek in our professional life.

I don’t want to spoil the fun, joys and PAINS of the journey by saying too much here as Carl Lewis famously said “It’s all about the journey, not the outcome.” But as Drake put it “Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination” and I assure you the MMPM will teach you a lot.

I have answered these perennial questions to the best of my abilities and to be honest rarely would you come across a person who would say anything so contradictory after having spent a fortune and more importantly two years of their time at this stage of their life and career. But again it is an opinion and one’s own take on things, surely someone else could argue against it with facts and counter-facts but I chose to embark on the journey, now it’s your turn.

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