Robert Moore


Masters in Major Programme Management




Information Technology



By Robert Moore

Challenge your expectations

The number 6 bus from Wolvercote to Magdalen Street. You don’t get much more of a glamorous start than that do you? But I’ve got a few minutes spare as we weave our way through the early morning Oxford traffic to put down some thoughts for this blog. If there’s one thing you’re guaranteed to learn on this course it’s that you’ll find the time; to skim read another journal article, to ‘thumb type’ some notes into your phone, or to bask in the weird looks as you realise you’ve actually laughed out loud at the shared ‘gallows humour’ playing out on the cohorts’ WhatsApp group.

This might not be the kind of thing you’re expecting to read on a blog about the MSc in Major Programme Management at Saïd Business School, but if you’re considering joining, you might as well start preparing to challenge your expectations now. I didn’t expect to be sitting in the amphitheatre in the weak September sunshine with the cohort listening to Dr. Malloy, but he’d recognised that a combination of 60 minds blown by the intensity of module 1 and a liberal sprinkling of jet-lag had conspired against him and the confines of Lecture room VI.

I also genuinely didn’t expect the diversity, determination, honesty,  grit and vulnerability evident in the stories relayed by my fellow cohort members’ about the different paths they’ve taken to arrive here. Each module a few people have taken to their feet after dinner (having been ‘encouraged’ to embrace the ‘opportunity’ by Programme Director Dr. Ansar).

The juxtaposition of someone sharing their personal journey, not an ego in sight, at a historic college dining hall where some truly inspiring people have previously shared the very table you’ll sit at is incredibly powerful (there’s a photo below of me at Exeter College last module, but I’d urge you to take a look at my fellow cohort John Varano’s blog – he’s got an inspiring story and an incredible eye for photography that truly brings the MMPM experience to life).

I’m reaching the end of my word count for this first blog and I haven’t even touched on the course itself. I guess that means I’ll have to follow up in the coming weeks (the small matter of a Systems Engineering assignment to take care of first).

I’d encourage you to challenge your own expectations – take the first step towards sharing your journey with your cohort after a college dinner – it’s your unique background that makes the cohort so valuable. Leave me a comment if you have questions, take a look at some of the other blogs here, attend a ‘taster lecture’ (that’s what sold me!) or talk to Sarah and the team.  Finally, I’d like to end with a quote from W K Clifford’s ‘The ethics of Belief’ from 1877 which is as applicable to an MMPM assignment as it is to my original perceptions of what the course might be like; ‘It is wrong always, everywhere and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.’

At a College dinner

Dinner at Exeter College


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