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Carolyn Moore

Degree:

Masters in Major Programme Management

Location:

Australia

Industry:

Energy

Year:

2020-21

By Carolyn Moore

MMPM20 Cultivating our experience around the world, together

Coming from Australia to join the MSc in Major Programme Management, I was very aware of the experience of travelling to the UK, and to Oxford and that indeed meant about a 20-hour flight each way. It also meant the perfect escape time to immerse in readings for the MSc MPM course.

Right now though, as for many, because of the context related to COVID, the MMPM12 (September 2020) cohort has commenced from afar across our respective nations and locations. Made up of 59 participants and with 29 nationalities represented, it is no mean feat virtually let alone from a physical logistics point of view. Despite this, MMPM12 has made it their own and the rapport building taking place is inspiring and so very heart-warming.

Oxford Saïd and the greater University of Oxford community have demonstrated a commitment to creating a sense of belonging from before the start of Michaelmas. Prior to commencement, we were all invited to join introductory sessions and meet each other and have questions addressed by academic staff. We then later had our matriculation virtually… we received our academic dress by post which was so very impressive and such a considered effort from Saïd Business School (we now have our academic dress ready for on-campus celebrations!)
Our classes in the modules have been held at 1pm UK time which has meant extending into early morning for my eastern timezone colleagues… or early morning starts for my far western timezone colleagues.

My wonderful MMPM12 cohort have established ‘thinking cap sessions’ held on Saturday afternoons… extending into Sunday morning for me. It took some getting used to at first however it is such a privilege and a joy to spend the time with a calibre group, with diverse minds and experiences. These sessions have typically kicked off with a pre-session virtual coffee (or wine, pending timezone) and have been fully student self-convened, to support eachother remotely. We have established our own Whatsapp groups which host lively chat and support, and colleagues have held ‘getting to know you sessions’, I’ve also held virtual coffee sessions with the cohort, working them into my early morning or late evening weekdays to suit the timezone.

From a college perspective, I’ve had the chance to participate in virtual Trivia evenings I’ve also had the chance to get to know college operations and have been allocated a college advisor whom I can reach out to and I’ve been looped into on-campus events, helping me to feel connected, from afar. My latest update is joining the Keble College women’s rowing club!

The thing is, the opportunities at Oxford are too good to miss, we are all making sure we bring each other on this journey. I’d like to thank Oxford Saïd, the MSc Programme staff in particular and Guy Ainsley for their dedication in making sure no one is left behind. What I do know is when we make it to campus, there will be celebrations and I am determined to remain optimistic that this will be sooner rather than later. To the Oxford Saïd and MMPM faculty, thank you so very much for ensuring the Oxford spirit has translated through our initial experiences, and to my wonderful cohort, MMPM12 I look forward to seeing you in Oxford soon.

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