M y first sojourn to Oxford was filled with excitement and a sense of accomplishment of having been accepted to this prestigious institution. I now faced the initial assessment after having experienced Module 1 and spending five short weeks at home reading and attempting to comprehend a series of frameworks to which I had never been exposed.
During our course intermission, I had the opportunity to engage with several members of my cohort during online and conference call study groups. We had lengthy discussions about our course material and experiences during our first module and shared our understanding of the frameworks. Interestingly, these calls ended with a consensus despite exploring a variety of positions on the application of the frameworks to which we were exposed.
My study group calls were like riding a rollercoaster vis-à-vis my feelings. I would end one call with a self-confirmed notion that I had a complete understanding of the material and how to apply it in an actual business climate...only to end the following call with a total and complete conviction that I was drowning. I was convinced that I was the only person in the entire cohort who had no understanding of the material and every other colleague of mine had a complete grasp of these concepts. I was surely doomed to fail! Possessing a bit of a flair for the dramatic no doubt.
As I was preparing to travel back to Oxford for Module 2, our class representatives began forming plans for a study group that would take place the afternoon before the assessment on day one of the module.
WAIT! A final study group?? I can’t attend a final study group! I am going to be traveling.
True panic ensued and I was close to complete meltdown mode. After a delay with my flight and negotiation with the airline, I was able to adjust my schedule to join my group in Oxford.
Study group complete, a few of us decided a relaxing dinner and a good night’s sleep was in order. The dinner was relaxing and the discussion primarily avoided any of the subject matter for the assessment the next morning. We are all experienced professionals and at this point if you had not prepared then the onus and outcome is on you. The morning arrived and following a solid breakfast, I donned my sub fusc and arrived with my fellow cohorts for our assessment.
It reminded me of a large high school gymnasium built in 1960, and as a result of this familiar institutional setting, I exhaled and found comfort in the feeling I have been here before. Arriving with a feeling of despair, I soon realized my flair for the dramatic was wasted energy as I turned over the page with the assessment questions. I discovered the cohesiveness and open communication developed among my classmates had adequately prepared me for the task at hand.
Though my assessment evaluation will be forthcoming at this point, I am glad to have crossed yet another hurdle in life: I experienced a test at one of the world’s most notable universities and survived. The journey continues!