View from the top

Skoll Scholar and MBA student Ritesh Singhania gives us his first thoughts and impressions from the top of his year here in Oxford.

“Remember Red, hope is a good thing may be the best of things and no good thing ever dies”

-Shawshank Redemption

At Oxford, every time I decide to step out of my house I am hopeful that I will hear a story that I have never heard before. I will meet someone who is studying a course, which I did not even know one could study, or I will learn about a culture I previously knew nothing about.

I am an extrovert, a people’s person who loves to meet people, know their cultures and stories, and try to see the world through their lenses. As I grow older, it’s sometimes difficult for me to leave my own perspective and experience and see the world through the perspective of my half Turkish- half Swiss friend, who I met at a Halloween party. It was my first Halloween ever, where I decided to dress up as Charlie Chaplin. It was a little difficult to sip on drinks and eat while taking care of the moustache.

There have been more than a few things that I have done for the first time at Oxford. Oxford University is an institution where we do things a little differently than others. Some of them are really fun, but some of them might not be so much fun. To be really honest, I am enjoying each of these traditions that are such an integral part of this 800 old university. Most of these things I have never done before and in all probability will not do after this year. This is my only year to experience each of these traditions and I am absolutely loving every bit of it.

My undergraduate college was in no ways similar to my current college. I do not remember wearing anything but casual wear to college dinners, whereas at Oxford we have to suit up each time for a formal dinner in college. It is an experience that I am living here everyday, and extending to my family through the pictures that I am able to share with them. God bless the founders of Whatsapp!!

“You might not see the changes in you immediately after your time at Oxford, but all the learnings would, gradually over the years, help you to succeed in your personal and professional endeavours” – so said one of our speakers during the MBA launch at the beginning of this academic year. I strongly believe that this will be one of the most important years in my life, so it might not be quite fair to see how far I have come and how much I’ve grown in a span of just one year. I just hope that I am able to learn fast, and apply the learnings gradually throughout my life, making some solid friends who I stay in touch with even after this wonderful year!