By Olga Pisarenko
Olga is a Chartered Accountant (FCCA) and a lawyer.
She has a full-time career in finance and serves as Chief Financial Officer at a global financial services firm based in central London. She has over 15 years of experience in the finance industry, specializing in running finance functions for businesses within asset management, hedge funds, private equity and natural resources sectors. Outside of the financial industry, her interests are in humanitarianism, entrepreneurship, sports, fashion and travel. Olga is a participant in the January 2019 cohort of the Oxford Executive MBA.
Here she reflects on her choice to undertake an Executive MBA after completing an Executive Diploma in Financial Strategy at Oxford.
In June 2013, at the beautiful graduation ceremony held at the Oxford University’s Church of St Mary the Virgin, I thought that it was the last time when I was a student and my last time at the school.
I was wrong! Six years after, I am a student again and Saïd Business School has welcomed me to join its amazing community once more. I am truly happy to be back!
I would like this post to be inspirational and encouraging, especially for those who are thinking about doing the course. Lifelong learners are motivated to learn and develop because they want to: it is a deliberate and voluntary act but, of course, all of us need a little bit of inspiration too.
I am a great believer that lifelong learning can enhance our understanding of the world around us, provide us with more and better opportunities and improve our quality of life. And “the beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.” (B.B King).
Success is a personal standard, reaching for the maximum potential that is in us. The important thing is that it comes from the action and it won’t come from thoughts. Thinking, analysing, rationalising are all important parts of the process but unless there is an action, there would be no result.
When I thought about EMBA for the first time, I remember that on the very same evening I started my research about all the details and was trying to understand whether it would be achievable in parallel with work. Somehow, I got so dedicated to the process, that just several weeks after, I was already on my way back to London after my interview with Grant Phillips – an industry Advisor for Commercial Banking and Finance at Saïd Business School.
I acted quick because I realised that this program is right for me. The EMBA is known for enabling its participants to change their vision of business and, through the mastering of strategic corporate issues, to develop their capacity for both entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. Being an entrepreneur within a company is a key for career development, which I was looking for. Executives and leaders who wish to develop their leadership and careers or consider making a career move towards more strategic functions would undoubtedly benefit from the program too.