Presentations Galore

20 June 2013

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This morning we woke up bright and early and went head first into our business model presentations. From 8:45 until 12:00 each off the 9 groups presented their business models followed by a critique by Dr. Hoffmire. James and I presented our model third and due to Dr. Hoffmire’s critiques, we learned very valuable insight on how to effectively present.

Throughout the day I soaked in every movement and action of the presenters and scribbled down every comment Dr. Hoffmire made on their style and efficiency. I learned so much from watching each presentation in light of what I was learning was and was not acceptable to do. The past few days have been very insightful and I believe taught me some of the most important skills I will use as I further my education and career.

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We finished our presentations a little early and guess what…we were given an hour and a half of FREE TIME… Crazy I know. Free time at Oxford, what is that? It was great to slip away for a bit and see the hustle and bustle of the city before returning to listen to the MBA panel arranged for us during lunch.

I used my free time to go back to Primark and shop for a few items I wanted/needed for my trip to Portugal in 2 days. Primark is one of the popular clothing stores here in England, and it is lined wall to wall with super cute items. I went there yesterday during our hour of free time and discovered that I needed more time to really explore the ins and outs of this wonderful store. Today I added some sunglasses, sandals, a skirt, and a couple of pairs of shorts to my little Oxford shopping collection. I realized that everything I packed was for England weather, so I needed some “summer clothes” for the beach. I am so excited for Spain and Portugal!

Mary, an economics PHD student, and Ryan, a MBA student at Said, were our two guest panelists this afternoon. These two have such diverse backgrounds in both their studies and interests, it makes me thankful that I am soaking in every aspect of learning during my time at BYU. Ryan shared that a 700 on the GMAT is the average score for a student accepted into the MBA program here at Oxford. He locked himself up in his room for a month and read a prep book on how to excel on the test before taking it…and it looked like it worked because here he is at Oxford. It is incredible to hear saints from Oxford talk about the missionary experiences they have had.

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We were able to go to Blenheim and see the Palace and Gardens today and explore for a few hours. This is the birthplace of Winston Churchill and the location of many of the scenes in the original Pride and Prejudice film. It was a beautiful outing, and both the palace and gardens were gorgeous. The group of students I am here at Oxford with is an incredible group. I have made incredible friends in the past two weeks that I know I can turn to for help and advice throughout the rest of my life. I am saddened to have to part from them in just a few days, but I know our relationships will extend beyond this program. Each of the individuals here are incredibly talented and passionate about making social changes in the world. It is nice to spend so much time with people who build me up moment after moment. I have been very blessed to be put in the paths of such marvelous people. Thank you to my friends for teaching me so many lessons about life and the world. I will miss you when we part but look forward to communing again together as we finish up our studies at BYU.

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The locks of Winston Churchill.

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Winston Churchill’s childhood bedroom.

Have I mentioned how incredible Dr. Hoffmire is? He gave his concluding lecture this evening, a lecture full of words that hit me hard. He is a man of virtue, honesty, and integrity. He is a billionaire yet you would never know. He gives everything he has away to others. He devotes his time to teaching people how to sustain themselves, much of the time this means teaching them business skills.

At the end of his lecture Dr. Hoffmire said something that I will never forget.

“I do not want you to remember me as the successful man who I am. I want you to remember me as the brother of the man who pushed his dad down the stairs. The son of a man who went bankrupt three times. The boy who got punched in the face but did not hit back. I have had to work hard for everything I have. For years I suffered through trial after trial, but now many of them are gone. I have been given much, but I give it back. Remember me as this. Remember me as the brother of the man who pushed his dad down the stairs.”

This statement was so powerful it brought tears to my eyes to hear such a powerful man lower himself to such a humble state. He truly wants us to make social impacts in the world that will help people. He has worked for years and years helping people in poverty rise out of the deep depths they find themselves in. It has been an amazing experience to learn so much from him.

We had a great lecture about the history of Hospitals today by Professor W Ernst from Oxford Brookes University. It was a great lecture and very intriguing to hear how hospitals have evolved throughout the ages.

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Kailey and I both wore our combat boots today…look at us!

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