Guillermo Casasnovas


DPhil Programme in Management Studies






Started in 2012

By Guillermo Casasnovas

One year as a DPhil student

A few days ago we had the induction dinner for new DPhil students at Saïd Business School. However, this time I was not one of the newcomers asking practical things about living in Oxford or trying to understand the variety of research interests at the school. Instead, I was one of the second-year doctoral students welcoming a new cohort of colleagues.

Last year I arrived to the UK after spending most of my almost 30 years in Barcelona (Spain). In Spain I studied my Bachelor and Masters in Business Administration, I worked for some years at Deloitte in the Corporate Finance division, and helped launch a programme to accelerate social enterprises. Between one thing and the other, I spent a year in Managua (Nicaragua) as a consultant and lecturer at the Central American University (UCA), I studied in China for some months, I worked in a microfinance institution in Honduras, and I have been involved in several volunteering activities in Spain and abroad.

The reason for this brief snapshot of my life is that I find it very interesting to know other people’s stories that brought them to Oxford, and especially to start the DPhil programme at Saïd. Here we not only have students from around the world, but also from backgrounds that range management consulting or entrepreneurship to international development or the aviation industry. And of course, not to mention the other settings that Oxford offers: either at your college or a doctoral workshop, you often find yourself sitting next to colleagues studying topics from the use of technology for development in India or moral debates over the death penalty, to medical pathologies that I cannot even spell.

In my case, being at Saïd Business School has been a great advantage because of the opportunity to interact with MBA students with experience in social entrepreneurship and impact investment, to take a class on Social Finance, or to participate in events organized by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship like the Skoll World Forum or the Emerge Conference.

SWF YunusTo sum up for today, it has been a brilliant year from whatever angle you want to look at it: the close interaction with faculty members and other students in the doctoral seminars; a supervisor – Marc Ventresca – that has guided and mentored me through to the process of designing a research project; playing sports and socializing at Green Templeton College; discovering Oxford and its surroundings with my family, and much more. People sometimes complain about the weather, but I have already learned that “there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing”.

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