Jessica Richman


DPhil Programme in Management Studies


United States




Started in 2010

By Jessica Richman

The top 5 things about being a DPhil at Oxford

I just had a call today, as I frequently do, with an acquaintance thinking of applying for a DPhil at Saïd Business School. The call reminded me of all of the things I love most about being a DPhil student here. Sometimes it’s easy to take for granted how wonderful this place is, and how lucky we are to be a part of it. So, here are my top five things that I enjoy most about being a DPhil student at Saïd:

1. Oxford, of course
The most beautiful college town in the world. The dreaming spires, the Thames, the fantastic angle of light that beams down on us in the late afternoons, the walks in the University Parks in late November through the yellow-leafed trees with the crisp air blushing our cheeks, the dozens of cafes, each with their own personality. A street called Logic Lane. Mysterious corridors. Dinner in Hall. Candlelight through a window at night on a snowy street.

2. The academic scholarship
Saïd is an innovative spirit in an ancient place, allowing students to take new, hands-on approaches to academic work, and to begin our careers with innovative research techniques and topics of passionate interest. The focus on scholarship that makes a difference, on interdisciplinary studies, and on drawing from a set of diverse resources, makes research here exceptionally rewarding.

3. The mix of cultures and backgrounds
Being a DPhil student means that we get to meet many classes of MBAs and EMBAs in our years here, and to get to know the faculty on a deeper level. My fellow DPhils come from Greece and South Korea and South Africa, bringing their cultural riches with them. Saïd’s international focus allows us to work and study and teach with each other’s cultural differences and make them part of us.

4. The access
Oxford is home to world-class academics in every field, and hosts events nearly every night that you would never want to miss. As Oxford students, we can approach anyone in the world for research opportunities, collaboration efforts, or professional connections, and have the opportunity to be heard. It’s often exhilarating, often humbling.

5. The opportunity to make a difference
Saïd gives us the time, space, resources, and guidance to become excellent researchers but also to make an impact on the world. Professors take academic approaches from mathematical sociology to anthropology to history, and allow us to create projects that reflect our interests and goals. Read through the thesis topics of past students, and you’ll probably get hooked like I did. If you are considering studying for a DPhil, this is the place to do it.

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