Rodolfo Catena


DPhil Programme in Management Studies






Started in 2011

By Rodolfo Catena

The social life of a DPhil student

Being an academic community is an important part of the philosophy of our Business School. While you hear of PhD students spending most of their time by themselves working from home or in a library, at Saïd Business School there are two offices where doctoral students can work on their research and still speak with each other. Your desk is located in one of these offices and you have a personal computer to do your work. If you are a night owl, the Business School is open until midnight.

Another social life aspect as a DPhil student is the opportunity to have lunch and dinner together.  Eating together is not only about socialising, but it’s also about giving each other feedback on what we work on. In general, we all work on very different projects and talking to each other helps viewing our research problems from different perspectives. The Business School has a café with sofas and tables where you can stop by for an informal chat. The garden in front of the café is beautiful and in the spring, from time to time, is the place for barbeques that staff organises, for example, to celebrate the end of the term.

The doctoral students at the Business School elect three representatives that become part of the DPhil committee. The representatives provide suggestions to the DPhil committee, whom take their opinions into consideration when decisions are made. The representatives manage the DPhil budget to organise social events. The last event was a Christmas dinner at a pub in Oxford that offered us the occasion to wish each other happy holidays.

Outside of the business school in the University there are clubs and societies you can join. Also your college has many societies and sport teams, in particular many students join the rowing team. For the sport teams there are intercollege and interuniversity tournaments and the so-called “Varsity match”. In the “Varsity match” athletes from Oxford play against athletes from Cambridge, for example, in the famous regatta that happens every year in the river Thames in London.

A doctorate at the Business School is not a solitary experience, unless you want it. The Business School is a vibrant academic community where you can receive valuable feedback on your work and meet brilliant people whom share similar passions.

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