Whilst at Oxford, it's important to make the most of the opportunities offered to you and to try new things. Last term, I went on a fantastic trip to Burberry's flagship Regent Street store in London, as part of an initiative with Oxford Women in Business (OxWIB). OxWIB is a great society based in Oxford Uni, centred around the idea of bringing together women who want to get involved in the world of business - they host social events and panel talks, and also sometimes offer external events, like the event I went on with Burberry.
To go to this event, I had to fill in an application form, as there were only a limited number of spaces. I thought I may as well have a go - whilst at school I never would have dreamed of even going to a Burberry Store (or just popping along to London for the evening!), let alone going to an event where I would network with their senior staff, so I thought I may as well apply and just see how it went. I actually then forgot that I'd applied, and so when the email came through saying I'd got accepted, it was doubly exciting as it was a bit of a surprise!
The event was a networking event, meaning we all heard a short speech from various different members of the Burberry team (including their CFO (Chief Financial Officer), Marketing Manager, Sales Director, and Head of Digital!) and then we had drinks and canapes while talking to them. This was all also free for the participants!
Before going, I was really nervous about networking - this was not something I had done before. What if they didn't like me? What if we had nothing to talk about? But before I went, someone told me that your own time is precious and matters, too, so if someone isn't interested in talking to you at a networking event, move on and find someone else to talk to! However, it turned out that I had nothing to worry about, as everyone at Burberry was incredibly lovely and were happy to chat about anything. They also offered loads of reassuring advice - including that when they were in uni, they still had no idea what job or career they wanted, and that there was loads of time to decide and move about a bit until you find something you love! All the Burberry staff were also just as excited about the free drinks and canapes as we were - showing that they're all just human, too!
All in all, I am so glad that I applied, as I had a fantastic evening out talking to really interesting people and doing something I never would have dreamed of doing before coming to Oxford. In the future, I'm definitely going to get involved with more OxWIB events!