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I originally applied to RisingWISE to discover opportunities related to entrepreneurship and Industry connections. What I couldn’t have predicted was how much it would change my perspective on my career and how to enhance my own skills set. 

RisingWISE allowed me to join a community of incredibly supportive and inspiring women from different backgrounds. I had access to fantastic mentors representing a number of different industries (many in which women are underrepresented) and to attend talks and workshops from world class teachers. Making me think more introspectively about my values and goals in life and how I could align those with my future careers. For many women, entering the fields of business and entrepreneurship might seem alien, however with RisingWISE, a sense of inclusivity and belonging was instilled.

For me, it signalled a dramatic shift in my own mental thinking, overcoming self-limiting mental barriers and increasing my confidence greatly. The network acted as spring board to learning about other courses available at Oxford. An example of this was the I2I programme at the Saïd Business School and EPL-HIT, a needs led innovation entrepreneurship programme. Further to this, I have continued a relationship with many of the other fellows and have worked with them closely on projects around social entrepreneurship. Many of the skills I learnt during the course such as networking, presenting and leadership I have gone on to use almost daily in my professional life.

I feel that my options for my future career have increased massively, I am involved in consulting projects and am currently working towards pitching ideas for a start-up in the upcoming academic year. The course instilled a sense of hope, excitement and curiosity for me in my future career. It has also provided me with a huge support network and resources to bring many of my ideas to fruition.

Pavandeep Rai

Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford