OUS Victoria - Farewell to Freshers Event
On 27 August 2015 we once again gave our ‘Farewell to Freshers’ in honour of the latest generation of Victorians going up to Oxford. The generous hospitality of the Boston Consulting Group not only provided us with a fine setting, refreshments, and a beautiful 52nd floor view: it also reminded us all of the exciting career opportunities that await those with the Oxford advantage. Some 40 alumni and freshers were in attendance.
As ever, there was a pleasing range of degree levels, from undergraduate to DPhil; and degree types, from English literature to artificial intelligence. The BCL was particularly well represented, reminding us all of some of Australia's academic strengths at Oxford. I felt nostalgic attending the event with a friend who had been up at the same time as me; and I also felt thrilled for another friend about to start his degree in ancient philosophy.
Committee members George Feast and Freya Fowkes opened with brief presentations about Oxford, and offered some invaluable advice about visas, and enlightening information about Oxford and the Australian presence there. After a brief welcome from one of our BCG hosts, three recent alumni gave us a precis of their time at the university. They ranged from sober advice on railcards in England's complicated transport system, to nostalgic recollections of all the things you don't hear about in the brochures, but which truly make the Oxford experience worth all that effort and dedication. Finally, the Honorary Secretary, Elizabeth Beattie, presented the freshers with five-year OUSV memberships; and some of us moved on to dinner and drinks elsewhere, with old and new friends.
My own Farewell to Freshers was held back in 2008, and I still have a very close friend whom I first met that evening. It just goes to show that both the university and its alumni community will give Oxonians invaluable connections not only in the UK, but also back home and across the world. Even long after the degree course is over, the Oxford experience does not really end.
Marco Paoletti (St John's 2008)