On Thursday 17th September, Oxford10 held a Zoom event for London-based freshers (undergraduate and postgraduate) to help them ease into their exciting journey at Oxford. Nearly 100 freshers attended the event – a definite record for this Oxford10 committee – and they got to meet friendly faces, hear from current students about how the upcoming term was shaping up amidst the pandemic, and put their wits to the test in a three-round quiz.
Current second-years Seren Ford, Rachel Howe and Orly Welch shared their experiences at Oxford to date – including a Trinity term in lockdown – and their thoughts on how freshers could make the best of their time at Oxford, even amidst a global pandemic. The participants were then grouped by colleges – with some colleges bravely represented by just one person – and asked a range of Oxford-themed questions. We’d invite you to try answering some of them as well:
Which US president studied at University College?
How many libraries are there in Oxford?
When was the Oxford Union founded?
Eventually, the team of Corpus Christi and Christ Church emerged victorious, pulling ahead of the rest of the competition with full points across all three rounds. Seems like that lot are very prepared to do Open House next year, where they will undoubtedly charm wide-eyed sixth-formers with their formidable knowledge of Oxford.
Participants thoroughly enjoyed the event, as it gave them an opportunity to meet some friendly faces and make them feel at home in Oxford (even as they were mostly attending the event in their own homes!). The Oxford10 team wishes every fresher the very best as they began their journey from Oxford; if nothing else, the event gave us cause to reminisce fondly.
On 8th September 2020, Oxford10 welcomed Jonathan Black (Director, Careers Service & Internship Office, University of Oxford, and also Chair of the Oxford Hub) for a live seminar on career prospects in the light of a pandemic-related slowdown.
In an interactive and engaging session, Jonathan shared his view on the effects the pandemic has had on the job market. These insights included quantified trends as shown by the number of job vacancies posted on the OU job vacancy board, and the outlook in different sectors under significant influence of forces such as COVID, Brexit and automation.
The talk finished with an encouragement to the alumni to use the careers service, which provides support to Oxford alumni for life. These services include the job vacancy board on CareerConnect, access to careers fairs and Skype appointments with alumni careers advisors.
We recently held two more fantastic social events (virtually, though hopefully not for much longer).
On 31 July, we held a doubleheader event, starting with a cocktail-making session (featuring a classic Mojito and a more exotic Singapore Sling), with plenty of ice to cool things down after a long workday.
That was followed by a pub quiz from the comforts of home – participants paired up and tackled categories such as General Knowledge, Entertainers, and About Oxford.
Do you still remember the price of an Oxford Tube single student ticket to London? (£8) Or the year both boat crews in the Boat Race managed to sink their boats? (1912) Well, neither did everyone there… but hopefully it gave everyone a healthy dose of nostalgia for their time at Oxford!
(If you did know, then turn up for our next quiz events in the near future!)
A few days later, on 4 August, we welcomed Dr. Tom Crawford to the online lecture theatre to share his work on ‘Using Maths to Clean-up our Oceans’. He shared how a mathematical model for river outflows can help predict which areas are most susceptible to pollution from rivers, making it easier to coordinate clean-up as needed.
If you missed it, check out this recording of his lecture (as part of the Teddy Talks series):
On Tuesday 14th July, Oxford10 was joined by Dr. Lennart Brand (D.Phil., St. John’s College, 2004), Managing Director of the Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin, for a live virtual talk on the subject of “Exponential Technologies and Values – A Tale of Chickens and Eggs”. Dr. Brand’s talk pivoted upon the notion that as we move into an era of exponential technological development, including the continued progression of AI, ethical standards that were once considered inviolable may no longer be fit for purpose. By maintaining an openness to and awareness of a newly emerging ethical paradigm, we may be in a better position to respond to the certain influx of changes ahead. In just 30 minutes Dr. Brand’s discussion touched on subjects ranging from self-driving cars to eugenics, and on writers as diverse as 18th century historian Oswald Spengler and the contemporary science fiction author Leif Randt.
Dr. Brand’s talk was followed by a stimulating Q&A session in which members explored further ways the discussion impinged on ethical issues in society. We’d like to thank Dr. Brand for sharing his valuable time with us, and for providing all of us with a thought-provoking thesis, inspiring many more questions for consideration.
This week, we welcomed Oxford10 members from around the world – London, Toronto, Florida, and LA – for a virtual cooking masterclass led by our Vice-President, Maggie Ewen!
Despite being miles apart, we did our shopping for ingredients beforehand, and came prepared to cook up a storm. On the menu this evening was a summer salad, salmon for the main course, and no-bake cookies for dessert.
Freed from the terrifying prospect of Gordon Ramsay chucking our food in the bin or demanding our white apron, this was a much more pleasant cooking session than the typical Masterchef experience.
Good food demands good company, and it was a great chance to meet up, chat, and enjoy some home-cooked food, maybe with some wine on the side.
Have a look at some photos below, and do join us for our next virtual events, wherever in the world you may be!
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