Class of Spectra 2016: Neyet Mehari


What does graduation mean to you?

Graduation is 2 things. Firstly, graduation is a celebration. Not only a chance to celebrate my personal triumphs, but also us all to reflect on how far we have come, together! Secondly, graduation offers the beautiful and bitter lesson that all things come to an end. I am so thankful to have successfully reached the end of this challenging experience, and am reminded that experience is always more important than “results”.

What is the trajectory you see for yourself?

For the immediate future, over the next 15 months, I hope to explore many of my passions and loves including music, media, education and historical academia, whilst fitting in some internships. Over the next 5 years, I hope to suitably advance in a well-suited Strategy Consulting role in the City. Finally, I see myself in the role of head teacher at a progressive school, which caters to a fast-changing world, building empathetic, adaptable, brilliant and confident kids.

What impact has university had on you?

University has offered me 2 key experiences. On a material level, it has allowed me to meet a fascinating spectrum of individuals, and connect with them on so many levels. This is what I share with my mentees: although at first you may worry that you won’t have a lot in common with your peers, Oxford offers an environment where you share formative years alongside some of the most talented people. No doubt many will hold influential positions in society, but you can learn a lot – I definitely witnessed how some of the most talented people maintained admirable integrity throughout the 3 years. On a more personal note, university has taught me that it is not workloads which define adult “struggle”, but in fact the personal battles and decisions which accompany work. As a result, looking after one-another is absolute key. As they say, “there is a beautiful way to do everything”.

Which are your most potent memories of university?

As the university blues begin to grow, memories of intense periods of “imposter syndrome” (very normal by the way!) and stress are gradually overshadowed, by recollections of great moments. The very nature of university, of deadlines + stress + general adult life, is a surprisingly ripe environment for genuine friendship. No less, Oxford had amazing perks, of unforgettable balls, punting and other novel experiences. But no feeling surpasses, or is as memorable, as the satisfaction of my time working with state school kids as Officer in the African and Caribbean society – a sense of fulfilment I will seek for the rest of my career.

What gives you impetus?

University tests you completely, and as a result, I learnt to rely on my faith – and not only in times of stress and despair. Most of all, my impetus lies in my belief that God uniquely crafted us as individuals, in order that we take nothing to the grave, good or bad, and offer our skills to humanity. As a result, there is merit in being brave, encouraging your peers, motivating one another without judgement, staying active, and persevering.


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