Mallory Dwinal

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Tell us something about what you were doing before you came to Oxford

I was a triple major in Spanish, Economics, and International Studies with a minor in Business at Northwestern University (which is just north of Chicago). I graduated in 2009 and came to Oxford this year on a Rhodes Scholarship.

What do you like most about studying in the Department of Education?

The department is very close-knit. I spend a lot of time with other students outside of class and the faculty are incredibly warm and approachable.

What attracted you to the programme of study here?

I had heard through earlier Rhodes Scholars that the Department of Education was one of the most progressive departments and that its faculty worked very hard to provide students with opportunities that were relevant to their interests and future careers.

What qualities do you think an Education student at Oxford needs to have in order to be successful?

It is very important to be self-directed and responsible. The department gives us a lot of freedom to decide which classes and assignments will best suit our interests. As a result, it is the responsibility of each of us to take initiative and work independently.

We hope that you would recommend the Department of Education as a place to come and study. What reasons would you give for this?

I would definitely recommend the Department of Education to anyone interested in a career in this field. I have had an amazing experience here, thanks largely in part to the wonderful resources and faculty available to Education students. The department brings in the top professors from a wide range of education-related fields. As such, students have the freedom to explore and adjust their different interests while working in the Department. I could not have found a program more flexible and supportive than the one I have attended here.

What are your career ambitions after you complete the course?

I am on deferral from Teach for America and Harvard Business School; once I finish here, I will finish my work with those two programs. My goal is to eventually found and manage my own charter schools for low-performing urban areas in the United States.
If I knew before I started the course what I know now, I would…. I would have become more involved in the Department early on. They have so much to offer and I feel like I missed out on some great opportunities by not attending more events (especially the special lectures) in the first few weeks.

Please add anything else you would like to say

I originally came to the Department as an MSc student, but then realized that the scope of my research topic was not well suited to that program. Four or five different faculty members—including my MSc adviser, the department’s director of graduate studies, and my current advisers—all took an active interest in helping me to find a degree that better suited my interests. The members of this department are genuinely concerned with the well being and success of their students.

Programme of study


D Phil