Tom’s amazing year

The Sam Zuckerberg Scholarship enables students, from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, to study for a Master’s degree at Oxford Brookes. Tom Elner, studying MSc Management and Business Analytics, was the recipient of the scholarship in 2022-23.

Tom’s course and career

Oxford Brookes has a culture of hands-on, practical learning that enables students to boost their careers. Tom found both direction and opportunities through her Master’s course.

“Before I came to Brookes, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in my career,” explains Tom, “The course was very practical. I really liked the projects, learning about market research, how to use analytics and to program in R (a computer programming language). So now I know a lot more about what I want do.”

Tom took on a part-time role with the London-based social business Catch 22 and this has led to an opportunity to continue in a full-time role after graduating, although she hasn’t decided to stay in London long-term.

“During my Master’s I worked part-time as an analyst and the company has offered me a full-time role starting in October. It’s for a couple of months and I don’t know if I’ll stay longer. My family and friends are mostly in Israel so I might go back but this way I can explore London for a while.”

Living in Oxford

Oxford has been a home-from-home for Tom thanks to the Oxford Jewish Congregation.

“The Jewish community in Oxford is amazing. It’s difficult to explain to someone who is not part of it. But when you are with people who are Jewish, you feel at home even though you’re abroad. They were my Oxford parents.”

As well as feeling at home in Oxford, Tom recalls how she loved exploring the city and surrounding area, “Every time we went into Oxford, we found something different – Christ Church Meadow, the canal, Port Meadow. And it has a perfect combination of old and new because Brookes is very modern.”

“I love the city but if you go just a little to the left or a little to the right, you’re surrounded by beautiful nature. My partner and I loved renting bicycles and exploring the city, cycling through the countryside. It was captivating.”

Sharing perspectives

Oxford Brookes has a diverse international community and Tom made friends, and shared her perspective as an Israeli – reaching across political divisions.

“I made a lot of friends with people in my dorm, with students from around the world. Two of the best friends I made were from Syria. Our conversations were deep, seeing through their eyes and letting them see through mine. It was amazing.”

Tom shared that those friends saw Israel in a different light after meeting her which made this year very meaningful to her.

An amazing opportunity

As well as feeling grateful to Oxford’s Jewish community for making her feel at home, Tom also wants to thank everyone who supports the Sam Zuckerberg Scholarship, which made it possible for her to study at Brookes.

“It’s been an amazing opportunity. I was able to enlighten my peers about my fascinating country, I now know much more about what I want to do in my career, I’ve made friends from all over the world and I got to live in the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen.“

If you would like to contact Tom, you can connect on LinkedIn.

To find out more about the Sam Zuckerberg Scholarship, visit the Oxford Brookes website.