Oxford Said MBA Application Essays 2019-20
Essay 1: Define your current role (5000 Characters)
Essay 2: Describe below your immediate plan after graduating from the MBA:
Essay 3: How does your preferred sector in your preferred location recruit MBA talent and what do they look for in a candidate? Describe the research you have done so far.
Essay 4: Reflecting on your answer above, how do you meet these requirements?
Essay 5: What do you plan to do between now and starting your MBA to prepare and maximise your chances of success?
Essay 6: Should you not be successful in securing your first choice of role, what is your alternative?
Essay 7: Is there anything not covered in the application form that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you?* Maximum 250 words
Oxford Said MBA Winning Sample Essays – 1
Describe below your immediate post-MBA plans: 1000* characters
Post MBA, I aspire to take up the role of a product manager in a technology firm such as Amazon, Google, or Microsoft. I specifically intend to take up this role in a firm that primarily operates in the mobile space to leverage my knowledge of mobile application development.
In the past 6 years of my career, I have acquired vast technical knowledge in the mobile sphere. I want to utilise this knowledge to lead pioneering mobile technology products. An MBA will give me the business management knowledge required for a product manager’s role. So far I have led unidirectional technical teams only, an MBA program can help me gain the skills required to manage cross-functional teams in a product manager’s role. The accomplishment of my short-term goal will facilitate my long-term goal to lead a group of product managers and handle a portfolio of products. Not to be a C-suite executive ?
Preferred Sector post-MBA
Preferred Location post-MBA
How does your preferred sector in your preferred location recruit MBA talent? Describe the research you have done so far. 1000* characters
After talking to Saïd alumnus Aman Kumar and current MBA student Ashutosh Gandhi, I understand that apart from campus visits by companies to recruit students, networking events such as alumni reach out, and club activities help students land in their desired jobs. Student treks help the students reach out to prospective employers in different locations. Participating in case competitions is another way that makes students visible to employers.
Most importantly, an internship is an excellent way for an MBA student to prove his/her mettle to prospective employers. For example, doing the Amazon PMT internship would be a great opportunity for me.
How do you meet these requirements?1000*
Although Majority of my experience comprises of application development, I have had a few very good opportunities in my career to take up product management roles for a brief while.
One such opportunity was during my year-long onsite stint in the XXXX UK. I was working with the client on-site implementing the product we developed.
That’s experience with our direct customer helped me understand the user’s point of view. I could incorporate several design changes in the applications which enhanced the user experience. Elaborate what else you did which might support your claim of being a product manager.
As a Product Manager is the voice of user inside the business, my skills will accentuate my candidature in/for my target firms.
With my strong technical background and the skills i acquire during my MBA, I believe I will be competent to take up a product management role.
What do you plan to do between now and starting your MBA to prepare and maximise your chances of success?1000*
If selected, before starting my MBA, I would start networking with Oxford’s alumni and current students as they would provide valuable insights, suggestions and connections to help me achieve my desired goals after MBA.
Simultaneously, I will widen my network within the technology industry so that I can start leveraging the Alumni Network and my current network in parallel to maximize my chances of landing in my targeted firms. Additionally, I will ask my manager to assign me a leadership role apart from my technical role to improve my leadership skills.
Furthermore, I plan to take an introductory course on Accounting and Finance that would help me during the rigorous one year program. I would also do an extensive research on internships available in my target firms.
Should you not be successful in securing your first choice of role, what is your alternative? 1000*
As a first choice, I intend to take up a product management role in a large technology firm that operates in the mobile space.
In case I am not able to crack into my first choice of role, as an alternative, I would take a broader technology management role against the relatively narrow mobile scope. I will be willing to consider joining a promising technology start ups in Europe or developing economies of south east Asia. For example Urban Clap in India.
As a further alternative, I shall also consider taking up a technology consulting role in firms such as Deloitte, Accenture etc. With my undergraduate degree in Computer Science and my 6 years of multi-domain experience in the IT sector, I am confident I can make a switch into my alternatives very comfortably.
Please give a specific example of when you have had to apply leadership skills in a voluntary capacity. Maximum 150 words
A year ago, two trainees joined my team. Though they were technically proficient, they lacked soft skills, especially communication skills. They came from a remote village of India and were having difficulty in interacting with other colleagues in office. They mostly kept to themselves and pretty soon started feeling left out.
I understood their problem and helped them interact with other colleagues. I convinced them to join Toastmasters club, which helped them immensely.
Also, I have been organising weekly knowledge sharing sessions in which each trainee gives a 30-minute lecture on his/her current project to fellow trainees. Today, the two trainees (who are not trainees anymore) effortlessly take client calls and are more confident than before. Though we don’t work for the same team now, they never fail to invite me when they are speaking at a Toastmasters meeting.
How do you fit with Oxford Saïd’s mission? Maximum 500 words.*
After seeing Professor Peter Tufano’s message, I believe Said Business school mission in its XX years of existence has been working towards solving world scale problems and preparing business leaders who would find ways to improve the world and create impact in the society.
In my 6 years of professional career as a technology consultant, I have been continuously striving to solve technology problems for our clients which can help them create a positive impact their societies.
Since my childhood days, I have been awestruck by technology and passionate about developing applications. When, I graduated in 2010 mobile first revolution was at its cusp of revolutionizing the world. I joined Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and opted to work in a mobile application development team because that’s I was passionate about and it always fascinated me how we could solve several everyday problems with innovative mobile apps.
My first big ticket project where I truly believe, I solved a world scale problem which benefited the society is when I worked for British telecom. Exorbitant costs of international calls was a common problem faced by corporate employees working in global teams.
These applications reduced the international calls costs by 70% without using the internet. I was responsible for developing this application on BlackBerry devices.
After 6 years as a technology consultant, I want to upgrade my skill set and take up new challenges. Post MBA, I aspire to become a Technology Product Manager and be responsible for delivering products that bring a positive change to business as well as to the society. I want to enrol in an MBA program that not only gives me a 360-degree view of business but also helps me better prepare to understand and solve the problems faced by the world. Professors Peter Tufano’s video was truly inspiring and I find Oxford’s MBA program to be in perfect sync with my targeted goals and desired learning from the MBA program.
An MBA from Oxford will provide an opportunity to learn from an international faculty body and to interact with the best minds would broaden my perspective. Additionally, I can contribute my valuable insights to Technology OBN leveraging my vast mobile technology experience and help my classmates network with the connections I have. With the insights gained from multicultural experience in India, I believe that the diverse student community at Saïd and the broad Oxford community will be an informal learning platform, which would enhance the overall learning experience and give me the exposure to tackle world scale problems.
As more organisations adopt mobile-first strategy, techno-managers, as opposed to classical managers, are better equipped to adapt to changes in the mobile landscape. I think equipped with the right set of business fundamentals from an MBA I would be able to create impact for people, businesses and society and fulfil Oxford’s Mission.
Is there anything not covered in the application form that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you? Maximum 250 words.*
I have always been a staunch supporter of women education. I personally believe that without women education, no society can thrive smoothly. Female literacy rate in India is less than 40%, one of the lowest in Asia. Several girls are withdrawn from school each year because of reasons such as financial constraints or the girl attaining a “certain age”.
I have identified one such less privileged girl, Kaniyamma, whose parents are daily wage labours earning below poverty line (less than 2 GBP/day). They barely have the means to support their own livelihood and in such scenario’s educating their girl child is their last priority. Therefore, I have been sponsoring her education and guiding her in all academic matters since last XX years. With my continuous support Kaniyamma Secured an A grade in all her subjects in annual exams last academic year. It gives me immense pleasure to see how my small financial contributions are changing a girl’s future and help bring happiness and a glimmer of hope to their lives.
I also regularly mentor my housemaid’s daughter to help her realise her dream of becoming a Police officer. I have bought her a membership at the local library and taught her to use the internet. Like her I guide several other girls who do not have anyone else in their family to guide them in matters of professional career.
In my pursuit to make a difference to the society, I will continue to do my best in educating girl child in India.
Oxford Said MBA Winning Sample Essays – 2
Oxford MBA Essay 1: What should Oxford expect from you? (500 words)
My grandmother never went to school. My mom is a graduate but has never worked. For the most basic personal needs, they had to depend on their husbands or fathers. But it is their support that has made me who I am: the first woman in our extended family to ace college, work in a multinational company and earn an independent living. This has inspired a new generation of girls in my family, still studying but dreaming bigger. My professional experience has been equally enriching and challenging. I’ve worked with clients from diverse domains (government & private) and geographies (North America, East Asia, Europe, South Africa) and can share my learning about cross-cultural communication and management across time zones with my peers at Oxford.
Studying in a missionary convent school has embedded in me social, moral and spiritual values. In my earnest efforts to give back to my school, I led an alumni cell with the vision to raise funds for the school?s betterment. Our efforts raised xxx to purchase computers & educational aids for the school.
I am committed to be a part of fund raising community while at Oxford and would like to take up activities such as reviewing applications for raising funds for charity.
Oxford’s alumni ambassadors and current students have been quite helpful. I particularly benefited from the Nikhil Nair’s chat session because it was beyond what can be found online. Training 1500+ freshers during the last 5 years has honed my mentoring and training skills. At SBS, I would love to follow my passion for mentoring and start an online chat session for Oxford aspirants. As an Oxonian and a Bangalorean I will volunteer for OBA Bangalore chapter to assist both students and alumni visiting or working in the city. I’d also love to be a part of the Ascent Mentoring Programme to assist female candidates in building their career.
As a member of training and placement committee during college, I was actively involved in organizing recruiting events and mock interviews. I’d love to help out similarly at SBStoo. I have applied my knowledge of analytics to areas outside of work. My analysis of data from the blood donation drives conducted by the NGO ?X?offered insights to streamline the donation process and we implemented these for better efficiency. I am very enthusiastic about deriving data-driven insights for SBSsuch as analyzing Top 5 clubs in which students are most interested, steps required to make other clubs more attractive while utilizing funds optimally based on student interest, trend analysis of job opportunities for current students etc.
For me, an MBA needs to be a transformative experience that urges me to think higher. Through SBS’ GOTO community, I will exercise my intellect and problem solving skills to analyze issues and ideate solutions. I firmly believe that the best way to learn is to collaborate and share. I will do my best to preserve this environment at Oxford.
Oxford: The business of business is business. Is this true? (500 words)
From my 5 years’ work experience in assessing and valuing businesses, I have witnessed that it is equally imperative for businesses to look beyond profit and returns, and view the people involved in that business as a priority. Profits are, and should always be, important to a business as they provide opportunity for growth which is important to a business’s continued existence and ability to compete with its peers.
However, at its root, people are the essence of business as businesses are accountable to their shareholders, employees, customers and suppliers. A business’s existence is compromised if these relationships are not nurtured.
During my work with Otangi, South Africa’s sovereign fund, one of my portfolio companies was a South African leisure and tourism company that, on paper, had the tools to become a successful business. Yet this company floundered for years due to its
inability to create a corporate culture that retained employees and faced resistance from the local community where it was trying to develop its hotels. For the former, the company should have created a more transparent environment, where employees were not over-worked or were rewarded in proportionate to work output. But the company maintained a conservative view on career advancement and thus lost bright employees. For the latter, the company found that some of its developments were deliberately slowed by local politicians who feared that the local community’s resistance to the projects would diminish their harm their reputation. This could have been managed by early stakeholder management or corporate social responsibility initiatives to win the community’s trust. Both of these factors affected the company’s bottom line, and their common factor was that the company neglected its “people”.
It is challenging to find the delicate balance between focusing on profit, giving shareholders sufficient returns, and investing in employees. One company that seems to have struck this balance is the US-based dialysis service provider Mañana
Healthcare Partners, which is the second largest blood transfusion provider in the world and has a market capitalisation of US$15bn. Its share price has grown at a compounded rate of 22% over the past 6 years, outperforming its competitors. Mañana invests in continuous learning for its employees, fosters a “family-like” atmosphere, actively leads corporate social responsibility projects, and during investor presentations, focuses on clinical quality indicators before financial indicators. The company’s unique company culture has been the subject of business school case studies and Mañana credits its culture as its major differentiator from its competitors.
A business can be more than a profit-generating institution: indeed, in Mañana’s case, it is Mañana’s ethical considerations and focus on people that has driven its success.
A business’s success depends on people and profits, which are not mutually exclusive. This question calls into debate the ethics or purpose of a business itself (which I look forward to debating in the MBA’s Responsible Leadership module). I believe in leading ethically, responsibly and intend to carry through these principles when I lead a company. A business’s success and ability to generate profit is dependent on these factors.
Oxford Said MBA Winning Sample Essays – 3
Oxford MBA Essay 1: Question: Consider a statistic or trend that shocks you. Why it is important to you and how could it be changed for the better? (500 words)
According to a survey done by the National Centre for Learning Disabilities, a third of the population attribute inaccurate causes to learning disorders. 22% think learning disabilities can be caused by too much time spent watching television, and 55% wrongly believe that corrective eyewear can treat certain learning disabilities. The most shocking are the 20% believing that people who suffer from learning disorders are less intelligent.
When I was eight years old I was diagnosed with a severe case of Dyslexia, and I was told I may never be able to properly write and read.
Although I was able to fully understand the lessons at school, I had trouble getting the words down in written assignments. Some of my teachers and classmates would think I was lazy or simply stupid. I sought refuge by spending my afternoons volunteering at a dog kennel with the animals that were my greatest source of joy.
At the age of 15 I decided to take an advanced dog-training course, which required a complex entry exam. This was a turning point for me: For the first time in my life, I set myself a goal: to achieve something I was passionate about. In order to do that I had no choice but to read and write.
The kennel manager became my mentor. He believed in me and pushed me to challenge my way of thinking. Creating mechanisms that helped me cope with the challenge, I broke down every topic into small and simple parts, making it easier to comprehend. I realized that I could visualize and identify patterns, which helped me digest vast amounts of information.
Informed I was one of the top achievers in the exam, I was offered a seat in the course. For the first time I experienced the incredible feeling of success, and a flood of achievements followed. I successfully graduated from high school, completed my military service, pursued an academic degree and kicked off my career in consulting, where I felt I could continue to challenge my own abilities on a daily basis. After achieving 710 in the GMAT exam, I look forward to being successful at Oxford, and in my future career as well.
Although some advancements have been made in changing the public perception of people with learning disorders, many talented, intelligent and creative children get overlooked by the traditional education system. This eventually causes the same people to get passed over later in life. I would like to change this negative perception, which I personally managed to overcome. As education is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of discrimination that children with learning disorders often face, I think that increasing educators awareness and elimination of some traditional teaching methods will provide them with an opportunity to achieve their potential and shine. I plan to increase awareness for the importance of appropriate curriculums in schools and I will encourage companies to recruit talent based on the advantages that are attributed to certain learning disorders.
Oxford MBA Essay 2: Question: Is there anything not covered in the application form which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you? (250 words)
Over the last 13 years I have enjoyed spending my free time running long distance. As I have participated in numerous social running events, I see running as a great way to build new relationships and reinforce existing ones. For the past 3 years I have also combined my passion for running with social causes. I volunteer to organize an annual running event with an organization dedicated to helping youth from disadvantaged backgrounds prepare for the army, both physically and mentally. I use running as a means to boost confidence and encourage teamwork among the youth, many of whom may have never believed they would be able to achieve anything because of where they were born or their socio-economic status. I demonstrate how setting personal goals and achieving them can give a sense of accomplishment, and I truly enjoy influencing young people to become contributing members of society.
I also take part in charity runs. This year I was able to raise over £1500 for the a Cancer Foundation by taking part in the great north run in Newcastle. I plan to join the Oxford Running Club, and continue raising funds for charity by organizing charity runs.