Oxford Said MBA
Rankings | Class Profile | Employment Report | Sample Essays | Interview Questions
What is the most unique thing about Oxford University’s Saïd Business School? That it is connected to the University of Oxford. Every MBA student is a member of a college or hall, meaning they are embedded right in the life of the wider university.
The course involves a conventional MBA core, then students take seven to nine of the 30-plus electives, which include courses in unusual subjects such as The Circular Economy, Impact Investing, and ESG.
Intriguingly, Oxford Saïd also offers a 1+1 program that lets students take a one-year MSc followed by an MBA, allowing people to delve into a subject before capping it off with a general business qualification — an interesting (and cost-effective) alternative to the U.S. two-year MBA. So far, around 20 students take this option each year.
- For the MBA class of 2018, the median GMAT of students was 690 and admittees had an average of five years of work experience. By far the most popular employment background of applicants is financial services.
- 334 MBAs were admitted to the 2018 class with an average age of 28. Of the class, 92% are international students and 41% are female.
- Fees for the class of 2018/2019: £55,000 (US$72,314)
- Oxford’s one-year MBA program includes lectures, seminars, group work and team project work – the aim of which is to develop students’ abilities to think logically, laterally and independently.
- Students on Saïd’s MBA are also a part of the wider Oxford community and are able to participate in the huge variety of societies and clubs available. There are over 85 sports clubs to join, outstanding sports facilities, along with a range of social clubs and societies. Furthermore, the individual colleges which make up Oxford have many of their own musical and social clubs. Students can also get involved in the student union and the Oxford Union – the world’s most famous debating society, with previous guest speakers including Malcolm X, Stephen Hawking and Benazir Bhutto.
The Oxford MBA class of 2017-18 comprised 334 students of 60 different nationalities. This was broken down into 32% of the cohort coming from Asia, 28% from North America, 15% from Europe, 14% from Africa and the Middle East, 6% from Oceania, and 5% from Latin America.
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 ?
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.
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…Continue Reading Here
If you are selected for an Oxford Said MBA Interview, you will be invited to come to the School and have your interview here. The School also offers interviews at key locations in other countries – your invitation to interview will specify all options available at that time. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an in-person interview whenever possible. However, if you are not able to attend in person Oxford will arrange a Skype interview for you. This will not affect the final decision. For applicants based in the UK an in-person interview at Oxford is required.
Your interview will be a one-to-one discussion with a senior member of the Admissions Team, the Careers Development Team, Faculty or an industry advisor. Industry advisors are a select group of senior executives who have experience of working for leading firms across a broad range of sectors, who also work closely with our careers team.
My interview is with an admission rep via Skype
Total time is 1 hour, has 2 parts: 40 minutes for questions about me, and 15 minutes for me to ask questions.
Questions are composed of 4 areas:
- Standard questions: why MBA, why Oxford
- My academic profile: if I used any GMAT training program, what my GPA is
- My work experience: if I have led a team, describe a time I have to convince people of my idea, describe a time I resolve conflict in a team (and what I would do differently if it happened again), if I have worked in different countries.
- My career aspiration: what I intend to do after MBA. In this case it’s consulting with M/B/B. Then I was asked some more questions like: why I am suitable for this role.
Questions for Oxford: here I asked a couple of questions about the career centre, Consulting Career Workshop (Oxford’s new initiative).
In summary it was a fairly alright interview, however I’ve received the result and it was a Ding! Not sure why, but I expect it may be something to do with yield protection (I was asked if I’ve applied elsewhere, and which stage I was up to, I said LBS and up to interview stage)…Continue Reading Here
Oxford MBA Application Essay Tips
Oxford MBA Essay 1: Consider a statistic or trend that shocks you. Why is it important to you and how could it be changed for the better? (Maximum 500 words)
To understand why Oxford may be asking this question, candidates would do well to listen to Dean Tufano’s commentson the school’s strategy and vision, and learn about the program’s commitment to graduating students who will make a significant impact across regions and sectors. After all, the final part of this prompt is forward-looking and, ideally, an Oxford MBA would prepare you to resolve the issue that you select. Overall, applicants should look for ways that the selected statistic or trend is tied to their candidacy for an MBA.
In terms of the statistic or trend itself, you may open the essay by explaining the context of it as well as how it was personally jarring. Ideally, this revelatory information has inspired you to action—whether in your community or at work. Anecdotal evidence from past experiences and accomplishments would demonstrate why an issue is important to you. Finally, strategic insights for a solution at a broader level, or indeed through one’s own career, could round out the essay. This is where the benefits of an Oxford MBA could come in as well. Perhaps your proposed solution entails interagency communication, or strategic compromises, that the MBA curriculum could teach through specific projects or courses. While the data forms contain fairly detailed questions about the candidate’s immediate post-MBA objectives and plans to accomplish them, this prompt is well suited for some remarks about the applicant’s 10-year plan and the way this objective fits with resolving a shocking statistic or trend.
In sum, there are a wide range of subjects that applicants might introduce in this response. We encourage applicants to consider the elements of their prior experience and potential impact that resonate most closely with what they learn about the Oxford MBA culture, and to strike a balance between these two categories in this response.
Oxford MBA Essay 2: Is there anything not covered in the application form which you would like the Admissions committee to know about you? (Maximum 250 words)
While this prompt sounds very similar to the optional essays posed by many MBA programs, this response is actually a required element of the Oxford MBA application. Candidates will therefore want to consider what sort of anecdote or information will add the greatest value to their applications beyond what’s already included in their first essay, CV and data form responses. This could truly be anything: a favorite hobby or community involvement, a challenging work project that was ultimately successful, an aspect of your upbringing that’s had a lasting influence, an international or cross-cultural experience that prompted learning or growth, one’s plans for involvement in the Oxford community — all would be appropriate here. Candidates should consider the balance of content between this response and the first, and aim to highlight something new here that will show the adcom an additional side of their personalities and potential to contribute to the Saïd community. Given the narrow word limit, our sense is that the most effective responses to this question will fully develop a single topic (or introduce 2 examples with a common theme) rather than attempting to cover several disparate items.
That said, because Oxford does not pose an optional essay question, applicants who do have a liability in their candidacy may want to reserve a portion of this response to provide an explanation or point to a mitigating factor. Such candidates should aim to accomplish this as briefly as possible — ideally in 50-100 words — in order to reserve some space in this response for purely positive additional information.
What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)
Given the narrow word limit for this response, reapplicants will want to offer a straightforward account of the specific steps they’ve taken to strengthen their applications since last applying to Oxford. Candidates should aim to be as exhaustive as possible as they cover improved quantitative records, enhanced professional qualifications, efforts to become more familiar with the Oxford MBA program, and other ways they’ve worked to become a stronger applicant this season.