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Cambridge vs Oxford

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Cambridge vs Oxford [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2012, 22:58
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Hi All,

I was wondering if there are any members who got offers from both schools but chose one over the other? I would very much like to know your thought process, and the factors that tipped towards Cambridge or Oxford.

Rankings aside, I am hoping some of you would share your thoughts as to why you chose one over the other?

Thanks

S
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Re: Cambridge vs Oxford [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2012, 23:04
I'm not sure how many people will be able to answer your question. Why don't you start off the contribution by listing some of the factors that have influenced your views in the course of your research?
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Re: Cambridge vs Oxford [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2012, 00:38
Thanks a fair point.

So here are my reasons

I was initially set on Oxford for the following reasons

1) The Skoll Centre - I am keen on entrepreneurship
2) It has a good curriculum
3) It has a strong brand value in Europe and Asia
4) Speaking to some current students and alumnus, they enjoyed their MBA experience
5) General management program

However having attended the Cambridge interview day, and I must add their approach is far more personalised, gave me the opportunity to interact with the prospective and current students at great length. As part of the interview day, there were presentations by the head of career services, the course director, and brief introduction by the Dean. This gave me an additional perspective of the school.

I think the opportunity to speak with current students at greater length, during the formal dinner ( the night before interview day) and during the interview day gave me a good insight of the strength and weakness of the program. Additionally I was impressed with the diversity and calibre of the students - very varied and also more mature, something that jived well with me as I consider myself a mature prospective student ( 5 + years banking experience).

So I decided to delve deeper to make my decision between Cam and Ox and it came down to the following reasons

1) I realised that to achieve the knowledge I seek to build in social entrepreneurship, I dont really need the skoll centre. A current student at Cambridge, who was a former consultant now social entrepreneur gave me a good insight on what is really needed by the sector. He has been there done it so to speak.

2) If you delve deeper in the curriculum , you will notice the Cambridge has more core modules, greater choice of electives and two compulsory consulting projects and semesters are divided with a main theme ( foundation, business models and boardroom).

3) I jived better with my prospective classmates at Cambridge compared to Oxford, this could very well come down to the fact that Cambridge provided this opportunity and Oxford didnt. I cant fault the Oxford prospective students, they were all friendly, professional and great, but I didnt get the opportunity to get to know them better as I did at Cambridge, which I think makes a difference as at the end of the day you are going to be spending an intensive year with them.

4) As a mother to a young son ( 15 months), I managed to speak with some parents on the current course, and I also got more information and assistance from the admissions team during the interview day, which allayed my fears of finding a nursery etc etc, and was another important reason for choosing Cambridge. It feels more collaborative.

So to sum up, I went with my instincts on the school I felt most comfortable based on the information I had to make a decision. I went beyond the rankings, as one would know, once you delve deeper into the stats that makes up the rankings, you can see the strength and weaknesses of the rankings table.

At the end of the day both are great schools, and it comes down to fit, so I chose the school that I felt I would get the most out the 1 year experience.

p/s: I am a round 5 applicant at Cambridge ( final round) and round 3 ( final round) at Oxford. I did feel Oxford felt more rushed and slightly less coordinated compared to Cambridge. But this is just a minor point in my decision making, I highlighted this fact, to reflect that Cambridge puts in great effort in all rounds.

So curious to hear if anyone else had to make a choice, and how they went about it?

Thanks
S
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Re: Cambridge vs Oxford [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2012, 01:21
shamanth25 wrote:
Hi All,

I was wondering if there are any members who got offers from both schools but chose one over the other? I would very much like to know your thought process, and the factors that tipped towards Cambridge or Oxford.

Rankings aside, I am hoping some of you would share your thoughts as to why you chose one over the other?

Thanks

S


I think the timetabling is also an important factor. Oxford has one week blocks whereas Cambridge has a mix of a single week bloc a term with weekends making up the rest of the classes.
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Re: Cambridge vs Oxford [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2012, 05:49
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shamanth25 wrote:
I would very much like to know your thought process, and the factors that tipped towards Cambridge or Oxford.

Rankings aside, I am hoping some of you would share your thoughts as to why you chose one over the other?


I went to Cambridge. I've shared my thoughts on another GC thread covering the Oxford/ Cambridge dilemma. You won't find any scientific decision making tips in that post, though :-)

Overall, for the external world (read employers), there's very little that differentiates the two brands. The smaller differences might be relevant for the 1 year that you spend in either place, but in the longer term they are both very strong brands within and outside the UK (more so in Commonwealth countries).

Btw, when I started the program, I had a 2-year-old daughter. The family support at Cambridge is excellent.

Good luck!
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Re: Cambridge vs Oxford [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2012, 10:21
MBACrystalBall wrote:
Btw, when I started the program, I had a 2-year-old daughter. The family support at Cambridge is excellent.


If you are still around MBACrystalBall, can you elaborate on the "family support" at Cambridge?
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Re: Cambridge vs Oxford [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2012, 04:29
Dear shamanth25 user,
Thanks for sharing this fair point.
I think that Oxford is good for Cambridge.
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Re: Cambridge vs Oxford   [#permalink] 25 Sep 2012, 04:29
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