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# Oxbridge 2011 applicants

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Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants [#permalink]

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07 Jun 2011, 02:03
1
KUDOS
@CambridgeMBA, thank you for your thoughtful replies on the inner workings of the admission process at JBS. I was not saying I disagree with the admission decision; like I said, if I were in the interviewer's shoes, I would not have recommended myself on that day either. It was my responsibility to plan ahead and show up fresh and ready. However, I was and still am disturbed by the interviewer's megalomaniacal and dismissive attitudes. Even if the interviewer deems an interviewee to be a bad fit, the interviewer ought not to disrespect the time and efforts an applicant has made. In every job interview I have ever conducted, even when I believed an applicant was unqualified, I would always thank the person for coming. In every job interview I have ever gone to, the interview questions could be pointed but the tone was always civil and my interest in their firms was always appreciated. At the interview for JBS, I left feeling disrespected and antagonized. Arrogance does not equate to academic stature. I had always held Cambridge in the highest regard and I was willing to spend the money and time to fly to Hong Kong largely out of my respect for the institution. I couldn’t help but think that the arrogance and dismissive attitude of the interviewer says something about the faculty or culture at JBS. I am sure this is not the kind of image the school intends to project.

@ligett, my interviewer Dr. Yin has risen straight through academia with no practical business experience according to his Cambridge bio. Actually, I have had a bad interview experience with another school that I was accepted at and partly because of the bad interview experience I declined on the offer.
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Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2011, 01:51
NPV I completely agree with you. You have to recognize the red flags when you are lucky enough to see them early. Its funny because I really wanted to attend a school in Europe- as an american who has always been in this country studying working etc- I was looking to branch out and particularly wanted to live in the UK. so i was thinking lbs oxford cambridge. Not so much with LBS, but with both oxford and cambridge I felt this sort of, almost unprofessionalism in the way certain matters were handled. In the US there are guidelines and a structure for everything, and I feel that everyone is so overly cautious about discrimination that they are sooo PC (which is often annoying, but now I realize its a good thing), and considering all candidates equal regardless of where they are from. AT the UK schools, I was frankly shocked at how many generalizatioins were thrown around about americans , or indians, or any other country. It was definitely not a "pc" way to refer to your applicant pool especially as an admissions or head of school at what is supposed to be a world class institution. This to me was a HUGE RED FLAG. Ultimately I decided to stay in the US and go to one of the better schools here, despite the fact that I so wanted to move overseas.
I realized there is a reason why the american schools are known as the best. (and it was several factors, not just that one that made me realize this) I just didn't know what that was until I went to the UK. HAH.

with cambridge, the head of admissions seems to be like a very nice, friendly and approachable guy. And his responses on here are well thought out articulate and seem to be completely rational, almost humble. So maybe everyone has the wrong impression, however, and if he is listening- I read that post on your blog a while back about how you got piping mad just because some student asked you why cambridge?? and you were so mad that you could barely speak but said something to the extent of "why should I even dignify that with a response". That is a classic example of what I'm talking about.

First of all, lets face it, cambridge is no harvard. But even at HARVARD, you would never get that kind of a response out of the head of admissions. I cant imagine out of any american school for that matter.

Off topic, but that comment really made me wonder whats goin on with cambridge and just solidifies my thought that there are often red flags that we brush aside throughout the process because we want a particular school. be smart. take note of them.
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Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2011, 04:01
DGreenleaf

Thanks for your frank email. I wanted to address two points you made, about professionalism and my blog post.

From reading your post, I will assume (and I might be misinterpreting you) that by professionalism, you are talking about structure and processes; and separately about how schools handle diversity. On the first point about structure and processes, you are right that compared to other schools, Cambridge does have a less structured process, which came as a big culture shock to me when I, who was trained as an engineer and economist, first joined the school. I resisted the temptation to come in all guns blazing to change everything and instead took about 6 months to understand the culture and the rationale behind certain things. I am glad I took that time because it helped me understand the implicit benefits of certain unstructured processes, and it also helped me understand how the business school works within Cambridge University itself.

My view is that schools with larger MBA classes have no choice but to have strict and rigid structures. There is no other way to admit that number of people, and get them through their MBA programmes. And because these processes have been stress-tested by the large number of applicants, they work for the average candidate.

Cambridge, on the other hand, has decided to have a smaller class size and give more individual attention to applicants and students. Having spent one-year on a Sloan Masters with a class of 64 people, I can attest to the very different advantages of having a smaller, tighter knit group. This allows us to have more individualised processes, and is something which our students and applicants value.

However, this focus on the individual can come across to some as being less corporate and maybe less professional compared to other schools. For example, our building does not look like the glass and steel structures in many American schools or even Oxford (some applicants have turned us down because we don't look corporate enough), but it was designed specifically to allow individuals to meet, discuss and collaborate. Our careers team have one-on-one sessions with all our students, and they work a lot with the programme team to ensure that our students can attend job interviews without disruption to their classes. I know that Insead simply designates a two-week window and insists that companies have to do their hiring that time, take it or leave it. We don't have that approach and we work with the companies, students and faculty to reach some compromise. Now, you could argue that, because we are a lower-ranked school, we don't have the same bargaining power with companies that Insead has. But I would say that our approach caters better to the interests of our students, many of whom are interested in smaller companies that have interesting businesses but who themselves don't have the ability to fit into a business school's schedule.

On the issue of diversity, I take your comment about generalisations very seriously. You did not mention any specific instance that involved Cambridge, but if there was such an instance, please send me a personal message to give me more details and I will look into it. At Cambridge, we treat all our students equally regardless of ethnicity or nationality. We have to because of the global composition of our class and I always emphasise to my team that we have to assess each applicant on their own merits, and not on their passport.

Having said that, at the risk of committing the generalisations that you mentioned, I have observed different cultural approaches between Americans, Europeans and Asians. Perhaps because I was born and grew up in Singapore, studied in the US and the UK, and worked on projects throughout Asia and the Middle East, I am in a different position to pick up on these nuances. For example, when I was studying in the US, everyone assumed I was American and treated me that way. In continental Europe (UK is a bit different), there is less acceptance of you as a fellow national, but there is more acceptance of your ethnicity. And open discussions about race and religion are much easier to have in Europe than in Asia, where it is not so much a legal PC environment that keeps things under wraps, but it is a deeper sense of how ethnicity and religion are intertwined. For many people, these differences are strange, jarring, uncomfortable and many decide to just keep to their preferred zones.

To me, this is the real value of a globally diverse MBA, where you have to become more culturally aware and adjust what you do. I thought that after studying in top schools in the US and the UK, I could adjust seamlessly into working life in the UK. I was wrong and I made mistakes in how I communicated with colleagues or how I implemented certain ideas. But I learnt and the experience has helped me greatly, just as our MBAs have grown through this one year and learnt to fine-tune their cultural antennae, something that I believe they will find very valuable when they work in a global environment.

On the issue of my blog post, I feel that people have to realise that just as applicants look for red flags in schools, admissions professionals have red flags about candidates. There can be what I would call explicit red flags, eg poor GMAT, low GPA, poor references etc, but there are also implicit red flags. One red flag that we look out for is whether an applicant is only interested in taking benefits from the school, and not contributing to the rest of the class or to the school. This is a red flag because the central tenet of the Cambridge MBA is collaboration and that means everyone has to contribute in whatever way they can to make the MBA experience a great one for themselves and for others. We have found that students who only have an What's In It for Me attitude become very disruptive in the MBA. For us, with a class of only 160, it only takes a few people to change the dynamics of the experience. That person, with the way he approached me and asked his question, would have been a negative influence in the class.

On reflection, I think it is because I am so proud of how our MBAs have helped one another, that caused me to have such strong negative reactions to the person who approached me. I have made this point several times in my blog, that an MBA is not a purely transactional exercise. Students have a right to expect high standards of customer service, teaching and careers support, but they also have a duty to contribute to the MBA itself. I felt that the person I met, with his attitude and questions, would have severely jeopardised our class if we had admitted him. I could have just kept quiet and be polite, but I felt strongly that I had to write about it as that type of attitude goes against the very core of our MBA.

I am personally worried that the balance in the MBA world is tipped so heavily towards student expectations of the school, that we lose sight of the school's expectations of students. Many of my counterparts in other schools struggle with students who skip classes, come in late for recruiter presentations etc, and justify their actions by saying they paid good money and the schools have no right to tell them what to do, even if their actions diminish the educational experience of other students; or give recruiters a negative perception of the school.

As always, I welcome any comments or PMs.

Cambridge Judge Business School
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Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2011, 18:46
wow that is a lot to cover in a 20min interview...

I think people need to just realize that they are dealing with CAMBRIDGE...one of the most snooty, elitist, and prestigious universities on the planet

again, they can do what they want, it just sucks to get visa and pay \$ for a flight for 20min and a city tour, thats all Im saying
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Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2011, 03:34
Since these pages are viewed, read and sometimes considered gospel by many of the prospective students, I feel it's important to balance the opinions floating around about Cambridge based on a couple of sour experiences. While I give full credence to your opinions (DGreenleaf,NPV, coucou) , I would think that your experiences are exceptions.

"Full disclosure - I went through the Cambridge application process, and emerged successful at the end of it".

I had applied to and interviewed in bunch of other schools - both in the US and the UK- and I can, without any reservations, say that my experience with Cambridge was by far the best. Right from the time I sent in my application, the admissions staff, Mr. Chua, current students, alumni and everyone else associated with the process were extremely helpful, and continue to be so. And this was not just after I was accepted to the program. That clearly told me that the folks at admissions are immensely interested in all candidates and that they try their best to help students during the process. Applying to b-school is an extremely stressful process for everyone, and it is really helpful if the people you interact with from schools acknowledge that and assist you in every which way possible.

My interview day at Cambridge could not have been better (I could have done with better weather though). I strongly believe that the interview is not a one way street. The onus is also on the candidate to engage the interviewer in a conversation. The complaints about short interviews is therefore not justified. Obviously, with time constraints, you can't expect a 1.5 hr long interview, but the point is that the duration of the interview does not necessarily have a bearing on how you perform. In my case, the interview went on for almost 40 minutes and that gave me the opportunity to answer and ask everything that I wanted to.

I was also impressed with the city tour that the staff had arranged for all prospective students. Given that almost all of us had flown in from different parts of the world, it was nice to get a sense of the place where you will be spending 1 intense year. As far as I know, there isn't any other b- school that does such a thing for its prospective students. There are campus tours at other schools, but they generally end up being mundane, often lead by disinterested and semi knowledgeable students. At Cambridge, I had a professional guide who knew the city really well, was amusing and gracious.

I also got a chance to meet and talk to current students, who again were really helpful in sharing practical tips about the course and place. They were candid and gave me both the positives and negatives that really helped me make my final decision.

What also stood out for me with Cambridge was the elaborate arrangements that the admissions staff had done for students and their partners for the dinner the previous night. Again, this is something unparalleled. Mr. Chua had also taken the effort to familiarize himself with our names and backgrounds - another indication that he invests a lot of time in finding the right people to join the program. He has been pretty active on these pages and his comments were immensely helpful during the application process. No other schools' admissions head takes the time to answer questions posted on fora such as this one, not to mention personal messages. Hearing from the head of admissions directly weeds out the noise floating from many sources. So many kudos for that.

There was also talk about diversity. I don't think there can be anymore diversity that there is at Cambridge. The schools in the US can only dream of such diversity. In my class alone, there is a geologist from Venezuela, a hedge fund analyst from Australia, a lawyer from Chicago, a technologist from Norway and an entrepreneur from China. In addition, almost everyone has experience living, studying or working outside of his/her home country. If Cambridge's policies were discriminatory, then there can't be such a diverse class. It is this very fact that drew me to applying to schools in Europe and Cambridge in particular.

Finally, regarding that one post from Mr. Chua that seems to have irked a few - his point is pretty valid and is in line with collaborative ethos that's exhibited at Cambridge. B- school is really a place to share varied experiences and knowledge. If someone in my class is unwilling to participate in this exchange of ideas, then I am the one who has to suffer. Discount the language of that blog post, and you will get the real point that is being made. It would be a folly to extend this to conclude about Cambridge on the whole.

Agreed - Cambridge is no Harvard - we, fortunately, don't have the snobs!

Cheers.
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Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2011, 04:08
Dear GC friends,

I got into SBS. I am very happy and feel honored. SBS and LBS were on par for me as per my requirements.

I applied in last rounds to LBS, SBS and JBS. I got straight reject from LBS and JBS without interviews. I think the different recommender that I used for LBS was not happy and that might have influenced LBS decision.

tc
YM

P.S. Can someone please let me know how to color code the schools applied with red and green ?
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Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2011, 14:44
The posts of a few people here are incredibly melodramatic. Some interviewers just like to challenge you; see how you deal with stress; see whether you’ll defend your views when challenged. NPV, if you came out of that interview feeling so upset, how will you ever cope with an antagonistic client in the workplace? How will you cope with the massive range of interviewer personalities you’ll meet during recruitment season?

If you think every Harvard/INSEAD/Wharton interviewer meets your definition of politeness then you’ll be in for a surprise. The breadth of personalities in any faculty reflects that of the real world. Some people are super polite. Some people aren’t.

Then there’s DGreenleaf who suggests that only “robots” get admitted. Fact is, Cambridge extends offers to many people who also have offers from INSEAD, Oxford, etc. Those interviewers who’re supposedly in an ‘academic bubble’ are not making systematically different decisions than their equivalents at other schools.

As for UK schools having a bad attitude towards Americans and Indians? Absurd. Pure and simple.

I went through the application process at Oxford & Cambridge, and for various reasons ultimately ended up at LBS. Despite not being a student at Judge, I still think their application process was great. From open-day to decision-day, the admissions team showed a real interest in each applicant. By that, I mean the team actually knew who you were, where you’re from and what you do. I love LBS for other reasons, but that level of attention during the application stage isn’t feasible in our class of 400 people.
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Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2011, 10:49
Hey folks

Am I the only one waiting for the outcome from JBS last round interviews? The website clearly says that today Jun-14 is the Outcome day...

Did somebody hear a word from them?
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14 Jun 2011, 11:09
@ligett. The 14th June date on the website is for next year's admissions, ie 14th June 2012. The interview results will be released end of tomorrow.

Kind regards

Cambridge Judge Business School
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15 Jun 2011, 12:07
received my interview result.. I have an admit offer to join the Sep 2011 program ...

Thanks Cambridge admissions team
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15 Jun 2011, 21:00
Hi all,

I have a question regarding student loans for Indians. How are Indian students financing their Oxford MBA? The local Indian banks offer 20L at max and require collateral. But, the total expense would be around 35L for Oxford.

I was hoping to get loan through http://www.isloan.org all these months. But, they require 10K INR to be paid upfront to proceed with the process. This made me suspicious and a quick google search gave me a pagalguy link. I am kind of convinced not to go with isloan.org at this point.

Any more information regarding loans for Indian students to study at Oxford will be very helpful for me.

thank you
YM
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17 Jun 2011, 08:35
My Cambridge interview experience was great. The interviewer was extremely nice, polite and super friendly.It lasted around 20 minutes (I took telephone interview option), usual questions about CV, career plans, why MBA and etc. I got the offer and accepted it. What I'd like to underline is that the whole admission process was very well organized and admissions team responded very quickly, the attitude was very personal and supportive.
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18 Jun 2011, 02:00
Hi! I'm happy to report equally pleasant experience with Cambridge JBS interview.
As to the length of it - it lasted for 38 mins. I think it could have been shorter but I tried to be as abundant and active about telling my story. The longest part of the interview was a detailed discussion of my work experience, responsibilities, situations with clients, etc

I thought I'd also report the timelines here for use of future generations of admits:
- Applied in R4 on Mar-13 (the deadline was on Mar-14)
- Interview invite on Mar-31
- Although I really wanted, I could not visit the interview in May and moved it to June. I could not come to that one too so I got a telephone interview on Jun-10.
- Got an offer via email on Jun-15.
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Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2011, 04:33
Hello All,

I am form India and I am an Aeronautical Engineer with 8 years of experience. I have good recommendations, GPA and work experience.
However, my GMAT score is 610
I am thinking to apply in Oxford but I am skeptical of my low GMAT score.
I would appreciate any advice from the experts.

I know it's a very general question, but any comments?

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25 Aug 2011, 10:24
Hi,

I have done my bachelors in business admin - 3 yrs full time , and I have done one year programme which i could attend through satellite medium of classes, so i could continue my job as well.

i have an experience of 10 yrs - full time.

So, as a whole the no of years of formal education i have taken till now is 15 yrs - full time , so can i apply or not ? or do you require me to complete 16 years of formal full time education?

cheers,
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25 Aug 2011, 12:37
@vb5

I can't speak for Oxford and as a matter of policy, we don't make individual assessments, but for your reference, a GMAT of 610 would be on the very low end of this year's Cambridge MBA class. Those scoring at the end of the spectrum all have strong academics and very impressive work experience. If you have time, I suggest you retake the GMAT.

All the best.

University of Cambridge Judge Business School
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25 Aug 2011, 23:07
Thanks for the reply.
I am thinking of writing the test again.
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Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2011, 08:02
Hi all,
I am considering to apply SAID in round1 this year but I just wondered the acceptance rate for Oxford. I have not seen such a statistic for Oxford Mba on the net. Do you have any idea? I believe that it is somewhere between 40-50%,
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Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2011, 10:32
hfiratozturk wrote:
Hi all,
I am considering to apply SAID in round1 this year but I just wondered the acceptance rate for Oxford. I have not seen such a statistic for Oxford Mba on the net. Do you have any idea? I believe that it is somewhere between 40-50%,

With an average GMAT of 700, I doubt its that high. I would say its more in the 20-25% range.
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Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants [#permalink]

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09 Dec 2011, 05:00
hey all, long-time visitor (pre-MBA), first-time poster (in MBA program). . .

I am currently a student within the MBA program at Oxford Said and would be happy to answer any questions you might have and to support your decision process. As I went through the application process on both sides of the Atlantic and had to make some difficult decisions, I might be able to provide some perspective. Congratulations to all admitted during the first round and good luck to all those applying. Happy holidays from sunny (believe it or not, it has been exceptional these last three months!) Oxford, cheers!
Re: Oxbridge 2011 applicants   [#permalink] 09 Dec 2011, 05:00

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# Oxbridge 2011 applicants

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