^ Thanks for the video, Sanjuro. I know these are still early days but could you share your experience so far? I'm referring to the interview/acceptance as well as the orientation process. Anything you particularly enjoyed? any surprises?
emeraldshellback - thanks for the pictures! I have unfortunately not had a chance to visit the school so I appreciate any insight about the university and the city. It's nice to see another California candidate
1. The statistics for acceptance rates are generally true. About half of the applicants get invited to interview, 25% get offers and 10-12% finally join.
2. Make sure your essays are strong. The GMAT will depend upon the demographics you come from. If you are an Indian engineer, obviously your competitive pool will have a higher GMAT. If you are from LATAM and another non-english speaking country and have a liberal arts background, a lower than 700 score might still get you through.
3. Don't do any stupid mistakes during your interview. Try and go for in-person interviews if you can.
4. Due to recent visa changes, application volume was lower this year. Instead of lowering admission standards, Said decided to reduce class size by 20%.
5. If you are from US and would like to go back to US, there is a big alumni network ready to help you find your next career.
6. Jobs in London are tough. Especially banking. If you don't have a prior banking background, please don't come to Said expecting to make a career change into banking front office roles. A two-year MBA with internship might give you a better shot.
7. Said is ranked #1 in MFE programs. MFE's over the last few years have had little difficulty finding internship and first year analyst jobs. This year, I hear even for them its tough. GMAT score for MFE program is really high. I believe the average is somewhere around 750.
8. If you wish to work in, say German speaking countries, you need to know German and so on. Business fluency is absolute must.
9. Quality of professors and classes are world-class. I am comparing this to few classes I have attended at M-7 in US while I was doing research. Our economics professor was a student of Alvin Roth at Harvard. I am even enjoying Accounting, which I never thought I will like.
10. Pace of the classes is really fast. If you prefer to learn a subject over a period of time, combined with heavy book studying, lot of assignments every week and so on, then this is probably not the place for you. Professors will cover a sizable topic in a 3.5 hour lecture/case study. You will have to do 5-6 cases a week. In between, there will be little time to actually study 6 chapters from 7-8 different books. So, the reading is selective and as recommended. I know some in my class, don't like this pace. But, this is to be expected from a one year program.
11. The way i see it, one year is not a short-cut to a two year MBA. Yes, the program will cover about 70-80% of topics covered in a two year MBA, but in a compressed format. One of the right reasons for choosing a one year vs a two year program can be that you are an older applicant and Harvard may not even look at your application.
12. Having said the above, a decent proportion of class is comprised of younger students. I don't see age being an issue getting along with people or in class participation.
13. It tremendously helps in any MBA program, if you have already made a habit of learning business concepts and are aware of what's going on in the world. If you have to read one newspaper, make it the WSJ, FT or the equivalent in your country. Look at decisions being made at your company or competitors and seek why they were made such.
14. A*Hole Index - Pretty low. I might have met one or two people in a class of 200 who might have seriously put me off. The rest of them are very cooperative, collaborative and fun to hang out with bunch. I don't know the same for, say, Kellogg or Wharton.
15. Banking jobs. Most London banking deadlines are in Nov, early December. If that is the career of your choice, be prepared to apply to jobs during first few weeks of coming here.
16. Colleges. Every college is beautiful, has its own personality. You won't go wrong in your college choice. Formal dinners are absolutely amazing and you have the chance to interact with people from various backgrounds. I think if there is one thing unique to Oxford, then this is it. Said is not an isolated business school, but part of one of the oldest institutions of learning, with brilliant and passionate people solving yet unsolved problems. In fact, as business students, you may feel little apologetic at times when you explain what you are doing here.
17. Oxford Union. No words. I am ready to line up to hear from PSY (Gangnam style), Peter Thiel and Gary Kasprov this month.
18. Societies. Every conceivable activity/sport has a society here. I just withdrew from my college rowing team (don't ask why.. sob.. sob), and joined the Rifle Association. There is a quiditch team, a Real Ale society and Whisky tasting association. There is a society of vikings (have no clue what they do). Of course, regulars such as soccer, badminton, cricket, rugby, athletics are huge. But, be warned. You can probably do one of them well while you are here.
There will be much more things to talk about. Do ask me specifics and I will answer them in follow-up posts.