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Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants

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Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2011, 23:34
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Hi All..

I am a current student in the Said Business School 2011 - 2012 batch.

Keeping in mind the amount of help I got from this forum during my application process, I am creating this thread as a placeholder for all discussions on SBS 2012 - 2013 admissions.

I will be available to provide any information you need (as much as I can).

All the best to those applying...

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Questions about this Roll Call?

Last edited by rasta on 26 Dec 2011, 10:20, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Oxford Said Business School 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2011, 14:58
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longbow wrote:
MackyCee wrote:
I've got mine booked for Monday 14/11 @ 9:30am GMT via Skype

You'll all be receiving you booking dates very shortly I would imagine, as it's still quite early in the day in London.


How was your interview experience?



I had my Skype interview last night. My interviewer was delightful - very polite, smiled a lot, and did her best to make me feel comfortable. She did ask some pretty tough questions (which is expected), but I felt the interview was generally quite positive. It was a pretty brief session, about 30 minutes - which FLEW by (the 30 minutes felt like 30 seconds). She also gave me useful and constructive feedback. As a note, I was not advised of who my interviewer was going to be beforehand - I'm not sure if you all will have the same arrangement.

The main thing that put me off was the "Skype" experience. It's difficult to read body language, express yourself comfortably and make strong and meaningful eye contact, and you feel a little bit disconnected from your interviewer. I was a little nervous and unsettled looking into a screen, but I'm sure that the interviewers take this into account.

On the whole, it was a wonderful experience, and I was quite proud to meet my interviewer, and make it this far in the application process. Hopefully, in 10 months time, many of us here will be classmates at SBS :)

All the best with your respective interviews :)
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 May 2012, 21:29
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Hi all,

I did my interview today in NYC. I interviewed with the Head of Admissions directly.
My interview lasts about 30-35 mins. It started with general questions, tell me about your job, what did you learn the most from your job, why mba, why Said. And then it gets to application-specific questions, so make sure you re-read your application thoroughly and think of possible questions from your app and be ready with the answer.
And there are some behavioral questions too;'tell me about a time...' type of questions.
tell me when you motivate others, tell me when you had a conflict..

If you indicate that you are applying to other school in the app, then you may be asked where are you in your app at school x, what are the similarities in these schools, etc.

I hope this helps. Good luck to the rest of you interviewing this week!

If you like it, then please kudo it :)
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Re: Oxford Said Business School 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2011, 04:19
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Invite for an interview received!!!!!! :D
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 14:01
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Hi Everyone,

I've promised to give a debrief of my Admitted Student Welcome Day experience from this past weekend, so here it is.

The event started at 130PM with a casual buffet style luncheon (mostly sandwiches) with current students. The Program Director gave a nice opening speech that was very inspiring. The current students were friendly and quite candid with their experiences at the school. It was interesting to see what a diverse group it was (in terms of nationality and industries). About 10 (?) admitted students attended the event, with most of them from the US, and a few Brits and Euros.

After the luncheon, one of the coordinators took us on a walking tour of the school facilities. The building is very modern and well equipped (and this is comparing from experience when I used to attend Columbia University and used the Columbia business school's facilities often -- CBS also has great facilities, and Oxford is no less).

After, we had one-hour presentation sessions each with Admissions (went over logistics, post-offer questions, etc), Career (went over employment statistics, support structure, etc), and Alumi Relations. Each of the presentation sessions was very informative. Admissions went over practical matters such as student visa, payments, college selection process (this seems to be the most anxiety-inducing issue for everyone) -- this is especially great because a lot of questions are easier to answer in person rather than over email.

The Career session was very useful. The career services director broke down the process and resources available to students. There was also a "sector consultant" present at the session. Sector Consultants are people with deep knowledge of specific industries and are currently working in those industries. They are available to meet with students (on appointment basis) to help mentor and give advice to students. This gave me a lot of confidence about the career support. The director was also very realistic and honest about the job search challenges for those who are looking to switch countries, functions, and roles.

After these sessions, the staff introduced an alum panel. About 10 alum in the London area came in to meet with us. Their achievements were really impressive -- most of them are in the fiance industry, two in consulting, one in nonprofit, and one who is a general manager (in charge of the strategy division) for a law firm. This was the meat of the welcome day. Staff excused themselves from the room so admitted students may ask whatever questions they wanted. The alum unanimously described their experiences at Oxford as unforgettable because you are part of such an incredible institution -- you gain much more than just business knowledge and network -- it's a life experience that you'll not get anywhere else. They also gave practical advice and candid answers to some of the questions that were asked. One of the attendees asked about whether the ranking of SBS affected their abilities to compete with other b school graduates (the unspoken question probably was whether LBS or INSEAD graduates had an edge over them). I think the alum's achievements speak for themselves. There was someone who was in the risk analysis division of bank of america. Another who is doing investment banking. The takeaway I got from one of the alum's answer is that at the end of the day, the school name can only get your foot in the door with the interview, you are the only person who can actually get the job. And SBS has certainly gotten each of them through the door.

Later, the day concluded with cocktail event and dinner service at Trinity College. The dean, additional staff, alum and more current students joined this event to meet with admitted students. This intimate setting enabled me to get to know more people and assess their experiences at Oxford.

Oxford itself is such a vibrant town. You can feel the energy as you walk through the streets and see all the students milling about. The history and grandeur of the buildings transports you to another dimension and you can't help but feel inspired to be a part of this university.

Overall, I was really impressed. Prior to the event, I was on the fence about waiting for a decision from INSEAD and LBS. After the event, I am now 100% committed to attend Oxford. I believe it gives me the best bang for the buck, and I cannot wait to spend the next year with an amazing group of people!
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2012, 22:24
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amitamitsethi wrote:
All the best guys... R-2 guys, plz share your results :) guess they're going to be out in a few hours ..
any idea how they communicate the results (as in mail like cambridge--or on the app portal like harvard) ?



Yeap... Results will be out in few more hours... I think we may get an email from oxford.

1) It seems Oxford admission Dept is least bothered about changing the status in the app portal. My app status is still showing " Submitted" although I had given my interview. I didn't see any changes in the app status throughout this admission process.

2) Interview decisions were delivered through email. As far as I know, all the short listed candidates received emails.

3) To my knowledge, all R1 admits got the decision through email only.\

Hence I am expecting the decision through mail.

Last edited by sravangmat on 23 Mar 2012, 01:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2012, 02:57
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Got my email @ 6:42 am EDT - admitted! :)

I'm sure many others will get the good news shortly.
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 May 2012, 01:29
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Hi All,

I am really unwell...so apologies before hand if I my feedback is a little long winded.

Had my interview day at Oxford yesterday. Thankfully I was in a slightly better state as over the weekend I was down with the worst cold virus and given the strain of travel etc etc, today I am bed bound feeling super horrible. But here is my debrief curled up on my sofa....

Arrived early for my 10.50 interview , met other candidates, quite a good turnout, must have been around 30+ of us.

Some of them had interviews with sector consultants, other with head of career services or director of the program, I am not sure if anyone had an interview with the adcom team. Although the adcom team were there to greet us at the beginning, and usher us to our interview room.

I had mine with a sector consultant from the insurance industry. Lovely elderly man.

After brief introductions he dived in with a big smile...."so tell me why are you here"...I cant remember exactly what I said but I believe I clarified the question, and gave a response. I must add my interviewer is very open ended he doesnt add much.

I had some pretty off the wall questions such as "if you are put in front of a wall what would you do", if you could go back in time,any place where would it be and why" , what are your core values... , "tell me a time when you had to challenge the norm and take an independent decision"

I also had some pretty standard ones "what will you contribute to the mba community", what will you do post mba...

At the end he asked me if I wanted to add anything to essay 2....and finally is there anything else I want to highlight not already mentioned.

I think overall it went well, of course I will always feel I could have said this better or that better post interview....but will just have to wait and see.

At the end of the day, the questions you get very much depends on the interviewer. Some of them got pretty standard Q's , refer to clearadmit.

Good luck and all the best.

Shamanth
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Re: Oxford Said Business School 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2011, 20:55
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I'm sweating bullets waiting for decision day hahaha

It's 4pm Sydney time (3/11/2011) now - so I have a VERY anxious 36 hour wait until 5pm GMT 4/11/11

Best of luck to all applicants - and I hope that we all make it through, and are colleagues in 2012/13!
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Re: Oxford Said Business School 2012 Applicants [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2011, 08:57
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My best wishes to all those people who got interview invite. It looks like many people have the dilemma that I had last year regarding interview options (skype versus f2f). Quick points regarding the same:

1) skype : There is no disadvantage to this option unless you are at easy travel distance from Oxford. It is common sense that adcoms might frown upon those guys who do not put the simple effort to travel to Oxford when they have the option to do so. For the people, who live far away from Oxford, it is OK to go for skype interview. I did my interview over skype last year when I was in Chicago land. Only real disadvantage for this approach is that people might not know what Oxford is all about. There is a good chance that one might fall in love with Oxford if he/she happens to visit.

2) f2f : Highly recommended if one can travel to Oxford relatively easy. One can also have the feel of Oxford Said as well as the Oxford city. After all, Oxford Said business school got some of the good facilities around (comparable to what I have seen in Booth).

regards
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2012, 04:28
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Gmanster wrote:
You got me! Buy honestly i agree with your description of the Oxford in general, when i visited last summer, i loved the school, building and the whole town was great. Really felt like you were part of a wonderful institution. Almost every college has amazing buildings. I'm just not sure how to compare and choose.

You mentioned they had spoken to you guys about it, any insights you would like to share?


Well, all the alums had a great time at whatever colleges of their choice. One of the current students say don't choose Green Templeton, only because it's so modern and it's the default if you can't get in the other colleges (since GT accepts like 70 MBAs a year). I made a list of things that were important to me, and in the end I chose Merton.

Things that were important to me:
- College has both undergraduate and graduate (an alum told me that undergrads are the heart of the college, with sports, etc -- so it's great to be able to attend all the games and feel part of the community)
- Money (the richer the college is, the better the facilities and prices are -- because the college heavily subsidize the cost -- also, richer colleges have better grants and scholarships for travel and books)
- History (i wanted an OXFORD exp -- and that's being part of an older college that has lots of history)
- Food (Merton has reputation of having the best food)

The risk with applying to Merton and the other VERY well known colleges (St John, Balliol, Magdaleon, Christ CHurch) is that they are very selective and take only 1 - 3 MBAs a year, so the competition is fierce. Oxford staff said that if your GMAT doesn't begin with a 7, it probably isn't worth applying to one of the top 5, as they review your academic record quite rigorously. Other colleges will offer an equally rich experience. Also, staff mentioned that if you apply to one of the top 5 and didn't get in, they will not submit your app to the other 4, as they all have the same standard. (BTW, i dont know if this is really true and if they really care that much about GMAT -- i dont want to inadvertently discourage you. I am just repeating what the staff said. I think if you got into Oxford, your app must have been compelling, and the colleges look at the whole app too. I think you should go with WHATEVER COLLEGE you want. The staff will work with you on second choice if somehow the first didnt work out. My GMAT score is good but not great, and I am going to shoot for Merton anyway and see what happens)

My second choice after Merton is Jesus College -- because it seems like a very tight knit community and is at the heart of city centre. They are also known for Rugby (i want to attend the games)!!
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2012, 10:15
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enkie wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I've promised to give a debrief of my Admitted Student Welcome Day experience from this past weekend, so here it is.

The event started at 130PM with a casual buffet style luncheon (mostly sandwiches) with current students. The Program Director gave a nice opening speech that was very inspiring. The current students were friendly and quite candid with their experiences at the school. It was interesting to see what a diverse group it was (in terms of nationality and industries). About 10 (?) admitted students attended the event, with most of them from the US, and a few Brits and Euros.

After the luncheon, one of the coordinators took us on a walking tour of the school facilities. The building is very modern and well equipped (and this is comparing from experience when I used to attend Columbia University and used the Columbia business school's facilities often -- CBS also has great facilities, and Oxford is no less).

After, we had one-hour presentation sessions each with Admissions (went over logistics, post-offer questions, etc), Career (went over employment statistics, support structure, etc), and Alumi Relations. Each of the presentation sessions was very informative. Admissions went over practical matters such as student visa, payments, college selection process (this seems to be the most anxiety-inducing issue for everyone) -- this is especially great because a lot of questions are easier to answer in person rather than over email.

The Career session was very useful. The career services director broke down the process and resources available to students. There was also a "sector consultant" present at the session. Sector Consultants are people with deep knowledge of specific industries and are currently working in those industries. They are available to meet with students (on appointment basis) to help mentor and give advice to students. This gave me a lot of confidence about the career support. The director was also very realistic and honest about the job search challenges for those who are looking to switch countries, functions, and roles.

After these sessions, the staff introduced an alum panel. About 10 alum in the London area came in to meet with us. Their achievements were really impressive -- most of them are in the fiance industry, two in consulting, one in nonprofit, and one who is a general manager (in charge of the strategy division) for a law firm. This was the meat of the welcome day. Staff excused themselves from the room so admitted students may ask whatever questions they wanted. The alum unanimously described their experiences at Oxford as unforgettable because you are part of such an incredible institution -- you gain much more than just business knowledge and network -- it's a life experience that you'll not get anywhere else. They also gave practical advice and candid answers to some of the questions that were asked. One of the attendees asked about whether the ranking of SBS affected their abilities to compete with other b school graduates (the unspoken question probably was whether LBS or INSEAD graduates had an edge over them). I think the alum's achievements speak for themselves. There was someone who was in the risk analysis division of bank of america. Another who is doing investment banking. The takeaway I got from one of the alum's answer is that at the end of the day, the school name can only get your foot in the door with the interview, you are the only person who can actually get the job. And SBS has certainly gotten each of them through the door.

Later, the day concluded with cocktail event and dinner service at Trinity College. The dean, additional staff, alum and more current students joined this event to meet with admitted students. This intimate setting enabled me to get to know more people and assess their experiences at Oxford.

Oxford itself is such a vibrant town. You can feel the energy as you walk through the streets and see all the students milling about. The history and grandeur of the buildings transports you to another dimension and you can't help but feel inspired to be a part of this university.

Overall, I was really impressed. Prior to the event, I was on the fence about waiting for a decision from INSEAD and LBS. After the event, I am now 100% committed to attend Oxford. I believe it gives me the best bang for the buck, and I cannot wait to spend the next year with an amazing group of people!


Wow, thanks for sharing this. Unfortunately, I didn't have the chance to attend the event, sounds like a great experience. :)
Anyway, regarding the choice between LBS and Oxford, I can say that I for example was admitted in both schools, and chose in favor of Said. So, I'm looking forward to meeting you there. :)
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2012, 05:57
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Hi rho

I'd be happy to share my experience. I interviewed with one of the admissions staff in the US. He thoroughly read my essays and resume, so I would recommend that you know your own story inside and out, as he/she will grill you on it.

You should be very prepared to talk about why Oxford and how the program will help your career. In particular, I was grilled on whether i wanted to work in Europe and whether I was aware of how tough the immigration rules are right now. Though for you, looks like you are in London, so maybe that's not an issue at all.

Be confident but not arrogant. And be very honest. I was asked what one of my failures are. And I talked about how when i was very young, I lost a full scholarship to my school because I just didnt go to class and how hard the journey to climb back up was. Dont be afraid to admit mistakes, but always be prepared to talk about how that made you better and what you learned from it (and what you did to rectify the situation). Be prepared with a professional failure story, as they will likely ask that.

Whatever career you are going into, whether its a switch or a continuation of your current career, make sure you know the industry very thoroughly. Prepare a few targeted companies that you would like to research and work for, as they would be interested in knowing whom they should target as well.

Hope this helps. And good luck!
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2012, 06:02
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Sorry, one more thing. Understand what your weakness areas are in your application and be prepared to defend it. My particular question mark was why I needed a MBA (as I am very far along my career, and already have a masters) -- this question came up consistently in my Oxford, LBS and INSEAD interviews. This means that whatever your "question mark" is, is going to be very obvious to whatever schools you are applying to, so make sure you have a good story/explanation around that.

And be confident!! You are obviously a great candidate to make it to interview stage. :)
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2012, 12:46
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My interview was VERY different at Oxford than for other schools (American schools) - however, I think it really depends on who you get. I interviewed R1 in NYC and was paired with the head of the MBA program. I know that down the hall people were interviewing with admissions people and had very different experiences.

Last edited by sgms767 on 24 Feb 2012, 05:59, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2012, 07:36
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Personally I had a positive outlook on SBS, and both the interview and Open day reinforced my views.

My interviewer was way more informed and prepared than the INSEAD interviewers. (Who hadn't even bothered to read my application. One actually offered to help me with other applications should i not have made it into INSEAD)

Throughout the open day I saw pretty much what i expected. The career people are there to help but won't do your CV for you or call up their network to get you a job (to be expected). Students were happy with their work, said it was a crazy time (i'm sure they are freaking busy all week long), but that there is time to play if you can schedule it right.

I think the best thing i got out of this was that most of the current students went in (contrary to their application essay) with a vague idea of what they want to get out, but worked it out during their 1 year.

That's just my opinion, anyone else care to add?
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2012, 12:08
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djf32 wrote:
Just curious, did your opinion of SBS change (for the better or worse) after the interview day at Oxford?


I went to the Admit Open Day and my opinion of SBS went up afterwards. It was positive to begin with, but after Open Day, i was really taken by them. (which poses a very difficult choice between SBS and INSEAD). I think SBS is a great program in a fantastic setting with easy access to the London job market.
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2012, 02:46
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Thanks to everyone who've shared their experiences here. You're a star !
I had my interview yesterday. Here's my debrief if it helps anyone now or in future :)

How to get there
I don't live far from Oxford so it was a short journey by train for me.
However, if you are flying into Heathrow, take the Heathrow express to Paddington (you may see the statue of paddington bear as well :P ) .
Then take the First Great Western train to/toward Oxford. If you are pressed for time, make sure you check the route. I think some trains stop at more stations and some only at 2 or 3, obviously faster. Trains are quite frequent. You may want to buy same-day return if you are coming back to London. When you walk out of station, you can see the school in front of you just 2 mins away.

Another option is to take a bus to Reading and then a train to Oxford.

There may be direct bus connections from Heathrow to Oxford. Please check on http://www.nationalexpress.co.uk

Trains can be checked on http://www.nationalrail.co.uk

You can also take Oxford tube from London Victoria (I think but please search online) but I don't know where it stops in Oxford.

I love trains and the scenery on the way is pretty nice as you approach Oxford. So, I would advise you to take train to enjoy some nice views.

Weather
It was bloody windy and I always find Oxford a bit colder than London. So, do check the weather on http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2640729

Questions
The questions were usual - why MBA, why now, why oxford, professional challenge (failure), long-term and short-term goals, which other schools etc.

Interviewer
My interviewer was amazing. She had read my app before and was well informed.
Very polite, very professional. It was very conversational. She kept asking questions but all in the flow.

School
The school is amazing. My Ad-Com person was very helpful throughout the whole process - right from receiving my app , to arranging (and rearranging interview). I can't fault anyone one bit. I had high opinion of the school already, have visited Oxford many times and have researched it well too. This only made my desire stronger.

I didn't stay for the Open day as I had promised to meet my wife for lunch but I'm pretty sure there were more awesome things lined up ,including a free lunch :), for those who stayed on .

To all to be interviewed candidates
I hope you have a wonderful experience.
I'm glad they called me and I will be even more glad to be a part of the school.

I will keep my fingers, legs, eyes - every damn thing crossed in hope :)
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2012, 20:08
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budablasta wrote:
The damn thing has a friggin' soul of its own. I am already so attached to it.


Dont take it too personally and get attached to the essay, it's really a marketing tool for YOU! the main aim is to get the point across, save the soul stuff for when you get into the school.
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Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2012, 21:14
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All the best guys... R-2 guys, plz share your results :) guess they're going to be out in a few hours ..
any idea how they communicate the results (as in mail like cambridge--or on the app portal like harvard) ?
Re: Oxford (Said) 2012 - Calling All Applicants   [#permalink] 22 Mar 2012, 21:14
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