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Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do?

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Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2014, 04:46
Hi Guys,

I scored a 750 on my GMAT this May although I am working full time. I was over the moon thinking that this would open up the doors to the elite MBA schools. However after being dinged at ISB, Tuck, INSEAD, and NYU Stern, I've fallen back to earth!!! I guess this is the peril of belonging to the deadly pool of Indian IT Male software engineers with little to distinguish myself (apart from the fact that I have my own blues band and I work in Hong Kong).

I did get an admit from Oxford Said and I have to make the deposit payment by January 10th.

Now here's my conundrum -Is it worth throwing all my savings behind a Oxford SBS MBA? It is ranked quite low on the QS rankings based on recruiter perspective and the perspective on most blogs and forums is that SBS is a school for wannabes who couldn't get into a top school so ran to the Oxford brand for some prestige. Now I applied to oxford because I felt the program had its strengths - finance, the strategy consulting project, etc and I want to move into a MC firm. But I dont want to do an MBA and then get looked down upon when its time to hunt for jobs; the problem is magnified by the UK Visa laws.

So I seek your advice - what should I do - take up oxford SAid or wait another year and reapply with an improved profile (improved extracurr, improved position, etc)? What is the consensus on the Oxford SBS program as a means to get into consulting line of work?!
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2014, 06:53
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I can sympathize. But, at least, now you know a 750 is not a golden ticket. Have a few questions -

1.) Applying to any schools in R2? Duke/Darden/Ross etc. are on a similar tier and place really well in the consulting industry.
2.) Are you ok to apply next year? Or rather, is there a pressing need (external circumstances) that you should go to school this fall?
3.) Have you talked to any Said MBA internationals on recruitment?
4.) Where do you want to work post MBA? If you are thinking of returning back to India immediately, the Oxford brand may pull it off for you. (for tier 2s and big 4s)

From a totally objective view point and the limited knowledge that I have of SBS, I believe it places well in the consulting industry, but internationals definitely face a bit of trouble. Also, just to set the expectations right, I don't think people here on the forum would be able to make that decision for you. However, you may receive good input for your second question.

@Domotron - your space.
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2014, 07:14
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Unfortunately while a 750 puts you in the running, the rest of your profile has to stack up in order to get into the schools you have listed. I have actually visited Said and have found the calibre of current students to be high. However, it is a relatively young school so it's not particularly well known. However, like jum says it will open some doors not least due to the Oxford brand name. If you are thinking about the M/B/B level of MC firms I imagine it will be tough. While I was there I did notice L.E.K. holding interviews so MC firms definitely do recruit there.

I think one big negative for you is that it is a 1 year program. This means a career switch, while possible, is more difficult. Have you tried reaching out to Derek Walker and their careers team? He seems to be a straight shooter and won't sugarcoat the amount of work or the difficulty you will face if you choose to matriculate.

From your comments, it doesn't sound like you are really that enthusiastic about the school. Reach out to current students especially Indian ones and see if you can alleviate some of your concerns. If you still don't feel comfortable then maybe it would be best if you tried again next year rather than settle for a school you are not happy with.
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2014, 10:29
Thanks Jumsumtak and Domotron! That was quick - I appreciate it.. its good to know I have some support :) And I wish you guys the best of luck in the New Year!

@ Domotron -It might seem weird that I applied to Said and now I don't sound so keen (lol). The thing is I am naturally on the pessimistic side - and although I have respect for Said's programme, which led me to apply (and I am still not AGAINST joining SBS) - I am just trying to make sure that I am not making an insanely bad choice here because:

1. There seems to be a lot of bashing against SBS (inferior biz school on the coat tails of Oxford) on a lot of forums - and that worries me! I don't want to get an MBA and then be judged as a "wannabe" among my peers if and when I break into a consulting practice post-mba.
2. The consensus among most of my friends is that I would be under-achieving if I accepted SBS and should rather try for Fuqua/UCLA/Darden - and I assumed that SBS was a better choice over these (mostly because of the prestige of Oxford brand). Now while I dont need others to make up my mind for me, I do like to listen to as many inputs as possible to make an informed decision. That's also why im throwing this out into this forum.


Great tip - the talking to Derek Walker part! I will do that ASAP! And I am aiming for Tier 2 consulting firms although I cannot help but dream of M/B/B :)

@Jumsuntak -
1.) Applying to any schools in R2? Duke/Darden/Ross etc. are on a similar tier and place really well in the consulting industry.
- No - for some reason I was drained with all the applications and interviews after R1 and had a lot of personal stuff going on in December :( Would a Duke or a Darden MBA be a better choice for consulting?
2.) Are you ok to apply next year? Or rather, is there a pressing need (external circumstances) that you should go to school this fall?
- I would prefer to join this year, as I feel my career is stagnating haha and I am already 28..
3.) Have you talked to any Said MBA internationals on recruitment?
- I have contacted quite a few Indian students via email and Linkedin.. and they admit that the visa issue will always be an obstacle, but a lot of them have managed to tie down offers in firms such as Oliver Wyman or E&Y.
4.) Where do you want to work post MBA? If you are thinking of returning back to India immediately, the Oxford brand may pull it off for you. (for tier 2s and big 4s)
- In the short term I would like to work in the UK if possible - but in the long term I would want to be in Asia (Singapore/India)
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2014, 10:34
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Sorry to break it to you but everyone applying to those top 10 schools has a GMAT 750 or about so.
GMAT is not a factor in the top programs. You as a person, your essays, Interviews, Resume, and LOR's are the drivers.

Oxford is a great name. To add to what others have said, if you don't care to be in the US then it would work well for you. If you want to end up staying in the US after your MBA, then it is probably the wrong choice.


P.S. It is a well-ranked school: all-2013-mba-rankings-99812.html
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2014, 10:58
Thanks bb! Happy New Year!

I always knew that 750 was not going to make me a rock-star candidate - I guess if I was told at the start of my applications that I would be getting into SBS I would have been delighted! But then getting invited to interview with Tuck raised my expectations, and the reject broke my heart! hehe Expectation is the cause of all suffering I guess! :)

I have no plans of settling in the US - its Europe and Asia for me.

I guess I just needed to make sure that Said is taken seriously in the Business world - especially by consulting firms! Speaking to you guys has really cleared my head and I think I should contribute more to this forum as well instead of whining here haha! But I would love to hear any further thoughts or advice as well..
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2014, 11:23
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SmallFry wrote:
Thanks bb! Happy New Year!

I always knew that 750 was not going to make me a rock-star candidate - I guess if I was told at the start of my applications that I would be getting into SBS I would have been delighted! But then getting invited to interview with Tuck raised my expectations, and the reject broke my heart! hehe Expectation is the cause of all suffering I guess! :)

I have no plans of settling in the US - its Europe and Asia for me.

I guess I just needed to make sure that Said is taken seriously in the Business world - especially by consulting firms! Speaking to you guys has really cleared my head and I think I should contribute more to this forum as well instead of whining here haha! But I would love to hear any further thoughts or advice as well..



If you are going to stay in Europe/Asia, there is not a whole lot of reason to go to school in the US.
The US offers 2-year programs, summer internship is often a must, etc.
Recruiting in Europe from the US would be harder (unless you had some contacts already that would help you with landing a job), it would be more expensive, and on and on. So I think Said is a good choice. Probably not as much of a money-making machine as INSEAD is, but still a very strong name and program. Enjoy!
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2014, 17:45
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SmallFry wrote:
Thanks bb! Happy New Year!

I always knew that 750 was not going to make me a rock-star candidate - I guess if I was told at the start of my applications that I would be getting into SBS I would have been delighted! But then getting invited to interview with Tuck raised my expectations, and the reject broke my heart! hehe Expectation is the cause of all suffering I guess! :)

I have no plans of settling in the US - its Europe and Asia for me.

I guess I just needed to make sure that Said is taken seriously in the Business world - especially by consulting firms! Speaking to you guys has really cleared my head and I think I should contribute more to this forum as well instead of whining here haha! But I would love to hear any further thoughts or advice as well..



If you are going to stay in Europe/Asia, there is not a whole lot of reason to go to school in the US.
The US offers 2-year programs, summer internship is often a must, etc.
Recruiting in Europe from the US would be harder (unless you had some contacts already that would help you with landing a job), it would be more expensive, and on and on. So I think Said is a good choice. Probably not as much of a money-making machine as INSEAD is, but still a very strong name and program. Enjoy!



Yes do i agree ; But i would suggest to stay calm and apply in next session to the USA- B school. Probably you will be picked up.
Best Luck

Thanks

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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2014, 06:01
SmallFry wrote:
I have no plans of settling in the US - its Europe and Asia for me.


That just settles the matter, for me.

If you're not willing to work in the US, you need to look at EU/Asian schools. You may give LBS/INSEAD a shot, but after that it is pretty much Oxbridge/HEC/IE(SE) etc.
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2014, 06:23
jumsumtak wrote:
SmallFry wrote:
I have no plans of settling in the US - its Europe and Asia for me.


That just settles the matter, for me.

If you're not willing to work in the US, you need to look at EU/Asian schools. You may give LBS/INSEAD a shot, but after that it is pretty much Oxbridge/HEC/IE(SE) etc.


Also consider IIM-A ; HKUST to apply this are also gd schools.
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2014, 20:56
Thanks Jumsumtak,

I did apply to INSEAD and was rejected without an interview - weird because I felt I had put in strong essays and recommendations. INSEAD was my top choice because it places so damn well in the consulting industry! I guess I'm set then - Said it is! Thanks for the help.

One query -it appears that the US B-schools place a lot better into consulting. Does anyone have any tips on how I can make the best of my time (from now until the end of my MBA at Said) to land a consulting gig at a tier-1/tier-2 firm? Are there any courses or pre mba internships I could be doing to ease the transition from IT consulting to Management consulting/ Business tech consulting?

Should i move this question to a different forum BTW?
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2014, 01:01
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SmallFry wrote:
Thanks Jumsumtak,

I did apply to INSEAD and was rejected without an interview - weird because I felt I had put in strong essays and recommendations. INSEAD was my top choice because it places so damn well in the consulting industry! I guess I'm set then - Said it is! Thanks for the help.

One query -it appears that the US B-schools place a lot better into consulting. Does anyone have any tips on how I can make the best of my time (from now until the end of my MBA at Said) to land a consulting gig at a tier-1/tier-2 firm? Are there any courses or pre mba internships I could be doing to ease the transition from IT consulting to Management consulting/ Business tech consulting?

Should i move this question to a different forum BTW?



Hi;
Its appear that you have made your mind for SAID. OK then as you may knew that SAID had a strong recruiters from Finance sector. It will be helpful for you to strategies your efforts to learn Quant finance / analysis. I guess there are good MOOCS available at class central to give you introduction to the Quantitative methods in finance and finical engineering.

Here is https://www.class-central.com/subject/marketing-and-finance has list of MOOCS helpful as pre- MBA course. I guess rest assured by your handwork

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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2014, 04:39
SmallFry wrote:
Thanks Jumsumtak,

One query -it appears that the US B-schools place a lot better into consulting. Does anyone have any tips on how I can make the best of my time (from now until the end of my MBA at Said) to land a consulting gig at a tier-1/tier-2 firm? Are there any courses or pre mba internships I could be doing to ease the transition from IT consulting to Management consulting/ Business tech consulting?



Good question.

I dont think doing courses would help, really. But, if you could get that pre mba internship in the industry, that would be a great starting point, not only to enhance your understanding of the work, but also to expand your network.

You may also try to build some base around cases, talk and network with alumni/career services/students etc.

(Take this with a grain of salt. I'm not a student/alum ad this is just my understanding of the process)
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2014, 05:52
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SmallFry wrote:
Thanks Jumsumtak,

I did apply to INSEAD and was rejected without an interview - weird because I felt I had put in strong essays and recommendations. INSEAD was my top choice because it places so damn well in the consulting industry! I guess I'm set then - Said it is! Thanks for the help.

One query -it appears that the US B-schools place a lot better into consulting. Does anyone have any tips on how I can make the best of my time (from now until the end of my MBA at Said) to land a consulting gig at a tier-1/tier-2 firm? Are there any courses or pre mba internships I could be doing to ease the transition from IT consulting to Management consulting/ Business tech consulting?

Should i move this question to a different forum BTW?


Again if you choose to matriculate at Said speak to their careers teach. They probably will be able to help put together a plan that means you maximise the opportunities and limited amount of time to be successful in your career switch. Their best example was how an English secondary school teacher transitioned to work in banking in Hong Kong!
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2014, 07:43
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First of all congrats to a great GMAT score. While it is not a golden ticket, it does provide its advantages in gaining consideration to top schools and top MC firms.

I would strongly recommend that you apply to a two-year program in a US b-school, for two major reasons:

1) Two-year programs allow you an internship, which is very important if you are switching career from IT to consulting. A majority of European b-schools MC placement are from students returning to their previous industry and firm.
2) Most US consulting companies are open to sponsoring work visas. This is a major reason that consulting is such a popular exit among international students, and a popular discussion point on GMATClub.

However, know that by going to US b-school, you are limited (in the short-term) to US offices and India.
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2014, 08:52
Thanks Guys,

@Domotron - Yes I will speak to the Career Services before putting down my deposit. I will post what I gather from there

@Asimov - Thanks! Yes I do know the importance of an intern-ship when switching careers. This is why, although working in the US was not my top choice, I applied to Tuck (Rejected after interview) and NYU (Ding) and UCLA (havent heard from them yet so I assume its a ding!) . And for reasons beyond my control I could not apply to any schools in R2. So another side of my question is - Is it worth foregoing Oxford Said, and reapplying to get into Ross/Fuqua/Darden next year?
On the other hand, Said does have the Strategy Consulting project - which I could use as a 2 month internship. I am trying to get in touch with people who have made a similar switch (and with Derek from career services as Domotron advised). I know it wont be easy, so I will try to build a solid plan, with the backup of going back to my present employer in a Technology Consulting role.

So if anybody reading this has experience on switching careers through a 1 year MBA, please share your ideas.
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2014, 14:58
Have you considered IESE? European school, 2 years, good placement in consulting...

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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2014, 17:55
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SmallFry wrote:
@Asimov - Thanks! Yes I do know the importance of an intern-ship when switching careers. This is why, although working in the US was not my top choice, I applied to Tuck (Rejected after interview) and NYU (Ding) and UCLA (havent heard from them yet so I assume its a ding!) . And for reasons beyond my control I could not apply to any schools in R2. So another side of my question is - Is it worth foregoing Oxford Said, and reapplying to get into Ross/Fuqua/Darden next year?
On the other hand, Said does have the Strategy Consulting project - which I could use as a 2 month internship. I am trying to get in touch with people who have made a similar switch (and with Derek from career services as Domotron advised). I know it wont be easy, so I will try to build a solid plan, with the backup of going back to my present employer in a Technology Consulting role.

So if anybody reading this has experience on switching careers through a 1 year MBA, please share your ideas.

If you DO NOT want to work in the US, I would recommend go to Oxford. You will have a better chance landing a consulting gig in Europe from Oxford than going to a US school without Europe work authorization. Plus, your chance of getting accepted at US school is not assured.

If Oxford's Strategy Consulting project is anything like the ones US schools do, those projects do not sagway into a consulting offer. Those are "consulting" for corporate project, and not working for a consulting firm. You need a internship with a consulting firm to help you career switch. Consulting firms use the internship as a "test drive" for potential hires.

Another question I would ask you to consider is "why do you want to go into consulting?" I fear doing consulting has become a "herd mentality" at b-schools and with b-school applicants. There are good reasons people choose to do the job, but become a consultant because everyone else is, is not a good reason.
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2014, 10:48
Well to answer "Why I want to get into consulting" honestly - I guess maybe I have had my head turned by the herd.. Ive heard interesting things about the industry. I know that I am fed up of my current role in IT (IT Business Analyst) - it's not a role where my ideas are really appreciated and I am not even making a meaningful contribution. I just get a pay-check which keeps me trucking on :D

Based on what I have read, and heard from career advisors, consulting is a good role to make a transition into the Business world from the back-end IT role that I have. And the work/cases will be intellectually challenging and stimulating! I will need to work long hours, but I already work around 12 hours a day (5 day week) so I might as well spend that time doing interesting work. At the same time I hope to pick up a lot of aspects of business operations, and really just push myself to be better than what I am right now by working with team-mates with different backgrounds/viewpoints, etc.

Dont get me wrong, I have nothing against working in the US - but the question is do I HAVE to be in the US in a 2 year program to get into consulting? I started another post in the Consulting Careers guide to try to get some inputs from people who have made the switch with a one year program to see if I can get internships in the UK on my own after MBA, etc. Isnt that do-able if the internship is the only plus-point of a 2 year program in the US?

Again I have nothing against the US or 2 year programs; I know that the US is the best when it comes to Business education - I am just trying to see if a 1 year program from Said is a bad option in comparison to doing a 2 year MBA at Fuqua/Ross (hypothetically,in case I decide to reapply next year)
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Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do? [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2014, 10:11
Have you considered Iese?
Re: Urgent!: 750 on GMAT, but Oxford SAID is the best I can do?   [#permalink] 06 Jan 2014, 10:11
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