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Chat with Oxford Said alumni

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 07:38
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Hi All,

We are pleased to announce an Information Chat Session with Oxford alumnus sakys and eyoxfordmba

When: September 27th, 9 AM PST/ 4 PM GMT/ 9:30 PM IST (Click here for other time zones)
Where: GMATClub chatroom https://gmatclub.com/forum/mchat.php?fl=menu
Sign up here to get an email reminder of this chat.

During the chat session, you are invited to ask questions about admissions, Oxford experience, recruiting, etc.

Please reply here with anything that you want to ask the alumnus. sakys and eyoxfordmba will also keep an eye here

Let us know if you have any feedback!
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New post 23 Sep 2019, 08:56
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workout wrote:
Hi All,

We are pleased to announce an Information Chat Session with Oxford alumnus sakys

When: September 27th, 9 AM PST/ 4 PM GMT/ 9:30 PM IST (Click here for other time zones)
Where: GMATClub chatroom https://gmatclub.com/forum/mchat.php?fl=menu
Sign up here to get an email reminder of this chat.

During the chat session, you are invited to ask questions about admissions, Oxford experience, recruiting, etc.

Please reply here with anything that you want to ask the alumnus. sakys will also keep an eye here

Thanks for planning the session. Looking forward.

Let us know if you have any feedback!
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New post 24 Sep 2019, 09:38
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Thank you both for taking the time to do this, really appreciate it. A couple questions I had:

1. College - Thoughts around picking a college with a lot of MBA students vs one with little to no MBAs (ie. St. Hughs vs Trinity)? Wondering if you get enough exposure through the curriculum to meet all your fellow ~300 MBA students or if choosing a college like St.Hughs can ensure that you meet most of your MBA class.

2. Clubs/Events - Any events or clubs that you found invaluable to your experience at SBS? Do either of you recommend any events/clubs outside of SBS?

3. Classes - Any recommended electives that you would take again or wish you took? Did you take any classes outside of SBS at the broader opportunity (not sure if this is even an option)?

4. Anything you wish you did the year leading up to your MBA? Things you wish you prepared?

Thanks again for offering your time to do this!
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New post 24 Sep 2019, 09:50
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My big question is of course on-campus recruiting and if there is any specific strength for recruiting/placements that seems to exist with Said. Not sure if there is an answer to my questions but if I can add one more, who would be the ideal profile to attend Oxford Said?

If there is, I would really appreciate it!
Thanks for doing this!
BB.
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New post 24 Sep 2019, 14:03
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Artsly wrote:
Thank you both for taking the time to do this, really appreciate it. A couple questions I had:

Thanks again for offering your time to do this!


Hi, Thanks for putting the points here. I will try my level best to answer your queries based on my personal experiences and ask eyoxfordmba to chip-in

1. College- Once you are admitted to SBS, you will receive an e-mail from the admissions manager with a form to indicate your preferred colleges and an entire information pack about colleges, their history and the streams that they admit. Once you have selected your option, the file goes to your preferred college.
- After your file has been received by the college, the college committee (and not the SBS com) has a say. So they will either accept or reject you. In case of rejection, you would be randomly allocated a college (Sorry, no choice here). But most of us got our first choice.
- For meeting MBAs- you will get tons of chances as you will be regularly meeting your batch-mates in classes (and sections), SBS cafeteria, college dinners and various networking events and then there are section mixers. We had a wonderful social captain in our year and there were many social events and section mixers. And of-course you can crash into any MBA meets and B'day Parties :).
- In my opinion, the trick is to mingle and absorb as much Oxford as you can. I would perhaps expand my radius and get in touch with people from different colleges and departments. We secured some good rapport with Blavatnik School of Government, School of Environment and so on. The students regularly interacted through guest seminars, lectures and case competitions etc. It's like you need to decide your endeavours. At the end it is a good networking opportunity and people would be willing to shake hands.

2.Clubs/ Events- There are perhaps 200 different clubs or even more... starting right from rowing to diving or even horse riding and what not. The list is really long. I totally enjoyed my experience with rowing and became addicted to the sport. You will find both internal (SBS) clubs and external clubs during your time at Oxford. Further, there is a concept in SBS called Oxford Business Networks (OBNs) which is divided into 5 categories- Tech, Finance, Global Industry, Social Impact and Entrepreneurship. You can join or apply for chair positions and these OBNs are our links to various networking and knowledge sharing events with external speakers and companies. MBAs form these OBNs, elect their chairs and from there on the chairs takes a dive into the activities.
Again the list of event is long, at any point you will find at-least 4-5 different events happening in and out of SBS. I was overwhelmed and couldn’t decide for first few weeks to attend company networking or to go and listen to Hillary Clinton? These events are planned by both SBS, student OBNs and in-fact the colleges. I was a member of the German society and met a good number of organisation heads through the society.


3.Classes- this is a very personal decision which should match with your goals. For me, I wanted to explore finance and I took most of the finance electives. The elective for Entrepreneurship Finance was an amazing one. We got to attend lectures, review professors’ upcoming book (yes he was serious about it) and at the end of each lecture you had a lunch with an external guest- an Angel investor or may be a PE guy or may be a VC honcho ?.
Yes I took some classes at the Environment Studies department (outside SBS) as I was interested in energy sustainability. You can always write to the relevant professor and if he or she allows you in the class then you are in for a treat. And Oxford professors are really cool, I saw so many D-Phils sitting in our Entrepreneurship classes and that relationship amalgamated into being company founders with MBAs or vice versa.

4.Things to prepare- Again this is connected with your goals- If you are going for Finance, you will receive your requisites for Finance Lab before joining the course. For consulting, its called Consulting Development lab and so on. All these courses are sent to your mail box in advance and are available in modules. Such preparatory courses will assist you to handle the really intensive topics and prep you. As I said I wanted to explore finance, so wall street prep was a bible in that case. I think from this year onward Entrepreneurs will have something called Creative Destruction lab. Should be fun!
In hindsight, I missed the opportunity of going to an international trek before the start of the MBA. This is a very nice opportunity to meet your colleagues and at the same point of time you can initiate your networking with various tech/fin companies even before the course starts.

Hope the above helps!
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New post 24 Sep 2019, 14:39
sakys wrote:
Hi, Thanks for putting the points here.

Hope the above helps!


Thanks so much Sakys, really appreciate you taking the time to write such a detailed response!

It all sounds incredible, fingers crossed until October 18th to hear back from Oxford.
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New post 25 Sep 2019, 04:27
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Artsly wrote:
Thank you both for taking the time to do this, really appreciate it. A couple questions I had:

1. College - Thoughts around picking a college with a lot of MBA students vs one with little to no MBAs (ie. St. Hughs vs Trinity)? Wondering if you get enough exposure through the curriculum to meet all your fellow ~300 MBA students or if choosing a college like St.Hughs can ensure that you meet most of your MBA class.

2. Clubs/Events - Any events or clubs that you found invaluable to your experience at SBS? Do either of you recommend any events/clubs outside of SBS?

3. Classes - Any recommended electives that you would take again or wish you took? Did you take any classes outside of SBS at the broader opportunity (not sure if this is even an option)?

4. Anything you wish you did the year leading up to your MBA? Things you wish you prepared?

Thanks again for offering your time to do this!



Hey Artsly, great questions! I'm going to be honest, most of my answers to these questions will be "it's what you make of it", but I'll try my best to explain why...

1. College life is unique to the Oxford (and I suppose Cambridge :roll:, haha) and it can play as big a role as you want it to! One of my main goals for my MBA experience was to establish meaningful connections with as many MBA students as possible, so I decided to choose Green Templeton College (aka GTC) as they typically have the largest intake of MBAs. This meant I could count on bumping into at least one other MBA every time I visited college, and college life just became another opportunity to meet more MBA classmates in a different setting. For me and my goals, it was the perfect set up.
That being said, I also made an effort to visit other colleges with other MBAs. As I made more friends at Said, people invited me to have dinner with them at their colleges, and I felt like I still managed to see and experience the historic parts of Oxford life through these invitations. Many of the college balls also usually have a ticket selling period for non-college members too, so you can also see college life from going to different balls (an expensive but worthwhile expenditure, in my opinion!).

My set up isn't going to work for everybody though - some people want a save haven to escape from the busy-ness of MBA life, and college life was exactly that for them. It's all up to you and your goals about which kind of college you want to apply for. College life, in my opinion, is a really magical part of the Oxford experience, and you can choose to have different levels of exposure to it as you see fit.

2. For career-related goals, I have to say our class did a really good job at running a ton of student-led clubs and events to enable classmates to explore their options. A lot of the most meaningful events I attended were simple lunchtime talks hosted by students who would share their personal experiences about working in so-and-so sector or for X employer. These kinds of knowledge sharing opportunities were really helpful as I was navigating my career and next steps beyond the MBA, and I really have to thank our super helpful and proactive classmates for being gracious with their time and energy to educate the rest of us about what they know.

For more fun activities, one of the BEST weekends of the entire year was when our class competed in the MBAT tournament at HEC Paris. Our professors let us take the Friday off to get on a 8-hour bus to Paris and compete in a variety of sporting events against a ton of other European MBA programmes and Oxford smashed it. Of course it's nice to brag about how we won (2019 was our third win in a row... and by a long shot), but what made that weekend extra special was having the opportunity to just see our classmates in a different light and to have fun outside of the intense classroom and recruitment settings. We made the experience super inclusive - there were non-athletic competitions like a FIFA eSports competition, chess, and a battle of the bands; I also led a "Spirit Squad" for people who just wanted to spectate, cheer, and pass around the face paint - to make sure that everybody had a great time. That weekend was such a pivotal moment for our cohort, and we really became so much closer after that weekend. I would say the MBAT is an event not to miss.

As for clubs outside of the Said bubble, I did attend a trampoline club meetup once and that was hella fun, but I didn't really have much time to formally explore other existing Oxford clubs. There's so much that happens outside of Said, but you just have to make a judgement call about how you want to prioritise your time.

3. Said had so many different electives that you can really make of it what you want! I know sakys had goals to explore finance... I was the complete opposite in so many ways - I had no idea what fields I wanted to explore, but I was pretty sure I wanted to do anything other than Finance! In the first term (Michaelmas), everybody has a set schedule of core classes, and I really recommend taking the time to reflect on your experience in these core classes. I found myself suddenly drawn to our Technology & Operations class - something I hadn't considered before - so I just decided to explore that inkling of desire with my electives. I took Strategy & Innovation, Supply Chain Management, AI & Advanced Analytics in Marketing & Retail, a class called Trust in the Digital Age, among many others, and suddenly had all these new doors open that I had never imagined. I took Circular Economy as well because responsible business is something really core to the Said community, and it was a class that I truly think should be essential to all incoming MBAs, considering the state of our world. As you can see from sakys and my experiences - your electives journey can be vastly different, depending what you make of it!
From what I understand, there isn't an option to take classes from other Oxford schools for credit.

4. The one thing I wish I did before the MBA was reflect deeply and consciously about what I wanted out of the year - I had some lofty goals, like "meet lots of MBAs!" and "change my career!" but I didn't really drill down to ask questions like, "what kind of career do I want to pivot to?" "what kind of people do I want to meet?". I thought I would complete my MBA and suddenly have all the answers about what I should do with my life when that is absolutely not the case. You're going to be presented with a myriad of different opportunities and questions through your MBA experience, and not having some kind of guiding light to navigate those questions can sometimes be really overwhelming and stressful.
But that being said, having the flexibility to pivot away from your goals and the openness to try new things was essential to having a really great year - I thought I knew who I was, but allowing myself to be super open and exploratory throughout the year really showed me that I am actually way more adventurous that I thought I was! I discovered new passions and a new career direction that I would've NEVER thought, and I think being open and being able to abandon plans that no longer work was really important in making this year count.
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New post 25 Sep 2019, 06:10
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bb wrote:
My big question is of course on-campus recruiting and if there is any specific strength for recruiting/placements that seems to exist with Said. Not sure if there is an answer to my questions but if I can add one more, who would be the ideal profile to attend Oxford Said?

If there is, I would really appreciate it!
Thanks for doing this!
BB.


Thanks for the question bb.

On-campus recruitment at Said is a bit of a hit or miss, depending on a couple of factors:
    How proactive are you?
    Do you have a target industry/role/company in mind?
    Did you make a good connection with one of the Careers Advisers?

I think some people - such as myself - expected to somehow be magically be presented with a ton of different career options and opportunities because I was an MBA, and boy was I wrong! The careers component of the MBA was very much self driven, as it should be because everybody's career histories, goals, and journeys are unique.

We have to keep in mind that although Oxford is one of the world's oldest universities, Said itself is one of the newest business schools out there, and that has had an impact on attracting some recruiters. That's not to say that no employers came to visit - we had a healthy weekly schedule of company visits and talks - but some may say that employers appeared to be slightly less interested in our candidate pool than another European school, say LBS or INSEAD. That being said, I think this will definitely improve with time as our classmates and alumni prove to the employers that we are awesome and employable, and as our Career Services continue to improve their relationships with said big employers.

Being in a one-year programme has it challenges with recruitment, for example the consulting industry recruitment happens really soon after the Oxford course begins, so many of those who were successful in securing an MBB (McKinsey, Bain, BCG) position were those who knew right from the get-go that they definitely wanted to do consulting. Those who were less sure about what they wanted - e.g. me! - completely missed all those early recruitment opportunities because I really needed the time to explore my courses and electives before I figured out what I wanted to do post-MBA. But that being said, Careers has been trying really hard to find creative ways of combating this timing issue - for example, over the summer before the MBA even started, they produced an online module to educate people about the consulting industry and recruitment needs. Over the Christmas holidays, Careers produced recruitment materials for MBA recruitment at Amazon specifically too because there's a huge recruitment cycle in around January time, which was really informative and helpful. We have a pretty large group of classmates at Amazon right now and - I might be biased since I'm interning at Amazon right now! - I think their success was largely due to Career Services' efforts in preparing us. Again, getting involved required a lot of self-motivation and nothing is handed to students... as it should be!

People have had mixed experiences working one-on-one with the career advisers. The best advice is to meet with as many of them as you can, and if you meet an adviser that you click with, develop that relationship and he or she will definitely have your back in making you aware of new job postings, helping you parse through questions like which industries should I target? What roles would be suitable for my profile? How should I cater my CV for my target roles? etc.

Now, in terms of the ideal profile to attend Oxford Said... I think the answer is there is really no ideal profile! One of the most amazing parts of the experience was the fact that our cohort was so diverse - 315 people from 66 different countries and countless different jobs, industries, and sectors. I think the one common trait I could find among my classmates was that many of us were curious, open-minded, resourceful, and respectful. Of course, like every other MBA cohort, everybody was insanely smart, but smart meant so many different things - there was book smart, street smart, high EQ... and everybody respected and loved each other's unique contributions!
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New post 25 Sep 2019, 15:43
eyoxfordmba wrote:
Hey Artsly, great questions! I'm going to be honest, most of my answers to these questions


So helpful!! Thanks so much for writing out such a detailed response
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New post 27 Sep 2019, 05:43
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Hi all, this was recently asked by a candidate in my inbox and I am sharing it here. Some of the lines have been modified empathising the candidate's point of view.

Candidate1: My aspiration at this point of time is to become a strategy consultant in the energy sector post MBA. What would a potential recruiter such as BCG or McKinsey look for in a candidate?

Considering the energy sector in the UK, there is a huge focus on going carbon neutral by 2050, This would be a potential opportunity for renewable and CCS based clientele right? Are there any specific skills that I should equip myself with during my MBA which will maximise my chances of success when considering consulting in the energy sector?

Considering Mckinsey's recruitment cycle which is really early into the program do we get enough networking opportunities that early?

My Answer: So all firms have a specific hiring process and it differs a lot. Nonetheless, in my experience, I believe the work-experience definitely matters. All top consultants are going big in energy transition and implementations also. So yes they are hiring in these segments a lot.
1. GMAT is big thing for I will say MBB, but of-course if you have a stellar experience & profile the top consulting firms are eager to have a coffee with you.
2. International exposure and working in diverse team + Operations expertise or Corporate Development expertise helps (for people who have no consulting backgrounds)
3. also it gives you an edge if you have worked with Senior management or C-Suites on some projects.
4. Start your networking earlier. Meet people from your target audience and treat them as mentors/clients whom you need to sell a product, i.e. your profile and bingo!. McKinsey has a targeted MBA hiring program and it satrts somewhere in Oct end.
5. Climate change-a big issue yes and SBS is a strong supporter. This will definitely help if you take your electives in say circular economy and related sustainability topics- Oxford has a big focus on this.

Candidate 2: So I guess from the sustainability perspective Oxford would be a great destination to make my move right and get a big four or top strategy consulting job?

My Answer: This is where i must present a disclaimer. Please don't get influenced by an Oxford MBA statement regarding choosing schools. I am obviously biased with my great year at Oxford and having been able to make such great buddies from 62 different nationalities.

I can't outline a school or a specific career for you (as I think every profile is different and your goal matters the most) but here is what I can respond in relation to your question.

-Oxford has a big focus towards sustainability and they have specific OBNs called Social Impact OBN (see my first post),
-There are designed electives for the same and circular economy lab etc. which is helpful (as I learned form my friends)
-If you are looking for Industry related positions or energy etc. - the OBN is called Global Industry.

All these OBNS are being supervised with a rep from Career Services in collaboration with OBN chairs. So as eyoxfordmba mentioned networking starts right at your door from your career services. Along with career services and Oxford network, there are big pulls for sustainable organisations, consultants and in-fact UNDP.

I will once again re-emphasise work on your networking skills. There is no golden spoon called placement centres in European schools. Career services is wonderful tool to get your CV, cover letter things in order, prep mocks and get connected with alumni and targeted orgs. But you will need to invest your endeavours. You need to align your objectives and navigate your way. Cheers!
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New post 27 Sep 2019, 07:55
Hi Everyone,

This chat with Oxford Said alumnus sakys and eyoxfordmba will start in about 60 minutes.

When: September 27th, 9 AM PST/ 4 PM GMT/ 9:30 PM IST (Click here for other time zones)
Where: GMATClub chatroom https://gmatclub.com/forum/mchat.php?fl=menu
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New post 17 Oct 2019, 11:09
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Thanks, sakys and eyoxfordmba for doing this session with us today. How suitable do you think Oxford’s MBA program is for career switchers in the absence of internship opportunities. How many from your class were career switchers?

Is there any full ride scholarship for Asian students?
Please visit the SBS scholarship page there are tons of scholarship both based on need and region as well as based on social impact programs

Also, tell us about the work permit post-graduation
sakys: The work permit current is valid until 6 months after graduation however for the 2021 class there has been a recent development where it is expected to be increased to 2 years.

eyoxfordmba: I’m afraid I’m a UK citizen so I’m not fit to answer this... but I understand that several of our classmates have been successful in negotiating work visas. It wasn’t easy, but it was possible and having been on the student visa made the conversion much simpler. There is a possibility things may also change post-Brexit so... it’s best to speak to a qualified lawyer about this when the time comes!

sakys: The Tier-4 visa for our batch has a validity of 6 months post MBA. This is expected to be changed for the 2020 intake that is class of 2021. It is expected to be increased to 2 years for the job search. The Tier-2 ofcourse depends on the company sponsorship as @eyoxford mentioned

I have experience in healthcare consulting in Nigeria-Africa I plan on applying this second round but I don’t have a good GMAT school ... I want to send in my application and retake the GMAT after .... I reached out to the school and I was told it’s possible... I guess I want to know if I should apply this round or move to round 3 ... what do you think is best?
eyoxfordmba: From what I understand, Oxford does a great job of looking at the whole profile of a candidate and not get too hung up on just the GMAT score. That being said, there is a minimum threshold - I think they said it’s 650 this year - to be considered in the first instance. If you’ve passed 650 and feel like you have a compelling profile, I say go for it!

KeyurJoshiHello I wanted to know if there will be any impacts on the International students policies and careers due to Brexit?09:06 am

Thank you guys for being here. Just wondering what kind of roles you guys are heading into after the MBA degree? Does a MBA degree help you switch to a more desired industry?
eyoxfordmba: I had a huge career pivot -- so I’m currently finishing up a summer internship at Amazon in their Logistics business. I’m currently juggling two offers to move further into online retail and logistics and I have to chalk it up to the MBA for allowing me this massive pivot! Prior to Oxford, I didn’t even know what supply chain and operations was.... and the exposure to all these new fields and opportunities allowed me to explore something completely new!

How would you rate the recruitment scene at Oxford in the big tech firms like Amazon, google. How challenging is to find product management roles for international students at these firms?
eyoxfordmba: It’s OK but it’s definitely improving. Speaking from the Amazon angle, I don’t think they would’ve ever even had considered me if it wasn’t for the Saïd Career Services, considering I had such an abnormal candidate profile! We have a very close relationship with the Amazon recruiters because we have an ex-Amazon recruiter working in Careers, and I believe they’re working hard to establish a more direct relationship with Google too. We’ve had successful full time and internship placements at both from our cohort. The truth is in comparison to other schools, recruitment at Oxford probably wasn’t as great - for example, if you were to go to LBS, doing coffee meetings or networking lunches was much easier because you're already based in London. But that being said, we had a lot of amazing perks like college life, a programme that’s dedicated to social impact, and things like the Oxford Union that schools like LBS just don’t have. Everything is a trade-off.

Also I have questions on the colleges..... please explain how they are really to the MBA and funding
eyoxfordmba: Sakys and I both answered questions about colleges on this thread - I’d suggest you have a read here! : https://gmatclub.com/forum/chat-with-ox ... 06159.html

If either of you went to SBS from outside the UK, how would you describe the experience of relocating for school. How much assistance did the school provide you during the move?

sakys: Yes I moved from outside of UK. The accommodation is handled by your college admin and it was really smooth for me as I got allocated a residence right by the Business school and everything was done remotely. If you are renting a private apartment then you basically need to do your own search.

How suitable do you think Oxford’s MBA program is for career switchers in the absence of internship opportunities. How many from your class were career switchers?

eyoxfordmba: Speaking from personal experience, career switching was hard. A lot of the Careers part of the year was self-driven, but I think that’s probably something expected from every school. You can’t really expect the Careers team to hand you a job or a career path - you really have to do your own research and self-reflection to understand where you want to go next in your life. But - not to pat my own back! - I think I’ve been pretty successful in leveraging Careers and opportunities in the greater Oxford network to pivot my career in a pretty drastic way. It really was all up to me to go to the right talks, follow up with the speakers, do networking calls, reflect, reach out to careers about fixing my CV and practicing for interviews, etc. and it’s all worked out for me!09:18 am

I just wanted to know more about the job opportunities for post MBA students in the UK, especially for international students?
sakys: In my experience it depends on what your goals are and based on that you really need to focus on the regions and the organisations. For example, if you looking for PE, VC and Start-ups then London is the best suited region for that and you will have tons of opportunities networking over there. Based on the opportunities that we have seen on our career boards, I can say the opportunities are there. But you need to do your research properly, the big firms are generally sponsoring a lot of visas and are pretty much open to international students.

Being a one year program, there is so less time for you to juggle between classes, internships, networking and OBNs, how did you prioritize everything? Do you have any advice for the incoming batch of 2020?
sakys: Our class did a great job here. We had a group of students who rolled out a specific calendar and synced it with major events and activities. And we all pitched in from time to time to contribute there. SO we had a good amount of info. In general, you will need to prioritize because at any given time there will be 4-5 events happening both in and out of SBS. SO if you know about your goals and what you want to get out of Oxford it helps.

eyoxfordmba: You’re spot on. The whole year was tainted with the constant feeling of FOMO because you absolutely cannot do it all. I’m serious. The outgoing class kept telling us this and I ignored them because my whole life I’ve always juggled a million things all the time successfully... but boy was I wrong! The best advice I can give is build in time to reflect - maybe once a week for 30 minutes - with either yourself or someone you trust to help you just articulate what is important to you and how those revelations are going to impact your future decisions. For example, I spontaneously went to a college talk about robotics one evening, and I realised it made me so happy. I decided - moving forward, if there was another talk about AI and robotics, I was going to skip class and go to it (don’t tell our Dean I said this!). A few weeks later, the CTO of Ocado came to our school and I did what I promised myself... and ended up landing a job at Ocado! It’s all about reflecting and listening to what makes you happy, and then just adjusting your life as you grow and change.

I was curious to know about the GPA requirements that Oxford has listed - is it for overall GPA or particular to major GPA?
sakys: Straight from SBS web "welcome applications from candidates with a First or Upper Second Class (2.1) undergraduate degree or GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 (or the international equivalent). However, we will also consider candidates with lower degree classifications if they demonstrate strong career progression and competitive GMAT/GRE scores. "

Does the university assist a prospective student in finding accommodation at a reasonable cost?
sakys: You can opt for university accommodation or the college accommodation, both are designed (with facilities etc.) with students in mind.

eyoxfordmba: No that’s largely up to you. They will provide you with approximate living cost projections for the year, but that’s about it.

what was the highest work ex of Any of your classmate , was there any above 10 years, You said average is 5 years, seems oxford look for <30 age
eyoxfordmba: There was a HUGE range of people with different levels of work experience. Oxford was SO great about making our class super diverse in so many different ways, including work experience and time spent working! We had a wonderful classmate who was definitely well into his 40s... he had been out of the workforce for 8 years because he was raising his 3 daughters, and he was one of the first students to get a full-time offer!

sakys: Yup I know this guy personally and he was really great in calming nerves when people went crazy in finance electives. I personally joined Oxford after 9 years of work ex. so I can say that Oxford likes to create a mix.

Who are the major recruiters for those interested in working in the social sector - do orgs like UN, UNICEF recruit at SBS?
eyoxfordmba: I’m not sure how actively those specific nonprofits recruit directly from the SBS cohort, but we have a social impact focus in our program, both in terms of learning content and recruitment. I think this is something quite unique to Oxford and if you do a little proactive work on your end, I’m sure you’ll be able to leverage the Oxford relationships to land some connections to a UN or UNICEF role! I do know there was one girl from our class from Canada who successfully secured an internship with UNESCO, but I think that was largely driven through her own efforts.

I am aware that oxford is open to candidates above 30. Can you please let me know the approx percentage of students in the 30+ category?
eyoxfordmba: It’s hard to say but I don’t think age was really a huge topic of discussion among the classmates! We were all more interested in learning about each other’s pasts and futures, and from my experience age was a very uninteresting subject. Don’t feel like being 30+ is going to hold you back from fitting in!

How oxford MBA courses can be better than other bschools in uk?
sakys: I can respond on how the courses are different. SO Oxford has a nice mix of academicians and practitioners. For example in our M&A class the lectures were divided where you get the theories from your aca prof. and then there is the experiential learning with the prac prof. ANd it was incredible. We actually went through cases of real companies in M&A and or turnarounds. Additionally, Oxford offer electives in AI, Lean Sigma, MAchine Learning which preps you for the coming changes.

Apart from the IB and consulting roles, do any other roles weigh in a GMAT score more heavily than a GRE score.? Also from an admissions point does applying with a GRE score hurt selection chances at sbs?

eyoxfordmba: I’m not aware of any other sectors that really care about the GMAT. I didn’t apply to any finance or consulting roles and that has meant that I haven’t even thought about my GMAT since I submitted my applications 1.5 years ago

What are the silent features oxford mba ,how it can help an international student to land in job?
sakys: This is definitely the Oxford network and its reputation I will say.09:32 am

Can the difficulties faced in switching careers also be attributed to the 1-year course? Do you feel that the chances would have improved if the duration of the program was extended to 2 years?
eyoxfordmba: That’s a great question - a 1-year program made some of the careers stuff really difficult to navigate. Those interested in structured hiring really only have one shot at doing it and that’s right when you start the program. I missed out on all of that because consulting and banking and finance were all so foreign to me - I had no idea they started recruiting so early! But then again, there were benefits to doing a 1-year program - I managed to secure a summer internship for the last 3 months of the program and because I was done with my MBA at the end of my internship, it made negotiating a conversion into full time a lot easier.

sakys: This again relates to your experience and skill sets. If you already are in the bracket of 8-10 years of experience then you really need to show your transferable skills to the employers. If there are transferable skill-sets and you can depict that you can add value, then you can pivot from your 1 year programme also. I am currently interviewing for finance roles and by qualification and experience I am an engineer.

I was curious to know about the GPA requirements that Oxford has listed - is it for overall GPA or particular to major GPA?
eyoxfordmba: yikes I don’t know about this... I think probably just your overall GPA? The impression that I get from admissions is that GPA and GMAT are important because they just serve as a threshold for consideration. Once you reach a decent score on both, they move on to look at your candidate profile. I’d say of all the schools I interviewed at, oxford had the most interest in my essays and my interview and the least amount of interest in my scores.

What are the best streams of MBA in oxford? I am looking for strategy and banking or strategy & finance or strategy with entrepreneurship

sakys: Oxford MBA is a general management course but you can tailor it to your needs. For example, after the core courses I chose 8 finance electives because I wanted to explore the finance world and take a dive there.

eyoxfordmba: I think the best thing about the Oxford MBA is that it’s so diverse! It’s really hard to say what Oxford is "best" at because it’s kind of got a finger in every honey jar. That being said, I think one of the most unique things about the Oxford MBA is our focus on social impact, so if you’re interested in social impact, your’e likely to find more classmates with a similar interest at Oxford than maybe some other programmes.

That’s not to say that your interest in strategy/banking/finance/entrepreneurship will be ill fitted! Our classmates are all so diverse that you’ll certainly find others who go for the same thing as you, and you’ll certainly be able to find the right resources that would suit your interests.

I wanted to know if there will be any impacts on the International students’ policies and careers due to Brexit?
eyoxfordmba: If I knew, people would be paying me the big bucks to consult! the truth is we don’t know how Brexit is going to affect everything. We’ll just have to wait until 31 October and see!

How difficult is it to manage two majors for MBA? Is there an option for a minor?
eyoxfordmba: We don’t have majors or minors. Everyone just comes out with the same degree!

Please share your thoughts on the pharmaceutical/ healthcare industry focus at Said or future from Oxford MBA
eyoxfordmba: I don’t think there was any particular emphasis on either of these industries, but there were individuals who were working in either in our cohort who have successfully returned to these fields post-graduation. We weirdly had quite a few doctors/surgeons/medical practitioners in our class... but many of these individuals were maybe doctors who wanted to become the head of their department or doctors who wanted to open up a nonprofit in a rural country, etc., so the MBA made sense for them.

sakys: I was amazed when I saw so many doctors in our class and that too after attending Harvard etc. Well Oxford has some very good relationships with pharma majors e.g. GSK came to recruit for 2 programmes. One of our batchmate started his own medical diagnosis start up company in Asia and other has a medical device business in Brazil.

How much time students spend on networking/internship research/interview prep in comparison with time spent on classes/study?
eyoxfordmba: It depended on the student! Some students went to all the classes, did all the class prep, and really only looked at recruitment stuff once or twice a week; some went to one or two classes a week and spent the whole week doing job-related stuff! The year is yours to do what you want with it.

sakys: To be honest this is where your prioritization comes into action. We regularly had networking events both on campus and off campus and they were scheduled taking classes into mind. However, people did network and interview during class time (make sure you drop an e-mail to the prof)

Is oxford more focused for Finance and consulting as are other top B schools, How would you rank their career service or networking for marketing/ retail or brand management field. Did you confronted any recruiter looking for this kind of profile candidate?
eyoxfordmba: I’ll defer to @Saysk to talk about his experience with Finance. Marketing wasn’t a huge focus for recruitment at Oxford, but there were some really interesting Marketing Research going on with the professors. I took an incredible class on AI & Advanced Analytics in Marketing and Retail, taught by our Head of Marketing and it was a really good class. From what I recall there weren’t many MBA recruitment for Marketing roles... but I think that’s in general in the market there aren’t those kinds of structured role for MBAs... not to say you can’t go into Marketing post-MBA! There just wasn’t structured hiring the way IB/Finance etc. had

sakys: Well, Oxford has a big focus on social impact careers and it definitely supports each streams through specialised tools. For example, for finance there is a finance lab where you get prepared for all your wall street stuff and you actually learn from big **** in IB, similarly for consulting and entrepreneurship there are programmes which would help you to enhance your skills and make that connection.
For me I made some great connection in my Entrepreneurship finance class while actually having lunch with pretty famous Fintech CEOs and angel investors and VC That was amazing.

Is an Oxford JD more valuable than an Oxford MBA?
eyoxfordmba: Again, I think it depends on what industry you want to go into... if you want to be a lawyer, I’d say get your JD... if you want to a be a CEO, don’t waste your time with a JD.

Can you tell us more about the culture and atmosphere at Oxford Said?
eyoxfordmba: I think one of the best things about the oxford culture is how open and diverse it is. We were a class of 315 students from 66 different nationalities, and we all really made an effort to celebrate that diversity. I have never been in such a vibrant class and I really have to tip my hat off to the Oxford recruitment team for making this a huge priority. Our cohort was really respectful and kind to one another - even in times of high stress, like recruitment or exam season, classmates would help each other prepare... I’ve never loved so many people this intensely before!

Did you find any relevance of GMAT score, undergrad GPA and accomplishments, or previous work experience, in placement interviews? Which areas these interviews generally revolve around?
sakys: My international experience and work on diverse projects with the management team definitely helped me. The interviewer really pinned me on my roles and learning during my interview. So I guess in my case the international experience and diversity in work projects were some big pillars.

eyoxfordmba: Interviews had a lot of emphasis on discussing what you had written in your essays - so how your experience has affected your decisions to pursue your MBA, what an MBA would mean for your future career goals, and how you think you will leverage the MBA to move forward. It was a challenging interview - my interviewer grilled me hard about my goals and I think they’re really trying to ensure that you’re matching up to the candidate profile that you wrote about it in your application. They didn’t talk about my GMAT score or GPA during my interview, but I think I knew one classmate who had a question pop up because her Math and Verbal score were vastly different, and they just wanted to make sure she was prepared for the level of analytical requirements there would be throughout the year.

Any major regret(s) about going to Oxford? Are there any other programs which you feel might have been more suited to your current career level/industry?
sakys: A nice question I absolutely loved the peer support, the diversity in Oxford and more importantly it helped me to keep an open mind to explore the path forward. But if you already know your goal and your path forward then it might help in researching on all the b-schools and their respective niche. For me, I am happy that I did it in Oxford.

eyoxfordmba: Absolutely not - no regrets at all. That’s not to say that Oxford is perfect - there are so many things that need to be improved in Oxford and there are so many other Bschools out there who do different things better than us, but Oxford is a magical place. The wider university network is so robust and vibrant with opportunity - you would never get that at an INSEAD or LBS! I remember a classmate of ours was working on a supply chain idea for the plastics industry and she managed to connect with the chemistry department at Oxford to discuss new technologies, etc. I challenge you to find similar resources at another Bschool!
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Chat with Oxford Said alumni   [#permalink] 17 Oct 2019, 11:09
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