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LBS vs. Oxford (vs. Cambridge)

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LBS vs Oxford?

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LBS vs. Oxford (vs. Cambridge)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2019, 02:59
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Hi,

I have received offers from LBS, Oxford & Cambridge, and am deeply conflicted at the moment, hope to obtain alternative perspectives here to help me decide on which school to go to:
1. Goal - to break into an Investment (fintech, PE/ VC, and maybe IB) in Europe after MBA, and returning to start own business in Asia
2. Background - Asian male with fintech & direct investment experience in Asia, hence PE/ VC wouldnt be a quite a stretch

Now pros & cons:
1. Ox vs Cam -
strongly prefer Ox, due to the Finance Lab and overll better admission experience with Oxford. After speaking to alumni from both schools, i concluded that I prefer Oxford, too. But Cambridge offers a significant amount of bursary, which will definitely help me avoid a student loan. If I do end up choosing Ox, I believe I can make a strong case to appeal for financial assistance.

2. LBS vs. Ox -
a. Point to LBS - many who have done an MBA (LBS alumni AND non-LBS alumni) strongly encouraged me to take up LBS's offer (better programme, stronger placement in finance, higher-ranked MBA). I really do enjoy and appreciate the smooth application process and LBS team's engagement, and talking to the alumni made me feel like I'd enjoy LBS just as much as I would in Ox.
a. Point to Oxford - the fees (and living expenses in London over a longer programme period) are significantly higher at LBS (estimated to almost double what I'd incur in Ox, after taking into personal circumstances). Hence, I will definitely need to take up a student loan to fund my LBS journey - would very much like to avoid taking up a loan
b. Point to Oxford - I'd be travelling with my family, and the fam will probably enjoy Ox more. I would really enjoy living in one of the colleges but i wonder if the hectic programme will allow me to enjoy much of it...
c. Point to LBS - longer programme period, more time for me to experience the programme which will benefit me for a lifetime. Beyond a doubt a solid MBA programme as well.
d. Point to LBS - London = job opportunities =better career outcome (definitely for my short term goals)
e. Point to Oxford - university brandname that is goes beyond the corporate/ professional world. Would carry significant weight in a future entrepreneurial/ family business, too.


these are the major points that I can think of, do let me know if there are other points tht I will need to consider, and what do you guys think?a
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Re: LBS vs. Oxford (vs. Cambridge)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2019, 09:42
Oxford is an older crowd, might be better for the family. They have a strong finance arm too so you may not feel the ranking hit as much as others in different areas.

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Re: LBS vs. Oxford (vs. Cambridge)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2019, 10:53
Congratulations on your admits!

Your plan to go back to your home country is similar to what I have had before i started my MBA. The reality is different though. It is hard to move your family once to go to UK/London/Oxford then readjust and move the second time when you find a job, and then again a few years later once you get adjusted and settle into a routine. I think if you were NOT planning to stay and work in UK/EU, then I would likely recommend Oxford. With your plan to stay in London, LBS is very strong there, much stronger than Oxford, so in the short term it is a better program. Depending on your age/experience, it may be helpful to have that summer internship and a 2-year experience vs. 1-year, but with a family (wife/kids), I am not sure you can afford that in terms of $$ or time....

LBS is a top 3 Program outside of the US (likely one of the top 2 programs since it is really between INSEAD and LBS).

Oxford is a new program. Fairly recent and somewhat unestablished yet. Take a look at some of the reviews posted by the current students and alumni: https://gmatclub.com/reviews/business_s ... -oxford-25 The brand of Oxford is strong but what I am hearing that's the overall brand. Said is virtually unknown. With IB recruiting track - that's highly competitive and I feel you almost have to go to LBS to be considered. I think your biggest goal is to speak to Oxford students (seems you did it already with some LBS folks) and get a sense for recruiting in your target industry. You can also troll LinkedIn and see which school places where and where a network exists, in which companies, etc.

Ultimately, For your London recruiting LBS is much better and is the 2-year FT experience of a traditional US MBA. but I don't have enough information to see if you can get the most out of a 2-year experience with family waiting on you and not producing income. You could go to Oxford, try to recruit in London/UK/EU and if it is a bust just go home and start working on your own venture in Asia. That will save you $$ and a year of life. Also, a lot easier to start a company when you don't have debt.

Congratulations!!!
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Re: LBS vs. Oxford (vs. Cambridge)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2019, 08:12
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I think the family situation makes your situation slightly more complex. I would reach out to the admissions team at LBS and ask if they can put you in touch with current students that are at LBS with a family.

In terms of pure reputation, LBS is the best business school in the UK. It also has a better representation globally than Oxford or Cambridge. So if you plan to go back home with the best brand under your belt, I would go for LBS. Whilst Oxford and Cambridge have stellar undergrad brands, in the business world, people know the different between Saïd/Judge and LBS.

In terms of experience - as BB mentioned, LBS has an experience most like the traditional US schools. But this is a personal choice as you’ll need to decide on whether the two year in London or one year in Ox/Cam works better for you. Note, I’ve heard that the 1 Year progs can be quite intense. The two year programme will give you flexibility in second year to explore recruitment options/travel etc. Re college experience - many of the international students head for less traditional/newer colleges so if you decide on Ox/Cam, don’t follow the MBA crowd when it comes to picking colleges. You’ll be able to build a more diverse network and experience traditional college life in some of the more traditional colleges.

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LBS vs. Oxford (vs. Cambridge)  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 15:18
tomodo wrote:
Hi,

...
Now pros & cons:
1. Ox vs Cam -
strongly prefer Ox, due to the Finance Lab and overll better admission experience with Oxford. After speaking to alumni from both schools, i concluded that I prefer Oxford, too. But Cambridge offers a significant amount of bursary, which will definitely help me avoid a student loan. If I do end up choosing Ox, I believe I can make a strong case to appeal for financial assistance.


Congratulations on your admits! I am in a similar situation. I was thankfully admitted to all three. Fell in love with each program honestly, but ultimately feel that LBS will be a better fit for me. Will write my own X versus Y post soon.

I think it depends on the overall experience you want. The college experience is really appealing to me and the lifestyle will be something you won't get anywhere else. It seems a once in a lifetime opportunity to have that traditional campus experience that your family will be able to enjoy.

I asked a question of all the students I met LBS & SBS: Networking in each. The SBS students mentioned they've had no difficulty with networking, visiting London regularly and that the name of the overall Oxford Uni has been enough of a draw when inviting guests for events and such. They did know how to hustle however. I met a couple who are aspiring for finance jobs and while it may not stack up to being in London, they do recruit fairly heavily in Oxford also. No wrong choices here

Additional question for you -
Scholarships and financial assistance is a significant factor for me as well (start-up, niche industry, non-profit background). The 2 more weeks we have to wait for scholarship notifications are going to keep me up at night!

I'm curious what your approach is on appealing for financial assistance? At SBS' interview day, one of the current students mentioned that if you mention to SBS that you were admitted to a comparable or greater school, they would knock off 10% and that can be helpful in negotiations. I've written an additional letter for consideration by the LBS scholarship committee. Any thoughts on what else can be done?

Thanks in advance
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Re: LBS vs. Oxford (vs. Cambridge)  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 19:18
Hi! I spoke to a few Ox alumni and they said these things are negotiable with the school. You might not get a scholarship but if you can justify your need for one, they will award a bursary. How you go about negotiating for a bursary should be quite similar to any negotiation, but done respectfully and professionally. Do you have another offer from a better school? Scholarship/ bursary from similar or better school? Can you justify a gap in your funding that will prohibit you from paying up? Is obtaining a loan difficult? Write them all down in an email and send them. one alum said to me "if you never ask, then the answer is definitely no". The Oxford admissions team is really friendly (and efficient), you should speak to them.
Hope this helps.

Question to Naturalfibre - how was your experience with Cambridge? they've been relatively quiet (no welcome weekend and limited official communications from the admissions team). Personally my experience with Cambridge's admissions team has been horrible which led to rule Cambridge out first. The pre-interview experience was so appalling that I am considering writing a lengthy post here/ in the Gmatclub Cambridge forum to share with everyone out there...

By way of update to Atzukauskas, BB, and Football123 -
I have decided to go with LBS. spoke to more people from both schools and friends around me, the answer has been overwhelmingly in favour of LBS. I am also in the LBS and Oxford chatgroups, and I am already witnessing the gap in resources that the students have access to (and have shared in their respective chatgroups) between the schools. The LBS alumnus who interviewed me was really dedicated to the school and I took it as an indicator to how effective their alum network is. but thanks for your advice and the consideration points shared.
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Re: LBS vs. Oxford (vs. Cambridge)   [#permalink] 04 Apr 2019, 19:18
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