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Oxford Said Business School Reviews

MBA Program rating [7]
(4.4)
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January 26, 2016
Gmanster

Joined: Jul 12, 2011

Posts: 90

Kudos: 9

Self-reported Score:
690 Q45 V36

The good, the bad and the ugly

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by post count [?]

This review is for Oxford Said

Program Oxford Saïd Business School Full Time MBA

Class of 2013

Experience during the program

I thoroughly enjoyed my MBA experience at Oxford and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Honestly, Said is just like any other MBA school. You have the horseshoe shaped classes, similar mix of international students, same cases (Toyota operations case, etc..), and weekend student parties. What makes Said unique is definitely Oxford, being in that city, in that university, and in the college system cannot be overstated. It is such an enriching and wonderful experience to live and walk the halls of such an incredible place and become a part of the culture and persona that is Oxbridge. (Just visit the city and pay the 2 pounds to enter a few colleges, you will know)

My most amazing experiences at Oxford came outside of the business school. Student life away from classmates (but with brilliant Oxford students), rowing, drinking, traveling, debates at the Oxford Union (membership included for all MBAs), and college formal dinners (just like harry potter minus the flying candles).

Now aside from the glories of Oxford, I focus back on Said and the MBA itself.

One of my regrets was that the program was only 1 year long and didn't provide enough time to really enjoy student life (even tho we made the best of it), and it really didn't allow for much self exploration. If you know what you want then a 1 year MBA is good, but if you are looking to explore different career paths and possibly change industries or job function, then it will be quite a struggle to get yourself there within the 12 months.

The school itself is new with a weak but growing alumni network, sadly what is worse is that they have copied the ineffective administration and processes of older institutions making this brand new school horribly managed. (We were once given the list of available courses and descriptions for the next term only 2 days before selection time)

Lecturers are decent and discussions are what you would expect in almost every MBA class. A bonus for Said is that the intake tends to be older (avg ~31) and more experienced than many schools that accept 20-25 year olds which leads to more real life examples from students vs sticking to breaking down a prepared case.

And now the Ugly... Careers... When I was there Derek W was the head of the careers department (I have recently heard rumors he has departed which is a huge +). I cannot begin to describe how disappointed we were with the support and advice received from the careers department at Said. From pushing students towards roles just to get stats up, to making comments in front of visiting employers that made students look bad, to telling others that they were not a good fit for a visiting company (only to be approached later by that company inquiring why they hadn't applied and that the students profile was very desirable to them).

Many students could not count on the careers department for real support in their job hunt. There was a job posting board which was a total joke as the advisers were plucking job leads from indeed and other locations to keep it looking half full.

With a young and smaller alumni network Said struggles to attract recruiters to come all the way to Oxford to meet a handful of MBAs when they can find the same caliber candidates in London and other big city centers.

What all these short comings add upto is one of the worst performing career departments in a top (lets be frank, even an mid tier) MBA school. I would ignore the usual inflated stats that school publish and would guess only about 30% had jobs coming out of the program and perhaps 60% or less had jobs in the first 3 months.

I really hope things can turn around for the careers department as the rest of the school is good, and the University and overall experiences is A++.

About professors, classes and curriculum

Everyone loves professor Mungo (economics) because he is fun & hilarious.

But hands down the most brilliant prof was Richard Barker (accounting). In all 10+ accounting classes i've ever taken, no one has delivered accounting in such a simple and applicable way.

About job placement process

Sorry, you will basically have to do the job hunt on your own. I honestly would recommend you put aside a few $$$$ to pay for a CV/career consultant that will guide you through this process as the team I knew at Said just gave you the ugly standard MBA CV and generic (often contradictory) advice about how to approach job hunting. It went from quality and networking is key... Next day: apply for everything..


Overall BSchool experience (3.0)
Schools contribution (1.0)
Classmates rating (4.0)

Strengths of the program:

Brand/Ranking
Culture & Student Support

Best fit at this program:

Entrepreneurship
Management

Can be improved:

Alumni Network
Career opportunities provided by school


Read More

September 28, 2017
KDM25

I think the greatest thing about Said is to have access to alumni base of Oxford when you graduate.

April 11, 2017
farhanattheredpen

Joined: Jul 14, 2013

Posts: 278

Kudos: 333

Embedded in a world class University

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by post count [?]

This review is for Oxford Said

Program Oxford Saïd Business School Full Time MBA

Class of 2016

Experience during the program

One year at Oxford has helped me challenge myself. It definitely has been a demanding year intellectually.

It's very difficult to not love Oxford (City) and not learn when there is so much happening around you. MBA at Oxford focuses on learning through reflection and discussions. Discussions in the classroom are amazing and the opportunities to learn things besides the normal subjects during MBA are phenomenal.

In terms of goals and expectations, my goal was to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and also to gain a significant international work experience. I was able to achieve the first but the international work experience bit didn't work for me.

I represent majority of the unsuccessful candidates in terms of international placements, that being said there are a few success stories and the whole placement scene is very self-motivated. Contribution from business school and university towards your career plan requires a drastic redo.

Having said that I would still recommend the program as I believe MBA is much more than placements and career opportunities presented by the business school.

Remember the biggest challenge of Said business school is to survive in one of the oldest and top rated universities in the world and be a part of the every dynamic management education.

About professors, classes and curriculum

Some of the best professors. Few areas of curriculum need improvement. One term is loaded with assignments and the other two are relatively free.

About job placement process

This area needs a lot of work and the school is aware about it.
The alumni connect with current class is very insignificant.


Overall BSchool experience (4.0)
Schools contribution (2.0)
Classmates rating (4.0)

Strengths of the program:

Student body, diversity
Location
Culture & Student Support

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Entrepreneurship
Social Enterprise

Can be improved:

Alumni Network
Career opportunities provided by school
Brand/Ranking


Read More

December 24, 2020
PearTree

Joined: Jan 31, 2019

Posts: 6

Kudos: 5

Self-reported Score:
660

Great uni, good school becoming great

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED [?]

This review is for Oxford Said

Program Oxford Saïd Business School Full Time MBA

Class of 2020

Experience during the program

Good points:

Very diverse cohort in terms of geography, job functions, gender, age and experience. It made for interesting class discussions because everybody had a unique perspective on the same problem. The cohort was friendly with a collaborative attitude. Cohort size was around 340 people at matriculation and was split into 4 sections of approximately 80-90 students. Lessons are conducted in sections so it's less overwhelming to get to know people. Sections change in Hilary (semester 2) so it allows students to get to know another 80-ish people.

The wider uni ecosystem is a huge bonus to this MBA. Oxford Foundry provides opportunities to get involved with startups as well as hosting many varied educational events, e.g. Intro to Blockchain, Ideation Lab. Oxford is a world-class research uni so there's potential to connect with research groups looking for advice on launching their product but this is student-driven.

Strong brand. The business school is growing in recognition but the parent university is already well-known.

The labs and other extras are good. The school offers a finance lab, social impact lab, asset management masterclass, etc. alongside regular classes. There's also the opportunity to receive Executive Coaching, attend one-off events, such as Amplify Trading Simulation. Many of these extra activities require an application to be accepted and some can be competitive.

Professors are leaders in their fields and the curriculum is responsive to student needs and emerging topics.

The Careers Team set up some good events and there were frequent visits from employers, including the expected big names. London is easy to get to from Oxford for employers visits too. There's also many people in Careers who go above and beyond for appreciative students who put in the effort. The online Careers sessions delivered via Canvas before arriving were helpful for starting on the right foot.

Alumni outreach has been good with frequent webinars, networking events, etc.

Bad points:

The school emphasises the 4P's (professionalism, preparation, something, something). A few students can sometimes push the limits by turning up for class each day unprepared or messing around in class being disruptive and there didn't seem to be any consequences to this. It impacts other students learning when you're supposed to discuss a case in groups of 2 or 3 only to find the other students haven't even bothered to read the case, or when students are laughing and joking when a lecturer is speaking. It was disappointing that a few students didn't seem to take the MBA seriously and were allowed to continue this behaviour.

The college system was a source of enjoyment and annoyance. When you accept your place, you have to choose a college to belong to. Each has their own events, alumni, accommodation, and funding opportunities. Some colleges only accept a few students whereas others accept many. I ended up with a 4th choice college because the first three became full inbetween my choosing them and being assigned a place. Depending on your personal situation, hanging around with a bunch of young 20-somethings in the MCR will not be your cup of tea. Tip: choose a 'rich' college with a large endowment fund and a large MBA student body.

The quality of help from individuals in the Careers service is mostly of high quality but there is some variability. I had some terrible advice that demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of a particular job sector. Some sectors depended too heavily on student groups to progress students through to hiring, which is a case of the blind leading the blind. Considering this is a one-year programme, the Careers Teams need to hold more intensive prep sessions for some industry sectors.

Student treks were good but many students who committed to attending a session dropped out. It looked bad to employers when they were told 15+ students were attending, only for 4 to show up. Tip for trip leaders: get a deposit to encourage attendance. Tip for students: make sure you attend trips you signed up for.

Oxford bureaucracy is painful. The time between sitting an exam and getting results is far too long, especially when students are having to make choices about core+ courses and electives. Also, many systems just seem broken with a difficult appeal process, e.g. mitigating circumstances being rejected for proven serious illness.


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (4.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Alumni Network

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Entrepreneurship
Social impact

Can be improved:

Career opportunities provided by school
College system


Read More

August 16, 2017
goodbyeboy

Joined: Feb 20, 2011

Posts: 153

Kudos: 35

Unique MBA program embedded in world-class university

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by post count [?]

This review is for Oxford Said

Program Oxford Saïd Business School Full Time MBA

Class of 2017

Experience during the program

Great business school. Fantastic experience overall.

I had many doubts before coming to Oxford in terms of career opportunities, rankings and alumni. Indeed it does have some rooms for improvements in those areas given its relatively young age, but they are being addressed quite aggressively by the school. Many exciting projects are under their way; new entrepreneurship centre, new careers office, new talented directors and staff throughout departments, new systems and websites for alumni and career opportunities. School is also beefing up its partnerships with major firms and recruiters which will benefit future students and alumni.

For entrepreneurs, this is probably the top 10 b-school in the world especially for social entrepreneurship. Brilliant professors and programs supporting entrepreneurs.

Besides these offerings for professional growth, Oxford University as a whole gives you the most exciting offerings for your personal growth - sports, lectures, colleges, Oxford union, guest speakers, its rich history and academic offerings are truly world class. This is truly one of a kind experience that you have to witness to fully understand and appreciate.

Brilliant classmates from all over the world over 50 nations being represented. Super collaborative and helpful with such diverse background. Superb facilities, food and staff.

About professors, classes and curriculum

Just like any other schools, there are classes that need improvements and that are really brilliant. First term is quite hectic as you have all your core classes lined up in such a short period of time so mentally prepare yourself. Most of the elective classes are really good, especially Real Estate and Negotiation.

About job placement process

Since this is 1-year program, sector and location change will be a challenge. Prepare to apply for MBA specific hiring programs during the first term. Network in advance to increase your chance. Speak to your classmates and ask for help if needed. Time really flies by when you are here so make the most of it while you are here.


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (4.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Student body, diversity
Location
Brand/Ranking
Culture & Student Support
Facilities

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Entrepreneurship

Can be improved:

Alumni Network
Career opportunities provided by school
Brand/Ranking


Read More

January 26, 2018
vugi

Guys, I got an invitation to Said Business School. Would you suggest to arrange an interview over internet or in person on site at Said? Thank you.

May 28, 2017
SW1

Joined: Nov 09, 2014

Posts: 2

Kudos: 0

Self-reported Score:
720 Q49 V40

Great launchpad for a career in PE

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by membership [?]

This review is for Oxford Said

Program Oxford Saïd Business School Full Time MBA

Class of 2016

Experience during the program

I chose Oxford after being admitted to several European MBA programs. As part of my preparation, I had researched the program's finance faculty, and had noted its strength in this department. However, I failed to properly anticipate how strong a finance program the program actually offers. I'll let the results speak for themselves, I came from an engineering background, and after graduation, as a result of the finance lab and the finance focused courses, I was successful in interviewing
for and being awarded a role in private equity—without any investment banking experience. As a part of the PE interview, I was tasked with a case study/modeling exercise, and without having had the opportunity to practice this sort of exercise repeatedly at Oxford, I would never have been successful in landing the job. The finance lab and private equity courses were instrumental in helping me land a job in private equity following my MBA, and I would suggest Oxford for anyone looking to work in finance following their MBA.

About professors, classes and curriculum

In addition, the class was great at Oxford. My fellow students were incredibly generous and helpful in helping me through the program and in searching and preparing for jobs thereafter. There was no overly competitive behavior, the people Oxford attracts seem to be genuinely helpful and kind people,. They were also, unsurprisingly, extremely talented.


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Culture & Student Support

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Tech
Entrepreneurship

Can be improved:

Career opportunities provided by school
Brand/Ranking
Facilities


Read More

November 26, 2016
merajc

Joined: May 30, 2015

Posts: 1

Kudos: 0

Self-reported Score:
710 Q48 V39

Pursuing a business degree in the best university in the world

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED [?]

This review is for Oxford Said

Program Oxford Saïd Business School Full Time MBA

Class of 2017

Experience during the program

Although the University of Oxford Said Business School's MBA isn't in the Top 10 at the moment, I struggle to understand what the course potentially lacks in relation to others.

It features frequently cited and consulted professors who are the authority in their field and are always passionate in their lectures and tutorials. The class is incredibly diverse, bridging continents and industries alike.

The benefit of Said is its integration with the University of Oxford, currently the best in the world. Students are affiliated to colleges, where they meet, dine and play sports with other students from a variety of courses and professions - artists, doctors, teachers and many others that add to the experience. One won't be limited to interacting with fellow MBAs. Even in the business school, classmates bring a latitude of education since the university provides a 1+1 degree combination whereby students can choose a separate master's degree in addition to the MBA.

Sports is a major factor in the experience too, as the university has dozens of different sports available for students with several proficiency categories. Some of the Oxford teams feature Olympic athletes, and my particular MBA class has one too!

The facilities are kept up-to-date, both physical and IT wise, with dedicated apps provided for the MBA course. In terms of infrastructure, students have access to 96 libraries in the city, and the world-famous Bodleian which houses 12 million books.

I wouldn't exchange this MBA experience for any other business school, and my only regret is that it's only one year, which is great for my career, but not so great for my enjoyment of this wonderful school.


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Student body, diversity
Alumni Network
Culture & Student Support

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Entrepreneurship

Can be improved:

Brand/Ranking


Read More

November 25, 2016
kbenyoung

Joined: Mar 22, 2016

Posts: 1

Kudos: 5

Fantastic school, with a few growing pains

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED [?]

This review is for Oxford Said

Program Oxford Saïd Business School Full Time MBA

Class of 2017

Experience during the program

The curriculum, classes, and professors are what you would expect out of an MBA program. The professors are experts and very knowledgeable, though not always the greatest at making a topic accessible to everyone. Said has a strong social enterprise brand that will play nicely to your career goals if you are headed that direction. For those interested in Finance, the optional Finance Lab track (additional classes, networking sessions, and competitions) is a must. Last, being located in Oxford University is an unparalleled opportunity, and a great CV boost.
There still are a few growing pains with a massive bureaucracy (5 systems to check to keep up on assignments/class content) and a weak Careers team. Not sure there's much that can be changed about the bureaucracy, but Careers is in the process of turning things around under the new director from LBS. Highly recommend having your own application plans and network for getting in the door. Careers will offer great support post-interview offer, but getting in the door is mostly up to you.


Overall BSchool experience (4.0)
Schools contribution (2.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Student body, diversity
Brand/Ranking
Specialization in a particular area (e.g. Finance, Consulting, Healthcare, etc)

Best fit at this program:

Finance
Tech
Entrepreneurship
Social Enterprise

Can be improved:

Alumni Network
Career opportunities provided by school


Read More