January 26, 2016

Joined: Jul 12, 2011

Posts: 90

Kudos: 9

Self-reported Score:
690 Q45 V36

The good, the bad and the ugly


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:

Culture & Student Support

Best fit at this program:


Can be improved:

Alumni Network
Career opportunities provided by school

September 28, 2017

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

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