December 24, 2020

Joined: Jan 31, 2019

Posts: 6

Kudos: 5

Self-reported Score:

Great uni, good school becoming great


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:

Social impact

Can be improved:

Career opportunities provided by school
College system

Login to create/modify/remove your own comments