Ellin Lolis Consulting

2023-2024 Oxford Saïd MBA Essay Tips and Example Essays

Aug 1, 2023

oxford said mba essay questions

  • Who is Oxford Saïd looking for?
  • How should I answer the Oxford Saïd  MBA essay questions?
  • Make Your Oxford Essays Shine
  • Oxford Saïd Deadlines

UPDATE : This article was originally posted on September 4, 2020. It has been updated with new information and tips below. 

With its focus on ethical leadership and social impact, Oxford is at the top of the list for an increasing number of applicants who seek to pursue (or continue pursuing) a high-impact, global career. 

However, with impressive recruiting statistics and its unique 1+1 MBA + Master’s program, the competition to join Oxford’s elite MBA is more difficult than ever. 

That’s why we’ve prepared this guide to help you use your Oxford admissions essays to stand out. We’ve rounded up our best tips and links to Oxford Saïd MBA sample essays to ensure you give your Saïd application your best shot. 

1. Who is Oxford Saïd looking for?

oxford said students

Source: @ oxfordsbs on Instagram

“Oxford University has a rich tradition of developing leaders. Our MBA programme builds on this legacy, providing you with a solid foundation in core business principles while developing a broadened mindset and understanding of the role of business in society.” Oxford Saïd Admissions

Every year, Oxford searches the globe (64 countries are represented in the Class of 2023) for outstanding professionals to join its annual class of 313 students. With a strong emphasis on diversity, there is no “typical” Oxford student, yet the average admitted student for the Class of 2023 had a 690 median GMAT score and five years of work experience .

oxford said class profile

Beyond the impressive statistics, though, Oxford is looking for candidates who want to make a positive impact on the world through their careers. That’s why, in addition to strong academic performance (demonstrated through the test scores and university grades), Oxford seeks candidates who possess the following qualities:

oxford said mba essay questions

If this sounds like a community in which you’d be right at home, you’ll first have to prove you’ve got what it takes by successfully answering Oxford’s short admissions essay questions. 

2. How should I answer the Oxford Saïd  MBA essay questions?

oxford said essay questions

Additionally, Oxford has numerous “hidden” responses about your goals when filling out your online application form. Our tips for answering these are also detailed below!

2.1. Essay 1 Tips

Tell us something that is not covered in your application which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you. (Maximum 250 words)

For this short question, we recommend including at least one story to show off an aspect of your values, your profile, or your personality that the admissions committee has not seen in other parts of your application. This prompt is broad, so you’re free to choose elements from your personal and professional life. 

We suggest you choose your most high-impact story or personal characteristic and meaningfully explain both what happened and what it taught you/how it shaped you. To help you structure your response, we suggest you use the STAR format when shaping your story. 

To help you identify which stories would be best for this response, you must have a clear understanding of Oxford’s culture so you can demonstrate your “fit” with the school. Ask yourself, Which parts of Oxford’s culture do you identify with, and how do you see yourself putting those into practice during your MBA? How can you contribute to the Oxford community in a way no one else can? Check out this video that focuses on what Oxford students value most about the school community.

You can also consider other aspects of your profile and personal brand that you’ve already touched upon in other parts of your Oxford application – considering you will have a set of mini goals essays to answer within the online application form (more on these below). 

Additionally, if you have space to add a bit about how you will connect it to your Oxford MBA experience, this can be a great conclusion. 

For example, last year, our client Marcelo talked about how he was recruited to help his company solve a financial challenge at a branch in Angola and developed a solution, together with that country’s government, that not only solved the company’s financial issue but also provided a reliable food source for thousands of Angolans. He then wrote about his plan to share the challenges of performing business on an international scale and bringing discussions about global issues to the Oxford community. 

TOP TIP: If you’re having trouble fitting all of this information into just 250 words, our team of editing experts can be your ace up the sleeve by helping you incorporate as much content as possible to show off your profile in this super short essay. 

Need more guidance? 

Our MBA Resource Center has dozens of Oxford MBA essays that worked to get our clients admitted to help you plan out a winning Oxford Saïd essay. 

Our library also includes guides for all top global MBA programs, detailed essay brainstorms, interview tips and mocks, CV templates, and recommendation letter guides. Click to join ! 

MBA Resources Center

2.2. 1+1 Essay Tips

If you are applying under the Oxford 1+1 scheme you also need to submit the following essay:

Explain why you see this as particularly beneficial for you and how it fits with your career and personal development aims. (Maximum 250 words)

For this question, we suggest a straightforward statement that includes why the additional degree is necessary to reach your goals and specific elements of the program that will support your growth both as a professional and as a person. 

As such, you might want to start by creating a list of ways you want to grow personally and professionally at Oxford, then work to connect elements of the 1+1 program to demonstrate that the program clearly supports your development goals. 

Since you have a short space here, you may want to limit yourself to 3-5 reasons. This will give you enough space to talk both about how and why you want to develop in a particular area and then state specific aspects of the 1+1 program that will help you grow in a way the MBA alone would not.

Writing a 250-word essay can be challenging, but we’ve prepared an in-depth post to help you maximize every word. 

2.3. Optional Reapplicant Essay Tips

Re-applicants will need to submit an additional essay: What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words) 

Here, make sure you clearly demonstrate how you have improved since your previous application. We have written extensively on the topic of reapplying to business school here . 

2.4. Short Goal Essays Tips

Inside the application form, Oxford has also “hidden” many small essays about your goals. Though there is no stated word count for these, you want to be sure to be complete yet concise. Something in the range of 100-250 words should be adequate, in our opinion! 

The topics and guidelines are below. 

-Describe below your immediate plan after graduating from the MBA.

With this short answer question, Oxford essentially has asked you to write a very short version of a traditional MBA goals essay. Furthermore, they have deliberately been very clear about what they want here: short-term goals only . 

TOP TIP: If you’re not sure what your goals are, check out this post designed to help you think through this critical component of your application!

When discussing your goals , clarity is king, so make sure you include a job title and industry in your description of your post-MBA aspiration. 

After clearly stating your goal, you should dedicate a bit of space to discussing what motivates you to pursue these goals. Here, you may choose to include a bit of background information that is relevant to your career choice, but be careful not to include information that overlaps with the “How do you meet these requirements” question below.  

Ending your essay with a killer conclusion sentence to leave your reader with a strong image of your profile is the perfect wrap-up.  

-How does your preferred sector in your preferred location recruit MBA talent and what do they look for in a candidate? Describe the research you have done so far.

Here, research is the key to success.

As such, we recommend that you start by interviewing as many people as you can who are related in some way to your post-MBA industry. Since Oxford asks how recruitment works in your preferred location make sure to narrow your focus to include only your target geography . 

You may want to consider speaking to the HR departments of companies you’d like to work for, speak to headhunters specialized in this area, and even talk to friends or colleagues who successfully recruited for your post-MBA role in the past. 

Then, when writing your essay, give a description of how recruitment works in your sector in your preferred location and what they look for in a successful candidate . For the latter, make sure to cite things like specific required skills (such as an ability to use advanced analytics tools or fluent Spanish), personal characteristics, and degree/certifications. 

Then, cite each of the steps you took to discover this information, mentioning the specific people and companies you spoke with and the insights they provided you. 

To wrap up, you may want to close with a sentence on why, learning what you have learned, you are confident you will be successful in your own recruitment process. You’ll go into more detail below, so make sure to keep this brief.

-Reflecting on your answer above, how do you meet these requirements?

A little bit about your work history is essential for this essay, which gives context to your goals and proof that you have relevant experience related to your goals.

When discussing your career progress to date, keep in mind the information the admissions counselors already have. The goal here is not to list every achievement you’ve made (they probably see that on your resume), but to give brief, strong examples of an accomplished career, especially focusing on achievements that relate to your future goals. 

For example, though you may have had a highly successful marketing internship, but have since forged a career in M&A, you may want to leave your marketing achievements out of your goals essay to focus on more relevant information. 

Nonetheless, not everyone has a perfectly linear path where each step logically leads to the next. Your work history might look disjointed on paper, but the key is to emphasize growth and highlight your capabilities. All of this needs to add up to show that you have what it takes to achieve your post-MBA goals . 

-What do you plan to do between now and starting your MBA to prepare and maximise your chances of success?

To answer this question, you must clearly demonstrate what you are doing or plan to do before your MBA to prepare yourself to reach the goals you stated above. 

For example, last year, our client Bruno, who was planning to leave his MBB consulting job to open his own startup, spoke about how he was spending his secondment period at a startup to learn best practices, had signed up for numerous entrepreneurship conferences, and had joined several professional groups on fintech innovation. He then cited how each of these would help him be more successful as an entrepreneur after his MBA. 

If you’re planning to switch industries, here make sure you also give a detailed description of the steps you’re taking before joining Saïd to enhance your skills and also cite your networking efforts. Showing you’ve connected with people in your target industry and area already building the network you’ll need to be successful will go a long way to reinforce you’re going to achieve your post-MBA goals. 

Finally, if you plan to return to your current company ( whether sponsored or not ), show how you plan to continue evolving in your responsibilities and preparing yourself to take the next step up the career ladder. 

-Should you not be successful in securing your first choice of role, what is your alternative?

It’s always good to have a backup plan, especially considering the tough economic realities present in many places in the world these days. For your Plan B, make sure it relates in some way to your “official” goal so as not to undermine your goals statements. 

For example, if your goal is to work in private equity, but your plan B is to start an eco-travel company, the admissions committee is going to wonder just how committed you were to those original goals in the first place. 

However, a job that allows you to achieve the same impact, just in a different format, would be ideal. 

For example, if you want to work in a biotechnology startup to learn best practices and shape health care, a good backup might be working in a more established biotechnology firm and later making the jump to an earlier-stage venture. 

2.5. Video Essay Tips

Online assessment: You will need to complete five questions via our online assessment platform.

To virtually meet you, get a sense of your personality and see how you think on your feet, you will need to complete an online assessment as part of your application:

– Two motivation-based questions – all candidates will answer the same questions

– Two competency-based questions – these will be randomised

– Written response – this will be randomised and light-hearted to show us how you can think on your feet!

The motivation-based questions give you the opportunity to demonstrate your motivations for undertaking an MBA and why the Oxford MBA is the right programme for you. The competency-based questions let you demonstrate the skills and qualities we look for, such as decision-making, problem-solving, influence, leadership, and strong communication skills. 

Once you have submitted your application for either the Oxford MBA or Oxford 1+1 MBA you will see a link in your application status portal. This will enable you to register with Kira Talent, our online assessment platform, and complete your assessment. This link will appear up to 24 hours after submitting your application, therefore we strongly encourage you to leave yourself enough time to practice and complete the online assessment by the deadline in which you are applying.

You will be provided with preparation time and practice sessions before going live with your real responses. The whole online assessment should only take up to 30 minutes for you to complete. All you need is a desktop or laptop computer with a functioning webcam, microphone and internet connection.

In addition to the written essays, you will be required to complete a set of video essays for your application to be considered complete. 

We have prepared an extensive guide on this component of the application, which you can access here !

Looking for Oxford Saïd MBA essay examples? 

Check out our real sample essays that got our clients admitted here .

3. Make Your Oxford Essays Shine

One of the most common mistakes we see in MBA essays is that candidates fail to tell compelling stories . This is important because if your stories are not compelling, they will not be persuasive. At the same time, they must be backed by strong examples that establish a track record of success and prove to the admissions committees why you belong at their school. 

Striking this balance between content and creativity can be tough, however, as succeeding means not only choosing the right stories but ensuring they are told in an optimal manner. 

This is why our iterative developmental feedback process here at Ellin Lolis Consulting helps you mold your message through the application of our storytelling expertise until it reflects exactly what makes your profile stand out and show fit with your target program.   

Not only can you take advantage of our iterative feedback process through multiple edits – you can also benefit from it after a single review! If your budget is tight, our editors will be happy to help polish your text as much as possible and leave “bonus comments” so you can keep working on it on your own!

ellin lolis mba consultant

No matter how long we work with you, we will always ensure your essays shine . Sign up to work with our team of storytelling experts and get accepted.

4. Oxford Saïd Deadlines

Here are the deadlines for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. You can access the online application here . 

Oxford has not yet released their deadlines for this year. You can keep track of updates here . 

Real MBA Essays That Got People In

School-specific sample essays that got our clients accepted

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  • Oxford Saïd Business School Essay Tips and Examples

August 18, 2023

Jeremy Shinewald

Oxford University (Saïd Business School)

Oxford Saïd 2023–2024 Essay Tips

Mandatory statement: please provide a personal statement that outlines anything additional that you would like the admissions committee to consider. (maximum 250 words).

This essay prompt is worded much differently than the school’s first essay prompt for last year, but it essentially asks for the same type of information. Interestingly, in our previous essay analysis, we noted that if a candidate was not paying close attention as they read through Oxford Saïd’s application information, they could accidentally interpret the prompt as one for a standard optional essay, given that the phrasing was almost verbatim what we see from other schools as an add-on essay invitation. This season, however, the admissions committee has tightened and clarified the wording—even adding “mandatory statement” at the beginning—to avoid any such possible misinterpretation. 

If you have a notable problem or issue in your candidacy, this might be the right place to address it, given that the school does not offer a separate optional essay opportunity with which to do so. However, because this is an essay that all applicants must submit, your goal is to provide some key additional information here for the admissions committee to use in deciding whether to include you in its next incoming class, even if your profile is free of questionable components. You will therefore need to determine what is most important for the committee to know to be able to evaluate you thoroughly and fairly, whether that is the story behind a seemingly unfavorable part of your application or whether it is one about a significant learning experience, impressive accomplishment, or unique ability (or something else altogether). As always, take time to consider everything the admissions committee will already be able to learn about you via the other parts of your application, from your statistics and resume to your recommenders’ contributions. With this essay, you want to round out that information in a positive way that pushes your candidacy forward in the direction of acceptance. 

Even though this submission is not optional, we still recommend downloading a free copy of our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide . It might help you in determining whether or not you should write this essay on a problem area/issue (or perhaps which one, if your candidacy includes multiple questionable elements), and if so, the advice and many examples within will direct you in how to do so most effectively. 

If you are applying under the Oxford 1+1 scheme you also need to submit the following essay:

Explain why you see this as particularly beneficial for you and how it fits with your career and personal development aims. (maximum 250 words).

For this essay, Saïd provides a very straightforward prompt. Oxford has created an innovative two-year program through which you can earn two master’s degrees simultaneously. But the school has a simple request first—explain why the additional, non-MBA master’s degree is necessary for you. If you hope to participate in this program, you will need to help the school understand exactly why and how doing so will affect your career. With a mere 250 words in which to detail precisely how the 1+1 program will contribute to your management education and where you intend to apply that learning, you have no room to be vague. Clearly demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship between the dual-degree program and the achievement of your goals. Your underlying message needs to be readily comprehensible: “I will complete X degree, which will benefit me by manifesting in Y part of my career.” 

Re-applicants will need to submit an additional essay: What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words) 

Whether you have improved your academic record, received a promotion, begun a new and exciting project, increased your community involvement, or accepted some sort of personal challenge, the key to success with this essay is conveying a very deliberate path of achievement. Sa ï d wants to know that you have been actively striving to improve yourself and your profile, and that you have seized opportunities during the time since your previous application to do so, because earning a Sa ï d MBA is important to you. The responses to this essay question will vary greatly from one candidate to the next, because each person’s needs and experiences differ. We are more than happy to provide one-on-one assistance with this highly personal essay to ensure that your efforts are presented in the best light po ssible.

Online assessment: To virtually get to know you and see how you think on your feet, you will need to complete an online assessment as part of your application. This comprises:

– two motivation-based questions – all candidates will answer the same questions, – one competency-based question – this will be randomised, – written response – this will be randomised and light-hearted , the motivation-based questions give you the opportunity to demonstrate your motivations for undertaking an mba and why the oxford mba is the right programme for you. the competency-based question will allow you to demonstrate the skills and qualities we look for, such as decision-making, problem-solving, influence, leadership, and strong communication skills. , once you have submitted your application for either the oxford mba or oxford 1+1 mba you will see a link in your application status portal. this will enable you to register with kira talent, our online assessment platform, and complete your assessment. you can complete this any time before the application stage deadline in which you wish to apply., you will be provided with preparation time and practice sessions before going live with your real responses. the whole online assessment should only take up to 30 minutes for you to complete. all you need is a desktop or laptop computer with a functioning webcam, microphone and internet connection..

We know that required videos—and spontaneous ones, in particular—often strike fear into the hearts of business school candidates, but let us reassure you a bit about this component of the Oxford application process, so you can relax and put your best self forward. First of all, keep in mind that video questions like these are not intended to trip you up or entice you to do or say anything that would immediately disqualify you from consideration. Video submissions are most often merely opportunities for the admissions committee to put a “face,” so to speak, on your written application and learn a little more about your personality, energy level, communication style, and other such intangibles. In reference to the video component, the school’s admissions FAQs page even states outright, “There are no right or wrong answers, and this isn’t a test. It’s just a way for us to get a glimpse into you and your personality and help to let you stand out as the unique candidate that you are!” If you focus on being authentic and sincere, you will provide the admissions committee with exactly what it is seeking. Thankfully, the Kira platform is set up so that you can practice an unlimited number of times, so you will not have to go into this portion of the application cold. This is a valuable opportunity that we cannot encourage you enough to make the most of.

To start, you will need to respond to two “motivation” questions, which will be the same for all applicants. Although the school does not present outright exactly what these questions will be, it does explain that it is interested in the “whys” behind your application and offers on its FAQs page the sample question “Why is an MBA the next step for you to further … your career?” We assume from the prompt that the other question would then naturally be some version of “Why do you want to earn your MBA from Oxford specifically?” (You might also want to be prepared to answer the query “Why is now the right time to get your MBA?” just in case.) You will be given one minute in which to prepare your answer and 90 seconds to record it. Because these topics are common elements of a traditional personal statement, we encourage you to download a free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide , which explains how best to prepare for and respond to questions related to these subjects and offers multiple illustrative examples.

You will also be required to answer one “competency” question, which will be drawn from a group of options and will therefore vary for each candidate. Judging from the school’s proffered example—”Take a minute to tell us about a time where you’ve overcome a challenging situation, either professionally or personally. What was your approach to resolving the situation?”—these appear to be in the vein of typical interview questions. We suggest using the STAR (situation, task, action, result) method when responding to this question to ensure that your answer includes all the relevant information the admissions committee seeks. Take time to do some research on what this technique entails, and make it a central part of your practice efforts. You will be given 45 seconds to prepare your answer to this question and one minute in which to respond. For sample questions you can use to practice, consider downloading a free copy of the mbaMission Interview Guide , in which we present a list of 100 common interview queries.

We recommend practicing in front of a mirror to exercise maintaining a pleasant and natural expression as you speak and timing yourself to ensure your answers do not tend to run long. Although you can prepare as much as you want, you will have only one chance to record your response(s) when you do the official interview. If you stumble while answering or ultimately are unhappy with your answer, unfortunately, you will not be able to rerecord anything or try again another time. This might make you nervous, but we encourage you to view the situation a little differently. As we have noted, Oxford wants to get to know the real you through these video essays. If you fumble for words or lose your train of thought, just laugh or shrug and continue with your response. Accepting a mistake with a sense of humor and grace will give the admissions committee a more positive and natural impression of your personality than rigid scripting and overpreparation ever could.

The final portion of the online assessment involves a written response to a query the admissions committee describes as “light-hearted,” offering as an example “Apples are more versatile than bananas. Discuss.” Because truly preparing in advance for such a casual and nonpersonal prompt is largely impossible, this is the question that will give the admissions committee the best impression of how you improvise and perform extemporaneously, as well as communicate clearly under pressure. Focus a little less on trying to write a serious treatise and more on being authentic to your personality and letting a bit of your creative side shine through—though be sure to stay on topic and actually provide an answer to the question! You will be given five minutes to craft your response, which the FAQs page notes should allow you to write up to 500 words. If you want to practice for this part, ask a friend or family member to Google “silly questions,” or “funny” or “random” ones (a quick search brought up such examples as “Is cereal soup?” and “If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?”), and choose some for you. Then give yourself five minutes in which to formulate and type up a response to each. This will give you a feel for how much time five minutes really is, how much you can generally write in that period, and how well you are able to develop a mini essay that both provides a clear answer and is reflective of your personal style.

2023-2024 Business School Essays International Business Schools MBA Essay Tips Oxford University (Saïd Business School) Saïd Business School

Tags: business school essay international program guides international programs MBA application essays Oxford Saïd reapplicants

Upcoming Events

  • Mar 26, 2024 Your 2024 MBA Application Action Plan (Online)
  • Apr 25, 2024 Assessing Your MBA Profile (Online)

Upcoming Deadlines

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  • Mar 25, 2024 London Business School (Round 3)
  • Mar 26, 2024 Texas McCombs (Round 3)
  • Mar 26, 2024 Vanderbilt Owen (Round 4)
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  • Apr 15, 2024 USC Marshall (Round 3)
  • Apr 29, 2024 Toronto Rotman (Round 4)
  • Apr 29, 2024 UNC Kenan-Flagler (Round 4)
  • Apr 30, 2024 Georgetown McDonough (Round 4)

Click here to see the complete deadlines

2023–2024 MBA Essay Tips

  • Berkeley Haas School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • BU Questrom School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • Cambridge Judge Business School Essay Tips and Examples
  • Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • Chicago Booth School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • Columbia Business School Essay Tips and Examples
  • Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management Essay and Examples
  • Dartmouth Tuck School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • Duke Fuqua School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • Emory Goizueta Business School Essay Tips and Examples
  • Esade Essay Tips and Examples
  • Georgetown McDonough School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • Harvard Business School 2+2 Deferred MBA Program Essay Analysis 2024
  • Harvard Business School Essay Tips and Examples
  • HEC Paris Essay Tips and Examples
  • HKUST Business School Essay Tips and Examples
  • IE Business School Essay Tips and Examples
  • IESE Business School Essay Tips and Examples
  • INSEAD Essay Tips and Examples
  • International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Essay Tips and Examples
  • Ivey Business School Essay Tips and Examples
  • London Business School Essay Tips and Examples
  • Michigan Ross School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • MIT Sloan School of Management Essay Tips and Examples
  • Northwestern Kellogg School of Management Essay Tips and Examples
  • Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • NYU Stern School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • Ohio Fisher College of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • SMU Cox School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business Application Essay Tips and Examples
  • Texas McCombs School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Essay Tips and Examples
  • The Wharton School Essay Tips and Examples
  • Toronto Rotman School of Management Essay Tips and Examples
  • UCLA Anderson School of Management Essay Tips and Examples
  • UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Essay Tips and Examples
  • USC Marshall School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • UVA Darden School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • UW Foster School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management Essay Analysis, 2023–2024
  • Villanova School of Business Essay Tips and Examples
  • Yale School of Management Essay Tips and Examples

Click here for the 2022–2023 MBA Essay Tips

MBA Program Updates

  • Berkeley-Haas
  • Boston University (Questrom)
  • Cambridge Judge Business School
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
  • Columbia University (Columbia Business School)
  • Consortium for Graduate Study in Management
  • Cornell University (Johnson)
  • Dartmouth College (Tuck)
  • Duke University (Fuqua)
  • Emory University (Goizueta)
  • George Washington University (GWSB)
  • Georgetown University (McDonough)
  • Harvard University (Harvard Business School)
  • IE Business School
  • IESE Business School
  • Indian School of Business
  • Indiana University (Kelley)
  • Ivey Business School
  • London Business School
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
  • New York University (Stern)
  • Northwestern University (Kellogg)
  • Notre Dame (Mendoza)
  • Ohio State University (Fisher College)
  • Oxford University (Saïd Business School)
  • Penn State Smeal College of Business
  • Rotman School of Management
  • Saïd Business School
  • Southern Methodist University (Cox School of Business)
  • Stanford University (Stanford Graduate School of Business)
  • University of California Los Angeles (Anderson)
  • University of Cambridge (Judge)
  • University of Chicago (Booth)
  • University of London (London Business School)
  • University of Michigan (Ross)
  • University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  • University of Southern California (Marshall)
  • University of Texas at Austin (McCombs)
  • University of Virginia (Darden)
  • Vanderbilt University (Owen)
  • Villanova School of Business
  • Yale University (School of Management)

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Tuesday Tips: Oxford MBA Application Essay Tips for 2023-2024

Oxford MBA application

Are you currently working on your Oxford MBA application? The highly ranked one-year Saïd at Oxford MBA program exposes students to an international, diverse network at a world-class institution. For that reason, Oxford seeks engaged students and mature leaders with extensive work experience.

In addition to attending virtual information sessions and visiting the school, a great way to learn about the Oxford MBA is by reading student blogs . You’ll notice that there is a strong culture of improving the world. In fact, this emphasis on making the world a better place comes through clearly in this set of Oxford MBA application essays. Conveying your deeper purpose is a core motivator for a successful applicant.

Above all, Oxford states, “the admissions committee will be looking for evidence of the following: good communication skills, leadership potential, analytical skills, fit with the Oxford MBA community.”

Curious about your chances of getting into a top B-school?  Contact us  to talk strategy with a free 15-minute advising session with an SBC Principal Consultant.

oxford said mba essay questions

The Oxford MBA Application

Supporting statement: tell us something that is not covered in your application which you would like the admissions committee to know about you. (maximum 250 words).

This Oxford MBA application essay is open-ended. Therefore, it allows you to cover almost any topic that you think needs more clarification. Perhaps you want to describe something about your personal background. On the other hand, you might want to describe a leadership role in a volunteer role.

In addition, it’s possible to use this essay to further emphasize your career goals.  Consider sharing information about your international experience if applicable. Oxford is looking for maturity, leadership, and diversity in applicants. Accordingly, this essay is an opportunity to show these qualities.

Once you have chosen a topic for this Oxford MBA application essay, you will want to explain yourself clearly. With only 250 words, you should make sure to use precise language and examples. Specific examples will help the admissions committee understand you better. For example, you might describe a volunteer accomplishment. To do so, describe who was there, what you accomplished, and how you felt about it.

If you are applying under the Oxford 1+1 MBA scheme, you also need to submit the following essay:

Explain why you see this as particularly beneficial for you and how it fits with your career and personal development aims. (Maximum 250 words)

The Oxford 1+1 MBA provides a unique experience. You can study business for one year and spend the other year studying topics from African Studies to Water Science, Policy, and Management.

Oxford MBA application

Successful applicants will show why they have a good reason to study both. Consider your career goals and how a well-rounded course may help you. In addition, focus on long-term goals and consider how deep knowledge in a master’s topic could provide perspective.

This Oxford MBA application essay is asking “Why 1+1,” and you will need a clear answer. Therefore, extensive program research will help you answer the question thoroughly. To conduct your research, consider contacting current or former students, as well as alumni or faculty. Make sure you have well-researched questions to ask of them and focus on your interests and goals.

Re-applicants will need to submit an additional essay as below:

What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)

It’s easy to answer questions like this one when you have improved scores. However, even if your improvements are less tangible, this essay allows you to express them.

First, consider what you have learned since you last applied. Second, think about any advancements at work. Third, review your outside activities for any leadership experiences. Once you have reviewed the recent developments, describe them briefly in this essay. Finally, make sure to explain why you are a stronger candidate.

To learn more about the Oxford MBA application process, visit the Oxford Saïd website .

Stacy Blackman Consulting offers multiple services to meet your MBA application needs, from our  All-In Partnership  to test prep to hourly help with targeted tasks. Contact us today for a  free 15-minute advising session  to talk strategy with a Principal SBC consultant.  Here’s a snapshot of the caliber of expertise on  our SBC team .

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Oxford Saïd MBA Essays – Question Prompts & Successful Sample Essays

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By Arvind Kumar

3 August 2023

Oxford Saïd MBA Essays: Question Prompts

Personal Statement (250 words)

Essay 1: Define your current role (5000 Characters)

Essay 2: Describe below your immediate plan after graduating from the MBA

Essay 3: How does your preferred sector in your preferred location recruit MBA talent and what do they look for in a candidate? Describe the research you have done so far.

Essay 4: Reflecting on your answer above, how do you meet these requirements?

Essay 5: What do you plan to do between now and starting your MBA to prepare and maximize your chances of success?

Essay 6: Should you not be successful in securing your first choice of role, what is your alternative?

Essay 7: Is there anything not covered in the application form that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you?* Maximum 250 words

Oxford Saïd MBA: Sample Essays of Successful Candidates

I am currently at a professional crossroads where I have built up substantial consulting expertise in supply chain logistics and have simultaneously founded two profitable businesses. From this solid foundation my aim is to attain the skills and build the network I need to achieve my long term goal of sustainable and innovative entrepreneurship. I firmly believe that the Oxford MBA is the perfect next step in achieving these goals. 

I have previously experienced the failure of a business I had set up because I did not have the skills and experience required to run it. This painful loss has given me a deep seated motivation to not repeat my mistakes, and therefore has imparted a drive in me to learn and upskill as much as I can. Doing an MBA from Oxford would allow me to gain the experience and expertise I need to continue in my path as a consultant while giving my businesses the time they need to mature. It would also help enable my switch to an investment manager role at a PE/VC firm in the medium-term. Furthermore, the experience of learning from the excellent faculty and the vibrant cohort at the multicultural University of Oxford is something I am genuinely looking forward to.

In short, an application-based practical curriculum, a fantastic peer learning experience, and well-connected networks in my interest arenas of VC, consulting, and entrepreneurship will set me on the path to achieving my long-term goals.

I am currently responsible for running 2 companies which I have founded in the last 12 months. As the founder and majority partner, I have overall responsibility for all business operations, and all employees report to me. 

The first business is a customer-facing gourmet food delivery and catering company. It has 20 employees working at our New Delhi office and kitchen, and our current monthly revenue is ~ £13,000. I oversee sales across 3 channels – our Shopify eCommerce website, social media, and direct calls and messages. I have direct interactions with returning customers and large order value customers, such as those contacting us for events and gifting purposes. Additionally, I approve new marketing campaigns or changes to existing strategies, drive new product ideation, manage staff salaries and expenses, and track daily revenue and profit metrics. I also do quality inspections and I particularly ensure I talk to customers with negative feedback.

The second is a hospitality consulting business, which I run with my business partner and chef. There are 5 employees, and our average monthly revenue is ~ £3,300. I am directly responsible for new lead generation through emails, cold calling and my professional network. I handle all new leads and pitch our consulting services. I am the primary point of contact for existing clients and directly manage their projects on the business side, with my partner handling the culinary side. I coordinate our client’s marketing campaigns, make business plans and cash flow projections, advise them on strategy and product creation, and conduct regular site visits to meet them in person and review project work.

In my previous role as an associate consultant at (Anonymized), I was responsible for client communication and analysis work on projects with average baselines of ~$30M – $200M. On a daily basis, I managed a team of five business analysts and directed their work on different projects. I was responsible for overall work quality, meeting project deadlines, and formulating data analyses and hypotheses. I participated in internal strategy meetings and client sales pitches with senior stakeholders. I was also responsible for recruitment and analyst reviews for the 3 members of my team. I worked directly with my partner-level managers and VP level clients. 

My diverse experiences have helped improve my business acumen and team management, and collaboration skills, and I look forward to leveraging these traits and contributing to the Oxford MBA cohort.

Post the Oxford Said MBA, I want to continue my career as a management consultant in the procurement and operations department, focusing on the supply chain & logistics sector. I am targeting a position of Engagement Manager or Senior Associate Consultant at global consulting firms such as McKinsey, Bain, BCG or Accenture, in the procurement & operations department. 

Based on my conversations with AK (Ex-Goldman, KPMG, EY), MK (LBS’21)  and senior consultant figures at my previous consulting firm including Chris Lange (ex-Accenture, Opera), I have learnt that the companies I am targeting mostly recruit directly on campus from prestigious business schools. They are looking for candidates with a prior background in management consulting and who have strong analytical, managerial and project management skills. In particular for my target role of a procurement consultant, it is required to have expertise in procurement consulting and it is good to have sector expertise in a few categories. 

I believe I meet all of the requirements for my potential recruiters and will be an excellent candidate to get selected. I have 3 years of management experience with (Anonymized), where I was part of teams advising multi billion dollar companies on their procurement and cost efficiency needs. I have exposure to 15+ categories, with deep expertise in logistics & supply chain. I have developed strong analytical skills and exposure to various tools and software during my tenure. I also have significant project and team management experience, as well as client handling experience from (Anonymized) and my current consulting firm (Anonymized).

Pursuing an MBA from a top school such as Said would put me in a strong position to achieve my short term goals and make the geographical and designation switches I am aiming for.

In the time I have before starting my MBA I am aiming to further develop my client handling and project management skills. To that end I have launched my own consulting company – Gold Leaf Hospitality Consulting, which focuses on providing business and culinary consulting to young entrepreneurs seeking to open their own food business. I handle all sales pitches, client interaction & management, project management and business consultancy aspects. Through this experience I am developing the important client facing skills I need to succeed in my future consultancy career. I believe these skills, allied with my strong analytical abilities and role-specific expertise make me an excellent candidate for my target companies.

If I am unable to get through to my primary target companies (global high-brand consultancy groups) I will target smaller consultancy companies in my domain areas of logistics and supply chain, such as Maine Pointe, Transplace and Jaegger. I have good contacts and connections in these companies, which will help get me a foot in the door and provide a boost in the recruitment process. I also have a standing offer of employment from my previous company (Anonymized), and their Logistics Centre of Excellence (LCoE) where I spent 2 years and achieved 2 promotions in successive years.

During my last year of college, my father and I started an organic dairy business with our family’s savings. It quickly became apparent that the business was struggling, and I felt compelled to abandon my placement offer at Bain to join the start-up in an attempt to safeguard my family’s fortunes. However, despite my best efforts, the business was not successful and we had to close down a year later with heavy losses and debts. 

I learned a tough lesson – good intentions and hard work are not enough to compensate for a lack of experience and business nous. Indeed, this pivotal experience has shaped me profoundly and made me value business experience and know-how as critical traits. This is a driving factor behind my MBA application – I feel now is the right time to further my learning and skills, to protect my business from similar missteps in the future.

This desire to keep upskilling my professional skills was also a primary factor in my launching the two businesses I have founded in the last year. The gourmet food business gave me a second chance to deploy my learnings from my first failed attempt. The consulting business was an attempt to learn critical client management aspects of the business which I felt I was not exposed to enough at (Anonymized). I feel that this drive to improve my professional skills will be an immense asset in the Imperial MBA program and my career beyond.

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Oxford Saïd MBA Essay 2023 – Tips and Analysis

Admit expert.

  • July 31, 2022

Oxford’s Saïd Business School requires one essay for its 2022-2023 MBA application. In addition to this essay question, applicants must answer five questions about their career goals. There is one reapplicant essay as well.

When reviewing your essays, the admissions committee will be looking for evidence of the following: good communication skills, leadership potential, analytical skills, and fit with the Oxford MBA community, among other characteristics.

Oxford Saïd MBA essay analysis and tips

Therefore, you need to submit an impeccable essay to impress the Oxford Saïd admissions committee. 

In this article, we analyze and share tips on how to approach the Oxford MBA essay questions.

Application deadlines

Oxford saïd mba essay – 2023 admissions, essay analysis, re-applicant essay, let us help you get into oxford saïd.

Applications for the Oxford MBA class of 2023-24 will open on 1 August 2022.

You need to submit your online application form with all application requirements by your chosen application deadline. 

Application deadlines for the Oxford MBA class of 2023-24:

  • Stage 1: Wednesday, 31 August 2022
  • Stage 2: Wednesday, 12 October 2022
  • Stage 3: Wednesday, 4 January 2023
  • Stage 4: Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Tell us something that is not covered in your application which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you. (Maximum 250 words)

Re-applicants will need to submit an additional essay as below:

What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)

This essay for the Oxford MBA program is open-ended. So, it lets you talk about almost any subject you think needs more explanation. You might want to talk about something from your own background. On the other hand, you might want to talk about a leadership role.

You can also use this essay to talk about your career goals in more detail. If you have international experience, you might want to talk about what you did there. Oxford wants applicants who are mature, can lead, and come from different backgrounds. So, this essay is a chance to show that you have these qualities.

Once you have chosen a topic for your Oxford MBA application essay, you will want to explain yourself clearly. With only 250 words, you should use clear language and specific examples. The admissions committee will understand you better if you give them examples. For example, you could talk about something you did as a volunteer. To do this, talk about who was there, what you did, and how it made you feel.

There are 3 ingredients to crafting an essay that would impress the Oxford Saïd admissions committee:

  • Relevant anecdotes

Authenticity

If you don’t know much about the Oxford community, it will be hard to write a good essay about why you feel like you belong there. So do your homework as a first step. Which parts of Oxford’s culture do you like, and how do you think you’ll be able to use them during your time there? How can you help the people of Oxford in a way that no one else can?

Relevant high-impact anecdotes

Providing supporting evidence is essential for creating a strong and convincing essay. Therefore, choosing an anecdote that adds the most value to your profile is of paramount importance.

Thus, we recommend that you first evaluate the various components of your profile and unique brand that you’ve previously discussed in other stages of your Oxford application – especially since you will be required to answer a series of mini-goals essays within the online application form! Then, consider further means by which you might contribute to the Oxford community.

These are the mini-goals essays that you would also have to answer. So, make sure that you do not repeat any information that you’ll cover in these mini-essays.

  • Describe below your immediate plan after graduating from the MBA

How does your preferred sector in your preferred location recruit MBA talent and what do they look for in a candidate? Describe the research you have done so far.

Reflecting on your answer above, how do you meet these requirements?

What do you plan to do between now and starting your MBA to prepare and maximise your chances of success?

Should you not be successful in securing your first choice of role, what is your alternative?

Keeping this in mind and after determining what will be included in the application, you can then assess what you wish you had room for or what may be missing. 

This could be anything: a favorite hobby or community involvement, a difficult work project that was ultimately successful, an aspect of one’s upbringing that has had a lasting impact, an international or cross-cultural experience that prompted learning or growth, or one’s plans for community involvement in Oxford. In assessing your personal statement and essays, the admissions committee will seek evidence of, among other qualities, your communication abilities, leadership potential, analytical ability, and fit within the Oxford MBA community.

You should evaluate the balance of material between this response and the application, and seek to emphasize something fresh that will demonstrate to the admissions committee an additional facet of your personality and your potential to contribute to the Saïd community. 

Given the limited word count, we believe the most successful replies to this question will completely develop a single topic (or offer two instances with a similar theme) as opposed to attempting to cover multiple unrelated topics.

However, because Oxford does not provide an optional essay question, applicants with a weakness in their candidacy may need to use this response to provide an explanation or highlight a mitigating circumstance. 

This should be accomplished as succinctly as possible, ideally in 50-100 words, and then the candidate should be inventive in giving positive facts under a single umbrella. 

Finally, make sure that your story is truly yours and is not exaggerated in any form. Moreover, the overall tone of your essay can also make it sound more authentic. So, write as though you are having a conversation with a family member or a friend. This can make the essay feel more personal and real, which could help you convince the Oxford admissions committee of the authenticity of your story.

Do you want to impress the Oxford Saïd Adcom?

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Given that you only have a few words for this response, people who are reapplying will want to be clear about the steps they’ve taken to improve their applications since they last applied to Oxford. 

Candidates should try to be as thorough as possible when they talk about how they’ve worked to become stronger applicants this season. 

They should talk about how they’ve improved their quantitative records, their professional qualifications, how they’ve worked to learn more about the Oxford MBA program, and anything else they’ve done.

Mini Goals essays

Oxford has also “hidden” many small essays about your goals inside the application form. Even though there isn’t a set number of words, you should make sure to be complete but brief. We think that anything between 100 and 250 words should be fine.

Here are the topics:

Describe below your immediate plan after graduating from the MBA.

When talking about your goals, it’s important to be clear, so make sure you include a job title and industry when you talk about what you want to do after you graduate.

After you’ve made your goal clear, you should spend a little time talking about your motivation behind your goal. Here, you can give a bit of background information about yourself that is related to the job you want, but be careful not to repeat information from the “How do you meet these requirements?” question below.

The perfect way to end this essay is with a high-impact sentence that gives the reader a clear picture of who you are.

So, we suggest that you start by talking to as many people as you can who work in the field you want to go into after your MBA. Since Oxford wants to know how recruitment works where you want to work, make sure to narrow your focus to just your target geography.

You might want to talk to the HR departments of companies you’d like to work for, talk to headhunters who specialize in this area, or even talk to friends or coworkers who have successfully hired for your post-MBA role in the past.

Then, in your essay, describe how hiring works in your industry and where you want to work, as well as what they look for in a good candidate. For the second part, be sure to list things like specific skills needed (like being able to use advanced analytics tools or speaking Spanish fluently), personal traits, and degrees/certifications.

Then, list all of the steps you took to find this information, including the names of the people and businesses you talked to and the information they gave you.

To wrap up, you might want to end with a sentence about why you’re sure you’ll be successful in your own recruitment process now that you know what you’ve learned. You’ll go into more depth later, so keep this part short.

This essay requires knowing a little bit about your work history. This gives your goals some context and shows that you have the experience that is relevant to your goals.

Keep in mind what the admissions counselors already know about you when you talk about your career so far. Here, the goal isn’t to list all of your accomplishments (they can see that on your resume), but to give short, strong examples of a successful career, focusing on accomplishments that relate to your future goals.

To answer this question, you must show clearly what you are doing or what you plan to do before you get your MBA to get ready to reach the goals you listed above.

If you want to switch industries, you should also describe in detail the steps you’re taking to improve your skills before joining Saïd and mention the networking you’ve done. 

Showing that you’ve already started building the network you’ll need to be successful in your target industry and area will go a long way toward proving that you’ll reach your post-MBA goals.

It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan, especially since the economy is hard in many parts of the world right now. Make sure that your Plan B has something to do with your “official” goal so that it doesn’t hurt your goal statements.

For example, if your goal is to work in Management Consulting but your Plan B is to work for an NGO, the admissions committee will wonder how committed you were to your original goals.

But the best job would be one that lets you make the same kind of difference in a different way.

For example, if you want to work in a Web3.0 tech startup to learn best practices of blockchain technology, you could work in a more established technology firm and then switch to an earlier stage venture later.

We will help you write essays that portray your unique strengths and experiences in the most favorable light so that your application shines above the rest. We have helped hundreds of students get into top US business schools. Let us help you too.

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oxford said mba essay questions

July 31, 2022

Oxford Saïd MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2022 – 2023]

Oxford Saïd MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2022 - 2023]

Oxford lets your resume, recommendations, application form, and transcript(s) speak for themselves. The one required MBA essay question indicates that the adcom wants a glimpse of you beyond these core elements. It seems like a simple question – but there is a little twist in it that amplifies its importance in the application and its connection between you and the admissions readers. Also realize that the adcom learns about you from this essay not just through the details of the topic you present but also through your decision to use that topic. That decision reflects your values, your understanding of fit with Oxford , and your overall perspective.

Oxford Saïd 2022-23 MBA application essay

Tell us something that is not covered in your application which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you.  (Maximum 250 words)

While the “something” will be the topic of the essay, the real heart of this essay question lies in the phrase “which you would like the Admissions Committee to know.” It almost posits a dialogue between you and the adcom; it sets up a relationship, a dialogue. It’s personal; they’re talking to YOU. Reading the spirit as well as the literal meaning of these words, you can infer that the adcom is looking for a story or a message that gets to the essence of  who you are  in some way.

Therefore, don’t try to find the most dramatic or exotic topic possible; this essay doesn’t have to shout. Rather, it should incisively reveal a fresh dimension of you – one that is relevant to the application and that will add to the Oxford Saïd community.

That leaves a lot of room for topic choice. I suggest committing to one topic and discussing it in as much depth as is possible in 250 words. Make this single essay vivid and memorable by basing it on your actual experience, which gives the adcom not just information about you but also your unique perspective on an aspect of your life.

As for topic, be strategic in selecting one that is relevant, will engage the Oxford adcom, and  enhances your fit  for Oxford Saïd.

Oxford Saïd at a glance

Saïd median GMAT score: 690

Saïd class size: 350

94% of the Saïd MBA class are international students.

Check out the Business School Selectivity Index for more stats about top b-schools.

Has this blog post helped you feel more confident about approaching your Oxford Saïd application? We hope so. It’s our mission to help smart, talented applicants like you gain acceptance to your dream schools. With so much at stake, why not hire a consultant whose expertise and personalized guidance can help you make your dream come true? We have several flexible consulting options— click here to get started today!

We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to top MBA programs and look forward to helping you too!

Oxford Saïd 2022-2023 MBA application deadlines

Source:  Oxford Saïd website

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid In Your MBA Application Essays - Download your free guide!

Related Resources:

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  • “I’m Smart, Really I Am!” Proving Character Traits in your Essays

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Advice, tips and insights from the admissions dream team., table of contents, how to tackle the oxford mba saïd personal statement.

  • By Melissa Jones

oxford said mba essay questions

Oxford Saïd’s Business School asks for a single essay in their MBA application: “Please provide a personal statement that outlines anything additional that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider”. On top of that, you have a mere 250 words to answer.

This essay question is extremely broad and short, especially compared to other schools. On the face of it, some business schools ask several essay questions (for example, INSEAD asks seven!), which to me is actually easier than being asked just one or two. With more questions, you have more room to tell your story and really give the admissions committee a sense of who you are and what you’ve done. This one brief and very open question usually leaves candidates wondering: Where do I begin? What do I share?

Don’t be fooled. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll find that Oxford’s application is nowhere near as short as it first appears! As a coach with Fortuna Admissions , the first thing I get Oxford Saïd candidates to do is to fully look through the online application form. You’ll find a bunch of other open-ended questions. By tackling these first, you’re not only starting with the “easier” parts, but you can see what’s missing from your profile. In other words, what else do you want the Admissions Committee to know?

Let’s take a look at these additional questions in the application.

The main questions within the online form are goal-focused career questions. The first asks you to describe your current role in 5,000 characters. Then, depending on whether you are planning to return to your employer post MBA, start a new job, work at the family business or create your own company, you will be prompted with different follow-up questions around your goals.

So, what do you still have left to say?

After completing the online form, you will have:

  • Uploaded your CV (created using the Oxford-specific template)
  • Defined your current role in 5,000 characters
  • Shared your post MBA plans

(Note that CV aside, the Oxford Saïd application does not ask about your extra-curricular activities, hobbies and/or volunteer work. Neither does Cambridge Judge. This is very different to the majority of other MBA programs which ask for a much deeper dive into these areas, but is quite similar to Oxbridge undergraduate applications, where personal statements must focus almost entirely on academics.)

By now, you should be getting closer to identifying what more you want to share with the Oxford Admissions Committee. What is still missing from your narrative? Considering word count is limited, I suggest sharing just one impactful story or something unique about your character. As you brainstorm ideas, here are a few things to consider:

Alignment with Oxford Themes and Values

Oxford Saïd is very impact-driven – its purpose is to “prepare business leaders for the task of making the world a better and more equitable place.” A lot of schools expect you to showcase your leadership, but for Saïd, it’s critical that you demonstrate how your leadership positively impacts society.

Oxford’s MBA curriculum is organized around three themes: responsible leadership, the global rules of the game and entrepreneurship. These themes permeate all aspects of the program, from core and elective courses to guest speaker sessions and student-run competitions. Consider how you, your values and your experience align with these themes and this commitment to impact. For instance, if your unique experience involves leading a diverse team through a challenging project, you can emphasize your leadership and commitment to fostering diversity.

Introspection

Look inward. Reflect on your upbringing, life experiences, personal journey and professional accomplishments. What sets you apart? It could be an exceptional skill, a transformative experience or a passionate hobby that defines you. If possible, your story should showcase your leadership and impact on a person, group of people, community, an organization or the world.

Use Illustrative Examples

Don’t just describe what you’ve done or say what you want to share; show how it has influenced your actions and decisions. Use specific illustrative examples that highlight your impact. Instead of just stating, “I have a passion for renewal energy,” share a story of how you initiated a successful renewal energy project in your previous role and its impact or outcomes. Then, if you can, highlight the potential ripple effects of how your uniqueness will enrich your MBA community.

oxford said mba essay questions

Beyond the MBA

Remember that Oxford is interested in your long-term potential. Think about how the story you use or success you are sharing will continue to be an asset in your post-MBA career and/or community involvement. Will it open doors, drive innovation or help you make a lasting impact in your profession or volunteer work?

With the above in mind, as an example, one of my candidates decided to write about his experience playing sport when he was younger with an elite national team. Beyond his professional accomplishments, this additional narrative epitomized his passion, discipline, teamwork and an extremely strong work ethic. He also spoke to his leadership role and the impact he had on his teammates, especially when they faced hostile opposition crowds at a young age and had to learn to uphold their performance despite the environment. This not only demonstrated his leadership and the impact he had on the team, but also showcased his resilience and an endless drive for excellence, traits he was now directing towards his MBA studies and career goals.

Crafting an impactful personal statement for the Oxford Saïd MBA program requires a strategic approach and thoughtful introspection. By following the guidelines outlined above, you can effectively tackle this challenging question, highlighting your unique qualities, experiences and aspirations. Remember to showcase your alignment with Saïd Business School’s themes and values, emphasizing how your journey aligns with their vision of creating positive change in the world of business. With dedication, authenticity, and a clear sense of purpose, you can transform your personal statement into a compelling narrative that sets you apart as an ideal candidate for the program.

Finally, don’t forget that Oxford also asks candidates to complete a Kira video component after you’ve submitted your application. Here, you are asked two motivational questions and one competency-based question — all assigned randomly. The motivation-based questions generally ask why you are pursuing an MBA and why the Oxford MBA is the right program for you. The competency-based question is often a behavioural question asking you to give an example of where you demonstrated skills such as problem solving, decision-making, leadership and communication. You’ll also be asked to respond briefly in writing to a question.

As you are planning and crafting your essay, remember that you will have an opportunity to address these final points in your video response.

  • Posted on October 20, 2023

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Homepage > MBA Admissions > Business Schools > Oxford MBA essay 2019-2020 | Analysis and Tips

Oxford MBA essay 2019-2020 | Analysis and Tips

Posted by Lekhika Dhariyal | Oct 27, 2019 | Business Schools , MBA Admissions , MBA Application Process

Oxford MBA essay 2019-2020 | Analysis and Tips

For its 2019 -2020 MBA application, Oxford Saïd Business School essay consists of only 1 required essay. In addition to its essay question, applicants are required to respond to five career goal-related questions.  Once the candidate has submitted the online application, they receive a link for an online assessment where they need to provide responses to multiple video essay prompts. In this article, we analyze and share tips on how to approach the Oxford MBA essay questions.

Oxford-MBA-Essay-analysis-and-tips

Here is an outline of the article:

Oxford MBA Application deadline

Oxford mba essay 1, career goal questions, oxford mba essay for re-applicants.

  • Two motivation-based questions
  • Two competency-based questions
  • Live Written Response

oxford-MBA-application-deadline

To get admitted to Saïd business school, the applicant needs to submit an online application. There are four application rounds, and the deadline for each stage is:

Know more about the Oxford Saïd Business School MBA program – Class profile| Employment report | Notable Alumni.

Oxford MBA Essay 2020

Saïd Business School asks for a single written essay in their online application. In addition to the essay, there are five post-MBA career goal related questions.

Re-applicants need to submit an additional essay where they would highlight the improvements in their candidacy since they last applied to the Oxford MBA program.

After submitting the online application form, applicants will receive a link to an online assessment where they respond to four video essay prompts followed by a live written essay prompt.

Let’s have a look into the Oxford MBA essay questions for 2020–21:

Is there anything not covered in the application form that you would like the admissions committee to know about you? (250 words max)

As stated by the admissions committee , among other characteristics, they are looking for evidence of the following while reviewing the application:

  • Leadership potential
  • Good communication skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Fit with the oxford MBA community

Highlighting the above characteristics in response to this essay prompt will be a good strategy, however, applicants should keep in mind that the question clearly states to include information which is not reflected elsewhere in your application. Thus, make sure that you take time to consider everything the admission committee already knows about you from other parts of the application form and provide a holistic view of your candidacy.

This essay can also be utilized to communicate any issues or problems in your application form, for e.g. a low GMAT score or a gap year in your employment. Make sure you highlight the reason behind the situation.

The essay question doesn’t state whether you should talk about your personal or professional life. Thus, you can pick either or both to answer the question.

In case your profile is free from any questionable components, you need to still provide additional key information for the school to decide whether to include you in its next class. Thus, it’s left for you to decide whether to include a story about an unfavorable part of the application or to highlight any significant learnings /accomplishments.

Once you complete your essay response, you need to upload the same in the online application portal. Here’s a snapshot of the Oxford MBA essay:

Oxford-MBA-Essay-question

As discussed earlier, the Oxford MBA application includes five career goal questions that are related to your short-term goals after completing the MBA program. Under this section, the candidate needs to select the option most aligned to their short-term career goals, i.e., Employment, Entrepreneurship, others (like family business), or returning to current employer.

Here’s a snapshot of how the post-MBA plan section looks like:

Oxford-post-MBA-plans-online-application-section

Note: You can choose more than one option, and no matter which option you choose, the questions asked are a variation of your post-MBA plans and ‘why MBA.’

The applicants should also keep in mind that it’s not expected by the admissions committee to craft a full-length essay to the responses. Thus, you should focus on concisely providing the information.

Let’s have a look at the five career- goal questions asked if you choose ‘employment’ option as your short-term career goal:

Oxford-MBA-application-career-related-questions

Describe below your immediate plan after graduating from the MBA

In this question, the admissions committee expects you to have a goal in mind after your graduation. It is recommended to be straightforward while detailing your intentions. If your career goals are in line with your resume, i.e., you have prior experience or knowledge in the field you want to work for, then you don’t need to provide much explanation towards why you choose this career path.

But, let’s say if you are changing careers, then you need to provide context to your story and explain as to what led you to decide that path and why you are a feasible fit for it.

How does your preferred sector in your preferred location recruit MBA talent, and what do they look for in a candidate? Describe the research you have done

After responding to the first question, you need to select your preferred sector and location upon graduating and then respond as to how your preferred industry and location recruit MBA talent and what they look for in a candidate.

The admissions committee wants to know that you have done significant research towards the chosen career path and are ready to pursue an MBA to achieve your goals.

In short, the response to this question will help the admissions committee in knowing your thoughtfulness, and reasoning behind your goals.

Reflecting on your answer above, how do you meet these requirements?

In response to this question, you need to specify what skills/knowledge/experiences you have gained over your professional career that will help you to pursue your post-MBA goals. Highlighting these qualities and experiences will give the admissions committee confidence in your ability to be successful in your chosen post-MBA career.

What do you plan to do between now and starting your MBA to prepare and maximize your chances of success?

As pointed out in the mbaMission blog , the admissions committee at Saïd business school are looking for individuals who want to do more than attending classes and securing a job post-MBA. In this question, you need to show that you are willing to put effort and go after what you want. Thus, highlight the things that you are doing towards achieving your goals is a good strategy for this question.

Should you not be successful in securing your first choice of role, what is your alternative?

This question wants to know whether you have a plan B for your career goals. The university wants to make sure that you have thought of alternative career choices post-MBA. Thus, demonstrating that you have identified and considered an alternative path towards your goal is an excellent way to respond to this question.

According to mbaMission, you need to outline an option that is aligned and consistent with your interests.

Questions asked for ‘entrepreneurship’ as your short-term career goal:

  • Describe your business idea and the steps you have taken so far to develop/launch your plan.
  • How will an MBA help you to develop further or start your business?
  • What do you plan to do between now and starting your MBA to achieve success?
  • What is your alternative if you are not successful in developing/launching your own business?

Questions asked for ‘Others’ (including family business) as your short-term career goal:

  • Describe your plan after graduating with an MBA
  • How does an MBA fit into your plans, and how will it enhance your short-term direction?
  • How will you develop your career goals before starting your MBA?
  • What research have you already conducted, and what further research you will do?
  • How will an MBA help you get equipped for the future?

Questions asked for ‘ returning to current employer’ as your short-term career goal:

  • Is your current employer planning to sponsor your MBA?
  • Describe the role you will be returning to and provide any other information in regards to the role.

Apart from the above essay prompt and career goal questions, re-applicants need to submit an additional essay answer:

What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (250 words max)

By asking this question, the admission committee wants to know how you have improved your profile as compared to last time. Highlight things such as:

  • Improved GMAT score
  • Worked on a new project/assignment
  • Extra classes
  • Increased community involvement
  • Development of new skills
  • And many more

Oxford MBA Online Assessment

Oxford-MBA-online-assessment-questions

A link to an online assessment portal will be updated on your application portal once you have submitted your form. According to the application requirement section of the Saïd business school, to get a sense of an applicant’s personality and see how they think on their feet, the following questions need to be submitted:

  • Two motivation-based questions (same questions for every applicant)
  • Two competency-based questions (randomized questions)
  • Live Written Response (randomized question)

The motivation-based questions are an opportunity for you to demonstrate your motivation for pursuing an MBA and why an Oxford MBA program the right choice for you. For example, “why is an MBA the next step for you?”.

The competency-based questions allow you to demonstrate your skills and qualities that oxford university looks for, which is decision-making, leadership, problem-solving, and strong communication skills.  For example, “Tell us about a time where you have overcome a challenging situation personally or professionally. What was your approach to resolving the issue?”

At last, there is a live written response within the Kira talent platform. This question will allow the applicants to demonstrate their written communication skills and will help in knowing how well they can think on their feet. For example, “Apples are more versatile than bananas. Discuss.”

Before going live with your responses, the portal will provide you with adequate time to prepare and practice for your video interview questions. The online assessment will take up to 30 minutes, and you will need a desktop/laptop with functioning webcam, internet connection, and microphone.

Are you aspiring to pursue an Oxford MBA? A 730+ GMAT score can increase your chances of getting an admit. Sign up for our free trial today!

Here are some additional articles for writing MBA Application:

  • Oxford Saïd School of Business: Class Profile, Employment Reports, and Salaries
  • The UK has extended its post-study Visa to 2 Years | Thousands of International Students stand to Benefit
  • 1-Year vs 2-Year MBA | Pros and Cons
  • How to make an impressive MBA Application Video Essay
  • Avoid these MBA application mistakes and make it to your dream business school
  • Importance of MBA Essays in Business School applications
  • How to improve your MBA profile and boost your application

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Said Oxford MBA 2022-23 Essay Analysis & Tips

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Said Oxford Career Goals:

As discussed in my LBS and Insead essay analysis, Oxford is also getting more attention from international applicants due to the anti immigration policies of the Trump administration in the USA. Thousands of applicants from India, China, the Middle East and Eastern Europe are eyeing Oxford instead of US schools for their MBA education. Because of this, the competition among the international applicants has significantly increased, requiring applicants to do better than their best in the application essay.

Oxford asks a series of questions related to your goals instead of setting you one single goal essay. These short questions are different for different career paths. In this analysis, I will discuss the questions they ask if you choose “employment” or “entrepreneurship” as your short term career goal.

  • Describe below your immediate plan after graduating from the MBA
  • How does your preferred sector in your preferred location recruit MBA talent and what do they look for in a candidate? Describe the research you have done so far
  • Reflecting on your answer above, how do you meet these requirements?
  • What do you plan to do between now and starting your MBA to prepare and maximise your chances of success?
  • Should you not be successful in securing your first choice of role, what is your alternative?

It’s not difficult to state your career goals. But your chief responsibility in this question is to differentiate yourself from other applicants in your pool (such as Indian IT pool, Chinese manufacturing pool, UK finance pool, etc.). Hence, you need to thoroughly evaluate your profile, career path and future goals in order to effectively answer this question. If you are a star applicant (740+ GMAT, consulting experience, branded academic institution), securing a seat at Oxford should pose no problems. However, if you don’t have such a stellar record, you will face substantial competition from hundreds of other applicants.

In such a competitive scenario, extensive research on your future career path will be your biggest strength. Oxford specifically asks about your research in question # 2. If you wish to switch from technology to consulting, or software development to private equity, or automobile to energy consulting etc., you need to undertake elaborate research on the feasibility of your plan before you write this essay. Your research will help you identify all the skills you need to get your post MBA dream job. You can look at the list and identify how many skills you already posses and how many you need to pick up at Oxford.

Moreover, Oxford has increased your accountability by hinting that you should try to acquire additional skills even before you enroll for the MBA program. Which skills do you plan to acquire? Why and how? Finally, what is your alternative career plan?

Overall, it’s a complete essay package that Oxford is asking for, although it is presented in a different manner. Your prime objective should be to stand out from the crowd. If you handle these questions well, it will make you a prime contender for admission. But if your execution fails, you will pay dearly. So, be cautious, work hard, and write and rewrite your answers till perfection is achieved. Let us know in case you need assistance.

Entrepreneurship

  • Describe your business idea including details of your business plan and the steps you have taken so far to develop or launch your business idea
  • How will the MBA help you start, or further develop, your own business?
  • Should you not be successful in developing or launching your own business, what is your alternative?

If you have the entrepreneurial gene, Oxford will welcome you with open arms, but first you need to prove your talent. What is your business plan? Do you have a business model or a prototype? Have you done any pilot project to evaluate the feasibility of your plan? Has any venture capitalist or investors funded you to date? (This question is paramount, as Oxford wants to know if your ideas have been pre-tested by anyone else). Or have you already sold one of your start-ups and are on your way to build the second one? If yes, let Oxford know about these accomplishments. Nothing better shows how savvy you are in business than the fact that you have made some profit by selling a nascent business to a bigger player in the market.

Now, if you are a successful businessman, you need to convince Oxford that you really need an MBA. On the other hand, if your first start-up went belly up, you have to show Oxford that you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Both these questions are actually quite tough and will test your maturity as a leader.

Differentiating yourself from others in terms of business plans, models, ideas, execution capability, speed, or any other factor is your main target in this essay. B-schools love entrepreneurs. They just want to understand that you are the real deal. If you need any assistance to create your argument, please feel free to contact me.

Said Oxford MBA Application Details

Class Profile : Click here

Deadlines : Click here

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Said Business School MBA: Uncover the Excellence of Oxford’s Executive Education

The Oxford Business School stands as a globally renowned and highly esteemed institution in the realm of business education. Its Executive MBA and Finance programs consistently earn top rankings worldwide and are frequently acknowledged as the premier business school in the United Kingdom.

According to the Financial Times 2021 rankings, the Said Business School is ranked 2nd in the UK and 12th globally. Their MBA program is highly esteemed and sought after, demanding a blend of exceptional intellect, unwavering persistence, and strong interpersonal and leadership abilities.

The University of Oxford offers a one-year Master of Business Administration (MBA), and a 21-month Executive MBA, recognized as one of the best globally. This program encompasses an intensive curriculum comprising captivating lectures, engaging seminars, and interactive small-group sessions, providing a comprehensive education to students worldwide. Established in 1996, the Said Business School is a relatively recent addition to the elite ranks of top-tier business schools.

In this blog, we will uncover the nuances of this coveted program, exploring its unique features, esteemed reputation, and the transformative experiences it offers to aspiring business leaders.

OXFORD MBA DEADLINES

If the opportunity to be considered for University of Oxford scholarships is important to you, you must apply by the January (Stage 2) deadline. For more information on applying, please visit the Oxford MBA admissions  website.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

  • At least two years of full-time work experience, demonstrating career progression, international exposure, and leadership potential
  • A detailed 1-page CV
  • A post-MBA career plan, showing how the programme will equip you with the skills to reach these goals
  • Undergraduate degree -You will be asked to upload all your university degree academic transcripts/mark-sheets to the online application form.
  • Competitive GMAT/GRE score
  • Two professional or academic references.
  • £150 application fee
  • Certificate of proficiency in English (if appropriate), such as TOEFL or IELTS
  • Online Assessment

OXFORD ONLINE ASSESSMENT

In order to have a virtual interaction with you, grasp an understanding of your personality, and observe your ability to think on your feet, you will be required to undergo an online assessment as a component of your application

2 MOTIVATION BASED QUESTIONS – 

These are designed to give you the opportunity to demonstrate (via video response) your motivations for undertaking an MBA, and why the Oxford MBA is the right programme for you. Every applicant will be asked the same two questions.

1 COMPETENCY-BASED QUESTION – 

This will allow you to demonstrate (via video response) the skills and qualities we look for, such as decision-making, problem-solving, influencing, leadership, teamwork, change management, and communication. It will be randomized, with applicants receiving one competency-based question from a pool of available questions.

WRITTEN-RESPONSE QUESTION-

As part of the application process, applicants will encounter a ‘live’ written response task. Rather than a rehearsed essay, participants will encounter a spontaneous and light-hearted question on the Kira Talent platform, providing an opportunity to showcase their adeptness in written communication and quick thinking. The question will be randomly selected from a pool of questions available.

OXFORD MBA ESSAYS

Crafting compelling essays is a crucial component of the Said Business School MBA application process. The admissions committee carefully evaluates these essays to gain deeper insights into your motivations, experiences, and potential contributions to the Oxford MBA community. Your essays should eloquently convey your story and provide evidence of essential qualities that align with the program’s values and objectives. Here are the essay topics for the year 2023-2024 :

Tell us something that is not covered in your application which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you. (Maximum 250 words)

This essay question provides a chance to reveal a personal side beyond the formal application. Be genuine and reflective, choosing an aspect that’s unique and relevant to your application. Illustrate how this aspect has impacted your growth, maintaining a concise and engaging writing style within the word limit. Ensure the information aligns with your application narrative and highlights your distinctiveness. Keep a professional yet personable tone and seek feedback to refine your content. Relate the shared aspect to how it might enrich your MBA experience or contribute to the MBA community for a well-rounded response.

If you are applying under the Oxford 1+1 MBA scheme you also need to submit the following essay:

 Explain why you see this as particularly beneficial for you and how it fits with your career and personal development aims. (Maximum 250 words)

The Oxford 1+1 MBA provides a unique experience. You can study business for one year and spend the other year studying topics from African Studies to Water Science, Policy, and Management.

Successful applicants will show why they have a good reason to study both. Consider your career goals and how a well-rounded course may help you. In addition, focus on long-term goals and consider how deep knowledge in a master’s topic could provide perspective.

The essay prompt for the Oxford 1+1 MBA scheme requires applicants to concisely outline the reasons they find this program advantageous and how it aligns with their career and personal development objectives. This allows applicants to succinctly communicate their motivations and strategic reasons for pursuing this unique academic pathway.

Re-applicants will need to submit an additional essay as below:

What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)

If you’re reapplying to the Oxford MBA, you’ll need to address the changes and enhancements you’ve made in your candidacy since your previous application. The essay should concisely describe the improvements you’ve undertaken, showcasing growth and development in a maximum of 250 words.

Saïd Business School Class of 2023 Key Statistics

  • Entering Full-Time MBA Students: 313
  • Average GMAT Score: 690
  • Average GMAT Score: 160
  • Average Age: 28
  • Average Work Experience: 5 Years
  • Rolling Admissions: No
  • International Students: 93%
  • Nationalities: 64

SAID MBA COURSE FEES

The course fee for the 2024-25 program will be £78,510. This fee includes lifelong membership of the Oxford Union. 

PROGRAM STRUCTURE OVERVIEW:

The Oxford MBA program spans a 12-month period, commencing in September and concluding the following September. The structure aligns closely with the University of Oxford’s academic calendar, encompassing three main terms, along with an additional summer term. Here is an outline of the program’s structure:

Pre-Programme (August):

Before officially starting the MBA in September, participants are required to complete a mandatory, self-directed pre-programme in August. This pre-programme aims to provide foundational knowledge in core quantitative, leadership, and business concepts, ensuring all students start the program on a level playing field.

Term 1 (Michaelmas Term – September to December):

The MBA journey kicks off with a focus on core courses and foundational leadership concepts during the Michaelmas Term. This term is dedicated to building a strong base of knowledge and skills essential for the rest of the program.

Term 2 (Hilary Term – January to March):

In the Hilary Term, the curriculum continues with core courses and leadership fundamentals, offering a deeper exploration of essential business concepts. Students strengthen their understanding of foundational material, preparing for the subsequent elective courses.

Term 3 (Trinity Term – April to June):

During the Trinity Term, the program shifts its focus to elective courses, providing students with the flexibility to tailor their learning based on their interests and career goals. Participants have the opportunity to explore specialized areas and enhance their expertise in specific domains.

Summer Term (July to September):

The MBA program concludes with the Summer Term, which allows students to integrate and apply their acquired knowledge and skills in a practical context. This term often involves project work, internships, or strategic initiatives that serve as a culmination of the program and prepare students for their future careers.

This structured timeline ensures a comprehensive and well-rounded MBA experience, encompassing essential pre-programme preparation, core courses, specialized electives, and practical application of knowledge, all within the world-renowned academic environment of the University of Oxford. For more detailed information about the program structure, prospective students are encouraged to check out the details  here.

Oxford Campus Life Highlights:

Two Unique Locations:  Park End Street and Egrove Park offer first-class facilities for a conducive learning environment.

Small Class Sizes:  Ensures a close-knit community and strong faculty-student interaction.

Access to Bodleian Libraries:  Enhances academic exploration with a rich collection of resources.

Oxford Union Membership:  Provides opportunities for intellectual engagement and discussions.

Student-Led Clubs:  Twelve clubs focused on various sectors and interests, fostering collaboration and innovation.

Diversity Alliances:  Oxford Africa Business Alliance and Oxford Women in Leadership Alliance promote diversity and inclusivity.

Academic Competitions:  Opportunities to apply knowledge through global and local competitions.

MBA Tournament in Paris:  An annual event for MBA students, offering friendly competitions and festivities, fostering camaraderie and fun.

Oxford’s campus life embodies a blend of academic excellence, cultural diversity, and engaging activities, ensuring a well-rounded and enriching experience for all students.

EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

 The Oxford MBA program at Said Business School prides itself on delivering strong employment prospects for its alumni. Here’s a glimpse into the employment statistics: 

Whether you’re seeking to enhance your career trajectory, switch industries, or dive into entrepreneurship, the Oxford MBA provides a solid foundation. The employment statistics reflect a track record of success, showcasing the doors that open for our graduates in various industries, roles, and geographies.

As you consider your aspirations and weigh your options, we invite you to explore further, reach out with any questions, and envision how the Oxford MBA can shape your future. This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a community of thought leaders, innovators, and change-makers. Your journey towards success and impactful leadership begins here, at the Said Business School, University of Oxford.

Q1: What sets the Oxford MBA program apart from others?

A1: The Oxford MBA program distinguishes itself with its interdisciplinary approach, small class sizes, and global networking opportunities.

Q2: How can I prepare for the Oxford MBA application process?

A2: To prepare, thoroughly research the program, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, and focus on highlighting your achievements and goals in your application.

Q3: Are scholarships or financial aid available for the Oxford MBA program?

A3: Yes, the Said Business School offers various scholarships and financial aid options. Explore the official website for detailed information on eligibility and application procedures.

Q4: Can you provide more details about the academic structure and curriculum of the Oxford MBA program?

A4: Certainly! The program encompasses core courses, leadership fundamentals, elective courses for specialization, and a summer term for practical application. Refer to the blog for a more detailed overview.

Q5: How does the Oxford MBA program support career development and job placements?

A5: The program offers career development services, industry connections, and a high post-graduation employment rate. The blog provides insights into employment statistics and alumni success stories.

Q6: Are there opportunities for global exposure and networking during the Oxford MBA?

A6: Yes, the program offers international study trips, exchanges, and events like the annual MBA Tournament in Paris, fostering a global network and cultural exchange. Explore the blog for more details.

Q7: How diverse and inclusive is the Oxford MBA community?

A7: The Oxford MBA actively promotes diversity, reflected in student-led clubs, alliances supporting African and female candidates, and a welcoming environment for students from all backgrounds.

Q8: What additional resources and facilities are available for students at Oxford?

A8: Beyond academic excellence, students have access to the prestigious Bodleian Libraries, cutting-edge facilities, student clubs, and various extracurricular activities. For further details, read the blog post on campus life.

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Bobby Wagner, a six-time All-Pro linebacker, chose to sign with the Washington Commanders in the offseason in part because of his plan to enroll in Howard University School of Business’ MBA program. Fox Sports photo

From Washington, D.C.: Bobby Wagner did not consider retiring from football on the verge of his 34th birthday. It was the pull of playing for Dan Quinn and Ken Norton Jr. that drew him to leave the Seattle Seahawks and sign with the Washington Commanders.

But something outside of football also tipped the scales toward Washington.

Wagner is getting a Master of Business Administration degree from Howard University in the District of Columbia, an 18-month course he started in January with an eye on expanding his horizons beyond football.

“It was going to be online,” Wagner said Friday, “but I think that might have changed a little bit.”

oxford said mba essay questions

Valerie R. Muigai, operations and finance manager at Global Change Data Lab and member of the Oxford MBA 2020 Class: “The (Sanpaolo) scholarship has been a transformative experience for me, both personally and professionally. As a mother of three and the founder of a social enterprise in Uganda, the prospect of pursuing an MBA at Oxford seemed beyond reach due to financial constraints.” Oxford photo

Oxford Saïd celebrates five years of Intesa Sanpaolo’s support for incredible women

From Oxford, UK: The prestigious Oxford-Intesa Sanpaolo MBA Graduate Scholarship, at Saïd Business School, marks its fifth anniversary this year. Providing full funding for a female scholar each year on Oxford’s MBA program covering all fees, living costs, and if needed, the funding of childcare.

The childcare bursary makes the scholarship unusual among major MBA programs. Where the scholarship goes to someone who does not need childcare support, that element of the funding is then made available, through Green Templeton College, to other female MBA students at the School who would benefit from it.

Amy Major, associate director of MBA program delivery at Oxford Saïd, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Intesa Sanpaolo for their very generous scholarship. The unusual element, of financial support with childcare, has opened up opportunities to talented mothers who would otherwise struggle to study an MBA at Oxford. It has certainly contributed to why we are one of the few business schools in the world to have broken gender parity in this current class, at 51% female, and why we are a destination of choice for women looking to do an MBA in the UK.”

Esade & Berkeley Haas sign a cooperation agreement to promote innovation & knowledge exchange

From Barcelona, Spain: Esade and the University of California, Berkeley have signed an academic agreement to expand their research cooperation and develop both focused and comprehensive joint programs. The aim is to foster and enhance synergies between the two institutions that provide faculty, researchers, and students with unique opportunities for immersion in two of the most dynamic ecosystems in terms of innovation and creativity: Silicon Valley and Barcelona.

“Cooperating with world-renowned universities is not only aligned with Esade’s vision but also indispensable in today’s dynamic landscape of constant innovation,” said Esade dean Joan Rodon. “These types of agreements are an opportunity to promote and strengthen academic excellence and to cultivate the ability to apply knowledge in real-life transformative scenarios.”

”Berkeley Haas and the Institute for Business Innovation are strongly committed to building global partnerships that provide new research collaboration opportunities for our faculty and learning engagement for our students,” says the Institute for Business Innovation’s executive director, Chris Bush. “Creating a new innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem that draws on the strengths of both universities is an opportunity for us to expand our impact.”

Purdue’s Daniels School launches new economics undergraduate degree

From West Lafayette, Indiana: A new undergraduate degree program at Purdue’s Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business brings together economic theory, business acumen, and statistical techniques to best prepare graduates to lead in the application of data to solve business problems.

The Bachelor of Science in Quantitative Business Economics will welcome students in fall 2024. The new major has two main foci: business economics and quantitative data analytics, says Andres Vargas, director of undergraduate programs in economics at the Daniels School.

“It’s a combination of economic theory and advanced statistical tools, which allows graduates to make informed business decisions using data,” Vargas says.

DON’T MISS HULT BREAKS GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR CLASSROOM DIVERSITY

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Start date: September 2024

Time commitment:

About the programme

Oxford University has a rich tradition of developing leaders.

Our Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programme builds on this legacy, providing you with a solid foundation in core business principles while developing a broadened mindset and understanding of the role of business in society. You will be challenged to delve deep into the areas that interest you most and gain the strategic skills and insight to lead a successful, purposeful career.

The programme exposes you to:

  • a global connected network
  • a diverse student group
  • diverse career opportunities
  • thought leaders
  • a rigorous academic experience

Experience Oxford through our students

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What you will learn

Fundamental skills.

  • Develop your ability to think logically, laterally and independently
  • Build fundamental skills through the core courses
  • Shape and define your career goals through industry specific electives
  • Empower yourself to become a global leader

Real-world skills

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Conflict management
  • Negotiation
  • Strategy building

Class profile

The class represents a breadth of diversity, a multiplicity of perspectives and expertise, along with a willingness to interchange ideas and concepts. We seek professionals from a range of industries, from finance to consulting, and tech to healthcare.

Class size (2023-24)

Nationalities

International students

Average work experience

Median GMAT

Nationality breakdown

We have a truly international 2023-24 cohort, with 97% international students representing 63 nationalities.

  • East Asia 15%
  • Latin America & the Caribbean 3%
  • Middle East 5%
  • North America 12%
  • South Asia 23%
  • South East Asia 14% 

Your community

The diverse and vibrant Saïd Business School and wider Oxford community is here to support you through every step. Whether you're coming from a military background, relocating to the UK with your spouse or family, or interested in joining supportive networks, our community will help you feel at home.

Who are we looking for?

Who you are.

  • Strong professional experience
  • Background in varied and multicultural environments
  • Exceptional maturity and outstanding leadership
  • Ability to make insightful contributions to your class, based on your professional and personal experience
  • Strong academic foundation

What you need

  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent
  • Written supporting statement
  • Online assessment
  • Either a GMAT or GRE score
  • Professional experience with a minimum of two years work experience
  • An understanding of your career goals
  • English capability
  • Two references, either professional or academic
  • One page CV using this template as a guide

How to apply

Application deadlines.

Applications for the class of 2024-25 are now open.

You will need to submit your online application form with all  application requirements  by your chosen application deadline. 

Application deadlines are:

  • Stage 1:  Wednesday 27 September 2023
  • Stage 2:  Friday 5 January 2024
  • Stage 3:  Wednesday 20 March 2024

Interview decisions

The admissions committee will review your completed application.

We will tell you whether or not you have been shortlisted for an interview for the 2024-25 intake on the date below:

  • Stage 1:  Wednesday 8 November 2023
  • Stage 2:  Wednesday 31 January 2024
  • Stage 3:  Wednesday 17 April 2024

Final decisions

After all interviews have been conducted, the admissions committee will decide which candidates will receive an offer to join the MBA programme.

Final decisions for 2024-25 will be emailed to all candidates on the final decision deadline of the stage in which you have applied below:

  • Stage 1:  Wednesday 13 December 2023
  • Stage 2:  Friday 8 March 2024
  • Stage 3:  Friday 17 May 2024

Scholarships

Scholarships are available from Saïd Business School , Oxford University and Colleges , or external sources. We recommend applying early to maximise the number of scholarship opportunities for which you are considered. Additionally, some scholarships have fixed application deadlines. For the majority of Saïd Business School and Oxford University scholarships, only the standard course application is usually required. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered.

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Learn more about the programme and our diverse community by attending an event and meeting our team, students, and alumni. We hold events here at Saïd Business School, overseas and online.

Check out our upcoming events to register for information sessions or MBA fairs in your nearest city, open days or campus visits here at the school, or virtual events such as webinars, Q&A sessions, taster lectures, and more. You can also register for a one-on-one profile review with a member of our Recruitment and Admissions team.

Alumni feedback

I was attracted by the theoretical and practical approach of the MBA programme itself. The programme imparts skills to develop a business concept and implement it, all with a holistic view of business on an interlinked world stage. Harriet Okwi Asiyo MBA Student

Career development

Making a career change is often one of the most cited reasons for pursuing an MBA. Through coaching, talent development and employer engagement, we enable our students to develop, discover, articulate and take ownership of their career and professional development plans.

Our most recent employment report for the Oxford MBA 2021-22 cohort shows that there was a rise of 5.7% in overall average salaries across sectors. Our graduates have gone on to work at over 150 organisations globally, with 58% switching sector, 66% moving location, 64% changing job function and 27% doing all three.

Student experiences

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Read news and updates from our students and alumni as they reflect on their academic challenges and highlights, as well as opportunities presented to them through the programme. Gain insights into MBA life, Saïd Business School life, and college life, as well as get a behind the scenes look at what being a postgraduate student in Oxford entails.

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You will belong to one of the University’s 39 autonomous colleges. Each has a self-governing academic community of students and faculty with its own distinctive history and identity.

The collegiate system allows you to connect with students from other disciplines. Your college will provide you with the chance to establish a new circle of friends, access to a range of varied social and sporting activities, and opportunities to participate in a lively intellectual community.

Oxford 1+1 MBA

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The Oxford 1+1 MBA programme is a unique opportunity for talented individuals to combine a Master's degree from selected Oxford University departments with our one-year MBA.

This powerful joint degree allows you to gain deep knowledge and expertise in your specialist fields, as well as developing a comprehensive understanding of business, exceptional leadership skills and practical experience.

Connect with us

Browse our  FAQs page for more information on a variety of topics. 

You can also contact our admissions and recruitment team or register for an upcoming event.

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