Admissions Q&A : SAID Business School

What are the most important factors you keep in mind while evaluating an applicant at SAID?

We take a holistic approach when reviewing an applicant and look for a number of qualities and attributes to find those who are most likely to succeed at Oxford. So as well as reviewing the candidate’s academic background, work experience, test scores, essays, and post-MBA career plans, we will also look at soft skills such as the ability to work as a team, leadership potential, communication skills, and networking. Our teaching is built on discussion, the sharing of views and the active engagement of the whole learning community so we look for candidates that will bring something unique and interesting to the class, and who will be able to enrich classroom discussions.

What are the main sectors recruiting students?

Despite the pressure in the market, leading MBA employers continue to recruit from the School with enthusiasm. While consulting and finance continue to be of interest to many of our students, and represent 27% and 22% of career destinations respectively, in the last couple of years we have seen a rise in the number of students working in diversified industries such as technology, consumer, manufacturing and energy. With a hugely diverse class, that draws students from over 43 countries, our students take up employment opportunities all over the world.

What do you think is the SAID advantage?

We are a vibrant business school integrated into of one of the world’s greatest universities and this benefits our students (and faculty) in many ways. We engage actively with University colleagues – on faculty research, on student-led initiatives, on formal collaborations to deliver programmes, and bring faculty from around the University into the School to produce powerful ideas that enable us to transform business thinking and tackle world scale problems. For example, we recently introduced Global Opportunities and Threats Oxford (GOTO) to the MBA students and alumni. An online problem-solving platform it brings together the School community and University faculty around a seemingly intractable problem or issue such as demographic change or big data to examine the opportunities and threats this presents for policy and planning in different countries.

Our MBA is very diverse, 96% of our students are international giving the programme a truly global perspective. Our students all become members of a college at the University, where they mix with students and academics from non-business backgrounds, broadening their network and strengthening their knowledge across diverse disciplines. On graduation they join the global Oxford network and the benefits this brings as they pursue their careers and ambitions.

What are the types of scholarships available for international students?

There are a number of scholarships available, some administered by the School and some by the University, and around 14% of our MBA students have received funding in this way. The criteria for the scholarships vary and can be awarded for academic excellence, be sector specific, or by country.