Oxford Said expects its graduates to address the world’s great challenges, such as energy and food and water security. Whether such challenges are one’s actual focus, the work of a business professional will inevitably overlap with such issues. This reality leads the adcom to seek individuals who understand integrity, who value the program’s effort to “burst the business bubble” and bring in non-business perspectives and disciplines, and who are ready to become dynamic leaders into a precarious and uncertain future.
Showing awareness in your essays of these concerns and interests will help you portray fit with the program while highlighting your distinctive attributes.
The questions, taken together, form an interesting and perhaps challenging opportunity to make your case. While there is no specific goals question, it would be a good idea to discuss goals in one of the essays, considering how future-focused the adcom is in its website introduction to the program. You could technically address goals in either essay, but I suggest the first essay as the better – more intuitive – place to do so.
1. How do you fit with Oxford Saïd’s mission? (500 words maximum)
Past predicts future, so this essay should include some specific examples of your experience that align with the stated mission – it’s important to show that you are already in sync with it, not just that you will be; this gives credibility to your case. (You need not address all those mission points, by the way.)
Then, present your goals and clarify how they align with this mission. Flowing from that, it is natural to discuss some specific aspects of the program of special value or interest to you.
An intuitive and efficient structure for this essay is to start with previous experiences, then discuss goals and fit with Said. With only 500 words, don’t get fancy with themes or structure – if something brilliant emerges, great, but regardless, prioritize substance – concrete experience, insights gained, future plans.
2. Is there anything not covered in the application form which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you? (Maximum 250 words)
This sounds like an optional essay, but it’s not. Theoretically, you could have a one-word reply: “No.” I don’t suggest it…
The prompt clearly implies that the adcom wants to get to know you as a person. So, take a holistic review of your application – resume, online form, and above essay – and then consider what other aspects of your life and/or experience would be worth sharing in this essay to further illuminate your candidacy. Your application form will likely include brief encapsulations of things like hobbies, community involvements, etc. You can still write about such things here in more depth – after all the motivation and the details are not covered in the application. Another possible type of experience to address would be a pivotal/formative professional or personal relationship, which shows you to be resourceful (and appreciative). Keep the essay concrete – but DO present insight and DO reflect a bit. You need to show that you have something to say, to bring to the table.
If you would like professional guidance with your Oxford Said MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Oxford Said MBA application.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 15+ years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!