Tuesday Tips: Oxford Said MBA Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips

Oxford MBA essay tips

The highly ranked one-year Oxford Said MBA program exposes students to an international, diverse network at a world class institution. Correspondingly, Oxford seeks engaged students and mature leaders with extensive work experience.

Upon visiting Oxford or researching the school by reading student blogs, you’ll notice that there is a strong culture of improving the world through business. In fact, this emphasis on making the world a better place comes through clearly in this set of essays and is a core motivator for a successful applicant. Note that you can describe your career goals in a short answer section within the application.


Consider a statistic or trend that shocks you. Why it is important to you and how could it be changed for the better? (Maximum 500 words)

Dean Peter Tufano’s welcome on the Oxford Said website clearly states that, “we believe that business can play an integral part to address the systemic issues that will alter the future for generations to come: planetary threats; rising inequality; the mismatch of education, skills and employment opportunities; and growing nationalism and challenges to the institutions of democracy.”

In particular, this question seeks to understand what you view as the systematic issues that drive you personally, so ask yourself: What societal problems do you want to solve in your career and life? Perhaps you have a social enterprise career goal and will address poverty or education. Maybe you plan to volunteer and raise money for an important cause in your spare time.

Most importantly, whether your goal is personal or professional, you should show that you’re passionate about improving the world and that you have a specific concern about systematic issues.

To the extent your career goal is related to the statistic or trend that shocks you, this essay is a great place to explore that connection. However, if there’s no obvious connection, you can devote all of your space in this essay to discussing other ways in which you will change the world for the better.


Is there anything not covered in the application form which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you? (Maximum 250 words)

Finally, if you need to explain anything challenging in your background, you can do so in this entirely open-ended essay. Above all, issues such as a low GPA or GMAT, resume gaps, issues with recommenders, or issues with your undergraduate record are areas you will need to explain here.

Likewise, if you need to address a challenge, use this essay to explain the situation and how you have improved and developed as a person. Ideally, you can show improvement to any challenging aspect of your application and demonstrate that any issues are behind you.

In short, if you feel comfortable with your application and have nothing to clarify, use this essay to further emphasize your career goals, add information about your international experience, or highlight your diverse background to enhance the admissions committee understanding of your candidacy. Remember, Oxford is looking for maturity, leadership and diversity in applicants and use this opportunity to shine.

If you have an interview coming up, you will want to review SBC’s interview prep services. The key to interview success is practice and we provide you with all the tools you need to do just that.

  • Leverage our video platform to practice, view yourself and improve
  • Work with our experts for live rehearsal and feedback
  • Download a guide for lists of practice questions, tips on how to prep and overviews of interview formats
  • Experience a real group interview before your big day

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