Oxford Saïd Application Essay Tips, 2022-2023
Oxford Saïd Business School takes pride in being part of a “world-class university, tackling world-class problems.” The school attracts a diverse student body that comes from all areas of life and is motivated to drive change and turn ideas into action. The program’s main 250-word essay is a great way to showcase a personal aspect of your candidacy. In your written work, Oxford will be looking for evidence of good communication skills, leadership potential, analytical skills, and fit with its very international MBA community.
Essay 1: 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 prompt gives you the flexibility to cover any topic, but being specific and concise will be key to crafting an effective response. We suggest you pick a maximum of one or two examples. If you have any gaps or weaknesses in your profile that need to be clarified, you can address those, but add a positive spin by highlighting what actions you have taken to address the shortcomings. For example, if you had a low GPA in college as a result of extenuating circumstances, perhaps you took additional quantitative courses to demonstrate your ability to handle the intense MBA coursework.
You can also consider sharing a story about a personal achievement, a leadership experience, a volunteer opportunity, an extracurricular activity at work, or a hobby. Provide details about your role, what result you achieved or impact you had, and what you learned from the experience. Depending on the topic—and if space permits—you can try working in how you could continue the activity while contributing to the Oxford community.
Given the global nature of the program, this essay would be a great place to talk about any international experiences or cross-cultural exposure you have had, whether through a project at work or while growing up. Share details about what the experience taught you and how it contributed to your growth and development or to your understanding of different cultures.
1+1 Applicant 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 program provides an excellent opportunity for specialized individuals to complete a one-year master’s degree from selected Oxford University departments, followed by a one-year MBA. In this essay, passionately share how you’ll practically apply a comprehensive understanding of business to your chosen discipline to create wide-reaching impact.
Be sure to illustrate the synergies you anticipate from accessing Oxford’s resources throughout both years. You might wish to highlight the strong networking opportunities you’ll access, including other MBA students, international alumni, prominent academics, and expert practitioners.
Overall, make the admissions committee confident that you are clear on your plans and will make them proud upon graduation. Don’t repeat any content from Essay 1; ensure that you are maximizing the tight word count by sharing only complementary information.
Reapplicant Essay: What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)
As a reapplicant, you should provide specific examples of how you have strengthened your profile from the previous time you applied, whether you have taken on additional responsibilities at work, earned a promotion, improved your test score(s), learned a new skill, or picked up a new activity that has helped you grow. Be sure to express your continued interest in the Oxford MBA program by sharing any steps you have taken to learn more about the school and its community.