Chicago Booth | Mr. Community Uplift
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
Stanford GSB | Mr. Infantry Officer
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Doctor Who
GRE 322, GPA 4.0
Columbia | Mr. Senior Research Analyst
GMAT 720, GPA 3.58
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthtech Venture
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
Rice Jones | Mr. Carbon-Free Future
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0
London Business School | Mr. FANG Strategy
GMAT 740, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Mr. Policy Player
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. Healthtech Consultant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.44
NYU Stern | Mr. Army Prop Trader
GRE 313, GPA 2.31
Harvard | Mr. Software PE
GMAT 760, GPA 3.45
Kellogg | Mr. Social Impact Initiative
GMAT 710, GPA 3.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
INSEAD | Ms. Spaniard Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 8.5/10.00
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Navy Nuke
GMAT 710, GPA 3.66
NYU Stern | Ms. Entertainment Strategist
GMAT Have not taken, GPA 2.92
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
Wharton | Mr. Hopeful Fund Manager
GMAT 770, GPA 8.52/10
London Business School | Mr. LGBT Pivot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Rice Jones | Mr. Student Government
GMAT 34 (ACT for Early Admit Program), GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8

Oxford’s Saïd Fights ‘Bunker’ Mentality

Glass-walled front of Said Business School at Oxford University

Said Business School at Oxford University

When the dean of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School sits down to coffee and croissants with his students once a week, he likes what he hears. He’s presiding over a revamp of the school’s curriculum, and the feedback over breakfast has been good.

Not to say students didn’t already appreciate the university’s one-year MBA program as it stood. The latest rankings from The Economist show the Oxford cohort rate their program more highly than their counterparts at London Business School. Saїd’s students are happy, employers like what they get, and employment stats are healthy. Some 15% of students go on to entrepreneurial ventures, and the average graduate salary for 2012-2013 was $103,105 (£60,589).

According to Dean Peter Tufano, Saїd hasn’t removed the usual “bread and butter” fare of the MBA experience. In fact, the business school has strengthened some of its core disciplines. But the institution has also added a mix of less obvious elements – global awareness, a beefed-up entrepreneurial program, and broader collaboration with Oxford academics. Tufano hopes to leverage the expertise and prestige of the wider university more forcefully, a strategy that is also playing out at several other business schools, including Yale’s School of Management.

CEOS WANT UNDERSTANDING OF WORLD-SCALE TOPICS FROM MBA GRADUATES

“The ‘why’ of this change is simple,” he says. “When I speak to CEOs and other business executives about what they need, they want rigorous training in accounting and so on, but they also want understanding of world-scale topics that you wouldn’t find in a marketing or finance course.”

This redesign is in part Saїd’s long-considered response to the criticism levelled at business schools in the wake of the financial crisis. “The sense that business schools are too distant from society and not wise about the context in which they operate,” as Tufano puts it. “If you surround business school students with a steady diet of business faculty and business speakers, it’s not surprising you’ll inculcate a bunker mentality,” he says.

The broadness of the “Oxford experience” already features prominently in Saїd’s offering. MBA students lodge on the university’s campus and dine or play tennis with students from other colleges such as Brasenose and Magdalen. In fact, Saїd has this year begun inviting humanities professors from the wider faculty to teach within the MBA program. “We have experts in philosophy or the arts all trying to figure out what it means to be a leader and make decisions in complex times,” Tufano says.

He’s also introduced the “1+1” MBA, which allows students to study for a combined master’s and MBA over two years. A few ad hoc groups and initiatives have sprung up among MBA and other master’s students. “This is what employers want,” says Dana Brown, executive director of the MBA. “People who can engage and communicate with scientists, policymakers – but not in the language of the Harvard Business Review.”

THREE BIG THEMES PLAY OUT IN NEW MBA: GLOBAL RULES, ENTREPRENEURSHIP & RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP

So, here is the nitty-gritty on the Oxford changes which take effect this fall. Three cross-cutting themes embedded in the curriculum will take effect in September: global rules of the game, entrepreneurship, and responsible leadership. These are critical areas for students to master, whether they end up in finance or social enterprise, Brown says. She’s pored over years of student and employer feedback to wring through these changes.

As for the global rules of the game, this tackles not only geographical differences in regulations but the informal rules operating worldwide. Saїd’s intake this year includes 43 nationalities–as well as a China expert and an African specialist who will join the team in September. The school also benefits from the university’s active Oxford India Business Forum. “We try to touch on most regions,” Brown says.