Meet The Oxford Saïd MBA Class of 2016

Andreas Glinz

Andreas Glinz

Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Hometown: Zurich, Switzerland

Undergraduate School and Major (Include Graduate School if Relevant): Zurich University of Applied Sciences, BSc Business Administration

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

ABB, Global Trainee Finance and Business Control (2 years)

ABB Enterprise Software, Finance Excellence Manager (1 year)

ABB Enterprise Software, Financial Controller EMEA (1 year)

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE?

1) Think ahead. When do you need your test results? Reserve your test day right away.

2) Reflect. What learning style works best for you? Self-paced, class-based, or tutoring? Do what works best for you!

3) Practice the test. Official software, timed breaks, approved notepad, and pens.

4) Relax. Don’t get hung up if your scores don’t progress as you had hoped! The learning curve is often not a linear one.

Finally, don’t underestimate testing strategy. Good time management during the test is essential to a great score!

Personally, I invested around 100 hours during 12 weeks, and was able to achieve a score of 710. I prepared using and took four mock tests using the GMAT software (both fully recommended).

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? Before you start looking at schools, define your criteria. Why do you want an MBA? Is there any particular specialization, industry, or geography that you are interested in? How much time and money are you willing to spend?

Then use rankings to narrow down your list. However, do take rankings with a healthy pinch of salt: They don’t necessarily measure what is important to you. Make sure you understand the metrics behind the rankings.

Finally, attend information events, and above all, speak to alumni. They are your best source to determine whether a certain school is for you or not.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? Many business schools will weigh all parts of your application equally – CV, Essays, References, Interview and GMAT. Therefore, devote appropriate attention to every part!

CV: Keep it to one page. Highlight your key achievements in each role and show how you progressed throughout your career.

Essays: If you don’t know how to start, try this: Write as if it were a GMAT essay. Give yourself 30 minutes for a first draft. Then use this as a basis for revisions.

Once you feel confident, get feedback from 3-4 trusted reviewers. This will give you well-rounded feedback for further revisions.

Finally, make sure to write essays that are unique to you. Try writing another person’s name on top of your essay. Is the content still valid? If so, make it more personal! Tie in experiences, achievements, and reasons for this particular school that are unique to you.

Interview: Start preparing early! Research what questions prior candidates were asked. If you don’t feel confident about interviewing in general, consider hiring an interview consultant. I found the blog of Vince Ricci very helpful (Vince Prep).

Use the interview as an opportunity to assess the school. You will be able to ask questions, so think of good ones ahead of time! Your MBA is a significant investment – make sure you get answers to what’s important to you, just as you would when buying a house or car.

Finally, on the interview day, relax! You made it this far, so you have already done a lot of things right. Be friendly, be courteous, and smile. Dress nice so that you can feel confident. Most of all, be yourself!

Reference letters: Choose carefully. Who can attest to your key achievements? Pick someone who knows you well, and who likes you. Better to have a glowing letter from a colleague than a generic and uninspired letter from a distant senior manager!

Before you contact them, research what questions your target schools asks, as these can be quite specific.

Finally, resist the temptation to coach your reference. You will be surprised what great things they have to say about you, that you would have never thought of!

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I was drawn by the inspiring alumni, as well as the great experience I had when visiting the school. What sealed the deal for me were the program’s intense one-year format, its focus on tackling real-world problems, and the proximity to Oxford University. Oxford University offers an unparalleled learning environment through its college system, which allows you to connect and mingle with the brightest minds of all sciences.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate?

  • Launch a business – I am passionate about building things from the ground up. I want to use the business school as a platform to launch a small business together with peers.
  • Network – I want to connect to as many great people as possible.
  • Case studies – I want to become proficient at dissecting a business issue into its core aspects.
  • Immerse in college life – I am excited to become part of such an esteemed institution. I look forward to joining a rowing club and the stimulating debates at the Oxford Union.

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