Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Oxford Interview

Oxford Said Business School conducts phone inetrviews with Israeli applicants. The interviews are done by professors from the school. Oxford has a second tier one-year MBA program in Europe with a relatively small class of 200 students. Each year they admit one to three Israeli students.

I had the phone interview with Prof. Alex Nicholls of Oxford. I looked him up in the Oxford website, and saw his picture. The interview lasted 25 minutes, and I had a strange feeling about it. It was a bit different from the rest of my interviews. I talked most of the time, and after each answer he kind of repeated what I said in different words in order to see that he understood my point. He did not challenge me on any point or weakness.

He started by saying that I should not be intimidated by the fact that he was the head of social enterpeneurship in Oxford and this is not relevant for our conversation. (What a way to start, right?)

The questions that he asked me:

  • Why MBA? Why Now? Why Oxford?

  • Describe your company, your sector, and the challenges that your company face in your sector.

  • Can you tell me about an international economy event that have read lately in the Economist, BusinessWeek or Financial Times (or other place) and that is interesting to you? (I had to improvise here - a very tough question).

  • Can you tell me what you think about the role of China in the economy? What do you think the Economist would say about it? Do you think it is good or bad? (Again - a very tough question. I probably blabbed nonsense for 5 minutes, but he seemed to like my answer - I have no idea).

  • Do you have any questions for me? (I asked him if he felt that the MBA program at Oxford is more theoretical than practical).

Very tough interview, because he did not ask about me (except for the first question), but rather my knowledge and take on the business and economy world. I don't have much knowledge on those so it was very difficult for me, and I ended up in mixed feelings.

I was admitted to Oxford, and visited the school. I have decided that I wanted to study there, but was admitted to INSEAD in the last minute. In the end I will be going to INSEAD.

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