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  • Malvika Patil

Oxford Saïd MBA Recommendation Questions 2023 - 2024



Oxford's Saïd Business School believes in "impact from within". The school believes that it is uniquely placed to help transform individuals into responsible and innovative leaders, who can transform businesses, and in turn, the world. Oxford thus looks for candidates who can demonstrate impact and leadership potential, who work well with others, and who encourage innovation.


So, if you are applying to Oxford SBS, ensure that your narrative aligns well with the school’s values – both in your essays and your recommendations. 


How Many Letters of Recommendation Does Oxford SBS Require?


Oxford requires two letters of recommendation. These may be professional or academic, but professional references are preferred.


Ideally, you should get your letters of recommendation from a current or previous direct supervisor. If this is not possible, choose an indirect supervisor, a client, a board member, or any individual who has supervised you in the past and knows your work ethic. You may alternatively choose to get a reference from someone who has supervised you in an extracurricular or academic capacity.


Oxford only accepts letters of recommendation from a valid professional/institutional email address.


Oxford asks applicants to upload a long letter of recommendation instead of individual recommendation questions.


Oxford SBS MBA Recommendation Questions


Applicant Information


Rate the applicant on the following five traits using the scale: Needs Improvement, Developing, Competent, Exceeds Expectation, Unknown/Not observed.


  • Intellectual Curiosity

  • Leadership Skills

  • Ability to Work in a Team

  • Energy and Drive

  • English Language Ability


Recommendation Questions 


Please upload a letter to elaborate on your ratings you have given the candidate above. Please also indicate, for how long you have known the candidate and in what capacity, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and how you think the candidate would benefit from the programme.


Analysis


Applicant Information


Here’s what Oxford SBS's rating scale looks like:



The Oxford Letter of Recommendation form provides your recommender with a grid of 5 broad skills that evaluate the candidate's ability to thrive in the MBA classroom.


Guide your recommender to think deeply about these ratings. They should not choose the highest ratings for all skills, as this looks contrived and inauthentic. Choose the highest rating "Exceeds Expectations" for 3-4 skills, and the second highest "Competent" for 1-2 skills.


Recommendation Questions


Please upload a letter to elaborate on your ratings you have given the candidate above. Please also indicate, for how long you have known the candidate and in what capacity, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and how you think the candidate would benefit from the programme.


Your recommender will need to write a letter that addresses each part of the prompt given.


First, they should establish their relationship with you. They must then briefly explain the frequency of their interactions with you and the role you play in the firm.


Next, they should elaborate on the ratings given. Their response should clearly outline your strengths through 2-3 anecdotes that shed more light on the ratings they have given above. Ask them to specify the leadership, teamwork, or intellectual skills they have rated you on. The anecdotes will help quantify these skills and demonstrate impact. Guide them to use the SCAR method of writing. Start by explaining the Situation, discuss the Challenge or task at hand, the Actions that you took, and the Results you were able to achieve. 


Your recommender should also be able to objectively discuss your weaknesses. They should use an example of a time you demonstrated a weakness, how it impacted your work or your team, what feedback they offered, and how you used it to improve. Again, frame your story in the SCAR format. They should focus on what you learned through this experience. 


Your recommender should conclude with an assessment of your readiness for business school. They can briefly discuss how you fit with Oxford SBS, and how an MBA can help you develop your personal and professional skills.


Our complete Recommender Guide course on MBAConsultant.com has all the advice (and sample letters based on real applicants) you need to create a compelling letter of recommendation.



 

Want personalized support for your letters of recommendation? Book a chat with us today!

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