Writing the Said MBA essays is a daunting task – where do you start?
Said MBA’s notorious 2nd question, “Which recent development, world event or book has most influenced your thinking and why?” which was reduced from 2,000 words to 1,000 words, is still an outlier among MBA essays. Most applicants to Said MBA (and other top programs) write emails and memos on a regular basis, but designing such a long essay requires planning and strong editing skills.
I have analyzed the Said MBA questions before and I would like to offer more insights on how to approach this essay.
Glossary for Said MBA Essays:
Recent development – Said MBA Admissions are looking to see your connection to the world, so talking about a recent political, financial, technological or social change could be a good place to start. Examples: The financial crisis, the Arab Spring, raise in cotton prices or new mobile technologies. I recommend selecting stories that happen in the last 5 years.
World event – if you pick this one, show Said MBA that you are a global citizen. The event could take place in your country or someplace else – it doesn’t matter, as long as it has impacted your thinking. When you write your Oxford essays, don’t fall into cultural biases and be sensitive to other perspectives and ideas, as the reader might have a completely different opinion from yours.
Book: almost any book could make the cut. The majority of applicants tend to go with non-fiction (think Dreams from my Father or The Tipping Point) and biographies, but selecting a lesser-known book is not going to damage you, as long as you provide a very short summary about it.
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