Cynthia Hass


United States


Corporate Responsibility



By Cynthia Hass

Why an Oxford MBA?

I’ve known I wanted to come here since 2016. I knew it in my heart. Prior to applying, I visited a friend at a neighbouring school (which shall not be named), and knew it wasn’t for me. I had always wondered what it would be like to live in England; to study and to work here.  

At the end of the day, when it came down to it, I applied to one school and took a shot in the dark. It was a risk, especially since 16-year-old me applied to 26 schools for undergrad admission. I thought I’d apply to 3, maybe 4, but with funding running low, I had to decide between another application or more travel. At the time, I was taking the year to travel, and school wasn’t on my mind.  

I worried it wouldn’t work out, but sometimes in life, when things are meant to be, they becomeWhen people ask me, ‘Why Oxford?’ I usually started with, ‘It was a dream of mine, but then I list everything else; the academics, the reputation, the rigor, the history, the people, the opportunity.  

To be honest, I didn’t know I wanted to do an MBA, I wasn’t sure what I’d study; I had looked at arts and education programs just as much as business and design. But Saïd Business School resonated with me. After much shopping, I knew I had to be in the presence of a place that cared about people and doing good in the world and that’s what Oxford Saïd is 

The institutions and activities make this place unique. Having 38 different colleges (your social home and community), I knew I couldn’t have this experience anywhere else in the world. Another deciding factor came when I ran into my friends from undergrad. They were already finished with grad school and it made me think, ‘maybe it’s time for me.’  

I’m not a fan of peer pressure, but this is a type of pressure I’m glad to have around.  

With that, the Oxford MBA doesn’t come without pressure itself.  

It is one of the most intensive programs and one of the more rewarding ones as well. There isn’t a night before exams where I wonder, ‘why did I do this,’ but then when I get outside, take a walk around Port Meadow (a majestic field where horses graze) and get front row seats to see Conan O’Brien at the Oxford Union (Oxford’s debating society)I’m reminded of exactly why I did it.   

What sold me? The people, the place.  I had never visited prior to my offer, but when I did, I found the same thing on campus as I did away; the people were kind in nature and good-hearted. They wanted the best for you but understood that you’re only human and we all make mistakes. We are here because we want to be better, not because we have it all figured out.  

During our first week of school, a professor of ours told us ‘change your mind, whatever you were thinking before the program, start to think new, it is the only way you can change your life while you are here.’  

And to you, who may be applying or looking to Oxford, just remember, know your why, do your research and remember to be yourself, you are only human and in that you have power.’  

So ‘Why Oxford?’  

say… ‘Why not.’  

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