2005 Oxford SAID MBA Admissions Chat with Rachel Nickerson
2005 Oxford SAID MBA Admissions Chat with Rachel Nickerson
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SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 10:10:26 AM)
First I want to welcome you all to the “Oxford Sad Business School” room at Accepted.com’s International MBA Admissions Chat. I also want to welcome Rachel Nickerson from Admissions, Jessica McGreesh from Marketing, and students Joanne Pang and Catrina Funk. Thanks to everyone for joining.
Sham (Dec 7, 2004 10:13:08 AM)
I have noticed that HBS and Yale have a strong position in social enterprise, non-profits, etc. How does Oxford stand? I want to use my degree in a social entrepreneurship role. I am hoping to start a public organization that will assist in re-education of roles of women in the Middle East, etc
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:13:58 AM)
Hi Sham - the school has really picked up on this this year. The Skoll Foundation has given a large sum to the school to fund 5 full scholarships for social entrepreneurs.
Sham (Dec 7, 2004 10:14:37 AM)
I would have gone towards an MPA, but I think an MBA will provide an overall business structure, etc.
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:15:01 AM)
Sham, from a student's perspective, the Skoll center is very busy. I am not in it, but my friend Jesse is and we are thinking of doing a fair trade fashion project next summer.
Sham (Dec 7, 2004 10:15:18 AM)
Rachel, the scholarships are geared towards those who have established organizations or going to establish organizations?
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:15:35 AM)
For more information on this you should refer to the website www.sbs.ox.ac.uk and look under finance where you'll find a lot of information on scholarships. You can check out your eligibility there. Our first 5 Skoll scholars have started the MBA this year. All of them have had experience in the the social non-profit area and are committed to return to this post MBA.
raj (Dec 7, 2004 10:16:31 AM)
Do you have a program that caters to the needs of technical professionals?
Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 10:16:58 AM)
I'd like to know about the industries that students are working once they finish the Said MBA?
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:17:11 AM)
Raj - the business school offers a one-year full time MBA; an executive modular MBA, and a Masters in Financial Economics.
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:17:13 AM)
Sham: The alumni group is also very dynamic and has lots of events and interesting meetings going on.
Sham (Dec 7, 2004 10:17:18 AM)
In regards to internships, does SAID place students at the UN or WTO positions?
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:17:43 AM)
Manuel, students work in all fields.
Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 10:18:37 AM)
I say that because I have notice a trend of MBA'ers working in consulting and banking. Does it happen in SAID?
nataly (Dec 7, 2004 10:18:42 AM)
What are the typical positions that students find after they finish?
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:18:54 AM)
Manuel, it is so varied, I work in marketing and branding, some people do finance, social entrepreneurs, software, venture cap, name it you got it.
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:19:27 AM)
To find out more about careers placement - visit www.sbs.ox.ac.uk and you can download our placement report. This will give you an overview of areas people have gone into.
raj (Dec 7, 2004 10:19:47 AM)
So from Catrina's reply, I understand that you do have programs that have some software in them.
Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 10:20:31 AM)
What do you think are the strong points of SAID with respect to other schools?
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:20:39 AM)
What do mean when you refer to software?
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:20:49 AM)
Manuel, we have many strong points including the college system, strong network, close-knit group of students, NBD - new business development project and SCP - Summer Project. You have a combination of a strong curriculum geared towards practical business work and theoretical work.
raj (Dec 7, 2004 10:21:06 AM)
I mean something that's totally technical.. like networking, telecom, or just software engineering. Basically, a tech-MBA is what I am looking for.
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:21:06 AM)
With regard to internships, Said does not find or place students in internships. If students have the opportunity to take up such a venture then the school will do what it can to accommodate.
nataly (Dec 7, 2004 10:21:25 AM)
What makes an oxford MBA different from an Insead MBA?
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:21:58 AM)
Raj - we have a lot of people with backgrounds in these areas. The MBA we offer is a general MBA with opportunities to specialize through electives and projects.
Mitchell (Dec 7, 2004 10:22:14 AM)
When accepting candidates, what "weight" does Said put on the different criteria; GMAT, Career Progression, International Experience, Previous Degree, Essays?
Meg (Dec 7, 2004 10:22:25 AM)
How successful is the new masters in Financial Economics, in terms of applications?
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:22:37 AM)
Mitchell - your application is made up of many elements and no one thing is more important than the other. Many applicants worry that (for example) their GMAT may not be good enough but the Admissions Committee will always look for other areas of an application that would compensate for something that may not be so strong. Overall the Committee is looking for candidates who will add as much to the class as they will take away.
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:22:56 AM)
The MFE has been hugely successful in the first application stage. We are looking for an approximate class size of 40 on the MFE and have received approximately 100 applications in the first stage.
Mitchell (Dec 7, 2004 10:24:33 AM)
Once I apply can I request an interview or does it have to be offered?
Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 10:24:49 AM)
What profile of students is Said looking for?
raj (Dec 7, 2004 10:24:57 AM)
How much of importance do you give towards diversity in a class with respect to experience, academics, etc?
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:25:29 AM)
Mitchell - you will be invited to interview - we don't interview everyone.
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:25:30 AM)
With regards to profile - we look for very varied backgrounds!
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 10:25:48 AM)
Joanne and Catrina, how does the Oxford college system actually work in terms of Said students? How much choice do you get, and how does this system enrich the experience for you?
Sham (Dec 7, 2004 10:25:56 AM)
As far as placement is concerned, being an American citizen, will it be a drawback to be placed in Europe? Also, if I wish to go back to the States, how does this turn out for students?
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:26:24 AM)
We aim to have a very diverse class profile with nationality, industry backgrounds, etc. We look for what an individual can contribute to the class, so that you learn from both your lecturers and your class mates.
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:26:25 AM)
The college system was a foreign concept for me...however it has definitely added value to the MBA experience.
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:27:14 AM)
I choose my college and love it. I go there for dinner now and then learn from the other graduates. I choose it because it is liberal, accommodates families, and designed by a Danish architect whom I admire.
Meg (Dec 7, 2004 10:27:34 AM)
How can a student right out of university make a strong case in his application in order to gain acceptance? What should he or she focus on?
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:27:36 AM)
Sham - we have a good number of American students so there's no problem there! We find that the majority of US students want to come to Europe to learn from other nationalities.
Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 10:27:47 AM)
When is the best moment to apply in order to increase the possibilities to be accepted?
nataly (Dec 7, 2004 10:27:50 AM)
What criteria did you use to choose your college?
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:28:02 AM)
Experiencing the traditions within my college as well as interacting with non-MBA students has given me a new perspective on this one year investment. When I selected my college, I randomly choose names.
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:28:15 AM)
Regarding the MFE - work experience is a bonus, but not essential. When we look at your application we will look at your undergrad degree results, along with your overall application. We will also look at your GRE results.
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:28:40 AM)
I gather that US schools mainly recruit US students whereas here, we currently have 174 students from 41 countries!
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:29:04 AM)
Now that I've gone through the experience, you want to choose a college with accommodations close to the business school.
Mitchell (Dec 7, 2004 10:29:17 AM)
What is the normal response time to hear from SAID once you have applied?
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:29:28 AM)
Manuel - you have as much chance of being offered a place in any of the admission stages.
Sham (Dec 7, 2004 10:29:40 AM)
I'm applying second round (this January), but in regards to my transcripts, my undergrad school takes some time because I graduated before computerized grading systems. Does it matter if they send it a little bit after the deadline? Also, can I send in a PDF copy of it, so at least the adcom has a basic idea?
Petre (Dec 7, 2004 10:29:42 AM)
What's the chance for getting a HSBC loan if I don't have credit history?
Meg (Dec 7, 2004 10:30:54 AM)
Can I include my vitae or resume in the application with the essay or include it as an additional document?
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:31:13 AM)
Sham - you can send in a PDF but we will need the original to follow.
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:31:17 AM)
Petre - you'll find it difficult to get a loan here with either no or a bad credit history. The most important thing to increase the chances of getting a loan is that you're employed and can prove that you can manage GB Pounds repayments.
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 10:31:28 AM)
Catrina: You mentioned in your bio that you have a young family--does Said have a program for spouses/significant others and families?
raj (Dec 7, 2004 10:31:34 AM)
You also look at GRE scores?
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:31:41 AM)
Hi Meg. You can include your CV as an additional document.
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:31:59 AM)
Hi Raj - we look at GRE scores for application to the Masters in Financial Economics. In the application to the MBA programme we look at your GMAT score.
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:32:02 AM)
I am a member of the family group: we hang out and go to the play ground together. Oxford is very child friendly and has lots of green space.
Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 10:32:41 AM)
How long does it take a student to find a new job once they finish their masters (on average)?
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:34:03 AM)
Manuel - if you refer to the website www.sbs.ox.ac.uk you'll find the placement report in the careers section - I think this will tell you what you need to know but as far as I know (I'm in admissions) at least seventy five percent of students have job offers before they leave.
Tetyana (Dec 7, 2004 10:34:13 AM)
What was the intake ratio of applicants during the last enrollment?
Patrick (Dec 7, 2004 10:34:22 AM)
How important is the GMAT score for the admission and what is the average score-level?
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:34:55 AM)
Patrick, the GMAT score holds equal importance to the rest of your application. This year the average GMAT has been between 675 - 690.
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:36:12 AM)
About 50% of applicants are invited to interview - about 75% of those receive offers.
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 10:36:31 AM)
Joanne and Catrina, what do you like best at Said? What would you like to see improved?
Tetyana (Dec 7, 2004 10:37:13 AM)
I'm aware that "younger" applicants are also encouraged to apply. What is the percentage of the accepted applicants of the age 24 and below?
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:37:14 AM)
I love being a student again. The classes are really interesting: lively discussions, passionate professors. What would I change: getting more sleep.....
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:37:33 AM)
I like the student interaction and great access to our lecturers. I would like more time to experience all the events happening in and around Oxford. I would like to add our classmates are very supportive - we share notes, interview tips, help each other through assignments, etc. It is a very close-knit community here.
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:37:43 AM)
I'm afraid that I can't give you numbers off the top of my head but the average age of MBA's for the last 5 years has been 29 with a range of 22-47.
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:38:38 AM)
Joanne: I am with you, there's not enough hours in the day.
Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 10:39:03 AM)
How is the area where Said is located? My girlfriend would have to look for a job while I am doing the masters program.
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:39:19 AM)
Manual: my husband works in London. It's about an hour commute, but some of the spouses also work here in Oxford or in Reading.
Patrick (Dec 7, 2004 10:39:21 AM)
Joanne, can you describe a typical day at Said?
nataly (Dec 7, 2004 10:39:23 AM)
When is the time for the job offers, because during the summer students have their projects?
Manuel Muñoz (Spain) (Dec 7, 2004 10:39:58 AM)
Catrina, so what's the best place to look for in terms of accommodations for her to be able to go to London?
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:40:05 AM)
Nataly, from the minute you arrive, if not before, our career service office will be working with you to help develop your CV - look at your career aspirations - and help develop your links with possible employers.
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:40:34 AM)
You should live near the train station: I'm 5 minutes away.
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:40:38 AM)
Hmm...wake up, go to class, drink lots of tea, eat, attend study group meetings, chair the Oxford Business Forum meeting, gym (if possible), studying, an evening event (party, ball, or dinner).
nataly (Dec 7, 2004 10:40:43 AM)
So being away for the summer project is not a problem?
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:41:26 AM)
No, not at all - conducting your SBP (summer project) outside the UK will only help your CV.
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:41:38 AM)
Nataly - I think most people intend of being away for their summer project. It should only help you with your job search.
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:41:44 AM)
If on paper it's really difficult to make a decision one way or another the candidate would be invited for interview - you can establish much more there. The admissions committee will use this opportunity to assess whether applicants would be good team players (lots of group work) and whether they'll contribute to the class.
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:43:12 AM)
Patrick - keep in mind that we're now in exam mode and it's more like study, eat, study, nap, study, sleep, repeat.
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 10:43:39 AM)
Will the interviewers have read the entire application, Rachel, or will they have seen just the resume?
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:44:10 AM)
All interviewers will have reviewed the entire file with all supporting documents several days before the interview.
Meg (Dec 7, 2004 10:45:02 AM)
Where in the application is it most appropriate to talk about summer time employment? I had a full-time summer internship with a major accounting firm in another country. I'm asking this since you specify not to include it on the application. I am a college senior with strong work experience, for a student!
nataly (Dec 7, 2004 10:45:30 AM)
What is preferred; to have an interview in Oxford or with one of the alumni in your country?
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:45:41 AM)
Nataly - I don't think there is preference.
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:45:44 AM)
The adcom is interested in your full time work experience but if you want to mention your internship I would suggest that you include it on a resume and submit that with your application.
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:45:55 AM)
Our faculty are the only people who conduct interviews. So whether in Oxford or elsewhere you will be interviewed by a member of faculty.
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:45:58 AM)
Most students prefer to interview in Oxford to get a feel for the school and the students. I personally had a phone interview with one of the lecturers.
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 10:46:32 AM)
Does Said encourage reapplicants? Any thoughts on strategies for people who are applying for a second time?
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:46:42 AM)
My interview was here - afterwards I went to town and just took in the atmosphere.
Vivekhans (Dec 7, 2004 10:47:01 AM)
Joanne, how was your experience with a telephonic interview?
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:47:27 AM)
I had a lively conversation with one of the Strategy lecturers. We had a debate regarding current events relating to items on my CV.
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:47:53 AM)
We are very happy to receive applications from candidates who have been unsuccessful the first time - the previous decision is not taken into account.
Vivekhans (Dec 7, 2004 10:48:14 AM)
Don't you think it becomes difficult at times.
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:48:22 AM)
Difficult in what sense? Hard to see their reaction - yes.
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 10:48:30 AM)
Do re-applicants do the whole application again "from scratch," Rachel?
Vivekhans (Dec 7, 2004 10:48:40 AM)
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:48:52 AM)
However, the interviewer gave immediate feedback in terms of the subsequent questions. I think the phone interview allowed me to be a bit more relaxed. I also didn't have the opportunity to analyze his facial expressions, etc.
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:48:55 AM)
No - we don't require them to send the whole thing again. In most cases we just need a resume to show us what been happening in the intervening year and the application processing fee.
Vivekhans (Dec 7, 2004 10:49:34 AM)
In what sense?
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:50:28 AM)
I didn't have to worry about my personal appearance. I was more focused on my responses.
nataly (Dec 7, 2004 10:50:58 AM)
Which GMAT score, if an applicant has several, does the school take into consideration : the latest, the best, average?
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 10:51:10 AM)
Do you require TOEFL scores from students whose native language is not English?
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:51:16 AM)
Nataly - the best GMAT score.
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:51:34 AM)
Yes - TOEFL or IELTs is required.
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 10:51:49 AM)
Do you have a "cut-off" for these scores, i.e. a minimum acceptable score?
Angelino (Dec 7, 2004 10:51:51 AM)
I scored a 700 on the GMAT - Is that good enough to get into Said?
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:52:51 AM)
Well done - that is a good score!
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:52:59 AM)
For the GMAT we suggest that students should be looking at a minimum score of 630 and TOEFL is 600 - neither are set in stone! Anyone can apply.
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 10:53:18 AM)
Catrina and Joanne, what do you wish you would have done before starting your MBA that would have made the beginning/transition easier? Did you do anything especially effective that helped you?
Patrick (Dec 7, 2004 10:53:36 AM)
What do you think is the most valuable thing to do, to fill a timeframe of one year before your MBA: a scholarship, a management trainee program or a regular full time employment?
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:53:53 AM)
I am from the creative side of advertising so I wish I had spent more time with finance over the summer. I am caught up now, but the first weeks were hard and long.
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:53:56 AM)
I wish I had straightened out my banking and other administrative duties before starting my MBA. Other than that, if I wasn't prepared for something - the administration, lecturers, or students helped me.
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:54:42 AM)
Patrick, full time employment would be best not least from the point of view of your funding plans - if would be very difficult to get a loan without full time work prior to your MBA.
Patrick (Dec 7, 2004 10:56:11 AM)
So you think a management trainee year won't be worth while as long as I have the chance to get full time employment?
nataly (Dec 7, 2004 10:56:19 AM)
I have a low GMAT score, but the other parts of my application are fine (in my opinion). What would you recommend: improve my GMAT and apply 3rd round or to apply in January and hope for good luck?
Angelino (Dec 7, 2004 10:57:08 AM)
I am an American who is interested in studying for an MBA in the UK. How difficult or easy is it for Americans to find employment within the UK after graduation? Will having an MBA from a British University help with visas?
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:57:33 AM)
Patrick - that sounds fine - you have to be able to show the committee that you have a plan. They need to see that a trainee year fits into your overall plan and that a MBA naturally follows that.
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 10:58:03 AM)
Can you offer any suggestions for applicants coming from non-traditional backgrounds such as family businesses or the military? Whom should applicants from these areas approach for recommendations?
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:58:16 AM)
Hi Angelino - there's a HMP plan especially for MBA students where you can get a work visa without a job offer.
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:58:32 AM)
HMP - highly migrant plan???
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:59:01 AM)
Sonia - we have had candidates from the military and applicants from family business too but without other work experience before that, it can be more difficult as its hard to show that their experience is quite as tough - references can be tricky too!
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 10:59:37 AM)
Hi Nataly... I would say that if you are happy with the rest of your application - definitely apply in Jan. 620 is within our range.
Patrick (Dec 7, 2004 11:00:22 AM)
I'm only 22 so I really need to get more work experience before starting the MBA, so I'm thinking about what is the best way to move on as fast as I can ;-)
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 11:01:21 AM)
So Rachel, if someone is an entrepreneur and/or works for a family business, what should they do about references, since a letter of recommendation from Mum or Dad--or from oneself--probably isn't the best approach?
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 11:02:28 AM)
Regarding references, we would accept an academic reference or a reference from a professional colleague.
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 11:02:35 AM)
Catrina and Joanne--what sorts of clubs or extracurricular activities are you involved in, and how much time is it REALISTIC to allow for involvement outside of class and still get all your work done?
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 11:02:39 AM)
Patrick - 22 is very young. without a minimum of 2 years work experience, it would be difficult to get on to the course. You need to formulate a plan - don't just do any work to get the preferred 2 years - the adcom needs to see that you have a career plan and that an MBA clearly fits into that plan.
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 11:02:57 AM)
Depends on how smart you are I guess :) I have a son, so I go home each night and play with him. I take every Saturday off and of course, join everyone at happy hour on Fridays! Otherwise I am pretty much a fixture in the library ... apart from special social events or evening lectures.
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 11:03:12 AM)
Jessica--how about a professional colleague such as a lawyer or an accountant with whom the applicant has worked closely?
Patrick (Dec 7, 2004 11:04:28 AM)
I will finish my B.A. next year and I already have about 2 years of working experience, so you see I'm not wasting time. But as I said I want to move on with one additional year of job experience before applying for the MBA.
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 11:05:02 AM)
Patrick - sounds like a good plan - good luck!
Meg (Dec 7, 2004 11:05:44 AM)
Thank you for providing such informative answers and for holding this forum.
jessicamcgreeshSAID (Dec 7, 2004 11:06:08 AM)
Nice to talk to you all... all the best!
catrinafunkSAID (Dec 7, 2004 11:06:20 AM)
Have a great Christmas everyone.
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 11:06:21 AM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Rachel, Jessica, Catrina and Joanne. We look forward to seeing you at future chats, and here is a list of the upcoming scheduled chats: Tuck: Dec. 15 Chicago GSB: Jan. 4 Please check the Web site (http://www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.aspx#mba ) for details and exact time, because we are varying our chat times this year to facilitate attendance from applicants in different time zones. Good luck with your applications!
Angelino (Dec 7, 2004 11:07:03 AM)
JoannePangSAID (Dec 7, 2004 11:07:40 AM)
Yes, firstname.lastname@example.org .
SoniaMichaels (Dec 7, 2004 11:07:43 AM)
Thanks everyone, and Happy Holidays!
rachelnickersonSAID (Dec 7, 2004 11:08:04 AM)
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