Tuesday Tips – London Business School MBA Essay Tips

The London Business School is a close knit program with an international focus, set in one of the most exciting centers of culture in Europe. Among one of the top ranked programs in the world, LBS is equally known by US and international recruiters. LBS is an excellent choice for MBA hopefuls who have international experience or would like to develop a career without borders.

When approaching this large number of questions and specific prompts, you will want to make sure you are also presenting your well-rounded self, with focus on career, extracurriculars and personal attributes.

As you formulate your timeline and plans for this application, make note of the deadlines. LBS is quite strict about adhering to word count and urges applicants not to write more than the specified limit for each essay, as any extra words or essays may be disregarded.

Question 1 (750 words)
Give us a brief assessment of your career progress to date.
In what role do you see yourself working in immediately after graduation and what is your longer term career vision?
How will your past and present experiences help you to achieve this?
How will the London Business School MBA Programme contribute to this goal?
Why is this the right time for you to pursue an MBA?

This classic career goals question focuses more on your short-term goals than the typical school might. Make sure you can clearly demonstrate how your past and present career and personal experiences support your goals, and why you have settled on your particular aspirations. In addition, you will need to demonstrate why London Business School is the right MBA program for you and why you are planning to pursue an MBA at this point in your career and your life.
In just 750 words to answer 5 distinct questions you will need to demonstrate your commitment and rationale for your decisions throughout the essay. Think about the narrative thread of your life and career and how LBS is going to fit in, then expand into the future you want to make a reality through this education. There should be a clear link between your immediate post-MBA goals and your short- and long-term goals, and all of them will flow from your current and past experiences. Your narrative thread should make it clear why you are pursuing an MBA, why now and how LBS will help you achieve your goals.

If you are planning to switch careers and do not have the track record to demonstrate you are serious about your goals, it will be helpful to show your commitment through research you have done, extracurricular activities you have been involved with, or relevant accomplishments in your current position. When researching the LBS difference for this essay, you might find some help in the form of the student blogs on the London website.

Question 2 (300 words)
Give a specific example of when you have had to test your leadership and team working skills. Given this experience what role will you play in a first year study group?

This question offers the opportunity for you to demonstrate your leadership and teamwork skills and demonstrate your knowledge of LBS teams. You may want to refer to student blogs, the programme website or current or former students to understand the role of study groups at LBS and how you will likely fit in.

This essay specifically requests an example of when you have tested your leadership and team skills. While the example should be brief and clear, you have the option of a variety of settings. If you have significant leadership experiences outside of work, this may be an ideal place to showcase that part of your background.

Question 3 (300 words)
Student involvement is an extremely important part of the London Business School MBA experience and this is reflected in the character of students on campus. Please describe how you will contribute to student clubs and the community and why?

Thorough research will be crucial here, whether online or in person. Reaching out to the clubs and organizations you are most interested in may allow you to interact with a current student who can provide context for you. To be most effective in answering this question you will want to be specific and logical in your choices. What activities make the most sense in the context of your career and industry interests? What about your hobbies? Any community involvement you are currently pursuing and plan to continue will be especially credible here.

Question 4 (300 words)
London Business School offers a truly global and diverse experience. Describe any significant experiences outside of your home country or culture. What did you gain and how will your experience contribute to London Business School?

Significant international experiences or a diverse background will be an asset in answering this question. Any particular insight you gained from international travel will be helpful, and if you can tie it to your overall application theme, that’s even better. Since LBS is a particularly international program they are certainly seeking applicants who are well traveled and thoughtful about the rest of the world. Make sure you are able to explain what you have learned from interacting with cultures that are not your own, and relate your experiences back to LBS.

Please choose ONE of the following options.
Question 5a (150 words)
You have decided to stand for the role of Student Association President. Announcing your campaign to the London Business School community for the first time, please describe your manifesto.
OR
Question 5b (150 words)
What is your most substantial achievement to date and why?

One of these questions focuses on the future, while the other looks to the past. In both questions you will need to delve into what motivates you most in your life, and how you communicate your values in word or action.

Question 5a seeks to understand what you will do as a student at LBS and how you will present yourself to your fellow students. If you were running for office and wanted to demonstrate what you stood for you might need to define what really matters in your life. What would you do if the validation of others wasn’t important? What if you won the lottery? Think a bit about what you think your life manifesto is, and how it would relate back to LBS and your classmates in the program.

Question 5b is almost identical to the classic HBS question. Think about the experiences you have had in your life that you are most proud of. They may not be the achievement that everyone else would consider your most substantial, but it needs to be one that is important to you. Explaining why your achievement is substantial to you is crucial to the question and the answer will show a bit about what is most important to you.

Question 6 (300 words)
(This question is optional)
Is there any other information that you believe would help the MBA Admissions Committee when considering your application?

If you have a situation you need to explain, whether it is a low GPA or academic probation, this is the correct space to address it. Focus on explanations and not excuses. If you have additional material that you think will be helpful to your application this may also be an opportunity to offer another reason to admit you.

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