Tuesday Tips: London School of Business 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 valued 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, you will want to make sure you are also presenting your well-rounded self, with focus on career, extracurriculars and personal attributes. The open-ended question this year is new, and allows you to bring up any area that was not covered extensively in other essays. Make sure you formulate a clear gameplan for this set of essays so you can utilize the extra space effectively.
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 (500 words)
Please discuss your career progress to date and explain why now is the right time to undertake an MBA at London Business School?
The first two questions for the LBS application focus on your career goals. Though the questions are separated into two, your overall narrative thread should flow organically from your past experiences to your MBA decision and into your future career goals.
To make this essay more than a recitation of your resume, think about explaining the rationale for your decisions throughout the essay. Why did you choose your first job, and what was the impetus behind subsequent career choices? At this point, why are you choosing LBS? While your future career goals are the subject of the next question in this set, you will want to discuss why you have made the choice to pursue an MBA at this time, and why you want to attend LBS.
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)
Where do you see your career progressing five years after graduation and what is your longer term career vision?
There should be a clear link between your immediate post-MBA goals and where you plan to be in five years and longer term. You have set the stage with your career story thus far and now you need to explain what your LBS education will launch you towards in the future.
Many applicants aren’t exactly sure what they will do in the long-term or even five years into the future. Certainly the future is not entirely in your control, but this essay is a great opportunity to think about what you really want from your career. Self-awareness about your strengths and interests will help you refine what you want. To take your research deeper it may be incredibly helpful to talk to colleagues and alumni who have MBAs in your field to see what your career path options are. Make sure that your career goals are both realistic and aspirational. An MBA will certainly open doors for you, and also may define a specific career path. Make sure you are well-informed about what others have done before you.
Question 3 (250 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 4 (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 5 (250 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.
Question 6 (250 words)
Considering what you have already included in the application, what else would you like to tell us about yourself? You can approach this question however you like.
This is your opportunity to describe an accomplishment or activity you couldn’t fit into another essay. Though it will be tempting to repurpose an essay from another school’s application it will be best to craft an essay specifically for LBS.
The bulk of the LBS essays focus on your personality outside of work, and this essay might be an opportunity to highlight a key professional story. If you have covered your professional life extensively already, perhaps you want to highlight a personal passion or hobby that is related to your overall MBA candidacy. Though you want to be well-rounded in this application, this essay shouldn’t bring in information from left field. Make sure your topic fits coherently with the rest of your essays and adds relevant information for adcomm.