This London Business School 2011 MBA Application tip post is one of a series of posts providing MBA application and essay advice for applicants to top MBA programs around the world. You can access the entire series at http://blog.accepted.com/acceptedcom_blog/tag/2011-mba-application-tips. My tips for answering LBS's essay questions are in red below.
The Admissions Committee will consider carefully your answers to the following questions. Please complete all of the essay questions beginning your answer below each question and giving word counts for each answer. Once complete, please attach this document to your online application following the instructions given on the web form.
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 is a classic goals question. Last year it focused on short-term goals, and a separate question asked about long-term goals. This year it asks about both short-term, post-MBA goals and long-term "career vision." How did you develop this goal? This vision? Why does it appeal to you? How did your experiences shape your goal and how do they reveal the appropriateness of your goal. (If you are a couch-potato or klutz, don't say you want to be a professional athlete--which wouldn't be a match for b-school anyway.) Finally, how will LBS help you achieve your goal?
Caution: Don't repeat your resume in your response to this question. Choose 1-3 influential and impressive experiences to show how your aspirations developed and your qualifications for LBS.
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?
Very similar to last year's #3. First of all learn about the role of study groups at London Business School. Also, reflect on your experience in teams. If you have been involved in teams outside of work and your other essays focused on work, then this essay presents an opportunity to discuss another facet of your life. Have you been able to both lead and occasionally take a back seat when others with skills or qualifications you lack are better prepared to lead your team? After thinking about your team experience and the role of study groups at LBS, show how your past experience will help you contribute to your study group.
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?
You need to research student life at LBS before you can answer this question. The best answers will directly respond to all elements in the question by showing that you have been involved in similar college, community, or professional organizations in the past. And you will be able to illustrate your abilities to contribute at LBS by discussing your earlier contributions. Don't forget to answer "and why."
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?
This question reflects the importance of international and cross-cultural experiences for London Business School. Note the word limit here. Short and sweet. What were the most 1-2 significant experiences you have had outside your home country and what did you learn from them? How will you consequenlty contribute?
Please choose ONE of the following options.
Providing a choice is a new move for London Business School. Choose the essay that will allow you to write with enthusiasm about an area of your life or achievement that you have not yet discussed.
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.
This may be difficult to answer if you have not been involved in student government and certainly would be a very difficult essay to write if you don't have a clear idea of what you would do as Student Association President. On the other hand, if you have really studied student life at LBS and have a clear idea of what you would like to accomplish, go for it.
Question 5b (150 words)
What is your most substantial achievement to date and why?
The essay is short, and the topic is broad. Be succinct. Show how your accomplishment achieved impact, contribution,
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
Please see "The Optional Question: To Be or Not to Be "
Question 7 (300 words)(This question is for re-applicants only)
How has your candidacy for the London Business School MBA improved since your last application? Have your views of London Business School or the MBA programme changed since you last applied?
This is THE key question for all reapplicants. London just asks it explicitly. Please see:
Please provide a CV/Resume. This CV must only be one page in length. If you have any significant gaps in your employment history, please tell us why on a separate sheet.
Go beyond mere job description to highlight achievement. If your title is "consultant." Saying that you "consulted on projects" is uninformative at best. If you are a financial analyst boasting that you did financial analysis states the obvious. Writing that you "Led a 6-member team working on a biotech outsourcing project to Slovakia with a budget of $X. It came in on time and under budget" conveys infinitely more. For more information, please see "Admissions Resume: What to Include."
If you would like help with your London Business School MBA application, please consider Accepted's MBA essay editing and admissions consulting or an LBS Package, which offers soup-to-nuts advising and editing for the LBS MBA application.
By Linda Abraham, President and Founder of Accepted.com.