Interview with Peter Johnson London Business School Masters in Finance

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During my recent visit to London, I spent the morning at London Business School. I have several posts worth of thoughts and material This is the first in a series of post stemming from my recent visit to London Business School. During my visit I interviewed Peter Johnson, Senior Admissions Manager, Masters in Finance.

Although I am presenting our conversation in interview format. Peter’s responses are not verbatim quotes. They are based on my notes.

Is the experience requirement similar to that of the MBA? Do you require experience for the MiF?

Yes, we have a required minimum of two years of full-time work experience in the financial field but we strongly prefer three or more years. Candidates who will only have two year’s experience at the start of the programme will typically be of a fast-track program with a top financial institution.

Our average amount of work experience is six years, with the part-time program being slightly higher. Also the upper end of work experience for our students tends to be higher than the MBA and may overlap the Sloan Fellows program, as the programme can also be a good fit for people in more senior management roles.

The absolute experience requirement is finance. The MiF Is not for career changers. It is for finance career advancers and enhancers.

What are the typical educational and professional backgrounds of participants in MiF?

They have to be bright enough to do well is a quantitatively rigorous program, and they have to be able to show us that brightness.

We also want to see a real commitment and passion for finance. We want to see that they will be able to contribute. Do they have the technical skills?

Is the CFA viewed as evidence of those technical skills and of that passion?

Yes. It is a recognized credential.

What about the GRE?

We say that the GRE can provide evidence that you will do well or poorly on the GMAT, but we still require the GMAT.

Is London Business School’s MiF experiencing stable, increasing, or declining demand as evidenced by application volume?

Application volume for the full time program is steady; there has been a very substantial increase for the weekend-format program. We have noted an increase in the percentage of very strong candidates in the applicant pool.

What percentage of MiF participants is sponsored at this point in time?

Approximately 50% in the part-time program and around 10% of our full-time applicants. It can also vary by geographic region. For example, students from Japan and Korea are almost always sponsored.

Do MiF students have access to the career services even if sponsored?

Yes. They have access to all career services’ events and services. Our career services provide an opportunity to network even if someone is returning to a previous employer. They teach valuable resume and interview skills, which a student may use at a future time in his or her career or may use as an employer seeking to hire staff.

What does the MiF offer those interested in entrepreneurship.

We have some entrepreneurs amongst our alumni, but the program isn’t really geared to them. Our entrepreneurs are usually those who a few years after earning their MiF tire of investment banking or whatever they’re doing and then follow the entrepreneurial muse within them. It’s a small percentage of our alums, but we do have them, and they say the MiF helped them structure their business and get the funding for it.

What is the purpose of the Pre-program and orientation? Are they required?

Both are required and the MiF pre-program is in residence. The MiF program includes a thorough introduction to London Business School’s leadership style and completion of our questionnaire on leadership.

We also do a comprehensive review of basics that our students may not have studied since college if ever, specifically accounting, statistics for business, and decision tools. Students can waive these classes if they have the background.

Does the MiF program allow students to finish in a shorter period of time that the typical ten months for the full-time program or 22 months for the part-time program?

We will occasionally allow an enrolled student to finish early, but we don’t want them to start with that idea.

I realize that London Business School attracts students and professors from around the globe, but is it “global” in any other ways?

We don’t have a study trip, but international cases predominate and because both the faculty and the student body come from the four corners of the globe, classroom discussion and club events have a distinctly international flavor.

Please join Peter and other members of the London Business School team on Thursday December 9 at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET/ 6:00 PM GMT for Learning about London, an MBA admissions Q&A devoted to London Business School's MBA and MiF programs, or as they would say, "programmes."

By Linda Abraham, President and Founder of Accepted.com.

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