London Business School Executive MBA 2013 Admissions Tips

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London double decker busThis set of essay questions is one of the most comprehensive among EMBA applications. LBS is keenly interested in the right fit for its EMBA class, in terms of experience, goals, perspective, personality, character. Hence, the essays push you to articulate what you will bring to the table – to your classmates, to the program – in multiple dimensions. The questions probe your perspective of your role and of your industry; your level of experience and accountability; and your range of exposure. Show that you’ll contribute substance and value to the discussion and that you are comfortable conveying a point of view.


The Admissions Committee will consider carefully the 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. For queries regarding the application form please email emba-office@london.ed

LBS EMBA 2013 Essay Questions:

Question 1 (500 words max)

Please qualify the content and scope of your management experience and/or exposure to decision making. How would this help you contribute effectively to the learning of your EMBA classmates?

This question gets at what you really are (and have been) accountable for – it gets past the position title, which can mask a lack of meaningful responsibility. Describe and give actual examples of your most significant decision-making, managerial responsibilities in your current and previous positions. Draw on the particulars of these roles to show ways you can contribute to your classmates’ learning; i.e., the insight you’ve gained from addressing the particular factors, constraints, circumstances, etc. of your industry, company, function, and so forth

Question 2 (500 words max)

Our students participate in the Executive MBA for many valid reasons. Please outline your career objectives and explain how London Business School’s Executive MBA would help you achieve them.

Since the preceding essay sets up nicely for this goals essay, you can start by describing briefly your immediate goals in your current role – after all these goals are part of what you’ll bring to the table at LBS, because you’ll be working on them during your studies. The bulk of the goals discussion will focus on your post-MBA goals. Present a trajectory of five to ten years – beyond that it becomes too speculative. In describing your goals at each given point, indicate why you are taking that step or pursuing that role. In discussing how the program will benefit you, be specific: describe what skills and knowledge you need, and how the program meets those needs. Refer to the structure and special features of the program, detailing how they will support you and your goals.

Question 3 (500 words max)

The Executive MBA will expose you to broader networks from outside your sector. Describe the current trends in your sector and how your organisation’s strategy is addressing them, ensuring that this not-specialist audience will be able to understand and learn from your perspectives.

With so much dynamism in the global business world and in almost every industry, thinking of possible trends to discuss won’t be hard. Rather, the hard part – the challenging part – is selecting which trends to discuss. I suggest focusing on two to three (not necessarily at equal length). Select trends that you have been directly involved in. Present your first-hand experience through anecdote, and then reflect on and give insight into the trend(s) based on that experience. This approach will avoid abstract or generalized (i.e., doze-inducing) discussion while simultaneously showcasing your distinctive experience and perspective.

Question 4 (300 words max)

Describe a piece of constructive feedback that you have received regarding an area of weakness. What was your response?

This is essentially a story; treat it as such – a straightforward approach is needed with only 300 words. Select a meaningful experience that further illuminates your character and/or your level of responsibilities. Summarize the situation that led to the feedback, then describe the feedback – be specific, who gave it, when/where, etc. Note how you responded – and importantly – action you took based on it. End with a statement about how this feedback has influenced you going forward.

Question 5 (500 words max)

If you could choose any three people who have ever lived to join you for dinner, whom would you invite and why?

First, a don’t – avoid Mahatma Ghandi and similar paragons. Look at this essay from the adcom’s view – they’ve read probably hundreds of such essays extolling the globe’s undisputed exemplars. Be creative in selecting three people who reflect various facets of you – and ideally people who will be new to the adcom, or at least not well known to them. If you can reveal relevant aspects of yourself while engaging the adcom with interesting people, you’ve got a hit with this essay. For each invitee, tell a little about him or her, clarify why they are important to you, and add a bit about what you’d expect them to contribute to the evening and/or what you’d like to discuss with or learn from them.


Apply now to secure your place for the January 2013 intake of the Executive MBA. Early admission also means you can be considered for a scholarship.

The recommended application dates for the London and Dubai January 2013 intakes are:

Submit your completed application by: To receive an admissions decision by:
19 November 2012 31 December 2012

Cindy Tokumitsu By , co-author of The EMBA Edge, and author of the free special report, "Ace the EMBA."

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