How to Get into LBS from Someone That Did
Congratulations to Carrie (not her real name), who used her strong sense of passion and purpose to get into LBS! We find that one of the best ways to learn how to be a successful MBA applicant is to learn from someone that did, and Carrie was gracious enough to share her story and experiences. So if you wan to get into LBS, grab a hot drink, have a seat, and read on…
1) Why do you think YOU were able to get into LBS?
I think a big factor to why I was able to get in LBS (and Kellogg) is how I consistently showcased my leadership capabilities, passion for excellence, and a strong sense of purpose in my essays and interviews. Using stories from my unique background and detailing clear plans to achieve life goals, I was able to exemplify these 3 key qualities, which I feel are what MBA schools are constantly looking for in their students.
2) What was the most challenging part of the app for you? And how did you overcome that challenge?
The GMAT was definitely the most challenging part of my app. I took this four times to get within the range of the acceptance scores at the top MBA schools. For my third attempt, my score was exactly the same as my second’s. At that point, most people were already discouraging me from trying another time and from applying to any of the top schools. Still, I was determined to improve my GMAT. I then did a thorough evaluation of my study habits and strategically worked on my weak points. After a month of focused prep, I got 100+ points higher.
3) Tell us about your interview. What do you think you did right?
Before going to the LBS interview (or any of my interviews actually), I prepared by organizing my thoughts for these 5 questions:
(1) Walk me through your resume
I think having concise answers to these key questions, adding personal stories to keep things light and still conversational, gave my interviewer a clear picture of who I am and what I can offer the school. With minimal points for clarification, our discussion was then very positive and friendly.
4) What advice do you have for future applicants?
Do your homework in researching the schools - what they uniquely stand for, what they offer, etc. When applying to several schools, it’s so tempting to just copy and paste your essays, but really, schools can see through this. Lose the buzzwords and make things as personal as possible. There are so many opportunities to meet current students, alumni and the admissions team (i.e. events, online forums, Skype dates ) and I say, maximize these to really get to know the school better. In the process, not only will you be able to tighten your “Why this school?” essay, but also really assess the school’s compatibility with your MBA needs/wants.
5) What was the most surprising thing about this process for you?
Everyone throughout the process, from the admissions team to the interviewers, was just so nice! While their titles/roles in your application process might seem intimidating, just relax! In truth, they’re rooting for you to get in so allow them to get to know you better by being true to yourself in your encounters. It’s such a cliche but it’s so true - just be yourself
6) What was most HELPFUL for you in the process?
To be honest, knowing that I was not the only one going through all the frustrations of MBA prep (e.g. having to rebound from failed GMAT tests, editing over-the-word-count-essays, preparing for interviews) was comforting. Meeting other MBA hopefuls/current students and learning of their similar experiences kept me sane and inspired. Also, having Stefanie, who was not only my Admissionado consultant but also my #1 cheerleader, in my support group was really helpful. She was always so quick to respond to my inquiries about anything (no matter how trivial they may be - and I tell you, I had some really trivial questions!) and showed genuine concern in keeping me continuously motivated throughout the process.