London Business School 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips

 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 My tips for answering LBS’s essay questions are in red below.

London Business School 2011 MBA Essay Questions

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 consequently contribute?

Question 5  

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:

Question 8
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.

LBS 2011 Application Deadlines

Stage 1: October 6, 2010

Stage 2: January 5, 2011

Stage 3: March 2, 2011

Stage 4: April 20, 2011


By Linda Abraham, President and Founder of

GMAT Math Tip: Halving and Doubling

Doing well on the GMAT is a function of accuracy and timing.  With only 75 minutes to complete 37 math questions, you have approximately 2 minutes to complete each question.  You need to find ways save time, and the “halving and doubling” math tip described in the video and examples below will help you do that.

Let’s take a look at an example in which halving and doubling can save you time:

18 x 6

Note that you can construct a new equation with the same product by halving one number and doubling the other number.  Because many students are more comfortable with 12x multiplication rather than 18x multiplication, let’s halve 18 and double 6 to create the following equation:

18 x 6
= (18/2) x (6 x 2)
= 9 x 12
= 108

Let’s try another example:

16 x 5.5

You can create an equivalent equation by halving 16 and doubling 5.5 to get the following:

16 x 5.5
= (16/2) x (5.5 x 2)
= 8 x 11
= 88

Let’s try a more complicated problem:

2.25 x 36

In the example below we will apply the technique twice, effectively multiplying one number by 4 and the other by 1/4.

2.25 x 36
= 4.5 x 18
= 9 x 9
= 81

Today’s article was brought to you by Beat The GMAT and Magoosh.  To try more practice questions with similar video explanations, check out Smart GMAT Practice, which launches on July 7, 2010.

2011 MIT Sloan EMBA Essay Tips

This MIT EMBA 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 Our tips for answering the MIT EMBA essay questions are in blue below.

Looking at the 2011 MIT Sloan EMBA essay questions holistically, it’s clear that they seek to draw out a person who, assuming basic qualifications, is focused and self-aware, and also confident and mature enough to change and adapt when warranted.  The questions convey a balance of broad and specific.  The statement of purpose and essay 1 present a more conceptual challenge, and essays 2 and 3 probe your ability to take action and then identify and communicate your motivations and rationale for it.  Another way these essays summon a holistic perspective is in asking you to discuss your purpose for pursuing the EMBA, which presumably relates to your future goals, followed in the last question by a request to identify a time that you have pursued, and met a goal (albeit organizational).  Given how these essays interrelate, I suggest sketching out your topics for each and ensuring that they resonate as a whole before writing.  For example, for the objective you portray in the statement of purpose, you might select stories for essays 2 and/or 3 that amplify some experience, knowledge, skill, or quality that would support that objective.  Finally, note that the essays enable you to discuss either all professional topics or a mix of work and non-work.

  • A statement of purpose, indicating your qualifications and why you are pursuing the MIT Sloan MBA for Executives. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

I suggest starting by conceptualizing the second part of this question (why you are pursuing the MBA) first.  Presumably the reason relates to your professional goals and objectives.  However, do not focus only what you want to do, i.e., become the CIO, but rather on what you want to accomplish for the organization and/or its customers/market – the former will be competent and acceptable, the latter will be exciting and will have a better chance of  turning your readers into your cheerleaders.  This goals/objectives portion should be succinct.  The details come in the next portion: how the goals/objectives require the learning that the Sloan MBA for Executives will provide.

In selecting the qualifications to discuss, remember that the adcom will have your resume.  Hence, you don’t have to present all your qualifications.  Select those that (a) are really distinctive and relevant to the MBA and/or (b) support your goals directly or indirectly. Have a short point to make about each, such as the insight it lends or its influence on you.

Three essays (all three are required of all candidates):

  • The educational mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to “develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world.” Please discuss how you will contribute toward advancing this mission. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

This is a relatively open question.  Early in the essay, briefly convey what “improving the world” means to you, creating context. For the “how,” you can discuss factors outside of work as well as work-related.  There is a danger lurking: “… how you will contribute” – the use of the word “will” might lead you to cast the whole essay in the future tense.  You do have to address how you will contribute, but your answer will have more credibility if you cite a previous time or two when you already have contributed toward the stated mission.  The bulk of the essay will focus on how you will do so in the future – don’t give a list of 10 ways, but identify 1 to 3 and provide some succinct but meaningful discussion of them.  Your future contributions may be related to your goals, or you may cite other initiatives.  Bear in mind that the stated mission is not just “improving the world,” but “to develop principled, innovative leaders” who do so.

  • Please describe a time when you changed your opinion, and why. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

Since you will write about work in the statement of purpose, and probably essay 1 and 3, you can choose a work or non-work topic here – whichever best illuminates and enhances your profile.  While the essay doesn’t require it, I believe the essay will have more substance and heft if you can find a topic that involves your taking some action based on your change of opinion.  Also, choose something not too far in the past, ideally within the last few years.  First, tell the story (no  need for an introduction in this short essay – just jump into the story).  If you use the story approach, the “why” will appear naturally as you progress in the narrative.  But still provide a short summary paragraph reflecting on the “why,” and ideally showing the action you took as a result.

  • Please discuss an occasion when your resources and time were limited and you needed to achieve a significant organizational goal. What did you do, and how did you do it? (500 words or less, limited to one page)

This essay will offer evidence in the application that you meet goals and that you make things happen when faced with real-world constraints (as all executives are)—you literally move the organization forward.  Hence, choose a story that is substantive, and one that occurred within the last few years – the bigger the impact, the better.  If you have some good stories to choose from, think about other factors you might like to highlight in your essay for strategic purposes: international dimension (in a given region or generally), leadership in a given context such as healthcare or IT, integrating organizations due to a merger or acquisition, etc.  Here too keep the structure simple: present the story straight off, skipping an explanatory intro paragraph.  As you describe what you did, integrate how you did it, going right through the narrative.  No fancy ending needed; just a concise summary sentence or two.

The MIT EMBA application deadline is August 15.

If you want to start now on your MIT EMBA application, please keep in mind that is running an Early Bird Special: 10% off all MBA essay consulting and editing.  Consider also our MIT EMBA Consulting and Editing Packages.They too are 10% off thru July 31.

By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Success, The Consultants’ Guide to MBA Admission, The EMBA Edge, and author of several articles and the free, email mini-course, “Ace the EMBA.” Also author of the  NEW online mini-course, Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Choosing the One for You.

Learn More:


The Relative Unimportance of High School Rankings

There are people, institutions, school districts and media organizations that care a tremendous amount about the Newsweek ranking of America’s Best High Schools, which was released last week.  The rankings are based upon the number of Advanced Placement exams (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Cambridge exams given in the school divided by the number of students in the senior class — a statistic that should measure academic challenge available and undertaken in a specific school.  The  rankings included 1600 high schools, or about 6%.  Our local news organizations jumped on the idea that our comprehensive high schools made the list.  Amusingly enough, a high school in Texas made both the America’s Best list and a list of failing schools, which demonstrates the manipulability of statistics.

Does it matter if your school made the list?  When it comes to applying to college, not really.  Selective colleges take great care to evaluate each student within the context of the high school that he or she attends.  As your transcript is evaluated, the admissions officer is looking at your grades and class rank (if provided), and the rigor of the curriculum that you have chosen to take.  If AP or IB courses are available, then they expect you to have challenged yourself in several facets of the curriculum.  At the other extreme, if you attend a high school that offers little in the way of advanced courses, it won’t be held against your application. If you are not challenged by the standard offerings in your school, you might want to look to your community for other ways that you can challenge yourself academically.  Are there online courses, community college classes or summer programs that will quench your academic thirst?

It’s not too late to start volunteering!

Yes, you can keep yelling at yourself for not starting earlier, but that won’t get you anywhere, will it? Instead, start volunteering now.

It’s true that adcoms would rather see a long history of community service rather than just a short stint, but you can’t turn back the clock. You can start now.

Why is community service so important, you ask? B-schools (and all graduate programs, for that matter) are looking for individuals who will be good leaders on the job, in their communities, and as alumni. Your past commitment to a community service activity helps prove to the adcoms that you are a committed, dedicated person.

Not sure where to start? We recently learned about the USA Leadership Corps. If you’re interested in helping small businesses and social entrepreneurs promote their ventures, then you may qualify to serve as a mentor or consultant for the USALC. Contact the Corps for more information.

Another option for those interested in social entrepreneurship is‘s new grant opportunity program. If you have a sustainable community action project, program, or idea, especially if it focuses on Diabetes Awareness, the Special Olympics, or Volunteerism, then you may qualify for a Do Something grant. The application deadline is July 15, 2010.

Let us know if you need help thinking of other community service ideas, or please feel free to post if you have ideas on the subject you’d like to share. ~ Helping You Write Your Best