The relatively short LBS MFin essay questions, together, convey the adcom’s interest in both who you are and how you envision and plan your career. Given that your classmates will be experienced finance professionals (the average work experience is six years), it’s important to deliver throughout and “across” the essays mature, informed insights and perspectives derived from your experience in your particular area of finance.
The essay questions are:
1. What is it about Finance that interests and inspires you? (300 word limit)
Be yourself. No need to wear a halo; while some people are inspired by the belief that finance can change the world for the better, others feel equally inspired by the high stakes and fast pace, or a technical or intellectual dimension.
This essay work best as a story – simply tell the story of how you “fell in love” with finance (whether industry or function or both—what finance means and looks like to you). This approach will allow the reader to see through your eyes what interests and inspires you about the field. And it will inherently lead you to provide the detail and anecdote to make the essay memorable and vivid.
2. What role do you see yourself in immediately after the programme? How will the MiF build on your current skills and experience to help you achieve this? In what geographical region do you see yourself working in immediately after the programme? If you are not successful in your first choice of role, is there another role you would consider? (500 word limit)
This is really four questions. You needn’t answer them in order, and I suggest combining the “geographical region” answer with the answer to the first question about where you see yourself immediately post-program. That discussion should include details such as company or type of company, specific positions and titles, and what you want to achieve in that role and why – your “vision” for this step in your career. Should you mention long-term goals? Sure, if you wish, but briefly. Sometimes they are important for understanding your short-term goals. The immediate goal should be consistent with the message in the first essay, and should be a realistic target that’s also appropriately ambitious.
The final question asks for your “Plan B.” In describing it, give a brief rationale as well for why it’s a suitable and appealing path.
3. What value will you add to London Business School? (200 word limit)
Feel free to discuss relevant factors beyond finance here (note the question asks not what you’ll bring to the MFin program, but to London Business School). Some possible topic areas include unusual work experience or industry/functional exposure, personal interests (though please don’t say traveling), formative academic or social experiences, distinctive or unusual aspects of your background, etc. Think about what will round out your profile in an appealing and relevant way to prospective classmates. With only 200 words, don’t discuss more than 3 things; you’ll still need example and detail to make the topics credible and interesting.
By Cindy Tokumitsu, author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with Accepted.com.