The LBS MiM adcom seeks two key factors that are essential for MiM students – recent college grads – to make productive use of the program. They are: (a) self-understanding and (b) a realistic and informed view of the business world and their future role in it, even though they don’t yet have much actual experience.
The London Business School MiM essay questions are designed to elicit this information. They also reflect the program’s requirements for strong communication skills, specifically concision. The word limits are tight; you have to pack a lot of substance into your responses to distinguish yourself.
Question 1 (500 words)
In what company and role will you be working in after completing your Masters in Management and how will your academic, professional, and personal achievements allow you to succeed in this position? What challenges do you foresee in pursuing this goal?
Wait, how can you know what company you’ll be working at after graduating? Figuring that out was partly why you want to attend the program….
Pretend you know. Identify the company and role that interests you most now, and build the essay on them. (Feel free to add that if you don’t end up there, you’ll welcome a similar position at a similar company.) What the adcom is looking for here is assurance that you have sufficient practical understanding of post-MiM options to make an informed decision about attending the program and using LBS’ extensive career resources.
Discuss the target company and role, including why you want them, what you hope to accomplish, and how your achievements will help you succeed in this role. While elaborating on the role, also address 2-3 challenges you anticipate in pursuing it. It would not hurt here to explain how the LBS MiM will prepare you to address those challenges.
Question 2 (300 words)
The MiM study groups will challenge students by testing their ability to work with academically and culturally diverse people and to play different roles within these teams. What strengths will you bring to your team and what qualities will you need to improve in order to be a valued team member? Feel free to use a real example to illustrate your thoughts.
Select 2-3 strengths and illustrate them with brief examples – these examples needn’t be of equal length (given the tight word limit, even a 1-sentence example is okay), but don’t just explain this-and-that is your strength. Actual examples will make these strengths vivid and credible. Use different strengths, not things that overlap a lot (as “communication skills” and “interpersonal skills” do). Briefly note after each strength how it will enable you to contribute to the team.
In discussing qualities (yes, plural) that you need to improve, use an example for at least one – and be sure to present points that are relevant to the team process.
Another straightforward and effective approach is to identify a team work success, describe your role, and then relate how that success reflects specific strengths as well as what qualities need to be improved upon. Or the weakness part can be a separate paragraph.
Whichever structure you use, with only 300 words, select content that doesn’t require a lot of background explanation.
Question 3 (200 words)
The core values of London Business School challenge individuals to be communal, courageous, ambitious, eclectic, and engaged. Please tell us about a time when you demonstrated one of these values in your personal or professional life.
This essay is essentially a story, so the structure is simple: narrate the story. Succinctly.
The challenge comes in selecting the story. Choose something ideally fairly recent, and that either presents a different dimension that the points you mention in the preceding essay, or elaborates on one of the strengths. Select something truly meaningful and pivotal in your life. You can use either professional or personal stories for this essay. And do explicitly state in one sentence why you view the experience as communal, courageous, ambitious, eclectic, or engaged.
Question 4 (400 words)
Please answer this question ONLY if you are applying to the Global Masters in Management.
An exposure to the Western and Eastern way of doing business is a fast-track to succeed in today’s global world. Boeing CEO Jim McNerney has said, “The people who will lead our company in the future have to have personal experience in China.” If you were to interview with Mr. McNerney for a position in his company, how would you demonstrate that you’re the right person for the role?
IF you’ve had personal experience in China, it might seem that you have the easier job – but don’t expect brownie points for that. You must express something meaningful, insightful, and relevant about your time there. Use examples and anecdotes as the main content, and draw conclusions in brief reflections.
IF you haven’t had personal experience in China, you must be a bit creative. DO NOT fall into the trap of explaining why such experience really isn’t necessary. Remember, the point of the essay is to let the adcom learn more about you, not experience in China. Therefore, give reasons – backed up by examples – why you are right for the job in spite of lacking the stated experience. And it won’t hurt to explain you intend to get the experience soon, and how.
The recommended deadlines for the 2015 intake (MiM2016 class) are:
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.