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This London Business School 2012 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. Check out the entire 2012 MBA Application Tips series for more valuable MBA essay advice.
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 (500 words)
Please discuss your career progress to date and explain why now is the right time to undertake an MBA at London Business School?
What were the major decision points and accomplishments in your career? Both relate to your professional progress. To the extent you can highlight above-average progression, the more London Business School will be interested in you.
What’s going to distinguish this essay from your resume? This essay should really focus on at most 3 major elements. And all these elements should point to the logic of an MBA now and ultimately of your answer to the next question. Explicitly answer “Why now?”, but leave the future goal for Question 2.
Question 2 (300 words)
Where do you see your career progressing five years after graduation and what is your longer term career vision?
Again, LBS is asking about career progression. Start with your immediate post-MBA goal and include job function, industry, and maybe geographic location. If you have a few companies you would like to work for, you can mention that you would like to work for companies like “A, B, or C.” Then how would you see yourself moving forward from that initial position.
The key element in your response to the first part of the question must be realism. Given your answer to Question 1 and an MBA from London Business School, do you need the degree to attain your goals? Are you goals credible and concrete? Are they reasonable?
For the vision element, you can dream a little more and show how your short term goals for the next five years fit into a bigger picture. Do you have an altruistic element to your plan, reveal it (but don’t make one up!). Are you thinking strategically about your career? If so, show it.
Question 3 (250 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?
Similar to last year’s #3. Task #1: learn about study groups at London Business School. Then, reflect on your team experiences. If you have been involved in teams outside of work and your other essays focused on professional experiences, then use this response 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 group? After thinking about your team experiences and the role of study groups at LBS, show how your past experience will enable you to contribute to your study group.
Question 4 (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?
Before answering this question, research student life at LBS . 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 as well as the clubs you would like to be involved in. I recommend you pick two or three that appeal to you, not 10 or 20. Remember to answer “and why.”
Question 5 (250 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 6 (250 words)
Considering what you have already included in the application, what else would you like to tell us about yourself? You can approach this question however you like.
A freebie! An opportunity to write about something not discussed above. Hip-hip hooray! You’re not jumping up and down. Hmm. Oh well.
Use this essay to shine a spotlight on an experience or side of you that didn’t fit into the other essays, frequently that will be your non-professional side. Keep in mind the traits LBS seeksand the international nature of London’s approach to graduate business education. What about you do you most want them to know and haven’t yet told them?
You can use this question or the optional to provide context for a weakness in your profile, like a drop in grades or a gap in your job history.
Question 7: Re-applicants only (300 words)
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 MBA Reapplicant 101.
Additional Information (This question is optional)
This is not a compulsory essay but please complete if you would like the opportunity to clarify or expand upon any information submitted in your application.
Please see “The Optional Question: To Be or Not to Be.”
If you would like help with your London Business School application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our London Business School Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the LBS MBA application.
Stage 1: October 5, 2011
Stage 2: January 5, 2012
Stage 3: March 1, 2012
Stage 4: April 18, 2012
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