The LBS MiF essay questions, together, convey strong interest in two inter-related points: (1) how you envision and plan your future career and (2) your knowledge of and interest in the LBS Masters in Finance program (2 of the 3 questions ask specifically about LBS). It’s particularly important because it’s a rare MiF program that targets more experienced finance professionals; many if not most such programs target early-career applicants. Given this unique focus, it’s important to deliver throughout the essays mature, informed insights and perspectives derived from your experience in your particular area of finance. And cite reasons for attending the program beyond the fact that it’s there –the adcom clearly is looking for engaged applicants who are well-informed about the program and ready to participate in its academic and social life.
Question 1: What is your motivation for applying to London Business School’s Masters in Finance programme? (maximum 300 words)
LBS MiF adcom breaks up the question that often is combined in business-oriented application essays: what are your goals and how does the program in question help prepare you for those goals? This question is essentially the “why LBS” part and essay 2 is the goals part.
Discuss why the LBS MiF in particular appeals to you, citing specific aspects and elements of the program that motivate you to apply. It’s a chance to show you’re completely conversant with the program and have a solid game plan for making the most of it.
Question 2: What are your career objectives and what steps have you taken (or do you plan to take) to achieve them? What alternatives are you considering? What geographical region do you hope to work in? (maximum 500 words)
Well, it’s a good thing they give you 500 words here, because the question is actually four questions! That said, all these sub-questions are focused on one thing: goals. Discussion of “why LBS” occurs elsewhere.
Your career objectives are holistic: both what you want to DO, and what you want to ACHIEVE (what impact you want to have through your career). The “achieve” part may be brief but it animates and gives purpose to the whole essay (indeed, the whole application). The “do” part should be specific, in terms of position(s), industry, possibly company(ies), and, in this section, geography as well. The alternatives are essentially your “Plan B” – I suggest making it for the shorter-term goals, and note how/why it’s another viable path to your long-term goals. Be thoughtful about this alternative section, but don’t spend a lot of space on it.
Not least, identify the key steps you have taken or plan to take toward your goals. Of course, attending LBS is one such future step. It’s fine to mention it in this essay, but you can detail it in other essays. I do suggest if possible mentioning some specific steps you’ve taken so far toward your goals, which will add credibility to your case overall.
Question 3: What specific areas of London Business School life are you most excited about getting involved in and where do you believe you will add value to the School Community? (maximum 300 words)
This essay allows you to do 2 important things:
• Demonstrate understanding of the LBS community overall;
Really focus on the LBS community in this essay. In discussing the areas you’d like to get involved in, select 2-3 and try to include something beyond work – perhaps there are sports or social clubs, or a volunteer initiative, that you’d like to join. Of course, it’s fine to mention professional clubs and organizations as well. How you’ll add value can include these activities but it can also be broader, to include what you’ll bring to the table based on your experiences. But interesting facts alone don’t show how you’ll add value; you need to include your insight to make it meaningful.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
By Cindy Tokumitsu, has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA, master, law, PhD and medical programs,with special emphasis on MBA and EMBA and other business programs in her 15+ years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Click here to get in touch!