The LBS MiF essay questions, together, convey the adcom’s 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. It’s particularly important because it’s a rare MiF program that targets more experienced finance professionals (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 are your career objectives and what steps are you taking to achieve them? What alternatives are you considering? What geographical region do you hope to work in? (maximum 500 words)
Well, this “question 1” is actually four questions! That said, all the sub-questions are focused on one thing: goals.
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” – if the alternatives are primarily for the shorter-term goals, note how/why they’re another viable path to your long-term goals. If the alternative is for a longer-term goal (it’s not unusual for someone, reasonably, to consider starting a venture way down the road), make sure it’s coherent with the other elements. Be thoughtful about this alternative section, but don’t spend a lot of space on it.
Not least, identify the key steps you are taking toward your goals. Of course, attending LBS is one such step. I do suggest noting other steps too (at least one more), as it builds credibility for your seriousness in “doing what it takes” to get where you want to go. In mentioning LBS and any other steps, briefly note why – how they will contribute to your achieving your goals.
Question 2: 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 two important things:
• Demonstrate understanding of the LBS community overall
• Highlight interesting and/or impressive aspects of your life and experience
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 and unique perspective. But interesting facts alone don’t show how you’ll add value; you need to include your insight to make it meaningful.
If you would like professional guidance with your LBS MiF application, check out Accepted’s MiF Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the LBS MiF application.
***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. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
• Get Your Game On: Prepping for Your Grad School Application, a free guide
• MIT Sloan Master in Finance: How to Get In!, a podcast episode
• What Should I Write About? Making a Difference