Continuing on my previous post, here is a quick (personal) view on the right background / experience / timing to apply to LBS.

While every business school tends to build a community with students from extremely diverse backgrounds, LBS takes it to a whole new level. Pre-MBA experiences of LBS students broadly cover all major disciplines. The largest disciplines include financial services that forms c. 30% of the student population, consulting forms c. 25%, manufacturing is c. 8%, IT is c. 6%, and Retail/FMCG is c. 5%. Other disciplines include Not-for-profit, Energy, Media / Marketing, Defense, Legal services, Healthcare / Pharma — each of these forming c. 3% of the student population. There are minor representations from few others – e.g. travel / tourism, real estate, sports, music etc. Well, the key take-away is that there is no right or wrong background to apply to LBS. It’s highly likely that someone with the same experience as yours is (or was) a student at LBS. However, it is also important to note that if you are applying with one of the common backgrounds – for instance IT services or Real Estate – you need to have a very strong application across all key aspects to ensure that the application covers up for ‘common’ professional experience that you’ve had.

On an average, an LBS MBA student has 5 – 6 years of work experience. The whole range varies from 2 years to 15 years. Ofcourse, a candidate with 2 years of experience will typically have a very strong set of achievements. And a candidate with 15 years of experience will typically have a non-business background and is pursuing MBA at LBS to develop those all-rounded business skills. Please note that candidates who have recently finished their under-graduation and have no work experience should not apply to the MBA programme at LBS. These candidates should consider applying to the MiM programme (please read about MiM here). On the other hand, professionals with significantly longer experience should consider applying to executive programmes listed here.

Finally, the question remains that what round do you apply in. My personal experience tells me that the most important thing is to have a robust application, and not the round. One shouldn’t put in an application in an earlier round if one believes that there’s a potential to improve the application. So, the first step is to build a strong application. Now, there’s not much difference between the first and the second round — both rounds will have a significant number of available seats for a good application to get selected. It gets slightly tougher in the third and the fourth rounds. This is purely a factor of supply and demand. The demand continues to be high, but the supply (i.e. available seats) is low in these later rounds. So, one should consider applying to one of the first two rounds.

For those who need data and statistics for further understanding on professional background, years of experience, and what LBS programme to choose, there’s some very useful information available here

That’s it. It’s pretty simple – (a) You don’t require any particular background to get into LBS – you need an application that demonstrates well-rounded personality, (b) You can consider applying to LBS with more than 2 years of experience – ofcourse, it’s harder to get in with low years of experience than average (5 – 6 years), and (c) You should consider applying in the first or the second rounds.

4 Responses to “Right background, years of experience and round to apply for LBS”

  1. avatar Nilesh says:

    Hi Akansh,

    You mentioned “– you need to have a very strong application across all key aspects to ensure that the application covers up for ‘common’ professional experience that you’ve had.”

    Can you elaborate on what are the key aspects which LBS generally looks for esp in case of an over-represented profile.


  2. avatar Marshall says:

    These are really helpful tips for students applying for LBS. Having a robust application for the round is the best idea for students to get in. However, with so many applicants and multiple rounds, I do think that having a efficient document management solution to sort, organize and manage these docs would be a really good step. Although education sector hasn’t really broken into the whole e-solutions market to make the application process effective, it could be a good start for LBS. My recommendation to accomplish this would be using GroupDocs, a solutions which provides an App Suite to upload, view, organize, annotate as well as sign documents digitally. For details, visit the website:

  3. avatar Nikhil says:

    HI Akansh,

    Thank you for your amazing tips.
    I wanted to know how family businesses are treated at LBS.


  4. avatar Arun Kumar Tak says:

    Hi Akansh Ji,
    Hpy New YEAR,
    Want to know about LBS admission, I have about 12 years experience 7 years in PSU Energy Sector and remaining in others in India,
    please guide me in which programme i must take the admission,
    A K Tak