John F. Kennedy — ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.’

 

Having spoken and worked with admissions managers in recruitment, I learned that when they review applications, they often look for how applicants may bring value to the classroom and the wider LBS community.

 

The exact wordings of the essay questions on the application vary from year to year, but they are designed to help admissions managers to evaluate the following:

 

Are you bringing in experience, professional and academic, that is rare among members of the community (N.B. the community of current students, and not the application pool)?

When I was putting together my application for the MiM, I reached out to students in the programme via email and read their profiles (available online). I realized that what differentiated me from the pack was my experience in public service, combined with internships in varied fields (tech start-ups, government, and laws). Using that piece of insight, I started to develop a narrative for my personal statement.

 

Can you demonstrate that you have exemplified the core values (communal, courageous, engaged, ambitious and eclectic) of London Business School, and will continue to do so when you are here?

While LBS, just like all the other great institutions, celebrates diversity and uniqueness, it also appreciates recruiting prospects that can unify under some greater, esteemed values. They just wanted to know what drives your decisions and actions when under pressure. Over the course of my study at LBS, there had been moments that were stressful, and I was very fortunate to have colleagues that truly exemplified those core values. They made my life so much easier (and I hope I did theirs, too). I figured that’s why LBS is interested in the values that you uphold and embrace. Knowing why the School asks this question, I hope this gives you some ideas for which professional experience you’d like to share in your application.

 

Do you show, through your application, convincing motivation behind your application and your qualifications aligned to the requirements?

I personally find this to be the simplest and, yet at the same time, the toughest question to answer. Simplest because the answer could be as simple as “I want to be a consultant and studying at LBS would help me achieve this goal.” Toughest because it is very easy to see through it if you don’t have a strong case for it. My best advice is to take time and think through this most important question (I’ve briefly touched on this topic in my first post), then answer as honestly as you can (and should).

 

What do you add to the (London Business School) community?

Don’t overthink on this one. If you are an avid basketball player as I am, feel free tell them you’re interested in joining basketball club on campus and help organise events. If you have a knack of building connection with people and/or have an extensive network in a particular field, then the community might benefit from you when you bring in guest speakers in lectures or on-campus events. If you have spent the last five years studying a particular subject, the class certainly could benefit from your sharing of knowledge and in-class participation.

 

Write your application from the perspective of the admissions committee; include details that are relevant to them, and leave out things that would distract them from appreciating your uniqueness. The application should be succinct to a point that, when they are done with reading it, they should be able to identify you in your own category.

 

The ability to create and communicate your own brand is highly valued by the admissions committee, as well as prospective employers. It shows self-awareness, strong analytical and communication skills, and a healthy dose of self-confidence – skills that reflect problem-solving capability. Being able to communicate your brand in a way that emphasizes your value to the organization (e.g. London Business School) is even better.

4 Responses to “Things to Consider When Applying to LBS”

  1. avatar Steve Hernandez says:

    I’m not much into reading, but somehow I got to read many articles in your webpage. It’s fantastic how interesting it is for me to visit you very often.

    • avatar Nicholas Fei says:

      Hey Steve, sorry for the late response! I’m certainly flattered reading your comment. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you any question!

  2. avatar Marc Austin says:

    Thank you for the great tips. It helps when answering the essay questions.

    • avatar Nicholas Fei says:

      Thanks Marc! I’m glad you found it helpful. I just updated the post to include more information. Please feel free to reach out if you need any help on your application!