London Business School Admissions Essay Requirements

London Business School (LBS)

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Financial Times Ranking: 1

London Business School may be located outside the U.S., but that doesn’t make it any less of a prestigious program. In fact, it’s the top-ranked business school worldwide, at least according to the Financial Times ranking system. As a result, applicants should expect to spend considerable time ensuring their LBS essays are as good as they can possibly be. And considering that they ask you for 6 required essays, you’ll be writing for a while.

London Business School essay prompts are quite diverse, and cover many of the same elements that your standard MBA programs ask about: career progress and accomplishments, leadership, and teamwork, for example. Make sure to carefully review the LBS essay prompts, as you need to understand exactly what they’re asking to write great essays.

No matter which of the essay prompts you’re working on, EssayEdge has a detailed analysis of the 2011-2012 LBS essay prompts. If you’re wondering how you can go about writing a great London Business School admissions essay, scroll down the page to see our prompt-by-prompt breakdowns.

Prompt 1 A) Give us a brief assessment of your career progress to date. B) In what role do you see yourself working in immediately after graduation and what is your longer term career vision? C) How will your past and present experiences help you to achieve this? D) How will the London Business School MBA Programme contribute to this goal? E) Why is this the right time for you to pursue an MBA?

Approaching the prompt

Even with the relatively generous 750 word count limit, LBS is asking you to cover quite a bit of ground in this essay. For this reason, it can be difficult to decide what details to include and in what amounts. Instead of using precious essay real estate for a literary introduction, jump right in with reflections on your career path. Also, use the conclusion to help the admissions officers understand why this is the ideal time in your life and career to seek a graduate business education.

Common pitfalls

Not Making Direct Connections Between Your Goals and the LBS Program: LBS wants to know why you are interested in attending their MBA program. While this can seem obvious to you as an applicant, LBS is looking to see how well you connect the program’s offerings with your career vision. This will change for every individual, so it is important to show the admissions officers details regarding why attending LBS will enhance your ability to achieve your career goals. Provide names of specific classes and other opportunities such as study abroad or internships. Let the selection committee know how you will take full advantage of these.

Ignoring the Last Prompt: After writing about your career progress, goals, significant experiences, and the LBS program itself, it can be easy to find yourself out of room. However, the last prompt is as important as the others. It helps give the admissions committee a window into your current personal and professional world while also offering valuable insight into your motivations for attending business school.

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Prompt 2: 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?

Approaching the prompt

This prompt is asking you to offer a single anecdote that covers two main characteristics of the ideal LBS candidate: leadership and team working skills. LBS is looking to better understand how you develop and refine these traits as you apply them to real world scenarios. How did you grow from this challenge? What techniques did you rely on to achieve success? Don’t overlook examples where you were able to act as a leader despite not being the head of the project or group. Clearly demonstrate how your particular skill set will contribute to the first year study group, but also how you will benefit from the strong points of others.

Common pitfalls

Not Seeming Familiar with Your Own Leadership Style. Leaders come in all different stripes. At this point in your career, you should have some knowledge of the situations where your style is most effective as well as those where it is in the best interest of the group for you to focus on other strengths while allowing someone else to take the lead.

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Prompt 3: 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?

Approaching the prompt

LBS is directly telling you how much they value student’s participation in clubs as well as in the community. Meet their expectations by researching which clubs at LBS seem most interesting to you. Explain why you would like to participate by detailing what you think you could offer the group and how the group will enhance your overall LBS experience. Although this will require some extra research, it will pay off in the long run as you will help the admissions officers envision you as an active student within their program.

Common pitfalls

Listing Too Many Clubs. There will probably be more organizations that interest you than you could fit into your schedule. Therefore, focus on two to four clubs that most appeal to you. Give specifics about each club to reflect that you have done your research, and make direct connections between the club and your goals for attending LBS.

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Prompt 4: 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?

Approaching the prompt

In this essay, LBS is looking for you to reflect a global mindset. While most applicants will have traveled overseas, these are not the only sources. Did you attend a school where you boarded with students from all over the world? Did you grow up in a city or neighborhood that had an active, ethnic minority group? LBS wants to know how you interact with people from other cultures and integrate those experiences into your own.

Common pitfalls

Offering a Laundry List Itinerary. Stating that you have traveled to 28 different countries on four different continents is not impressive in and of itself. In our globalized business world, it has become increasingly possible to travel to more places without interacting with the local culture. Familiar hotel and restaurant chains can create an insular world, especially for business travelers. Demonstrate to LBS that you can be comfortable with cuisines, values, and lifestyles that vary substantially from your own.

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Prompt 5: (Choose One) A) You have decided to stand for the role of Student Association President. Announcing your campaign to the London Business School community for the first time, please describe your manifesto. B) What is your most substantial achievement to date and why?

Approaching the prompt

While there tends to be far too much emphasis on ‘selling’ oneself in MBA application essays, that is precisely what LBS is asking you to do in selecting one of these prompts. The admissions officers are looking for you to reflect the ability to have a defined vision and the skills needed to effectively implement that vision to achieve goals in the real world. Take it seriously, but have a little fun.

Common pitfalls

Being 2-Dimensional. Although this essay is very short and should have a quick pace, it still needs to demonstrate context and meaning. Regardless of which prompt you choose, beware of spilling over into propaganda. Lighthearted does not have to be superficial. Use this response as an opportunity to show both substance and style.

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