London Calling! Five Tips for the LBS Essays

(Updated for 2020-2021)

What makes the London Business School — the London Business School? In its own words it is continued business impact, global growth, and world-class people.

LBS is particularly proud of its global, multi-national student body who hail from a variety of professional backgrounds and of the strong, inclusive community that results: “[w]e nurture our students to challenge the status quo…with the aim of developing a global outlook and fostering a communal spirit.

The school is also proud of its “global footprint” with a location in London, a thriving global financial capital; as well as in Dubai, buttressed by a strong alumni network scattered throughout the world.

So, what does this mean for the essays?

LBS has just one mandatory and one optional essay question as they believe that information about the applicant’s post MBA goals, provides the admissions committee with all the information they need.

LBS wants to see that you understand what the program has to offer you based on your career goals and how the skills and experiences gained there, along with previous experiences, will help you achieve your goals.

1. Make sure you answer the question(s) being asked.

The prompt is asking for three things:

a. your post-MBA goals
b. how the goals build on your experiences
c. how LBS will help you achieve these goals

Ideally this essay builds on your CV and recommendations and pulls together the story you want to tell about yourself. A good general rule of thumb is to spend one third of the words on each section.

2. Think hard about those short and long-term career goals.

Be as specific as possible about what you would like to do, why, and how you will get there. Explain WHY these are YOUR goals; there are many things you could do, so why is this the particular path you have chosen to take?

Then think through how you will get there: what skills and experiences have you developed so far? What skills do you need to gain at each step along the way (at LBS, at an internship, at post-MBA job) to get you where you want to be?

3. How does LBS fits in with your goals?

The more specific your goals are – both short and long-term – the better able you will be to succinctly answer the question of how LBS is a strong fit in helping you achieve these goals. Research classes and outside activities (clubs, conferences, treks, business plan competitions, internships, community) that are relevant. Be specific in identifying what those are – name classes and professors, clubs, and the role you will play in each.

With LBS, always think cross-geography both in terms of your classmates and your own experience. LBS has relationship with some 30 business schools across the world, and about 1/3 of all students spend a term abroad. If this is something you want to do, say why here.

4. So about that optional essay.

Use this essay to tackle any issues that may be looked at negatively by the admissions committee. While issues around academic weaknesses are covered separately, other personal or professional hiccups that needs explaining should be included here.

5. Being in London Matters.

LBS is proud of being in London so pay particular attention to how the location fits with, and boosts, your career goals.