When I entered my current position, after the replacement of the company’s CEO, I knew I had to make changes in the company’s structure and methodologies. Up till then, the company was a “one man show”. The previous CEO had worked directly opposite freelance analysts, and neither organized work processes nor research methodology existed. The company relied solely on the analyst’s personal abilities, which caused inconsistency in projects’ quality and customers’ dissatisfaction.
In order to change that, I hired 5 research managers, re-defined responsibilities and tasks throughout the company, and spearheaded the formulation of a new research methodology. The new methodology gave us an edge over our competitors, and established the company as a brand name for quality research.
One of the most difficult decisions I had to make was firing Karen, a veteran member of my team. Transforming my company into a leading research firm required a devoted team that was committed to this goal, and willing to make extra efforts. This vision did not fit Karen. She was looking for a laid back position, and although talented, she did only the necessary minimum.
I faced a tough decision. On the one hand, to fire an experienced employee, in a time when most of the employees were new, seemed unwise. On the other hand, not firing her would mean establishing double standards for our employees, and might cause resentment in the entire team.
After I failed to change her attitude, I decided to fire Karen. Although I knew that in the short run things would get difficult, I concluded there was no other way. I needed the most dedicated team possible, and Karen, as head of a major division, would have undermined this effort in the long run.
Personally, making the decision was very hard. It meant firing a colleague, with whom I had worked closely for a long time. However, in the long run, team spirit improved greatly and I succeeded in building the right team to lead the company forward.
I believe that the role I will play in my study group will be the level-headed planner, who analyzes a complicated situation, prioritizes tasks, and assigns responsibilities. I will be the one that tries to find the solution when there seems to be a dead end and points out the hard facts that others prefer to overlook. When other people are in charge, I will be the one they go over their plan with, in order to find pitfalls and loose ends. On the other hand, I’ll also be the one encouraging the team that we can conquer whatever destination we set our mind into, and willing to take a risk in order to achieve that.
London Business School is a close-knit program with an international focus, set in one of the most exciting centers of culture in Europe. London Business School has student social clubs covering everything from board games to wine and spirits. The experience of living and studying in London is a formative part of LBS, and visiting the city and campus would be an excellent way to understand the benefits of the program.
If you can’t visit LBS before you apply, make sure you reach out to one of the many Student Ambassadors available to share their experiences and tell you more about the school. To learn more about the culture at London Business School, you can read the LBS admissions blog where admissions staff and students (and many who are both) share their thoughts about the school and programs.
This application is streamlined, with only two essay questions. In order to showcase all of your career accomplishments, extracurriculars and personal attributes you will likely need to maximize other parts of the application, like your resume and recommendations. Talk to your recommenders about the experiences in your background you might want to highlight through their letters, and use your resume to describe key moments at work.
What are your post-MBA goals and how will your prior experience and the London Business School programme contribute towards these? (500 words)
Self-awareness about your strengths and interests will help you refine what you truly want in your career. To take your research into your post-LBS options deeper it could be helpful to talk to colleagues and alumni who have MBAs in your field to identify various career paths. Make sure that your career goals are both realistic and aspirational. Think about the short term roles post-MBA that may lead to your most ambitious longer term goals.
Your past experiences have certainly informed your post-MBA plans, and touching on those most relevant will be helpful to setting the background for your current pursuit of an MBA. To make this essay more than a rehash of your resume, think about explaining the rationale for your decisions throughout the essay. Why did you pursue your past experience and what has been the impetus behind subsequent career choices? At this point, why are you choosing LBS?
As you speak with current LBS students and visit campus or other events, learn as much as you can about the programs, professors, and classes that may help you achieve your goals. What do you think you will learn at LBS and in your time in London that will lead to achievement of your career goals? The network you create during your MBA will open doors for you, and preparing for this essay can help you to make the most of the experience.
Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (500 words)
In describing the LBS vision, continued business impact, the school describes the culture: “We challenge how things are done and we teach our students to constantly question and innovate. We believe in providing our students with the most diverse, world-class and rewarding business education in the world.” This open-ended question is a great opportunity to touch on a personal story and add color to your story to demonstrate how you will be part of this culture. This could be the ideal place to describe a unique background, experience or attribute that did not fit elsewhere in the application.
Diversity can be about where you are from, the culture you identify with, the people you grew up with, or your approach to life. If diversity of experience or attitude doesn’t resonate for you, consider when you have approached a challenge and innovated. When have you taken a new view or challenged conventional wisdom? Global perspective is invaluable as well. Think about stories that could illustrate how you have demonstrated any of these qualities that are valued by LBS.
Challenged by the LBS essay questions? Contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help.
This entry was posted in Application Tips, London Business School Advice and tagged application essays, Essay Tips, Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips, LBS, LBS MBA, London Business School, London MBA, London School of Business.
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