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LBS Winning Sample Essays – 1
LBS Essay 1: What are your post-MBA goals and how will your prior experience and the London Business School programme contribute towards these? (500 words)
Post-MBA, I want to continue working in the Consulting space, but expand my horizon towards strategic mandates with a broader geographic/industry scope. I will start as a generalist consultant and develop expertise outside of the financial sector. Having almost entirely worked in finance-centric roles, I want to now grow beyond just a financial context—understand the cross-functional nature of decision making and strengthen my holistic business problem-solving ability.
Long-term, after garnering commensurate exposure across industries, verticals and geographies, I aspire to move up the ladder to a C-suite executive at a top-tier strategy consulting firm. Having spoken to Anshul Gupta, CFA (MBA’16), I understand that the LBS MBA’s strong strategy curriculum, experiential learning and active alumni network will ensure an accelerated transition from a finance-centric to a strategic/management consulting role.
Having spent 4.5 years in financial research and M&A advisory, I have worked with large PE funds, top-50 financial services firms and Fortune-500 companies to craft and recommend financial and strategic decisions. I have gained exposure to several industries (including retail, consumer goods, hospitality and real estate) and developed an understanding of global business through my interaction with CXOs, strategists and investment managers from more than eight countries. Working in large teams, I learnt to lead as well as follow. This experience, coupled with my CFA knowledge, has sharpened my research and analytical skills, on-the-feet thinking, and problem-solving ability — relevant skills that will position me to succeed higher up the value-chain.
However, to seamlessly actualise my goals, I need to gain a deeper understanding of consulting frameworks, fine-tune my leadership skills and tap on resources that will help build a deep/rooted global network. The LBS MBA will instil strong business fundamentals, enable me to establish a strong network and operate in a city where one is in proximity to all top-tier consulting firms.
At LBS, I intend to take electives such as “Thinking Strategically”, “Advanced Competitive Strategy”, “Managing Corporate Turnarounds” and “Strategy Lab” to build a strong strategy foundation. As suggested by Shreeji Parekh (MBA’19), I also want to be a part of LBS’ increasing emphasis on impact investing through initiatives such as “MBA Impact Investing Network & Training” and “Business for Development Institute” to understand how business interfaces with society and keep abreast the growing trend towards social investing.
I believe that professional-growth entails growing as a leader, a deft team-player and a person with a global outlook. As recommended by Yash Sidana (MBA’19) and Saba Ahmed (MBA’19), I will look to participate in “Global Leadership Assessment for Managers (GLAM)” and polish my leadership skills through “Leadership Launch”. Finally, I plan to leverage “Global Business Experience” and “LondonCAP” to immerse in experiential-learning and gain unique real-world perspectives that will equip me to manage complex/ambiguous challenges seamlessly, thereby better preparing me for a strategy/management consulting role.
As emphasised by all LBS MBA students and alumni I have interacted with, the sheer diversity, collaborative environment and continued focus on excellence will provide commensurate impetus towards my overarching ambitions.
LBS Essay 2: Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (500 words)
I want to take this opportunity to highlight how I will immerse myself in the LBS community:
Consulting and Finance Club
With a continued passion for consulting, I will look to contribute actively to the Consulting Club. Leveraging my learnings at KPMG, I will help in training & development of students interested in entering the consulting field. Additionally, I will help organise the Strategy summit by utilising my industry contacts and drawing on my event management experience of similar events at college level.
I will also like to continue my love for finance at LBS. Clearing all levels in the first attempt and holding the CFA charter, I am well-equipped to mentor and guide peers who are looking to make a switch to the finance sector.
Volunteers Club / Net Impact Club / Impact Consulting Club
Blessed with ample resources, I have always felt a strong need to give back to our community. In the last seven years, I have worked with five different organisations/set-ups in the areas of education, women empowerment and community development. Additionally, I took a sabbatical of 1.5 months to work full-time with an India-based NGO, Goonj, to make meaningful and impactful contributions. As part of the LBS Volunteers club, I would like to spread this infectious passion for social impact, join the Ghana Service trek and strive to bring in more local volunteering opportunities for students. Further, I would pursue my interests in social development at the Net Impact Club and Impact Consulting Club by solving challenges faced by social enterprises and sourcing future projects.
Women in Business Club
Having experienced gender bias as a woman professional in a patriarchal society, I firmly believe in the need to promote gender diversity. At a personal level, I have used my own experiences to help other women by leading important women-focused initiatives on menstrual hygiene and education. At the professional level, I drive KPMG’s Corporate Finance women community initiative to discuss and address any work-related issue. Through the LBS Women in Business club, I will like to continue to help other women grow to their full potential.
I have always been passionate about event management—both cultural and professional. During undergraduate studies, I led several events including annual management convention, college fest, NGO fest and several management competitions. I continued my passion at my workplace wherein I was instrumental in organising Diwali parties, quarter parties, team huddles, and off-sites. Leveraging the experience gained through these positions of responsibility and my deep connection with India and its culture, I would contribute to the India club by sharing sui-generis perspectives about the country, organising cultural events, and utilising personal and professional contacts to invite guest speakers and help prepare for the India trek.
Finally, having led diverse student organisations in the capacity of an elected representative during undergraduate studies and being an active alumnus of alma-mater, I aim to become a Student Ambassador for LBS, efficiently linking the school, future aspirants, research and industry.
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LBS Winning Sample Essay – 2
LBS MBA Essay 1: What are your post-MBA goals and how will your prior experience and the London Business School programme contribute towards these? (500 words)
As a project manager at a multinational bank in Hong Kong, overseeing credit lending operations, I noticed that often the small-scale, digital businesses were turned down by the bank. Based on the latest KPMG report, Hong Kong, despite being the leading global financial hub, ranks outside top 10 in “innovation hubs and leading visionaries”. In my view, the traditional banking model is to be blamed. Seeing how other industries are benefiting from the digital disruption, I have taken additional responsibilities in digitalization through training colleagues on digital awareness. However, I believe there is much more I can do. By applying the right technology-enabled solutions, I believe the banking sector can refine the traditional lending model and supply chain operations to support Hong Kong’s entrepreneurs. Post MBA, in short term; I want to work in product management in a fintech firm focused on lending such as Lending Club or Alibaba to understand how to solve financial problems using technology. In the long term, I envision to lead a digital strategy team in an international bank to push business transformation in the existing Hong Kong banking model.
At the bank, I was fortunate to expose to both frontline and middle management roles in credit lending and project management, leading a team of 24 of diverse backgrounds. The engagements I lead, such as implementing a more robust anti-money laundering system, require in-depth strategic planning and flawless execution as it impacts over 10,000 customers. In one of my recent projects, I designed a framework to analyze public companies that was adopted by senior management to successfully defend the Bank’s position on 100 firms that were on its loan books, despite the stock prices of some of these companies have dropped over 90% in May 2017.
“Global is the new local” especially for digital business. Steering a digital business transformation demands an entrepreneurial spirit and global thinking, something I need to improve upon. I witness how constructive feedback and constant learning are crucial to refine business ideas; at LBS, a student body with over 70 nationalities, gives rise to many well established regional clubs and brings the famous international celebration “Tattoo” to life. I will diversify my social circle and learn from diverse viewpoints to accelerate my business acumen to a global scale.
Complementing my lack of experiences in digital management, LBS’s tailored core courses in “Digital Strategy” will gear me with relevant tools to revamp the existing lending model. Looking forward, I wish to use my bid points to take the strategy lab class taught by Prof Markides, a professor whom many current students spoke highly of, to work on real business problems on disruptive innovation. I will also take full advantage of the unique offer LBS provides on the highly flexible curriculum and block week electives, as I am well-positioned in London to work 2 internships or part time with a fintech firm to understand how to solve financial problems using technology.
Combining my experience from working at the bank, skills and knowledge gained from LBS and the product management experience gained at a fintech firm, I will be well positioned to achieve my long-term vision of transforming business lending in Hong Kong banking sector and contribute to its growth story in the digital economy.