Post #6: How to Approach Essays

Although the application process involves several steps, ‘Essays’ consume most of the time during application process. To put it the other way, one has to spend a lot of time on the ‘Essays’  to make a successful application.

I myself was unsuccessful when I applied for class of 2013 at LBS in the fast track application as I had just spent as little as two weeks time to get the application out quickly. Please wait for my post on ‘Fast Track Application – My Takeaways‘ to learn more about this.

Always start your essays early. You need to quote a lot of examples from your career, so it makes sense to check the Sloan Programme official website for essay topics. Application are open from as early as Feb 2013 for class of 2014.

As soon as the application process is open you can view the essay topics. Keep thinking on instances you can quote in your essays and write them down.

  • Objectives: Generally asks you to address a few of the following:
    • Why MBA
    • Why Now
    • Short term and long term goals
    • Why this school
    • What will you bring to the class
  • Teamwork: LBS puts lot of emphasis on team works. Asks to address the following:
    • Projects where team work was a requirement and your role in it.
    • Was it success or failure
    • Learning 
  • Leadership (this was a topic for class of 2013) :
    • Top Leadership qualities/Values in your opinion: Examples of how you practiced these values at your work place
    • Learning about your strengths and weaknesses from leadership assignments
  • Decision Making
    • Examples of situations where you led decision making especially ones which are unpopular
    • How did you go about it, what was the outcome, learning.

For objectives essay make sure you spend a lot of time to do a thorough research on the following:

  • Courses fitment- Read course details on school website and think how they will help you in the context of your goals. Identify any unique courses that are perfect match for your objectives and highlight in your essay.
  • School fitment – Each school has its core values and strengths. Review the school website and see how your values, objectives fit with that of the school.
  • Professors – Read about professors bios, see their presentations on slide share, read articles on BSR(Business Strategy Review) and see how they fit into to your objectives.
  • Research Centers – Learn more about the research centers and see how they align with your objectives.
  • Student Clubs – Learn more about student clubs and see where you can contribute/fit in.

For all other essays -we generally have the tendency to quote all examples from most recent projects/work as they are fresh in our minds. However it is important to demonstrate that you bring in a breadth of experience and quote examples from different projects/instances spanning your entire career.

My next post will list down a few tips I followed while writing essays.

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