When we ask our students how they motivated themselves for the GMAT, the answer is always the same – they wanted to be a part of the London Business School community and getting a good GMAT score demonstrated that commitment. Even though the Masters in Finance (MiF) Admissions Committee has launched a pilot programme offering waivers for the GMAT/GRE to a very small number of applicants, the general rule to sit GMAT/GRE remains for the majority of applicants.
We would therefore like to help you prepare and encourage you not to panic!
Top tips from a GMAT coach
Here are some top tips from Peter Mazzarese, a MiF 2009 Alumnus and former GMAT coach:
- Think of this as your first business school project. Plan ahead, and budget your time and resources accordingly.
- Get to grips with fundamentals first. You’ll likely need to review your maths, so don’t be afraid to dust off those old textbooks!
- GMAT arguments are all the same…Evidence + Assumption -> Conclusion. The Assumption is never stated, and its job is simply to connect the Evidence and Conclusion. Simply recognizing this structure will yield plenty of points during the test.
- For the Verbal section take little leaps, not big jumps. You can convince yourself that almost any answer is right if you try hard enough. Try and keep a critical eye, and pick the “safest” answer.
- Know your mental state during test is at least HALF the battle. The GMAT can be a stressful experience. Learn to recognize your responses to the stress, and how to effectively handle them.
- Remember, take it easy – just like the test, your preparation is all about maintaining pace and staying cool. Good luck!
Here are some further resources to help your preparation:
Practise the GMAT test with London Business School’s GMAT Simulator and prepare yourself for the real thing!
We are also hosting an online chat on Thursday, April 10, 13.00 GMT, so please register here to join us and learn more about our programme from the MiF Admissions team and current part-time MiF student ambassadors.
With best wishes,
If you are planning to apply for the Masters in Management you will notice that an interview is required for anyone who may eventually be accepted to the programme. Why do we interview? It is important that we have a good understanding of who we would like to see enter the MiM classroom; we are interested in seeing candidates who are keen to learn from those around them, and willing to share their experiences and expertise. In addition to understanding how you may fit, the interview is also a time for us to probe questions that may have been raised during the initial application review; for example, is the candidate truly motivated to study at LBS? Do they have realistic expectations of how we can support their professional and/or personal development? While we do get a glimpse of this in the application, the interview is really the opportunity for us to see whether what’s written on paper jumps off in person, and whether the candidate is right for the MiM.
Whether you’re interviewing for a master’s programme or a job, interviewing can be a nerve-racking prospect. But it doesn’t have to be. While being in the somewhat artificial environment of an interview (how often in your everyday life are you required to describe yourself or answer hypothetical questions?) can cause concern in many candidates, there are ways that you can minimise this stress.
Interviewing is certainly an art, one which you will develop as you advance in your career. How can you begin to sculpt your interview technique? Here are few suggestions:
- Know your pitch: you are at the interview to sell yourself – your experiences, passions, motivations – and to confirm to the interviewer that you are the best candidate for either the programme or job. You know yourself best, so don’t be afraid to shine! If interviewing for the MiM you should ensure that you re-read your application as you will be probed on examples you have written, so be sure to brush up as you may not have looked at your application since submitting it. But make sure that you don’t repeat the examples you wrote in the application verbatim; think of new stories and relevant experiences that you can share.
- Know who you’re pitching to: while you don’t need to know your interviewer’s entire life journey from LinkedIn, ensure that you have a good understanding of who is interviewing you – what is their profile, why might they be interviewing you – particularly if you are interviewed by a member of our alumni community. Some research will also allow you to prepare insightful questions, which your interviewer will be expecting. If you don’t know who will be interviewing you, feel free to ask.
- Show your interest: make sure you do your research. You should know about the school and programme you are applying to. From what you know about the MiM curriculum and structure how it will support your academic and career development? How do you hope to get involved with the campus community? Be sure to demonstrate that you are keen, and that this is the place for you.
- Consider possible answers in advance: depending on the industry and company you’re applying for, chances are your interviewer will want to know about how you will fit in within their environment, and whether you have the intellect to contribute and succeed. If interviewing for the MiM you can expect to be probed on your past experiences, and how learnings from those experiences would support situations you may encounter in the classroom. While you cannot guess every question you may be asked as our interviewers adapt their questions to the candidate, you can come prepared to discuss how you can use your academic, extra-curricular and any professional experience to support your MiM experience, and possible situations you may encounter in business school. And while you should be prepared, don’t rehearse the exact answers. Listen to the questions you are being asked and adapt your ideas and answers to the question.
- Ask questions: what concerns do you have, if any? It is fine to voice concerns or any questions you may have, your interviewer will be expecting it and the one hour you have together will be the perfect opportunity to get all of your questions answered before receiving a final decision.
And don’t forget, while you may not feel confident on the inside, you know yourself best and why you have applied for that programme or job – don’t be afraid to let it show!
A new journey commenced for the EMBA January 2014 students as we welcome them on board to London Business School and the Executive MBA experience.
The new intake of the EMBA programme started on 20th January 2014 with an orientation week introducing both London and Dubai streams to each other and to the School through a series of in and out of classroom activities. We are happy to welcome a diverse group of talented, high calibre people who will bring an immense value and wealth of knowledge to the EMBA experience.
Study groups are formed bringing together people from different backgrounds, nationalities, job functions and years of experience, creating an ideal environment for interaction and exchange of knowledge, making collaborative learning experience a central part of the Executive MBA.
During orientation week students not only get to understand the principles of general management and undertake a series of ongoing leadership development activities but they get to know what it really feels to be part of an international and multicultural student body. Orientation week gives everyone a taste of the great adventure they will be embarking upon in the next 20 months.
A new year and a new journey for the EMBA January 2014 class but for me as well. Joining the Executive MBA Recruitment and Admissions team, from the position of EMBA Recruitment and Admissions Manager at the same time as the beginning of the new EMBA intake, made my first week an equally unique experience. Being among such highly motivated, distinguished people of a variety of industries and backgrounds, in such a vibrant, international environment made it clear to everyone of the uniqueness of the Executive MBA experience.
Here is to new challenges and an unforgettable and transformational EMBA journey!
Hello again everyone!
You’ve now decided to apply to the MiM programme and are carefully considering all the documents required in order to submit you best application. References, while they may seem an afterthought compared to the GMAT or your essays, as an integral part of the process – they can truly make or break an application. What impress us are honest, to-the-point, and genuine references.
Here are a few tips to make sure that your references have a positive impact on your application:
1. What are references for?
References are a window into how experienced individuals see you, in an academic, professional or extra-curricular setting. They allow us to understand how well you have built your network so far, how you are perceived in a variety of situations, and the potential that others see in you.
2. Choose your referees very carefully.
It would seem logical to do so but we often read references from professors who barely know you (and have nothing insightful to say) or from people you knew a long time ago and whose opinions are not relevant to the person you are anymore.
Ideally, you will have one academic reference from a professor who knows you well and one other from an internship supervisor or the manager of a charity / arts / sports association you work with. Two academic references are perfectly acceptable as well but if you’ve had four internships, we may wonder how well your professional network has been maintained.
If your referee is an alumnus or alumna of the School, they can of course mention it. Please note that if you have two other referees already, alumni (and current students too) can also recommend you separately – do tell them to contact us directly email@example.com.
3. Who should I not approach?
If you have attended only one of his/her course three years ago, this professor might not be the best judge of character when you are concerned.
If your work experience has mostly taken place in the family business then reach out to a supplier or a client – family members are a big no-no!
If you have only met the CEO of your internship company once in a corridor then it is much better to ask your close supervisor instead. Big names and titles won’t impress us if they have nothing to say about you.
If your referee of choice doesn’t speak (enough) English, chose someone else who does.
4. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, write your own references.
The value of references lies in their confidentiality. Sadly, we have caught many candidates cheating on their references which can lead to an immediate rejection of the application. The truth is that if you write your own references… we will find out. There are many ways to double check the validity of references and our savvy reviewers are expert at identifying ‘dodgy’ ones. Sometimes, busy referees may ask you to write the reference for them – don’t give in! Ask yourself this: if they are not willing to take the time to do this for you, are they really the person you want to use as a referee?
5. What’s next?
Once you have selected your referees, do contact them to ask for their support and let them know to expect an email from us including a link to a short form they will have to fill by themselves. Please do tell them to use their professional email address for verification purposes.
If you chose to send them an updated CV, please do remind them to not simply cut and paste information from the CV which is redundant. You may also want to send them a link to the MiM website so they are aware of which programme and school you are applying to.
We’ve read many fantastic reviews over the years that have truly helped us to understand our candidates in a new and improved light. We hope that your referees will achieve this for you!
We wish you all the best in selecting your referees and hope to read more about you very soon.
Sloan applications opened up in January, and with the first deadline on 25 February, we’re looking forward to seeing more applications from senior, experienced executives, professionals and entrepreneurs who are beyond an MBA and planning the next stage of their careers.
Please make use of the fast track option. You can apply with the application form, cv, one reference and your essays and in most cases receive a review decision in 10-15 working days.
The application form and CV track your career moves, choices and responsibilities – and gives us a sense of your academic background. Your recommender will give us a sense of who you are. Your essays have been designed to showcase how you will contribute and benefit through the experience you have earned over the years.
For the 60 Sloan Fellows who started this January the main focus of these early weeks is around getting to know each other. For Sloan Fellows sharing experience is critical. We select the candidates who we believe are really engaged with this, and will be open to offering and listening to insights from each other. We all noticed how intently they listened to each other.
What do we mean by experience? With an average age of 40 and with nearly 60% of the class in General Management positions, from 27 nationalities and multiple career backgrounds they have a lot to contribute to their class learning and the school community. The week offered briefings on how to navigate the school, introductions Career Services and Alumni Relations, a relaxing dinner in Kettners’ and a family and partners’ lunch with stickers and colouring in for the kids, and a chance for the Sloan’s partners to get to know each other.
What happened in class? Sloans start their courses from Day 2 and have embarked on Executive Leadership, Biography, Understanding Top Management and Marketing. There have been tutorials in Corporate Finance and Speed Reading. They are choosing Class Reps, hearing from the Students Association, Elective briefings and brushing up on stats. They are being inspired by Professors Randall S. Peterson, Nigel Nicholson, Dominic Houlder and David Arnold.
To round off their orientation, the Sloans enjoyed a leadership weekend in Windsor. They took part in a variety of challenges aimed at testing their teamwork, leadership and strategy skills. It was also a good chance to further the social cohesiveness of the group. The Sloans reveled in the challenges especially in an idyllic setting such as Windsor, which for many would have been their first real experience of the British countryside.
As usual, all your comments and suggestions are welcome. Let us know about any topic you want to see on the blog and we will do our best to make it happen.
My name is Helen Foley and I’m the Visa Compliance Manager for London Business School. My role here includes supporting new students coming to us from outside the UK – which is most of you, so I’m kept pretty busy! I’m excited to be posting my first blog entry for new applicants for 2014.
As you are all no doubt aware, visas continue to be a hot topic for prospective and current students in the UK. Contrasting stories and anecdotes in the media and on social networking sites make it difficult to know what the real situation is. My blog today aims to dispel a few media myths and clarify the current situation for both study and post-study work visas for full-time, non-EU students at London Business School.
Let’s start with the easiest bit – getting a visa to study at London Business School is very straight-forward. Speaking frankly, the calibre of students at the School sets the bar higher than that set by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) meaning our full-time degree programme students are perfect candidates for Tier 4 visas. With confirmed proof of your place at the School, and evidence that you can pay your tuition fees and support yourself financially while in the UK, you will have no problem obtaining your Tier 4 visa.
Staying on the topic of Tier 4 Student visas, as you will be studying a postgraduate degree for 12 months or longer, your dependants – which means your spouse, partner or children – can apply for Tier 4 Dependant visas to join you in the UK. Dependants can work full-time, study or attend school while in the UK. As a Tier 4 student, you will also be permitted to work up to 20 hours a week during term-time and full-time during any non-study periods. I know this can be very important for both financial and work experience reasons during your degree.
Speaking of work, I’m very aware that before even applying for a programme at London Business School, many of you are focussed on what your post-study opportunities will be. While it is true that changes to the Immigration Rules in 2011 changed the outlook for post-study work in general, we are pleased to report that the view for London Business School students on our full-time degree programmes remains bright and sunny. Our employment figures since 2012 speak for themselves – more than 50% of non-EU MBA and MIF students have found post-study work in the UK. The changes to the Immigration Rules actually discriminate in favour of highly skilled, highly paid workers. London Business School graduates are exactly the people that the UK government is encouraging to stay and work in the UK.
Most students find work under the Tier 2 sponsored route where an employer sponsors a non-EU worker. For people looking for work from outside the UK (including students at business schools in the rest of Europe and the US), this can be an onerous, difficult process due to a number of regulatory and compliance requirements. As a London Business School graduate on Tier 4, you will be exempt from these hurdles, putting you in a very strong position in terms of employability. The Career Services team at London Business School work very successfully with employers to ensure that our students receive excellent job opportunities, regardless of nationality. The post-study work exemption for UK graduates is key to this success.
For the more entrepreneurial-minded among you, there are also great post-study work opportunities. In UKVI language, London Business School is an endorsing institution for Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visas. In simpler terms, this means that the School can sponsor up to 40 students per year to say in the UK following their graduation to develop and establish a business here. For 2013/14, we have already sponsored more than 20 students for these visas, with further applications pending at the time of writing. As a School, we are thrilled to be able to do so, and from a personal perspective, continuing to support our students post-graduation with original and often remarkable business plans is one of the best parts of my job.
I hope this helps to unpack some of the fog around visas and clarifies what your options are in coming to London Business School, and looking ahead to your future as a graduate of the School. I look forward to meeting many of you at Admits events in the coming months, and well as supporting you in your Tier 4 applications before welcoming you to London Business School later this year.
Visa Compliance Manager, London Business School
Your CV, the written elevator pitch. Trying to sell your achievements, experience and skill-set on one piece of paper can be challenging, and whether you’re submitting your CV for a postgraduate degree or job application, it’s important to understand how you can best promote yourself as the best candidate.
The Masters in Management team review hundreds of CVs each year from prospective students and applicants and we have seen it all – CVs with poems, CVs with quotes, CVs with too much personal information, a bad example of this is including irrelevant information such as blood type. You should share information that will allow the reader to have a better insight into who you are, and what you can offer.
If you’re currently preparing your CV to submit for an eligibility assessment or for your application and want to know what we look for (and what we don’t), here are a few tips to consider:
- Keep it concise. Your CV should serve as an experience highlights piece. If included in your application we’ll see your transcripts, and your CV should highlight your degree title and major/minor and also overall grades. You should aim to keep it limited to one page, two at the very max. Unless you’ve had 20 years of experience you shouldn’t need any more space than that!
- Keep it current. We’re interested in understanding your undergraduate career to date, so it is unnecessary to include any positions held before your first year of your undergraduate studies.
- Keep it accurate. Avoid misleading the reader. If you were selected to participate in a case competition but didn’t in the end, make it clear. Likewise if you participated in a one week company insight programme, make evident the beginning and end dates, so that it is clear to the reader.
- Keep it gap free. If you graduated six months ago but don’t tell us what you’ve been doing since, we’ll wonder why you’ve not been using the time to further yourself personally or professionally. You don’t want for the reader of your CV to have more questions than answers by the time they get to the bottom of the page, so make sure you you’ve accounted for your whereabouts.
I hope these few tips will help as you look to prepare your CV. And don’t forget, you can always submit your CV if you have any questions about your eligibility, or whether this is the right programme for you.
With the Christmas and New Year holiday period approaching our current Sloan’s from the 2013 intake have finished their courses for the year and will soon be graduating from London Business School. As with any student completing their journey here this is not the end for them. They will become part of our 36,000 stong alumni network that is spread out across the world. Some will be returning to their companies others to their home cities. A few of this year’s Sloan class have come together to start a business which in its infant steps will be based out of London Business School.
It has been a wonderful year for the Sloan programme with highlights including the Sao Paulo International Assignment and a great Capstone to finish the year. As admissions staff we will be sad to see them leave but we are confident that their experience of the school has been rich and enlightening.
We recently held a Sloan closing dinner at the National Portrait Gallery to toast their completion of the course and their future success. As you can see from the pictures it was a great way to finish the year.
The new intake of the Sloan programme will be starting on January 6th 2014. They will have an orientation week before diving straight into their first term taking core classes such as Marketing, Strategy and Corporate Governance. It can be a tough and challenging time for our Sloan’s as they enter the classroom again after typically 15 years in the office but they certainly get back into the student approach relatively quickly. It is no surprise that with the wealth of knowledge our Sloan students bring to the classroom, the debates and discussions are insightful and unique. Their first term is not all work as there are regular events for them such as world-class speakers, social and sport events and the wider community social clubs.
For the incoming class we held a small admits event alongside the incoming EMBA January class in the city to celebrate them joining London Business School. It is always great to see the individuals you have brought together for a programme standing together in a room enjoying each others company. We always aspire to build great Sloan classes with interesting people from a widespread of industries and countries. We believe the Sloan 2014′s will be another great chapter in the London Business School Sloan history.
Looking towards the future, the application and new essays for the Sloan 2015 programme are available on the website here. If you have already started working on the old set of essays we are happy to accept them too. We have our first deadline on the 25th February for those wishing to get into the application process early in the year. . If you want to have your CV reviewed please send it through to firstname.lastname@example.org where a member of our recruitment team is happy to have a conversation about the Sloan programme with you.
From all of us in the Sloan community, have a great festive period.