My name is David Simpson and I’m Admissions Director for the London Business School MBA and Masters in Finance programmes. This is my first blog posting of the year.
As I sit in the spectacular atrium café at the World Bank in Washington DC, I am excited to hear the huge variety of languages and accents and see the energy and vibrancy of discussion. And I know why – it reminds me of home. ‘Home’ being London Business School.
I’m on the road for London Business School, as are all my colleagues over the next few weeks. There will be no single day when the whole admissions team are all together until late November. We’re a well-travelled bunch! We all love meeting candidates from every walk of life, in so many far flung locations.
We like to be challenged with good questions and there were plenty in New York and D.C. Questions such as: “How easy is it for non-EU nationals to get a job in London after graduation?” “What is the one most important characteristic of a good London Business School candidate?”
The answer to the first is ‘It depends’. (It’s the same answer to most questions about London Business School actually!). It depends on what you’ve achieved so far and how hard you work whilst at the School. Many of our students wish to stay and work in London after graduating – in 2012, more than 50% of non-EU MBA and MIF students chose post-study work in the UK. Although the immigration rules changed in 2011, they altered to favour highly skilled employees above non-skilled employees – so in many ways, the 2011 changes were actually favourable for our graduates. UK employment for LBS graduates remains strong. The bottom line is that if they want you, they will make you an offer.
I also read so many applications from candidates who are excited about returning to their home country to take advantage of emerging opportunities; or from those who plan to use London Business School’s global education to help them transition to a new location. But we are also still seeing lots of you who are interested in living and working in London…that’s why many of you are applying to London Business School and that’s great – we love our London location and we’re glad you do too!
As for ‘the most important characteristic of a good applicant’, well, it’s just too hard to only be allowed one choice. Our decision making is based on a huge range of criteria. A strong resume showing great work experience and academic track-record won’t guarantee admission. The essential personal characteristics of self-awareness, empathy and an enquiring mind won’t be enough either. But put all that together and we will be very interested!
I guess we’re lucky at London Business School in that we really enjoy meeting all our students. Colleagues have written about ‘Introduction Weeks’ and ‘Orientation’…they really are the most exciting time in our year!
The reason why I love admissions is that it’s such a pleasure to play a role in gathering together such an outstanding and interesting group of people to build our classes. Not every high achiever you meet in life is someone you would enjoy having a coffee (or beer) with – but those we meet at London Business School are. Having the time to get to know everyone is the only challenge. Flexibility of study time is a key differentiator on the London Business School MBA and Masters in Finance. We build in the flexibility so you can spend longer on your programme if you want to. Or if you have an opportunity that’s just too good to delay on, then you can fast-track your studies.
As I pack up the laptop and drink up my tea, listening to a heated debate about Ethiopia from one table; a conversation in Spanish about Colombia and in French about investing in Africa, I reflect on another exhausting but enjoyable trip meeting, potentially, the next generation of London Business School students. Back in London the nights are drawing in and an unusually hot summer is very much over.
The first round of MBA and MiF application deadlines are approaching fast. I can’t wait to get reading. So if you are applying in this round, good luck – and if not, get working on your application for the next round!
Admissions Director, MBA & Masters in Finance