Brett Hunter

Job title: Admissions Director, Leadership Programmes
Location: London

Posts by Brett


From March 2016 onwards, London Business School will be looking at a new way of assessing candidates for our Executive MBA programme.  We know that applicants for Executive MBA programmes are busy, and that for most candidates the GMAT represents a daunting challenge not just in terms of the test itself, but also in the preparation before taking it.  This is why London Business School, along with five other top-tier Executive MBA Schools spread throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, has begun accepting the new Executive Assessment for admission to the Executive MBA programme.

What makes the Executive Assessment a great tool for both Business Schools and Executive MBA candidates is its relevance.  It is relevant to executives in terms of its content (much more focus on critical thinking, analysis and problem solving, much less on pure mathematics and grammatical structures), and in the amount of time needed for the test.  There is no preparation required, and the test is over in 90 minutes.

This is a fantastic tool that is as much about the candidates’ needs as it is about our need to assess candidates.   Like the GMAT, the Executive Assessment offers you the chance for a full diagnostic and to assess your own readiness to undertake an Executive MBA programme.  What’s different now is that there is no need to invest more of your time than should be necessary to show us in the Executive MBA admissions team that you are ready for the challenge.

What score should I aim for?

One of the obvious challenges with a new assessment and a new scoring system is knowing what score you should be aiming for.  This is a difficult question to answer.  As it is a brand new test there are no test takers before 3 March 2016 and so percentile scores can’t be generated.  Percentiles reflect a test taker’s position amongst all other test takers, so we won’t have percentile targets until enough data has been generated.  We know from GMAC where the Executive Assessment scores will correlate with GMAT scores, but this is a slightly imperfect method as the Executive Assessment is an entirely different tool.  It is many things, but it is certainly not another version of GMAT.

Our best advice to you is to aim to do your best.  The Executive Assessment requires minimal preparation mostly because it’s a great diagnostic tool that shows what your abilities are.  This is much more about decision making than the GMAT, so your actual ability will be what drives your results.  Going in with a clear mind and a positive attitude will give you the best chance to deliver a score that shows us why we should admit you to the programme.

For more information about GMAC’s new Executive Assessment, visit http://www.gmac.com/executive-assessment .  The site includes a wealth of information, offers some sample questions, and answers some of your more burning questions.  We’re excited about this.  The Executive Assessment really is a great new way to look at admissions for executives and gives you back some of that most valuable of commodities – your time.


For FAQs, please visit http://www.gmac.com/executive-assessment/take-ea/faqs.aspx

For any other questions you may have regarding your London Business School Executive MBA application, please email us via emba@london.edu. 

Dubai Faculty Master Class LBS


The forthcoming Executive MBA application deadline is Monday 1 June. Don’t miss this opportunity to talk to admissions staff, alumni and current students to find out more about this exceptional programme. For this event, we would like to invite you to join Richard Jolly who will be doing a presentation on What Derails the Careers of High-Flyers and What Can You Do About It.

Register for the event at here.



With everything in life there is a beginning and an end.  We are counting down in weeks now, rather than months, to the beginning of the September intake of the Executive MBA here at London Business School.  This all kicks off with the weeklong Orientation, when the Dubai stream flies over here to London to join their London stream classmates and begin the programme – and the process of getting to know each other.

It’s always an interesting week.  Aside from the work that everyone has to get down to, a lot of the beginning is spent on getting to one of the key outcomes of the end – a network for life.  To this end, everyone – whether a London resident or not – is thrown into a local hotel together for the Orientation week, with the desired effect being that this helps facilitate some of the late night study sessions necessary in the first week, but also that it helps people make stronger bonds in relationships that ultimately stretch out over several continents.

I love Orientation week.  It’s a great time of the year, and we’re lucky in the EMBA office that we have two of them each year – one in September and the other in January.  They’re great for us in Admissions because we have been able to get to know everyone there through the admissions process.  We spend a lot of time working out things like study groups, and it’s great to see how people gel when it all begins.  I try to get as involved as possible in Orientation week – on day one there are a lot of nervous faces and pleasant handshakes.  By the end of the week it’s more like smiles, hugs, back slaps, and more stories than any of them thought they would have.  But what always sticks with me is the nervous faces – and the very palpable sense that no one knows each other.  They all feel like they are doing this on their own, but it doesn’t take long before they realise that they are actually doing this all together.

What follows is a tough 20 months.  Every class is different, but every class shares some of the same things.  I see patterns emerging in classes all of the time; every class goes through similar highs, and similar lows, and – fairly routinely – at similar times.  But the flip side of embarking on such a challenging programme is the sense of camaraderie, and of reward, and of satisfaction that everyone achieves.  And then there are the stories.  Twenty months is not a long time, but all of our students pack a lifetime of stories into their programme.  I’d share them with you now, but maybe that’s best left to the classes themselves…

With beginnings, of course, come endings.  The natural conclusion of the Executive MBA programme is another of my favourite times of the year at the School.  The week leading up to Congregation, when students celebrate their successes together with their classmates, family and friends, is a week of pretty intense celebration, mixed in with liberal doses of relief, but also sadness.  The sense of achievement really comes to the fore.  I say that there is some sadness, but that is probably a bit of an exaggeration.  Graduating students know two things: that they are about to get a whole lot of time back in their lives and that there is no real need to be sad.  The people they have shared the experience with over the preceding 20 months will go far – both in terms of careers and also potentially geographically – but they will never go far from each other.  At the end of the programme, everyone in the graduating class knows that they are all friends for life.

And so I think it’s probably best to leave this entry with a little story that I think demonstrates this nicely.  A few months ago I was invited by a bunch of the students from one of this year’s graduating EMBA classes to join them on a hike up Mt Kilimanjaro for charity.  I had to decline – when they go ahead with it in October I’ll be wading through the application process for the January 2014 intake – but I did so with a lot of regret.  This is a great bunch of people.  They are high achievers in life, but, more to the point, they are also just really good people.  They – like all classes – are going to keep in touch with each other, and they are going to start that by climbing one of the world’s great mountains together for charity.  They are doing it for a great cause, but I think that they would all be lying if they said it was just for charity.  They are also doing it because they have climbed a mountain together in getting through the programme, and the experience was so rewarding that they want to climb a mountain together several months after the end – this time for real.  These are people who grew to respect each other.

And I wonder how many of them, as they look out across Tanzania, would have guessed that they’d be standing there atop the mountain with some of those nervous faces they saw way back in week one.

It’s July, which naturally means the end of one Admissions cycle for the Executive MBA, and the beginning of another.  Working in Executive MBA Admissions at London Business School means one thing – not a lot of down time.  Our programme has two intakes – one in September and the other in January.  This is great for students as they effectively double their Executive MBA network in any given year, but it definitely has its challenges for those of us selecting two classes in quick succession.

There’s another twist to this as well.  Our Executive MBA programme is made up of two streams – one in London and the other in Dubai – that combine to make one Executive MBA class.  Where you are based will usually dictate which stream you apply to, and this, in turn, will determine which of us in the Executive MBA Recruitment and Admissions team you will be dealing with.  So, without further ado, allow me to introduce us.

Our team in Dubai is led by Denise Johnsen.  Denise is the Regional Assistant Director of the Dubai Centre, and has been admitting students to the Dubai stream since 2008.  This gives her excellent experience and an understanding of business in the Gulf Region, and how London Business School is able to facilitate the objectives of those joining the School from that region.  Denise is from Germany originally but has lived in the Gulf for the better part of a decade.  Mark O’Brien is the other member of the Dubai Recruitment and Admissions team, and has the position of Recruitment and Admissions Manager.  Mark hails from Ireland, and has been with the team since last year.  Together with Denise, Mark is able to answer any of your queries regarding the programme, and how you can maximise your chances of getting on to the programme.

Here in London there are three of us who are here to answer your queries, give you advice, coach you on your application and generally ease you through the process.  Soni Bains is the Recruitment and Admissions Manager, and she is responsible for managing the application process and setting up a lot of the interviews.  Suki Manku may well be the first point of contact you have with the EMBA Admissions team; as Recruitment and Admissions Officer she is very much at the front as the team answers queries and gives information about both programme and process.  Then there is me – like Denise I lead the team, but like all of us, I still love to get to know all of our applicants from the beginning.  We all feel that it’s important to meet you all, both because it means that we can make more informed decisions about your applications, and also because it means that you get a chance to find out more about the School.  Starting an Executive MBA anywhere is a fairly large investment in your life, after all.

So, now that I have introduced us all in print, I hope that you will take the opportunity to get to know us in person.  There are many ways to do this, but an Information Session is a great place to start.  Sign up via our website at http://www.london.edu/programmes/executivemba.html — we’d really love to see you.