How to Write Essays for LBS MSc in Leadership and Strategy

Home » How to Write Essays for LBS MSc in Leadership and Strategy

London Business School (LBS), nestled in one of the world’s foremost business centers, offers a truly unparalleled educational experience with its MSc in Leadership and Strategy program. The program’s structure allows completion within 15 months and boasts a class comprised of over 60 nationalities, attracting globally-minded professionals. As the #2 ranked business school in Europe, LBS has seen a surge in demand, making admission highly competitive. This guide provides comprehensive insights and strategies to help you craft compelling essays for the LBS application, ensuring you stand out in a crowded field.

Essay 1: Post-MBA Goals and LBS Contribution

Prompt: What are your post-MBA goals and how will your prior experience and the London Business School program contribute towards these? (500 words)

This essay has been a longstanding component of the LBS application and follows the traditional goals essay format common to many top business schools. In approximately 500 words, you need to weave a narrative that includes the context for your goals, your specific post-MBA objectives, the necessity of an MBA for achieving these goals, and the unique ways in which an LBS MBA will support your journey.

Start by providing context for your goals. This could involve discussing pivotal moments in your career or personal life that have shaped your ambitions. Clearly articulate what you aim to achieve post-MBA, whether it is advancing within your current field, transitioning to a new industry, or starting your own venture. Specificity is crucial here; avoid vague statements and instead, outline concrete roles and industries you are targeting.

Next, delve into why an MBA is essential for reaching your goals. An MBA should not be viewed as a generic qualification but as a targeted tool that bridges specific gaps in your knowledge and skills. Reflect on your current skill set and identify areas where an MBA will provide significant enhancement. Be honest and precise about these areas, whether they involve advanced leadership capabilities, strategic thinking, or global business acumen.

Then, focus on how LBS specifically will help you achieve your goals. Mentioning the school’s prestigious ranking isn’t enough; demonstrate a deep understanding of the program’s offerings. Discuss how the flexibility of LBS’s curriculum aligns with your learning needs, the unique opportunities for networking, and the practical experiences available through internships and global immersion projects. Highlight any specific courses, faculty members, or extracurricular activities that resonate with your career aspirations. If applicable, also touch upon how you can contribute to the LBS community, whether through leadership roles, clubs, or initiatives.

Conclude with a compelling closing statement that ties together your narrative, reinforcing your personal brand and the synergy between your goals and what LBS offers. This final touch can leave a lasting impression on the admissions committee, underscoring your clarity of purpose and alignment with the school’s values. Leadership and Strategy

Optional Essay: Additional Information

Prompt: Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (Optional, 500 words)

The optional essay at LBS offers a unique opportunity to provide additional context about your application. Unlike other schools, LBS’s optional essay is open-ended, allowing you to address a variety of topics beyond just explaining weaknesses in your profile.

If you have any potential red flags such as a low GMAT score, gaps in employment, or a lackluster academic record, this is the space to address them. However, this essay is also a chance to highlight a personal challenge you have overcome, unique aspects of your background, or significant achievements not covered elsewhere in your application.

When discussing weaknesses, be honest and take responsibility, but also focus on what you have learned and how you have grown from these experiences. Provide evidence of recent successes that demonstrate your readiness for the rigorous LBS program. If discussing personal challenges, ensure the story is concise yet impactful, showcasing resilience, adaptability, and personal growth. Leadership and Strategy

For unique achievements or aspects of your background, connect these experiences to how they have prepared you for the MSc program and future career. Whether it’s a significant volunteer experience, an entrepreneurial venture, or a personal passion, illustrate how these elements contribute to your overall candidacy and align with LBS’s values.

Avoid using this essay to reiterate your interest in LBS, as this should be covered elsewhere in your application. Instead, focus on presenting a well-rounded picture of yourself that complements the rest of your submission.

Short Answer Questions

In addition to the main essays, the LBS application includes several short answer questions embedded within the application form. These questions require concise, focused responses and cover various aspects of your professional and personal background. Leadership and Strategy

One of the questions asks you to describe your responsibilities, including your day-to-day role, details of any clients you work with, the level/title of the person you report to, the size of the budget you manage, and the number of people in your team. This response should highlight your leadership and global experience, demonstrating your capacity to thrive in a demanding, international business environment.

Another question addresses potential employment gaps before the program starts. If applicable, explain your planned activities during this period, emphasizing actions that enhance your candidacy. This could involve taking relevant courses, engaging in professional training, or participating in extracurricular activities that develop skills aligned with your post-MBA goals. Showcasing your proactive approach to personal and professional development can strengthen your application.

The application also asks about employer sponsorship. If your employer supports you in terms of time or tuition, outline these arrangements. If not, simply state that your company does not have a sponsorship policy. Transparency in this section is crucial, as it reflects your support system and planning.

Another important short answer question pertains to your academic performance. If you feel your academic record accurately reflects your potential for success at LBS, explain why. Conversely, if there are areas of concern, address them directly and provide evidence of your ability to perform well in the rigorous academic environment of LBS. Highlight recent achievements, relevant coursework, or professional certifications that demonstrate your readiness. Leadership and Strategy

Additionally, you will be asked to outline your experience working or studying in an English-speaking environment. This question assesses your language proficiency and readiness for an English-medium program. Provide specific examples from your career or education that showcase your ability to thrive in such settings. If you plan to take further English language tuition before the program starts, mention this to show your commitment to preparation.

The application also includes a question about your most significant international experience. Choose one impactful example, described succinctly, that showcases your global perspective and adaptability. This could be a professional assignment, a study abroad experience, or a significant cultural exchange.

Another question asks about your main interests and activities in your free time. Use this space to present a well-rounded picture of yourself, highlighting hobbies, volunteer work, or other passions. This can add depth to your application, showing your ability to balance professional ambitions with personal fulfillment.

Lastly, LBS encourages applicants to consider the impact of their studies on family and friends. Discuss who you have spoken with about your plans and their responses, reflecting your support network and the thoughtfulness behind your decision to pursue an MBA. Mention any London Business School alumni or current students you know, detailing how they have influenced your view of LBS.

LBS Sloan Masters Facts and Statistics

The LBS Sloan Masters program, while distinct from the traditional MBA, carries immense prestige and offers significant advantages for seasoned professionals. The 12-month intensive program is designed for senior executives and entrepreneurs with an average of 18 years of work experience. While it does not qualify for standard MBA rankings, the Sloan Masters is highly respected globally.

Tuition fees for the program are £77,300, with additional living costs ranging from £25,000 to £45,000 depending on personal circumstances. Scholarships for the Sloan Masters are more limited compared to the MBA, with awards ranging from £5,000 to £10,000, and specific scholarships such as the LBS Sloan Women’s scholarship covering up to 50% of tuition. The Sloan Alumni Scholarship is valued at £20,000.

Placement support for Sloan Masters students differs from that for MBA students due to the diverse and experienced class profile. Many students are sponsored by their employers and return to their companies in enhanced roles. Others leverage their extensive networks, including Sloan alumni, to find new opportunities. The LBS Careers Services Team provides basic support with resume reviews and interview practice, but much of the job search relies on individual initiative and networking.

Salaries for Sloan Masters graduates tend to be significantly higher than those of MBA graduates, reflecting the advanced career stage and extensive industry connections of Sloan students. Graduates typically move into senior leadership positions with substantial compensation packages.


Crafting compelling essays for the LBS MSc in Leadership and Strategy requires thoughtful reflection and a strategic approach. By clearly articulating your goals, demonstrating the necessity of an MBA, and showcasing how LBS specifically aligns with your aspirations, you can create a powerful narrative that sets you apart from other applicants. Use the optional essay and short answer questions to provide a well-rounded picture of your background, addressing any potential weaknesses while highlighting your strengths and unique experiences. With careful preparation and a deep understanding of what LBS offers, you can enhance your application and increase your chances of securing a place in this prestigious program.

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