If you've decided to stay in Dubai for your MBA, you've probably already heard about London Business School's Executive MBA program. Although the program is based here, students regularly spend time in London, China, South America, and other parts of the world, all while keeping their full-time jobs.
Interested in applying but want to take a sneak peek at the essays first? Well, here they are...no email sign-up necessary. Just to help you out, we have provided our comments based on years of experience helping students get into London Business School Dubai.
A word on word counts: 500 words max means 500 words max. Don't go 10% over because you heard that would be acceptable. You must convey your thoughts precisely and succinctly. Similarly, get as close to 500 words as possible without padding your essay with endless storytelling. If you can't get to 500 words, you haven't explained enough.
Question 1 (500 words max)
How has the scope of your management experience affected your career objectives?
Our comments: This essay is a classic tell me about your experience essay, just rephrased and combined with another classic essay: tell me about your career goals. The big two items you should cover in this essay are your MANAGEMENT experience and your short term/post-EMBA career goals.
Notice they haven't asked for your general experience...just your management experience. Thus, your essay may not begin at the beginning of your career (they can read about that on your CV). Your essay should start at the point when you started managing people.
If you don't have any people directly reporting to you, keep in mind that management involves managing people, whether or not they work for your company. So, if you're a consultant managing contractors or a government employee managing consultants, all of this counts as management experience.
For your career objectives, focus on short/mid-term post EMBA. We often even ask students to include the phrase "After I complete the LBS Dubai EMBA program...." to demonstrate forward looking positivity. Hopefully, these career goals are directly related to the types of electives you'll be taking in the program AND the experience you already have. If you're a career changer, you need to start the specific reasons for changing careers and how the EMBA will propel your forward.
Crappy essays will just discuss management experience and career goals, leaving the admissions staff to figure out how these two concepts are related. Umm...they won't. They will just think you wrote a crappy essay.
The best essays describe the interplay of management experience and career goals. These essays explain that " because I had this experience I decided to move my career in this direction." Thought processes at different critical points in your career are laid out and narrate the story of how you got to the point where you needed an EMBA from LBS to proceed. All in 500 words.
Question 2 (500 words max)
What was your response to a piece of feedback that you have received regarding an area of weakness?
Our comments: You read this question and your first response was to think of a weakness that can be flipped into a strength, right? Wrong. This type of response is classic and everyone knows what you're doing. A great answer to this question shows real vulnerability.
When we sit down with students to outline an answer to this question, we ask about an EPIC WORK FAIL and afterwards when their bosses ripped them a new butt hole. We want THAT feedback. Sometimes failure is just failure and weakness is just weakness. There's no strong side. You have to accept it's a weakness or work on it or go through anger management classes, whatever. And your response to that time when your boss sat you down has to be real (obviously, most people who would be mad and/or in denial at first).
You should tell all of this as an incredibly interesting story that has a beginning, middle, and end. The end of your essay should be what action you took after thinking about the feedback and the outcome of that reflection.
What did you do? How did you change or make amends? What were the results?
Now matter how epic the fail, be sure to end on a happy, positive note (not something like LBS will redeem me).
Question 3 (500 words max)
Please choose ONE essay from the following two options:
If you could choose any three people who have ever lived to join you for dinner, who would you invite and why?
If you were on the cover of any publication in 10 years, what would be the headline and the content of the article be?
Our comments: These are two essay questions that require your creativity.
Choose the first one if you can readily think of three people or you're the type of person that:
When you pick three people to have dinner with, don't pick three business people. In this essay, you have the opportunity to showcase your personality and depth. Here's our template (they don't have to be written about in this order):
Choose the second essay question if you've got a clear, grandiose vision of where you'll be in 10 years and you can:
The easiest, most obvious answer to this question will actually be an article. In the past, we had students actually write and submit a magazine article with the proper headings, structure, and content style of something you would find in Businessweek.
Unfortunately, everyone can't write their essays that way because then it would be obvious that you all got your advice from the same place. Another option is to simply structure your essay in a way that responds to the question but adds more explanation. Here's a possible 5 paragraph structure:
Now that we've provided the essays, explained them, and given you amazing direction, START WRITING!