Consultant Profile: Jamie Wright
While it might not be possible to receive a master of arts in graduate study applications, there certainly is an art to applying to business school. Being able to present your best self in a 600-word (or less) essay can be challenging: how do you convey your passion for and fit with your dream programme and school? What makes you a unique and must-have candidate? With experience in recruitment and admissions, including serving as Admissions Committee lead at London Business School, and an early career in public relations, I have learned there is not much difference in selling a corporate brand versus a personal brand. Allow me to help you develop your story and communicate it so that you present your best self to your dream school.
I joined London Business School in 2009 as the Client Services Manager for what was then the new Masters in Management (MiM) programme. In this role I was the first point of contact for candidates interested in the MiM. Being the first port of call for eligibility assessments, CV reviews and general enquiries about the admissions process gave me a unique access to a large segment of the application pipeline, a segment that was varied in educational and professional background, nationality, interests and career goals. This first exposure to business school candidates allowed me the opportunity to build relationships with so many who would eventually become students and later esteemed members of the alumni community. Serving in this role of advisor, I found that guiding candidates through their application journey was a fulfilling role, and one that I remained in throughout my tenure with LBS as I met with candidates across Early Careers, MBA, Masters in Finance and Executive MBA. Through the years as Senior Recruitment and Admissions Manager and eventually Early Careers’ first Admissions Director, I had the privilege of learning about the journeys and aspirations of students from across the globe. I also had the pleasure of meeting with so many of these candidates during my travels throughout the US, Canada, China and Europe. These travels gave me insight into how to work with candidates across geographies looking to potentially make a move into a new geography or career path.
My favourite days of the academic year have always been orientation and graduation, as these are the days I find the most rewarding – at the start of the year getting to see the excitement in those who had successfully progressed through the application process to achieve their academic aim, and then at the end of the year hearing the wonderful stories about their transformational experience and the dream jobs they were about to begin. Playing even a small role in this journey has been an absolute pleasure and truly rewarding.
There’s no magic formula used by an admissions committee when assessing applicants. If only it were that easy! More and more schools are taking a holistic approach to assessing candidates. While of course you must present academic aptitude through prior degree results as well as GMAT or GRE test scores, the understanding of fit (do your values align to the school’s, will you blend well as a student and eventually alum?), articulation of your post degree career aims (what’s the point of applying? can the programme support with your professional aspirations?) and passion to become a member of the school community (do you have a genuine interest in studying there?) must shine through.
How to ensure you shine brightest amongst a sky full of stars can be not only difficult, but stressful. It’s my job to help make this process as stress free and smooth as possible by helping you to understand what the admissions committee is looking for. As potentially the next big step in not only your professional but also personal life, your time applying to business school should be an exciting one and writing your applications should reinforce the decision that taking this important next step is the right one.
I hope to have the opportunity to help you shine in your business school application and look forward to joining you on your journey to graduate study.
Jamie graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in public relations and political science and prior to joining London Business School spent two years at Weber Shandwick’s Chicago office where she focused on media and event management with primarily FMCG clients.
Jamie currently resides in London.