2005 LBS MBA Admissions Chat with David Simpson


2005 LBS MBA Admissions Chat with David Simpson

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Chat Transcript:

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:13:35 AM)
First, I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's International MBA Admissions Chat with London Business School.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:14:54 AM)
I also want to welcome David Simpson, MBA Marketing and Admissions; Julie Hope, Career Counselor, and Matt Yates, current student ('06).

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:15:20 AM)
Matt, could you tell us a little about yourself? What did you do before coming to London Business School? What do you want to do after your graduate?

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:16:12 AM)
I studied Civil and Structural Engineering at the undergraduate level and worked for two years as a project engineer before switching to management consulting with PwC in London.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:17:39 AM)
Fairly dull and boring really! ;-)

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:18:03 AM)
How did you decide to attend London Business School?

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:18:10 AM)
I chose London Business School because I really wanted more international exposure and in reality few other schools compare! And to be honest I haven't been disappointed!

jay (Dec 7, 2004 10:18:30 AM)
A question regarding application numbers; are they up or down compared to last year?

2fast4u (Bombay) (Dec 7, 2004 10:19:13 AM)
Matt - why would you say few other schools compare?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:20:52 AM)
Application numbers are up so far, but it is very early in the admissions season for us. We will know more in January. We operate a 4 stage admissions process with the next deadline being 7 Jan, followed by 25 Feb and final deadline 29 April. You should only apply once you feel you are fully prepared.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:22:59 AM)
Matt, people are interested in hearing about your post-LBS plans.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:23:29 AM)
I'm looking to move back into consulting, with a view to more strategic consulting. So far the school has been really helpful in preparation, practice case study sessions, interview practice etc.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:24:12 AM)
Julie, how is recruiting going this year? What feeling are you getting about the economy and the demand for London Business School MBA holders?

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:25:54 AM)
There are a number of things that are unique to the school - the shadowing project, where you choose an executive to shadow for a week, as well as an organizational consulting project...my study group is currently investigating a leading PR agency. There's also the summer consulting project where you can run your own consulting business, which is real hands-on consultancy experience away from the classroom!

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:27:09 AM)
Recruitment is looking good - we continue to build on the success of 2004 and interest from recruiters continues this year. Recruiters value the quality and multiculturalism of our students. Not just the diverse mix of nationalities but the internationalism of each student.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:28:23 AM)
David, there are a lot of questions about the application rounds. Are there an equal number of seats allocated to each round?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:29:48 AM)
We offer places in each of the 4 stages, looking carefully at the size of the applicant pool in each stage. We are looking to recruit the best 300 student rather than the first applicants of the year. If we want the best quality class with both cultural and functional diversity, we have to build up the class carefully over the year. We notice that different regions tend to apply at different times, so we have to operate later than many US schools.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:31:02 AM)
Also, David, can you tell us how reapplicants are viewed? Are they starting in a deficit because of the previous rejection or is their sincere interest in London Business School an asset?

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:32:13 AM)
David - the middle 80% of students are between 26 and 32 years old. How can a younger applicant demonstrate that he's ready for the MBA and how can an older applicant demonstrate that this program is for him and not an Executive MBA?

Chad M (Dec 7, 2004 10:32:48 AM)
Julie, I spoke with an alum who graduated from LBS in 2003 and faced difficulties finding job opportunities. (Goldman Sachs only hired 2 as opposed to their regular 7 or 8.) Has the market turned around, and what are the outlooks for a 2007 graduate?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:33:35 AM)
I know some schools do not accept reapplications, but we have no problem. Every year a number of applicants reapply and get in. We actually ask a few applicants to submit a reapplication in a year or two if we like their application, but feel they do not have enough experience for our programme.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:33:36 AM)
Julie, do recruiters express dismay when faced with older graduates? Are they only interested in MBA's in their early thirties?

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:34:28 AM)
Is there a minimum number of years of work experience that you like to see before considering an applicant competitive?

Kang (Dec 7, 2004 10:34:41 AM)
Matt with the advantages LBS has given you, how do you think you will apply these skill learned at LBS to strategic consulting?

edwardan (Dec 7, 2004 10:34:52 AM)
I'm not much of a number-cruncher and come from a creative background; as such I am more interested in going into marketing than finance upon graduation. That said, how important is a strong quantitative background to overall success in the LBS?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:35:13 AM)
Jennifer, we ask for at least 2-3 years experience, as much of the value from our MBA comes from the way we structure the MBA - encouraging as much collaboration and interaction as possible. Students learn as much from each other over the 15-21 months as from Faculty. We require at least 2-3 years of work experience, the average is 5-6 years.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:35:23 AM)
Kang, there are a number of ways...consulting is a traditionally strong recruiter at the school with all the big names cherry-picking on campus each year. But in terms of applying the knowledge...even the course material covered in the first term has made a big difference to my understanding of strategy consulting.

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:36:31 AM)
Chad - 2003 was a bad year for all MBA graduates from all schools. Things are definitely better with 85% of the Class of 2004 having jobs within 3 months of graduation and indications so far for the Class of 2005 are looking good. Barring no major economic downturn the forecast should be good for 2007!

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:37:46 AM)
Jennifer, we have a few candidates younger than 26 and always value a few older candidates due to their experiences. If you are younger, you have to display maturity and show that you have enough experience to contribute to the study group and classroom situations. Also, you need to have reached a certain stage in your early career to reflect on what you've done and what direction you want to take.

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:38:33 AM)
Jennifer - older graduates bring with them a wealth of experience that younger MBAs may not have. Provided they position themselves appropriately then they should face no problems. To give an example, an MBA who joins following a commission in the military has definite marketable skills such as leadership to offer.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:38:49 AM)
Edwardan - in my class we have a ship's captain, a fashion editor and a ski instructor so numerical ability varies across the class and everyone helps each other. That said, people are expected to have a standard competence.

Simran Gill (Canada) (Dec 7, 2004 10:39:43 AM)
Is the CFA (chartered financial analyst) designation taken into account during admissions? Would it help to bolster an average GPA when combined with a strong GMAT score?

Kang (Dec 7, 2004 10:40:03 AM)
Julie, my present work experience is a manager in the military in intelligence field. I am hoping that LBS will help me to extend my present capabilities into other fields. Is there support for such career exploration at LBS?

jay (Dec 7, 2004 10:40:20 AM)
Could you please let us know how international applicants are likely to fare in landing an HSBC loan?

Frederico (Dec 7, 2004 10:41:16 AM)
Understanding that LBS is a leader in entrepreneurial education, I was wondering if your team could elaborate how involved are the students in pursuing Social Entrepreneurship ventures at LBS. Thank you.

Takayuki (Japan) (Dec 7, 2004 10:41:21 AM)
Matt, some schools focus on case study method, but what about LBS? Do you think for strategic consulting, which is more beneficial, lecture or case study?

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:42:23 AM)
Kang - we work with each student on an individual basis to help them explore their skills and interests and how to best position themselves in the "business" market. We have had many students with a military background who have successfully transitioned into finance, consulting and various roles in the industry.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:43:22 AM)
Hi Jay. We recommend that candidates research a variety of financing options. As with any loan, the HSBC loan is done on a case by case basis, taking into consideration your prior earning history and ability to manage realistic loan repayments starting 6 months after graduation from business school. We also offer a wide portfolio of scholarships - including several new ones this year. Finally, students will earn money during the summer internship between years 1 and 2 of the MBA as well as during the second year project.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:43:58 AM)
Frederico - the net impact club is one of the most attended in the school and it is heavily focused on social entrepreneurship...with plenty of guest lecturers, competitions etc.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:44:49 AM)
Takayuki - almost every lecture involves a case and I couldn't contemplate learning strategy, organizational behavior or economics without them. Students have fixed seating and a certain percent of your grade is assigned based on your discussion in class, so discussion is usually intense and thoroughly enjoyable...especially with such wide international experience in each stream.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:46:04 AM)
Some applicants wonder whether the 21-month full-time MBA is for them or their careers would be better serviced with an Executive MBA. How should they make that decision?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:46:28 AM)
Simran, we use all academic indicators together - undergrad, postgrad, GMAT and professional qualifications. We are aware of how much work a CFA takes, especially as it's carried out while you work. Yes, one strong recent aspect can support perhaps an older more average result.

alberto (Dec 7, 2004 10:46:32 AM)
Matt: Do you have some recruiters that come from the hotel industry?

Nicholas (Canada) (Dec 7, 2004 10:46:38 AM)
We all know "there are no GMAT minimums", but will you actually read the full application of an applicant with a 520 GMAT?

sk140 (Dec 7, 2004 10:46:42 AM)
What are you looking for when you interview applicants? What can one expect in the interview?

Takayuki (Japan) (Dec 7, 2004 10:46:46 AM)
Matt, thank you!

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:47:54 AM)
In terms of 21 months, from my perspective, if you have a very focused career path and know what you want to do then maybe the MBA isn't right unless you need to broaden your knowledge across general management. But if you are even a little unsure, the summer internship, final project and electives help you figure out what you want to do, something that the 12 month programs don't allow.

Simran Gill (Canada) (Dec 7, 2004 10:48:34 AM)
Thanks David.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:49:12 AM)
Alberto - Julie may be able to advise you a little more but there is at least one fellow student in my class who comes from the hotel management industry and intends to return.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:49:35 AM)
sk, we pride ourselves on having one of the most thorough admissions processes in the b-school world. We make improvements every year and focus on aspects that arise from recruiter / alumni / student feedback. The Alumni interviewers have all your application details and the Admissions Committee remarkets. They will ask about your past experience and aspirations during and post MBA. I won't tell you more than that!!!!

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:49:38 AM)
David, what about letters of recommendation for applicants who work in the family business? Should they ask a client to write one?

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:49:43 AM)
Jennifer - deciding whether to study for a full time or an executive MBA is as much about personal factors as career options. It is true to say that students on the 21 month course do have a lot of options to explore different roles in terms of internships, projects, etc. which can be very helpful for career changers.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 10:50:43 AM)
Julie, so someone who wants to stay in the same industry can feel comfortable with the education he will receive in the EMBA programme?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:51:18 AM)
Our average GMAT is around 685, but you need to be scoring 600+ really. If we like the look of an application with a poor GMAT, we may well interview you, and then ask you to retake it, i.e. we do not discount an applicant just because of a low GMAT at the application stage.

sk140 (Dec 7, 2004 10:51:53 AM)
Thanks David.

allan (Dec 7, 2004 10:51:58 AM)
When and where do the interviews take place?

Chad M (Dec 7, 2004 10:52:08 AM)
David/Matt: I live in the States and would like to visit LBS during the week of December 27th. However, if Term One has ended and Term Two begins in mid-January, are there enough students/faculty around to make a drop-in session valuable? Thanks.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:52:18 AM)
For family business candidates, do not use family members as one of your two formal recommenders, ask a client, supplier, or someone from another partner organization.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:52:58 AM)
Chad M, the school is unfortunately closed between 23 Dec and 4 Jan and students do not start classes until about 10 Jan.

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:53:42 AM)
Alberto - we have a number of alumni working in the hospitality industry in both small and large organizations as well as a number of current students from the industry. One of the benefits of the LBS Community is its role as a valuable resource for building networks in a huge range of career destinations and support from Career Services can help you to best position yourself.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:53:56 AM)
Interviews are by invite only and take place locally all over the world. We only use alumni to interview and nobody gets accepted without an interview.

tpark (Dec 7, 2004 10:54:22 AM)
With recommenders being really busy, how strict is LBS' policy that applicants use the provided forms?

edwardan (Dec 7, 2004 10:54:27 AM)
In terms of study groups, is a student assigned to the study group at the outset of the MBA programme, or is it up to the students to form their own?

blevynyc (Dec 7, 2004 10:54:33 AM)
Is there an opportunity to learn a new language, e.g. Mandarin Chinese, during the LBS program?

tpark (Dec 7, 2004 10:54:55 AM)
With so many applicants coming from consulting, does an applicant come at a deficit with this background?

RicardoR (Dec 7, 2004 10:54:59 AM)
David: My online application form is ready for submission, but I am still waiting for one recommendation letter. Is there any advantage in sending the application form right away?

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:55:01 AM)
sk140 - my interview was with an alumni and fairly rigorous...standard questions about your experience, your aspirations, and some situational questions. It partly depends on the strength of your application whether interviewers ask specific questions about your essays or experience, or if they are comfortable then they may explore wider aspects.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:56:13 AM)
blevynyc - a second language is compulsory by the time you graduate otherwise you don't. If you already are fluent in a second language you can take further language classes (not for credit). Language tuition is by King's College in London (very renown!)

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:56:21 AM)
We review our Programme content and structure every year, using feedback from recruiters, students, faculty and alumni. This year we have introduced the option to complete the MBA in 15 months rather than the full 21 months. you just take slightly fewer electives. This is aimed at 'career advancers', those that do not want to make big shifts in career direction.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:56:57 AM)
RicardoR, you should hold back until early January as there is no advantage in submitting right now.

RossChapman (Dec 7, 2004 10:57:23 AM)
I'm afraid that some US corporations don't keenly recognize the merits of European MBAs. With your experience, how do you view this issue?

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:57:46 AM)
edwardan - in the first year students are assigned study groups. I am the only Brit in mine - other countries represented include the Philippines, US, Canada, Holland and Venezuela...and the skills are blended so you have at least one finance professional in every team. Building on study group, mine includes someone from MTV, a Deutsche bank VP, a Xerox sales manager, a department store manager and a tech consultant...and you work with them A LOT!!!

RicardoR (Dec 7, 2004 10:57:49 AM)
David, thanks. Can you tell me about the ratio between applicants and applicants shortlisted for the interview. Also, what is the ratio between interviewed candidates and admissions?

edwardan (Dec 7, 2004 10:57:55 AM)
Matt, is it true that many second year LBS students work full time and go to classes at night?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:58:15 AM)
tpark - our applicants and students come from many different backgrounds, with no particular dominance from consulting. We value this functional diversity as a great way for students to interact and learn.

Vivekhans (Dec 7, 2004 10:58:37 AM)
David, could you please give more details on the option of completing an MBA in 15 months?

Takayuki (Japan) (Dec 7, 2004 10:59:16 AM)
David, if I choose to apply online, should I also mail the other material by Jan 7?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:59:45 AM)
RicardoR, there are no quotas for interview numbers, etc. Over recent years we've had 1400-2000 applications for 300 places. We'll probably interview about 600-900 applicants.

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:59:48 AM)
Jennifer - Students on the full time course are a mixture of those who wish to change careers but also those who intend to progress their career within the same area. On the Executive course, many are looking to progress their careers within the same area but there are a few looking to explore options. In terms of the education they receive, fulltime and executive courses often attend the same courses and electives.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 10:59:56 AM)
Takayuki, please post all additional materials to arrive before the 7 Jan deadline.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:00:46 AM)
edwardan - in terms of working in the second year, I guess it could be feasible, but most students avoid it as there is so much going on in terms of study, clubs and getting a job...if you are concerned with the amount of time in school, there is the option of fast-tracking in 15 months.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 11:01:08 AM)
Julie, where do recruiters at London Business School place graduates?

MER (Dec 7, 2004 11:01:27 AM)
Do you recommend that we call the school after submitting our application to ensure that you received all materials?

Takayuki (Japan) (Dec 7, 2004 11:02:07 AM)
What is the deadline of taking GMAT if I apply for the Jan 7 round?

dalina (Dec 7, 2004 11:02:12 AM)
Is the interview the last step before the final decision?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:02:35 AM)
Vivekhans, the 15 month option is when you fast track. You do not have to decide this at the outset if you wish to take this route and you can fit in your projects and electives to perhaps suit an early job offer, (one of the reasons for the introduction). Please remember, this is an option within the existing MBA, not a different product.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 11:02:48 AM)
How does the adcom feel about supplemental materials such as additional letters of recommendation and/or letters updating the admissions committee after the application was submitted?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:02:59 AM)
You need to take the GMAT by the deadline - so you could email your score on 6th or 7th itself!

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:03:11 AM)
Ross - from my perspective, it's less of an issue these days especially at London Business School because of our high profile American dean (Dean Tyson)...e.g. a few weeks ago Ken Chenault (CEO of American Express) came and talked to a group of us and after him Al Gore gave a talk...so the profile has changed dramatically.

Connie (Dec 7, 2004 11:03:13 AM)
If one is looking to completely switch careers but is not sure what career, will that hurt them in the application? Are you looking for an applicant that know their career path or what they want to do?

tpark (Dec 7, 2004 11:03:25 AM)
David, I have prepared recommendation letters of 3-5 pages as many programs accept these. What is LBS' stance?

RicardoR (Dec 7, 2004 11:03:34 AM)
Matt, are you from London? If not, are your current expenses above or below the estimated living expenses shown in the LBS website?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:03:57 AM)
Jennifer, we prefer not to receive extra references unless their is a good reason for sourcing them. The same applies to updates unless there has been a significant change in jobs.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:05:22 AM)
tpark, we do not want generically prepared reference letters. References should be made using our forms, perhaps with an additional letter if the referee feels constricted by space. We ask specific questions for good reasons, as we are quite unique compared to many other schools.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 11:05:54 AM)
London Business School is renowned for its entrepreneurship program. What other strengths do recruiters tell you they are impressed by among London Business School graduates?

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:06:43 AM)
Jennifer, while we have a large on-campus recruitment programme comprising of all the major players (banks, consultancies and major corporations) remember that a large part of our recruiting is done through our on-line jobs postings. Recruiters come to us to recruit for positions throughout the world - because they recognize the international nature of our student body. However, it is probably true to say that the majority of our students are looking to stay in London!

Takayuki (Japan) (Dec 7, 2004 11:06:53 AM)
Matt, what is the advantage of LBS compared to other European schools besides its reputation and rigorous finance courses?

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:07:11 AM)
Ricardo - I am not a Londoner (thankfully) but have been living in Scandinavia before the programme so London seems cheap in comparison! Expenses are about the same as on the web...most students choose to live near the school in the first year and if you spend the time searching (and live with other students ) you can get a good deal. There is also some student accommodations available.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:07:18 AM)
We have US student job trek. We have 1000 MBA alumni currently based with companies in the US, (not all US nationals) and US multinationals hiring students from London Business School to be based in the US i.e. blue-chip consulting, banks, large industrial firms and VC firms.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:07:54 AM)
Plus and MOST IMPORTANTLY...every Thursday night is Sundowners in the MBA bar on campus...which means free beer...and that saves a few pennies!

Alex (Dec 7, 2004 11:07:55 AM)
Aside from having a great GMAT, how can one prove his ability to handle heavy class load? I have a 'B' average and don't want that to stand in the way.

edwardan (Dec 7, 2004 11:08:01 AM)
I have been self-employed for the last 4 years. How do you suggest handling the letters of recommendation?

Mikki W (US) (Dec 7, 2004 11:08:08 AM)
Speaking of staying in London - could you touch on that for non-EU nationals?

tpark (Dec 7, 2004 11:08:15 AM)
David, thank you. Does this mean that you will not accept an application at all if your recommendation forms are not used?

RicardoR (Dec 7, 2004 11:08:52 AM)
Thanks, Matt. Can you please elaborate on the student accommodations?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:08:54 AM)
We are well known for entrepreneurship, but I do not like to think of us focused just on one area. We have a great reputation in finance and strategy. Much of the reputation strengths we have are linked to our London location - it gives us so much extra exposure.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:09:10 AM)
Alex - handling heavy class load is something you can only get through with your classmates (no matter what your ability)...it helps to be organized, but the sheer volume means you need to work well with your study group.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:09:28 AM)
tpark, yes, you need to use our forms.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:10:13 AM)
Edwardian, use peers, clients, suppliers, etc.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:10:47 AM)
Ricardo - I currently live off-campus with other MBA2006ers, but I know several colleagues who live in student halls near the school. These work out more cost effective then renting, but naturally there are only so many places available.

Takayuki (Japan) (Dec 7, 2004 11:10:57 AM)
David, I heard that Friday is holiday at LBS? So we have courses from Monday to Thursday, and Fri, Sat, Sun are off?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:12:07 AM)
Takayuki, it is our location that really differentiates us, along with the caliber of our student body, and the personality of the students we recruit - people who are ambitious, and interested in learning from others.

DreamBig (Dec 7, 2004 11:12:13 AM)
Is a TOEFL score mandatory for all the international applicants? I have a 4+ years of work experience out of which 2+ years were spent in the USA. All my degree courses were taught in English, as well.

Takayuki (Japan) (Dec 7, 2004 11:13:17 AM)
David, thank you!

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:13:25 AM)
Dalina, generally the interview is the final hurdle. But we sometimes re-interview or ask for extra materials i.e. we are very careful about the decisions we make, so as to benefit the eventual MBA class and you yourself as a candidate. Choosing the right MBA is all about 'fit'.

Nicholas (Canada) (Dec 7, 2004 11:13:25 AM)
Being required to learn a new language is news to me! If an applicant only currently knows 1 language, is he/she at a disadvantage and who can one learn a new language in 2 years with all the other requirements?

RicardoR (Dec 7, 2004 11:13:51 AM)
David, is there one of the 4 stages in the admissions process that you would consider more competitive than the others?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:14:10 AM)
Dreambig, we only need the TOEFL if you have not been educated in, or have been working in an English speaking country for 2+ years.

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:14:18 AM)
Mikki - as in any application you need to be sure that you have the necessary skills, experience and personal qualities that the employer is looking for. However, the UK now has one of the most flexible work authorization frameworks and most of our students are eligible to apply for the HSMP scheme to obtain their own work authorization. - look at the Work Permits UK web site for further details.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:14:31 AM)
Nicholas - you are at no disadvantage...quite of few of the guys this year are learning mandarin from scratch! It is possible and the tuition is great! If you are worried about the language when you come in, you just frontload it and work hard to improve...there are many native speakers (no matter what language) to practice with on your course.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 11:14:36 AM)
What are some of the ways a student can demonstrate that he has really researched and decided the LBS is a good fit for him?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:14:58 AM)
Ricardo, stages 2 and 3 are the busiest, but not tougher to get admitted in. We assign a larger proportion of offers to take account for the increase.

Mikki W (US) (Dec 7, 2004 11:15:06 AM)
Thanks Julie!

RicardoR (Dec 7, 2004 11:15:58 AM)
Matt, what electives and faculty would you recommend? And what about extracurricular activities?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:16:20 AM)
Jennifer, hopefully the essays give the opportunity to show an understanding of our MBA and the school community here. Also, at interview you will have a chance to show off all that research. But make it applicable to you - regurgitating our website is not good enough.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 11:16:42 AM)
Matt, do you find the professors accessible?

Connie (Dec 7, 2004 11:17:01 AM)
David, if one is looking to completely switch careers but is not sure what career, will that hurt them in the application? What is the ideal profile of an applicant (i.e. where should they be in their career)?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:17:32 AM)
MER, please do not call the school after submitting your application as we will have many to process and read. You should send your extra materials by courier and then you can check yourself. Our online system will tell you when you have submitted it.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:18:19 AM)
Ricardo - guess my opinion is limited as this is the last week of term 1 (I was up till 4am finishing my strategy final) but our Dutch strategy professor is excellent (Freek Vermeulen) and I really enjoyed Ethics & Corporate Social Responsibility with Craig Smith. The core course is common in year 1 so electives are something to worry about next year!

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:18:58 AM)
Scholarships are only open to applicants in Stage 1-3 - by the 25 February, Stage 3 deadline.

allan (Dec 7, 2004 11:19:30 AM)
Do most of the VCs, banks that recruit at LBS place people in London or abroad?

edwardan (Dec 7, 2004 11:19:39 AM)
David, for recommendations, is it possible to ask two individuals within the same company? Or do I need to spread my recommendations around?

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:19:45 AM)
Ricardo - as for extracurricular activities - what do you want? There's the consulting club, venture capital club, ultimate Frisbee, cheese & wine club, cigar club...you name it, it's there...and if it's not, then people start them (this year my study group mate started acting club!)

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:19:59 AM)
Connie, there is no 'ideal' candidate profile...we have too many different backgrounds to count!

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 11:20:00 AM)
Matt, could you tell us about the types of activities that are run on campus?

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:21:21 AM)
I've found professors to be extremely accessible - there is a very collegiate, laid-back atmosphere at the school and that's counts for faculty too...(sometimes you even see them at Sundowners!)

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:21:24 AM)
It won't hurt you to not know exactly what you want to do post MBA, but we do look for an understanding of what might be possible with your past experience. Plus, we like to see that you have a sense of direction before joining us - even if you change your plans after 2 days on the course after seeing an impressive company presentation etc.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:21:46 AM)
Edwardian, you can ask two people in the same company.

tpark (Dec 7, 2004 11:23:27 AM)
For paper applications, do you need a postmark before Jan 7 or the materials?

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:23:34 AM)
There are a lot of other activities too on a more general basis...winter ball, summer ball...and one of my favorites this Friday - the Santa Claus pub crawl where 400 MBA students dress up in full costume and beard and are let loose on London (this Friday so watch out!)

RicardoR (Dec 7, 2004 11:23:40 AM)
Matt, did you get a scholarship? If no, did you apply to any? If yes, which one?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:23:43 AM)
Takayuki, the first year of the MBA is pretty intense - no day is a holiday! Fridays are used for study group meetings, project work, careers focus, club activities and trips or sometimes even for fun! e.g. enjoying the many delights of London.

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:23:54 AM)
Allan - while a large proportion of banking recruitment at LBS is for London (London being one of the major global financial centers) because of the international nature of our student body, there are banking opportunities both in Asia - and we are working on building up stronger relationships with Wall Street as well.

rupin (Dec 7, 2004 11:24:32 AM)
Is arranging work permits an issue during campus placements-especially during periods of economic recession when overall placements go done (like 2002)?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:24:55 AM)
Tpark, we do not use the 'postmark' idea of receipt date. Your application has to arrive to us by 7 January; this is for paper applications and/or the paper extras required for the online application.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:25:08 AM)
Ricardo (blushing) - yes, I am an annual fund scholar...I know there are more scholarships next year than were offered to my year.

Takayuki (Japan) (Dec 7, 2004 11:25:24 AM)
David, thanks. Sounds tough but challenging!

dalina (Dec 7, 2004 11:25:34 AM)
Does the school assist spouses (international) in finding a job and settling in a new city?

RicardoR (Dec 7, 2004 11:26:09 AM)
Matt, you were very lucky! :-) Why do you think you got your scholarship?

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:26:20 AM)
Takayuki - every regional club you can think of...there are many cultural events held including tatoo which celebrates the schools diversity with food from all over the world, dancing etc..

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:26:48 AM)
rupin, working in the UK post MBA is not at all like the current situation in the US. The UK Government recently introduced the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme to actually encourage people to come and work here. London Business School MBAs have many of the criteria required to get this visa. Even before this, most students got the visas.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 11:27:17 AM)
Julie, Matt, and David: how are applicants with no international experience viewed?

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:27:23 AM)
Ricardo - I'm convinced it was my ravishing good looks!

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:27:28 AM)
Ricardo - if students have specific geographical preferences for employment then we will support the student in helping to research the job market in that country. One of the most valuable sources of information is the LBS Community of alumni and current students who represent most countries in the world and can provide valuable information and the beginnings of a professional network.

RicardoR (Dec 7, 2004 11:27:30 AM)
David, I've read that LBS does not use a 'competitive' rating system. How do you differentiate students for the job placements, LBS consulting team, etc?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:28:05 AM)
Edwardian, while we use the dates carefully, we are reasonable. If the references & transcripts are a couple of days late, it's fine, but the actual application must be here on time.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:28:55 AM)
RicardoR, students compete not through grades but through things like interview performance i.e. a much more real life take on getting the best person for the task.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:29:12 AM)
It's more about people wanting to work internationally than having worked internationally.

jamz (Dec 7, 2004 11:30:21 AM)
Roughly what percentage of applicants in a given stage get offered an interview?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:30:43 AM)
Some students do not have international experience - e.g. it is more unusual for students from certain regions. What is important is the DESIRE to have a global focus post MBA. That doesn't necessarily mean living in a new country, it can mean just refocusing your work.

tpark (Dec 7, 2004 11:30:58 AM)
David, do you mean interview performance with the team leads or employers?

tpark (Dec 7, 2004 11:31:22 AM)
Is the interview a make or break, or simply another part of the application?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:31:38 AM)
Jamz, less than 50% typically get an interview, but if for some reason everyone looked good, then we'd see them all! Seriously, we see who we want to see and do not adhere to any quotas.

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:31:46 AM)
Dalina -All partners are involved in the  partners club and it generates a lot of contacts. Also worth mentioning, partners get a school swipe card so they can use the gym and pool on-campus, etc....

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:32:24 AM)
tpark, the interview is very important. All parts of the admissions process are important and we look at all the information available.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 11:32:50 AM)
But only interviewed applicants actually earn admission, correct?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:33:33 AM)
tpark, as far as I'm aware employers do not look at students grades.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:34:01 AM)
Correct, nobody gets in without a face to face interview with an Alum.

Mikki W (US) (Dec 7, 2004 11:34:18 AM)
There was a recent article in the Financial Times about the strain an MBA can put on relationships - are there aspects of the partners clubs that address this? What marriage counseling resources are available if necessary?

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:34:21 AM)
dalina - there is a very active partners club that assists in helping partners settle into London. So this club acts as a conduit for everything from job search, to learning English, to assisting with childcare options. All partners are automatically encouraged to join the many social activities that take place at London Business School - some partners come along to everything and some pick and choose as home life is equally important. If fulltime students are married, then their husband or wife can work in the UK during the duration of the MBA studies without restriction. The latter is relevant for all nationalities. We have quite a few student partners who also manage to transfer to London offices of the company that they are already working with.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 11:34:38 AM)
What are the highlights of the marketing education at LBS?

RicardoR (Dec 7, 2004 11:34:54 AM)
Matt, besides your "good looks" what other reasons were important, in your opinion, for the scholarship?

Nicholas (Canada) (Dec 7, 2004 11:35:04 AM)
Can your interview be in any country?

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:35:30 AM)
Our marketing profs are great! I speak from experience as I took the equivalent of the MBA marketing core course.

Dan Braunstein (Dec 7, 2004 11:36:10 AM)
I'm in Phoenix Arizona...where would I have to go to interview?

jamz (Dec 7, 2004 11:36:30 AM)
What was great about the marketing professors?

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:36:47 AM)
Ricardo - an overall strong application - you need to be able to demonstrate ability in more than one dimension i.e. you haven't just been chained to your desk for 5 years...including things you have done in your personal life (sports, charity work, etc.) and show that you are a catch for the school. Also, performing well at the interview affects the annual fund. Other scholarships are entirely essay driven...and others still are assessed on need.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:37:32 AM)
As with any subject area, it is a combination of factors that works well. Courses, professors' research & consulting in action, student clubs and events, and students themselves bringing fast moving consumer goods experience into the classroom.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:39:33 AM)
Dan, not sure if we have interviewing alumni in Phoenix, but if we don't we'll only make you travel to our closest alumni - and you can give us a selection of accessible choices. We're well practiced with trying to set up interviews all over the world - the hardest last year was for a guy on a submarine...we had to wait for him to surface somewhere with alumni!

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 11:40:39 AM)
Thank you again, David, Julie, and Matt for joining us today. Your fingers must certainly be tired - you've answered a lot of pressing questions.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:41:05 AM)
The marketing professors all have relevant experience as well as being pretty lively in the classroom.

Mikki W (US) (Dec 7, 2004 11:41:16 AM)
For all - the article I mentioned was in the print edition on Monday 29 November on page 9. The article was titled "That Marriage-wrecking MBA" by Deborah Gardiner.

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:41:42 AM)
It's been a pleasure, we've really enjoyed it...but my fingers hurt now and this size 6 font is killing me.

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:42:40 AM)
Hi Jennifer - its been fun - hope we have been able to provide the necessary info to help everyone.

Kang (Dec 7, 2004 11:43:17 AM)
Thank you Matt, David and Julie for your informative answers! Cheers!

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:43:43 AM)
If any of you have further questions please email: mbainfo@london.edu .

DavidSimpsonLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:44:43 AM)
We have our next Info Session at the School on 17 Jan, but operate Q&A sessions every Monday and Fridays at 3pm, (please check web for Christmas closure).

MattYatesLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:45:59 AM)
It's been a blast...good luck with the applications and hope to see you on campus soon!

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 11:46:00 AM)
Thank you, again. Guests, please check the web site www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.aspx#mba  for other upcoming chats.

JenniferBloom (Dec 7, 2004 11:46:16 AM)
And good luck with your applications.

JulieHopeLBS (Dec 7, 2004 11:47:52 AM)
Au revoir from Julie. We've really enjoyed talking with all of you.

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