What London Business School looks for in MBA students

David Simpson is the Recruitment & Admissions Director of the MBA and Masters in Finance (MiF) program at London Business School. He offers admissions advice to prospective students, including what kind of characteristics, attitudes, and ambitions LBS likes to see in MBA and MiF candidates.

In short

A holistic view of the MBA candidate

“It’s important that we take a very holistic view of a candidate,” David declares. (0:07)

As a result, London Business School looks at criteria ranging from academic experience and professional life to what kind of person you are, including your ambitions. “Do they have a global outlook?” David asks. “Do they have international experience or are they looking to build an international presence?” (0:20)

global mindset is an increasingly important trait that students must bring to the table. With the world becoming more and more globalized, businesses need leaders and employees who understand the complexities of working in a global environment, can collaborate across countries and cultures, and take advantage of global opportunities.

The importance of collaboration & self-awareness

“We look for evidence of a collaborative attitude as well,” David explains. “It’s really important that you want to learn from others and make the most of the fact that people are from all over the world bringing very different perspectives, so it’s key that you’re the kind of individual that is interested in other people.” (0:27)

In order to collaborate effectively, “self-awareness is also important,” he says. “Do you know your strengths, your weaknesses, and the gaps you have coming into the program, so that you know what you can focus on during your time here?” (0:43)

Do your research and be yourself

As a prospective MBA student, it’s crucial to do your research to fully understand whether this is the school for you (and vice versa!).

David concurs: “Researching the school and programs is absolutely key. It’s vital for us that we see that you’ve put that time into research; what makes us unique and what’s different. You have your own aspirations and what you’re hoping to achieve from the program and you have to see whether the two fit.” (0:52)

One last thing: It might be tempting to try to come across as unique and different, but David says this is a common misconception students have when applying. “The fact is that we’re crafting a class and putting together students from all sorts of different backgrounds – professional backgrounds, different nationalities – so we’re creating that diversity and so you as an individual just need to bring you,” he says. (1:13)MBA admissions

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