Interview by Jasmine Archibong – Student Recruitment Associate
I had the opportunity to interview Cadelie Seho, one of our wonderful student ambassadors for the Masters in Financial Analysis (MFA) programme. In this sit-down, Cadelie shared her journey from a prospective student to an admitted student, and some tips on what helped her prepare along the way.
How did you kick off your research?
My journey to London Business School began as an undergraduate in King’s College studying Management & Modern Languages (Spanish). Despite my humanities background, I knew I wanted to pivot to a finance path and, naturally as a French native, began looking at French business schools like HEC Paris.
Although French business schools dominated my search initially, being a student in a UK university inspired me to widen my options to institutions in England with the usual suspects being Oxford and the likes, however I found myself being drawn especially to London Business School for several reasons, namely the Alumni network and engagement with events and student ambassadors.
What is it about our alumni community that appealed to you?
The support and longevity of the alumni network spurred confidence in me. In my research, I could find comfort in knowing that the solid connections formed by students (and the collaboration seen among peers) during the programme continued after graduation. In my opinion, the networking opportunities at LBS were stronger than what I could see in my research into their French and UK competitors.
FT 2023 pre-experience Masters in Finance: The MFA ranked #6 globally for the effectiveness of our alumni community.
How did you find your interactions with Student Ambassadors? What advice would you give to other prospective students looking to reach out?
I had the opportunity to speak to MFA Student Ambassadors who provided me with the ever-enriching student perspective. I shared notable characteristics with this ambassador (same ethnic group, same age, and same educational background), so I was able to practically see myself as a student within LBS through the stories and advice they shared with me – I recommend that other prospective students reaching out to Student Ambassadors, they should target those they have a tangible connection or shared interest with as that allows for more seamless conversation, and bespoke tips/advice.
Another useful resource was attending the School’s recruitment events. Whether it was attending our Campus Talk & Tour or meeting the Recruitment and Admissions team during the Coffee Chat in Paris, I took every opportunity to meet and engage with our community in person. These events gave me the chance to get detailed information about the MFA Programme directly from those who are in charge of the programme, and tour our state-of-the-art campus facilities.
Are there any aspects of your application preparation you would like to highlight?
Among several tips, I advise you to start prepping your application early. Starting my prep in good time was my preferred course for the GMAT test, as I was aware that standardized tests like this (including the GRE) can be quite challenging being that the aim is to benchmark the skillset of test-takers all over the world and therefore results in steep competition; this competition can also be seen in the MFA class where, for example, last year’s class average was 698. Despite this, my first time taking the test resulted in a score I was not satisfied with, but I did not let this discourage me as I retook the test and scored a better result. Naturally, I also advise hopeful students who may be disheartened due to their GMAT/GRE scores to not be discouraged to retake the test.
In relation to my reference, I found myself struggling a bit with who to select as a referee, being that I come from a humanities background and not a traditional finance pathway. However, a quick chat with the MFA Recruitment team cleared my doubts as it reinforced that the important thing to remember when choosing a referee is to select someone who knows you best. Whether this is a colleague you worked with, or a professor at university in my case, the best choice is always someone who can speak truthfully to your skills and personality.
My advice to other students with concerns over funding is to consider both academic/merit-based scholarships and not to neglect other funding options pertaining to particular means and needs (e.g., Pentland Scholarship for students from low-income countries/demonstrate financial need). For myself, funding was one of the major deciding factors in whether I could resume at London Business School or go elsewhere, and the Black in Business Scholarship was a huge help.
Prospective students can visit our Scholarships page here, and search for funding options according to your characteristics (e.g., nationality, gender, etc.).
The second stage of the application process is an interview. I had mixed feelings about the interview, feeling both happy to have gotten over the first stage, but nervous about showcasing my personality in the interview. Reaching out to Student Ambassadors brought some resolve, as I found out that interviews are typically conducted by alumni, it is not as formal as a job interview, and the questions will be behavioral/competency based. To prepare, I made sure to reflect on my past experiences, and what I can contribute to LBS, and practiced my story-telling skills on family and friends. To prospective students, I say “Be confident, know your motivations well, and be genuine.”
Cadelie’s remarkable journey, from considering her options to ultimately enrolling at London Business School, exemplifies the value of thorough research, persistence, and seeking support from the School’s vibrant community. Her experience serves as an inspiring testament to the opportunities and resources available to students at LBS, reaffirming the institution’s position as a top destination for those pursuing a career in finance.