Here’s a question to ponder before submitting your application to the LBS Masters in Finance programme (MiF): How many application essays are required? You might think, “Well, that’s an easy question! There are two essays!” There are indeed the two main essays on the MiF application – the first is about your motivation for applying to the MiF and your career goals, and the second is about your interest in getting involved in student life at LBS. These two essays are important, since they are the first glimpse into your profile that the admissions committee will have prior to your interview.
However, you would be only partially correct to say that the MiF requires two written essays. There are actually four other opportunities to write responses to questions on the application. These “hidden essays” cover your personal interests, the challenges you envision in the MiF, your international experiences and how your circle of friends and family will take to (or have taken to) your decision to study at LBS.
I feel that these parts of the application are often overlooked and viewed as simple routine questions. However, they provide great opportunities to stand out from other applicants and show the MiF admissions team who you are as a person outside the classroom and the office. If you write something that stands out, chances are that it could imbue your application with a certain “spike factor”, leaving a good impression with both the admissions committee and your alumni interviewer.
In my case, my write up on the personal interests hidden essay served as an interesting talking point during my application interview. My interviewer had already read through my application prior to our chat. At one point during our discussion she brought up my personal interest in stargazing, which I had discussed in the essay, and we discussed it for a good 5-10 minutes. She told me that it was something she’d never seen on an application before during all her years of interviewing MiF candidates for LBS.
In the end, I think applicants should focus most of their effort on writing good essays in response to the main questions asked on the application – what will the MiF do for your career, and what parts of student life at LBS you’re interested in getting involved in. Do not neglect these hidden essays, since they provide great opportunities to show the admissions committee who you are before they meet you and can provide great talking points to put you at ease during your admissions interview!
If you’re interested in learning more about our Masters in Finance programme, please visit our website.