Since it’s not a mainstream MBA, we’ll start off with a quick review of the LBS Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy. We get several queries regarding its fees, ranking, salary, placements, class profile. We’ll share some information that’ll help you decide if the LBS Sloan program is worth it or not for you.
LBS Sloan Masters facts and statistics
The 12-month-long, intensive LBS Sloan Masters program doesn’t qualify for the regular MBA rankings, as it awards a Masters in Science (MSc) degree, as opposed to an MBA. However, the the business school offering it (London Business School) is ranked number 2 in Europe and carries global respect & recognition.
The LBS Sloan program attracts senior professionals and entrepreneurs with proven management experience, who are looking for a formal degree to take their career to the next level. The average work experience is 18 years.
The tuition fee is £77,300. LBS does not offer accommodation. You’ll need to add the cost of living which can range from £25,000 – £45,000 depending on whether you’re single or taking your family with you.
Compared to the financial assistance available for LBS MBA students, the range of scholarships for self-funded students of LBS Sloan Masters is between £5,000 – £10,000. There are a couple of other scholarships too for specific demographics. For instance, the LBS Sloan Women’s scholarship can cover 50% of the tuition. The Sloan Alumni Scholarship is valued at £20,000.
Unlike in their MBA program, there’s no direct placement assistance for LBS Sloan Masters students as many are sponsored by their companies. The other reason is that the class profile is too diverse and experience for the regular placement process that works for the regular (relatively junior) students from MBA programs. The LBS Careers Services Team may offer you some basic assistance with resume review, interview practice. According to estimates, close to 50% find new jobs using their network (including Sloan alumni). One in three Sloan Masters students goes back to the old employer. The remaining use traditional job hunting tools (headhunters, job sites) to find the right placement opportunity.
Regardless of the placement status, the salary for LBS Sloan Masters students tends to be significantly higher than it is for LBS MBA grads, thanks to the huge differential in the experience levels and all the industry contacts that LBS Sloan grads bring with them. They join in senior leadership positions with high compensation.
Over to Nitin to share what it takes to get into the LBS Sloan Masters program.
How I got into LBS Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy
by Nitin Agarwal
I have always been a timid and an introvert guy from a small town in rural India. I was an average performer in sports as well as academics.
However, my strength was in Mathematics and I had developed keen interest in Computer Programming on my newly acquired computer with 486 processor (a luxury back in 1993).
I always felt that I wanted to do something different and my town offered limited opportunities.
Once while talking to an uncle who lived in Bangalore, and after listening to the stories of the city, I was smitten by the charms of the city and decided to move on to the city of Bangalore to complete my high school.
While pursuing my BE in Information Science from Bangalore University, I got a job with a technology company during campus interview.
Worked with them for 2 years as I didn’t really have any interest in pursuing post graduate degree.
However, looking at all the friends, writing the GRE and TOEFL to further their education in the United States, I too developed an interest in US education.
And to test my calibre, wrote GRE and TOEFL and applied to a few universities in the USA. I got admitted to one.
MS in USA was nothing more than a 2 year vacation abroad for me.
After completing my MS, following the herd, I again wanted to test my calibre and started applying to various tech companies.
However, at the top of my list were Microsoft and Google (the only two biggest tech names at that time).
I managed to get a job with the former and worked at Microsoft for about 5 years.
The work experience at Microsoft was amazing. There was a lot of learning in it.
However, somewhere inside me was an entrepreneur who wanted to do something on his own, something from the ground up.
One day, while talking to my family back home, they told me about a new business proposition. They were going to start an automotive business from scratch.
I saw an entrepreneurial opportunity in it and took little time in resigning from my dream job, letting go of my most coveted US Green Card and packed my bags to return to my homeland in rural India.
I have been successfully driving this business for more than 10 years now.
However, during the course of the business, I still feel that my heart lies somewhere in the world of technology.
When I quit Microsoft, terms like Android, iPad, bitcoins, Uber, Airbnb and fintech didn’t exist in the world of technology.
However, these terms are omnipresent in today’s world. I felt like reconnecting with the world of technology and that’s when I decided to change course.
When the idea of a change struck me, I decided to do something different, I decided to change my industry, change my profession, change my city and even change my country.
I decided to stake a step back and return to college after several years of work experience. I decided to join a business program.
Looking at the various business programs at top b-schools, I realized that only Sloan Fellows programs fit my profile.
My biggest concern was, taking an unusual detour from a career path which has been well defined for generations at least in the Indian mindset.
When you have 10+ years of work experience and you have a wife and kids, common wisdom doesn’t advise you to go for yet another higher education degree in unchartered territory.
Of course, I need to ensure that I am able to give the same kind of financial privileges to my dependents when I finish my course as they enjoy now.
I was expecting a score of 700-720 as I always got this score in my mock tests. Nevertheless, in all 3 of my GMAT attempts, I scored lower with a best score of 690.
During the pandemic I couldn’t go to a test centre and I had exhausted all my online attempts so I settled with this score.
Had I achieved this score earlier, I would have applied to the course a lot earlier.
Whenever, I looked up information about B-Schools, I always ended up clicking on 1 or 2 blog articles of MBA Crystal Ball (MCB). That’s how I learned about them.
I made an interesting observation. While there were paid advertisements from other top admission consulting companies for almost all the popular MBA related searches, MCB does not advertise at all.
Their articles came up at the top of organic results based on the sheer power of their quality.
Looking at their website, they seemed genuine.
I wrote to Manish Gupta (consulting head at MCB), and he was super prompt in is responses. I liked talking to him and signed up with him.
To this date, I don’t know of any other consulting company that provides such a high quality of service in India.
During my first interaction with Manish, he took an hour to listen to my story starting from my childhood days to where I am now.
During the story telling, he made me realize that there were several miniscule events in my history that I had completely forgotten about but they were possibly relevant to my application.
In my opinion, Manish is the one of the most brutally honest person I have ever met. His feedback is so on point and crisp, that at times you may feel a bit taken aback.
Yet, to give an analogy, it is like an artist sculpting a stone.
If the stone could feel pain, it would hurt so badly when the job is being done. But when you look at the final artwork, it is all worth it.
I wanted to apply to all 3 Sloan Fellows programs from LBS, MIT and Stanford – as I have high work experience and only these 3 programs suited my profile.
I wrote my GMAT towards the end of Feb 2021.
The application for 2022 class for LBS was open at that time.
Manish suggested that I go for it and here I am narrating my journey.
He told me how important was it to get in touch with cohorts, and alumni to get insight into the course and the school and make my application stronger.
Let me share a little background here. This wasn’t the first time I was applying.
I first got rejected 5 years back when I applied for a program but with poor GMAT score and with no preparation at all.
Second time, I applied to another program last year when they waived off GMAT. This time I applied in a hurry and didn’t quite prepare my application well.
Now, when I think of them, I feel I deserved those rejections.
Looking back at those failures, I realised that my applications were ill-timed and ill-prepared, so I wanted to give it a whole-hearted attempt one final time.
That’s when I got in touch with Manish, gained the confidence and made my third attempt.
I was interviewed by an alumnus – a friendly guy. He interviewed me for about an hour.
I was asked mostly usual questions in the interview.
I was quite confident about the interview from day one. However, I still signed up for interview prep with MCB, as I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned.
It is quite possible that the mock interview that Manish took for me and the feedback that he gave me was the real reason behind my crossing the finish line.
A week after the interview, I was told that I am waitlisted. However, within a few weeks, I received the admission letter.
In my opinion, working with Manish was like working with someone inside the admission office of the school.
He knows exactly what the admission office is looking for and prepares the application accordingly.
I am quite certain I would have failed for the third time had I not worked with him or with someone of is calibre.
I wished that I found MCB before I applied for the first time. I would have saved a couple of years and a lot of agony.
It’s an intense journey, right from writing your first mock GMAT to the day, you receive your admission letter and later financial aid and visa.
I am a family business owner. I had planned everything well in advance.
But when the time comes to bid adieu to your business and hand over the responsibilities to someone else, it is very distressing and emotional.
This experience is very different form quitting a job and will probably take couple of months or years before I am out of this feeling.
The good part is that I have something very exciting to look forward to in the years to come.
If I was able to build a business without having a formal management degree, I’m sure I’ll be able to do bigger, bolder and better things once I graduate from the LBS Sloan Masters program.
Our admission consultants at MBA Crystal Ball have extensive experience with all 3 Sloan Fellows programs – MIT Sloan Fellows, Stanford MSx and of course, LBS Sloan Masters.
If you think the LBS Sloan Masters program is worth it, we’ll help you put your best foot forward. Send us an email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com