In a previous article, we discussed how the LUMS MBA program compares with other business programs offered by top universities in Pakistan (you can take a look at that article here). If you have finally made the decision to apply to the LUMS MBA program this year, we are here to help you ensure that your application does not get lost in the pile with thousands of others that the university receives every year. This article will go over different components of the LUMS MBA application, and also talk about how to approach each component to ensure that you make a strong case for your entry into the coveted program.
Major Components of the Application
An application for the LUMS MBA program must contain the following components to be considered complete:
- Academic achievements
- Personal statement
- GRE/GMAT scores
- Letter of recommendations
None of these components is in any way less than the other, but their importance does vary based on two major factors: how well you have already performed in that component and whether or not that performance is now out of your hands. For instance, consider the first component: academic achievements and results. Almost everyone who is applying for the LUMS MBA will either have finished their 16 or 18 years of education or will be close to finishing. So changing their CGPA or any other equivalent score might not be an option for them. That’s why instead of worrying about those numbers, what an applicant can do is give more importance to getting other components of their application right.
Let’s now take a look at each of the components of the LUMS MBA application in detail.
As with any other program which requires a personal statement as part of their admissions process, the strength of your LUMS MBA application depends a great deal on the strength of the narrative you create through your personal statement. The quality of your personal statement can prove to be a ‘make or break’ for your application. In addition to being a powerful story of your life’s motivations and achievements and the hurdles you had to overcome in the process, a personal statement also gives you the opportunity to explain any academic shortcomings in your application to the admissions committee. It provides a context to the numbers that represent you everywhere else on your application, and thus its importance cannot be understated.
We have already written a detailed article on how to write a personal statement which you can find here.
Letters of Recommendation
Just as a personal statement is an opportunity for the admissions committee to see how well you can express yourself in your own words and narrate the story behind the numbers on your transcripts and resume, letters of recommendation are a way for them to see how others view you. A strong set of recommendation letters are an important part of your application and should be in no way glanced over. Some important things to keep in mind while getting recommendation letters are the following:
- Get recommendation letters from people who actually know you and can write from experience about your capabilities.
- Try to get a personalized recommendation letter that includes your academic/professional achievements and keeps in view the specific requirements of the program that you are applying for.
- It’s a good idea to ask your recommenders to mention some projects and initiatives that you have taken which can help make you stand out from the crowd. Although it is good to mention those in your personal statement too, having someone else reaffirm your accomplishments is very important to ascertain their validity
We have already written an article that discusses in details what goes into creating a good recommendation letter. Be sure to check it out here.
This part of the application pertains to the academic accomplishments you have accumulated over the 16 or 18 years of your education. LUMS is mostly interested in academic/professional education beyond the intermediate level, which means that your undergraduate (bachelor’s) and graduate (master’s (if any)) CGPA would constitute a major portion of this part of the application. This would also include any additional work done by you that highlights your strengths in the field of your choice. These include research papers, books/article publications and other co-curricular activities.
Although it is a very important part of the application, it is suggested that you should not worry too much about your previous academic record as it is mostly out of your control by the time you are preparing your application. You should instead try to compensate for any shortcomings in your academic record by working hard on other parts of your applications.
Another important part of the LUMS MBA application are the scores you get on the GRE or GMAT. Students usually are very confused about how much they should score on these tests to ensure smooth sailing during the admission process, and the confusion is justified to some extent. There is no one size fits all when it comes to these scores. A good application with strong work experience can compensate for weak scores in the standardized tests and similarly an excellent standardized test score might be able to compensate for lesser work experience. However, in general, it is considered that a GRE score of more than 310 and GMAT score of above 620 is enough to secure admission in LUMS MBA program, provided you have an overall balanced application.
Getting admission is not the only benefit that a good standardized test score might provide. Securing the 90th percentile in GRE/GMAT can help you get a scholarship of up to 50 percent when applying for a LUMS MBA program. The 90th percentile amounts to around 325/340 for the GRE and 700/800 for GMAT.
Scholarships for LUMS MBA
Apart from the 50 percent scholarship for 90th percentile students, LUMS also offers 50 percent tuition fee waiver to all female applicants who secure admission in the MBA program. There is also a chance for capable and deserving individuals to avail the Asian Development Bank scholarship. Eligibility for this scholarship requires students to have secured admission in MBA program through the normal admission process and have two full years of working experience. A 300 words profile write-up is required along with the application for this scholarship which should go over the parts of your profile which make you deserving of this scholarship.
What does an ideal application look like?
So now that we have covered all the different parts of a LUMS MBA application, you might be thinking about what an idea application would look like. While there is no definite answer to this question, one thing that can be said with reasonable certainty is that a well-balanced and well-rounded application will garner much more attention and appreciation from the admissions committee than one which is overly strong in one aspect but weak in all others. Therefore, a good GRE/GMAT score, good a GPA, strong recommendation letters and a cohesive personal statement along with at least 2 years of work experience would give you a good chance for securing admission in the program.
However, to reiterate the point that we have made throughout this article, if you are lacking in one part of your application, you can try to make it up by working hard on making other parts of the application strong. So take a careful look at where you stand with respect to your overall academic performance and work experience, and then try to assess if you need extraordinary work to make yourself attractive for the panel deciding your chances of admission to LUMS.