London Business School: Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy
Business education is often seen as an early stepping-stone in a professional career. MIM degrees are for young graduates, and MBAs are typically for those who are newly embracing managerial roles.
When more experienced professionals look for opportunities to enhance their skills, knowledge, perspectives, and indeed career growth, their opportunities are often restricted to part time executive MBA programs, which they can pursue while continuing their jobs. However, there is one group of elite full time MBA programs for experienced professionals, hand-crafted for the best of the best.
The Sloan Fellows program was the world's first mid-career and senior career master's degree in general management and leadership. It was initially supported by a grant from Alfred P. Sloan, the late CEO of General Motors, to his alma mater, MIT. The program was established in 1930 at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Later it was expanded to the Stanford Graduate School of Business (1957), and London Business School (1968).
While all three programs are exceptional in their own way, today we look at the only version of this program offered outside the USA, London Business School’s Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy.
The LBS Sloan Master’s is a 12-month full time program based in London, UK for very experienced professionals in senior positions. Even compared to the Stanford and MIT programs, LBS has the most experienced class by far, with an average of 18 years of work experience!
The current batch at LBS has 53 students from 20 nationalities across 6 continents, not to mention from a wide variety of industries, sectors, and expertise. All these factors combined make it arguably the most diverse and experienced program cohort for any management program in the world.
Unlike most MBA/MIM programs which begin in the fall, the Sloan Master’s program starts in January each year. Admissions are carried out on a rolling basis, with applications reviewed in the order they are received.
The program’s core curriculum runs throughout the year with courses connected to the three main themes: Leadership, Strategy and Business Fundamentals. This is supported by electives and a Global Business Assignment.
A key part of the program structure is the creation of study groups. Students are assigned to a group of approximately five people at the beginning of the program for core course study. These groups are made to be as diverse as possible in terms of cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds.
Students choose to study between six to eight electives from a choice of over 65. These electives fall under six broad categories which are Economics, Finance, Management Science and Operations, Marketing, Organisational Behaviour, and Strategy and Entrepreneurship.
Another key aspect of the program is the Global Business Assignment, which is a week-long faculty led assignment to apply new skills to conduct business in a choice of key economic destinations. Some recent examples include “Creating a future city” in Dubai, “Managing through crisis” in Buenos Aires, and “Strategic resilience” in Athens.
Given the unique nature and class profile, the admission process for the program is also more flexible. Acknowledging the many demands of senior professionals, prospective applicants can submit a completed online form, essays, CV, academic documents, one recommendation and the application fee. If they are shortlisted based on these, they are contacted by the school to further provide a second reference, and a GMAT/GRE/Executive Assessment score.
There are three compulsory essays and one optional statement as a part of the application, which are:
How will the Sloan Leadership and Strategy degree enhance your immediate and ultimate professional and personal objectives? (500 words)
Describe the hardest professional decision you have made and its impact on the situation, any teams involved and on yourself (500 words)
Drawing on your experience in your function and/or sector please give your opinion on question: (a) Will increasing regulation really mitigate risk? Do you think that this is desirable? OR b) What do you see as the key issues for the next 5 years in your sector and/or region? (300 words)
Optional Statement: What question would you most like to be asked, and why? (200 words)
GMAT can be waived for certain applicants whose work experience, professional status or prior degree/training indicates a high level of analytical or quantitative ability. Waivers can be granted to CEOs, CFOs, Managing Directors, Divisional heads, Treasurers, Chief Accountants, and others on a case by cases basis.
Hiring and career growth at very senior levels is radically different to the same at a regular MBA level. LBS provides a four-pronged career growth strategy to help its students elevate their career during and after the Sloan Master’s program.
Career coaching sessions: Tailored one-to-one sessions with experienced career coaches to plan individual career strategy and define what a meaningful career means to candidates.
Career development sessions: A series of workshops that are designed to enhance knowledge of the many elements that feature in holistic career management.
Professional development sessions: Experience tailored support designed specifically to meet the needs of Sloan students, and opportunities to leverage the diverse multicultural insights of your cohort through dynamic workshops.
Executive coaching sessions: Benefit from support from our Executive coaching team facilitates throughout your journey and help to create an informed Personal Development Plan.
The LBS Sloan Master’s is an extremely selective, ambitious, and unique program meant for established business managers to make a dramatic leap in their careers and become global leaders. It is a unique program, but undoubtedly one which provides incredible results!