As mentioned from my last blog, like many final year students undertaking their undergraduate jobs, I applied for both Masters programmes and graduate jobs to ensure I have all my options open and I could choose what I want to do closer to the time instead of forcing myself to do something I don’t want to. In this blog, I will focus on my Masters Programme for the Strategy and International Management Programme in the University of St Gallen. In particular, I will focus on three aspects: Making them know you, making them like you and making them want you.
Making them know you
As you can probably expect, this is the first part of the admissions process and is making the admissions team know who you are. Every year, thousands of fresh graduates apply for various Masters programmes, and it is obvious that the more elite the course/ university is, the tougher the competition. So here comes one of the biggest questions for many undergraduates: How can I stand out from the thousands of applicants?
The first thing you can do to stand out is to stand out academically. Without it being said, academics are one of the biggest determinators when it comes to Master applications given that many students nowadays all achieve/ are predicted a first honours degree with some being predicted a 2:1. In fact like many jobs, many Masters programmes have also set a minimum requirement to achieve a 2:1 degree so it is imperative that undergrad students pay attention and really work hard during their second year of studies to ensure they can meet the requirement.
Secondly, many students also differentiate themselves using their work experience. For myself, I have previously been in a couple different industries for my internship experiences in Hong Kong so this really gave me an edge when it came to a wide range of skills acquired, but for some Masters programmes, it might be better to specialize in one particular area so it really depends on the nature of the programme.
Finally, you can make the admissions team know you by telling them about your external experiences or extracurricular activities so that they know the student that they are admitting is not just someone who stays at home to study, but also has a clear work-life balance and cherishes his social life as well.
Making them like you
After you have let the admissions team know you, the next step is to make them like you, Even though this may seem quite easy to do as long as you have a strong portfolio, this may not always be the case. In their Masters applications, many students choose to focus on what they have achieved, but many of them miss out the aspect of why are they interested in the course. If you can show to the admission team your passion to study in the course, it makes it much easier for them to show a liking to you.
Making them want you
Finally it is the last step of the process which is making them want you. I think many students miss out this final step because after they have proved what they have achieved and why they are interested in the course, they end their elaboration there. However, for the top candidates, they go one step further. They will show the admissions team why they are a suitable candidate. You can do this by researching about the course outlines, website, peer reviews ,etc. and link your own achievements to the specific aspects of the course. This will not only help showcase your entire portfolio more connivingly, but also show the admissions team that you have done the research about the course which really shows how much you want to get into the course.