Before applying, it is important to carefully consider what we are looking for in an applicant and make sure that the programme is the best fit for you.
As well as those who stand out from the crowd academically, we’re looking for applicants whose profile and career goals align well with the programme. With this in mind, you should ensure that you research the programme in detail before applying and effectively demonstrate that you have done so in your application. Our website is a great place to find a whole range of key information; make sure you browse thoroughly and make the most of this resource before submitting your application.
The main thing to remember is that the MSc International Management programme is designed for those who already have a clear business background. It is an accelerated MSc targeted at those who wish to expand on their existing knowledge and skillset to ultimately fast-track a career in management, particularly leading firms in consulting and financial services. Usually, this will mean applicants come from a FAME background (which means degree-level study in finance, accounting, management or economics). However, in some exceptional cases, a business background could also apply to students from non-FAME disciplines that have instead gained highly relevant experience in the workplace – and can suitably demonstrate strong quantitative skills and excellent commercial awareness as a result.
We consider and admit students from a broad range of nationalities and backgrounds, meaning our students are guaranteed to find themselves amongst an incredibly diverse, eclectic and varied cohort, with the potential to go on and achieve great things. To help give you an insight into what makes a great candidate, here’s our in-depth guide to some of the key qualities that catch our eye when reviewing a strong application:
The desire to be a future leader
When making offers, we always have in mind that we want to bring together a group of students who will go on to become society’s future leaders. Even though some of you may not have graduated yet, you should already be looking to gain leadership experience where and when you can, whether that’s perhaps as part of a society at your university, or in a sports club you’re involved in. You should make sure this is clearly highlighted in your CV, and you may find it works well as an example when answering our career questions.
Students will study a wide range of core business modules with a general focus on management, so you really should have a passion for starting a career in an innovative and dynamic business setting which will put your management theory and leadership skills into practice.
You should have a genuine love of learning and a curiosity to seek out new ideas and challenges. We want to see that you are a big-picture thinker and have the leadership skills to drive this thinking forwards. MSc International Management students can expect to take on the Leadership in Action module, which will build on and support your existing leadership qualities.
A strong track record of leadership in any field – for example: professional experience and internships, sports, extra-curricular activities or community initiatives make it clear to us that you have the future leadership potential we are looking for.
Internships and work experience
Any relevant work or internship experience will not only help your application but will also be a great basis for you to embark on your future career post-MSc. You should aim to have at least one significant internship under your belt before applying and having a variety of internships will add weight to your application. For MSc International Management, there is a strong focus on having a business background and so relevant work experience will be keenly noted by the selection committee. Highlight the relevance of any work experience to your future career and make the length and nature of your internships clear. What’s more, if you went through any kind of selection process to earn your place, let us know about it. It is also worth mentioning to us any secured, future internships that have been confirmed to you already as we would hope that any potential students are continually striving to broaden their professional experiences. When highlighting your internship experience, it is essential you provide the exact dates from when you started to when you finished.
Although many students join the Business School straight after graduating from their undergraduate degree, we do also highly value students who have some relevant full-time work experience as they can bring practical and more specialist knowledge to the programme. Candidates with up to a maximum of two years’ work experience from the start date of the course are welcome to apply (in the majority of cases this will mean full-time, professional work experience undertaken post-graduation and before the commencement of the programme).
Although it is not a highly quantitative programme, we do expect students to be confident with numbers before applying. If you’re coming from a degree background that isn’t particularly quantitative, then you should be able to demonstrate that you have some form of experience in this area. You will have the opportunity to highlight this to us in the quantitative experience section of the application form.
Any finance, accounting and analysis subjects, in particular, are looked on favourably, as these will benefit you throughout the programme and are the kind of skills that will be sought after by future employers – top consulting companies consistently rate strong quantitative skills as increasingly desirable.
If you have gained any quantitative experience in an internship, make sure that your role and the extent of your abilities are clear as we can take this into account when making an assessment of your quantitative background.
GMAT and GRE
You are required to have a valid GMAT or GRE score as part of your application for MSc International Management. We recommend a GMAT score of 600+, or in the 55th percentile or higher in the GMAT Focus Edition. If you are taking the GRE, we recommend a minimum score of 156 in the verbal, and 158 in the quantitative sections.
Candidates for MSc International Management with exceptional academic backgrounds may be considered for a GMAT/GRE waiver. To be considered for a waiver, you will need to demonstrate exceptional academic performance and evidence of strong quantitative experience in your transcripts and CV. Details of how to submit a waiver request can be found here.
We include the careers section of the application with good reason. We want to see that you have researched your target role thoroughly, know what your target organisations are looking for and have thought about how you match up to this – in other words, you already have examples in the bag that make you their dream candidate! We also look for a strong commitment to self-improvement, such as your own identification of any gaps in your skill-set and how you are working pro-actively to fill them. Self-awareness and dedication towards personal growth is key throughout the career section.
Ideal applicants will be ambitious and looking for a career in an organisation where they can really make an impact. Show us that you have clear career aspirations that you are committed to making happen and that you understand how to position yourself in the market.
If you’ve been involved in anything interesting or unusual outside of the classroom which has helped shape you, shout about it! (Well, not literally, but do make it clear in your application!) We love to hear stories that show how you stand out from the crowd. Perhaps you have a strong desire to make a positive social impact and have been involved in a community project which enabled you to put this into practice, or maybe you’re an award-winning kickboxer who’s competed at a national level? These are the sorts of experiences we want to hear about and, often, the more unusual the better!
Other past examples include a variety of volunteering projects (often in a leadership and/or founder role), participation in national or international case competitions, and schemes such as Model United Nations or the European Youth Parliament – to name but a few. Again, make sure your CV is up to speed with all the extracurricular experiences you have taken part in.
Global perspective/international experience
Those of you with international experience, such as a study period or work placement abroad, can bring a much valued, international perspective to the Business School. Upon starting at Imperial, you will soon see that international collaboration is a strong feature of the programme; syndicate groups are formed to allow students of different backgrounds to work together, broadening international outlooks and adding a global dimension to your existing knowledge.
Volunteering abroad is similarly sought after, especially when it’s in combination with citizenship and community focus. Again, these traits are more and more desirable in the eyes of top employers, and we would love to see these experiences on your application.
As you’ll see on our website, there are lots of international opportunities as part of the programme including the Global Immersion experience and the opportunity to study abroad.
Being able to communicate confidently and effectively in English is a vital skill and essential for success on our programme. Your written communication will be assessed throughout your application, and if you progress to the online interview stage, we’ll also be paying close attention to your comprehension and speaking skills. Although we do have minimum English requirements which you will need to meet in order to be able to start the programme, if you’re a non-native speaker, you should be looking to exceed this requirement and practice your English skills as much as possible prior to taking any postgraduate degree in the UK.
Speaking a number of different languages is an invaluable skill and one that is sought after by employers, so be as specific and accurate as you can in outlining your language skills to us.
If you meet our entry requirements and share the qualities and characteristics outlined in this post, you should think about starting your application. Competition is extremely high, so early application is advised.
Good luck with your application!
Listen to our podcast, Inside IB, to learn more about creating a stand-out application