How I made my application for the Full-Time MBA stand out
Applications are never easy - whether it's for jobs or academics. This ever-daunting process never fails to bring out the worst fears in even the most accomplished candidates - from feelings of imposter syndrome to severe procrastination. I struggled through all this and more while working on my application for the Full-Time MBA at Imperial College.
It's now been almost two years since I submitted my application, and I've spent this time introspecting and identifying the key factors that helped my application be successful.
I've helped prospective students from across the world in their Imperial MBA journey - mostly guiding them about the application process and providing my tips, as well as giving deep insights into the Full-Time MBA programme. As a Student Ambassador at the Business School, I'm always available via LinkedIn and the Unibuddy app to help prospective students navigate this sometimes intimidating process.
Creating a standout application
I feel the key to a successful application is to make it unique and compelling enough that the person reading it is compelled to invite you to an interview. It's a difficult task to be able to articulate your personality, achievements and ambitions onto a simple application form, but here’s a few things to consider that I think can make the task easier:
1. Convince yourself first. You have to be extremely confident in your decision to pursue an MBA programme. It's a year-long commitment, and you have to be ready for it - both personally and professionally. Once you're confident as to why the Full-Time MBA at Imperial College Business School is the key to achieving your dreams, it will be easier to pen down your motivations in the application and approach the admissions committee with this belief.
2. Do your homework. Once you've committed yourself to the application, it's time to learn about all things Imperial! The more you research, the clearer it will be as to what the School has to offer to you and what you need to offer to the School - it's an equal 'give and take' relationship. A thorough reading of the website will help you to identify the key traits Imperial is looking for - be it entrepreneurial zeal or innovative thinking. It never hurts to plug in these words where applicable to your essays!
3. You may not have all the answers - and that's okay! As a prospective Full-Time MBA student, it's natural to assume that it's a challenging decision to take time off work and pursue this upskilling year. This signifies a change in your life - both professionally and personally. It's important to accept that there will be some parts of the journey or the end destination that may be unknown to you - and that's okay.
4. Identify your 'je nais se quoi'. As a working professional, you must have a sense of your strengths and weaknesses. This is the opportunity for you to extrapolate your strength and market it as the X-Factor that you alone will be able to bring to the cohort. Whether it’s your amazing leadership skills or creativity, your 'je nais se quoi' should leap out of the pages and present a major call to action to the person evaluating your application.
5. Numbers are king. Remember to reflect tangible results of your past projects and experiences, and how your actions enabled quantifiable growth in your work engagements. Talk about x% growth in profits or y% reduction in attrition wherever applicable. This helps in adding quantitative traits to an otherwise qualitative application and makes it much more well-rounded.
6. Believe in yourself and your achievements. Applications are tiresome and can often evoke thoughts of anxiety or lack of belief. Always remember; you’ve got this, you need this, and you deserve this.
While I appreciate that the entire application and interview process can be nerve-wracking, it's very worth it. For me, this year at Imperial College Business School has been more than what I had hoped for, and I hope that you too get to experience this amazing programme and community soon!