MSc Marketing and Strategy student Jelena shares her top tips on making sure you choose the right university for you, and how to make your application stand out.
What do YOU want?
It is a good idea to hear external advice about different universities, courses and what they can offer. However, it is essential to take a step back from the subjective opinions of family, friends and those surrounding you, and ask yourself: "What do I want?"
Think about any opportunities you always found tempting but too challenging to pursue. What path have you been following, and which career do you want to follow? Reflect on the past whilst thinking about what you want your future to look like. Think and reason thoroughly, whilst also listening to your heart.
Research is key
Whilst it is essential to keep a vision in mind about how you want your future to look like, research is critical when it comes to aligning your career goals with the right Masters course.
Just like different universities provide different experiences, courses with slight differences in their names offer different skills, knowledge and expertise.
At Warwick Business School, the MSc Business with Marketing course, for example, offers many more quantitative modules than MSc Marketing and Strategy course. The latter, on the other hand, provides a lot of practical workshops that challenge creative and critical thinking but also offers basic programming skills.
Think about which course provides the right balance between theory and practice. Also, think about the online-offline balance you aim for, as some courses at WBS provide only online lectures. Reading the course description as a whole and for each module is a great way to truly understand whether a specific course can bring value to you.
Ready to write your personal statement?
Aim to apply early, mainly if you apply to universities and courses that are highly competitive. However, do not jeopardise your potential place at the university by submitting weak or semi-complete applications.
Apart from the obvious tip to structure your personal statement well and avoid any grammatical mistakes, your personal statement should project your traits, skills and achievements that fit well with the course and make you stand out from other candidates.
Think about what value you can bring to lectures and workshops, as well as to your future cohort and the university. Show that you have thoroughly researched the university and the course you are applying for. If your course assumes a lot of group work, talk about the relevant experiences and soft skills.
Not all Masters courses require you to have working or internship experience. Instead, you could write about skills and knowledge you have acquired, and how these align with the course you are applying for. You may have learnt a language through intense self-study sessions. Writing about that in your personal statement is a great way to show your passion and dedication to learning and achieving any goal you set.
Finally, give ‘heart’ to your personal statement. Feel free to add a pinch of creativity to the opening sentence. For example, a well-written metaphor at the beginning of your personal statement can make you stand out.
At the same time, keep your personal statement to the point and professional, and be careful not to force creativity where it does not fit.
Keep a close eye on your application
Well done, you’ve submitted your application, but the process is far from over.
After submitting the application, it is crucial to keep track of your application progress. Regularly check your emails, and check your spam mailbox regularly! Forgetting to reply to an offer, or losing an offer letter amongst spam emails, might result in losing a well-deserved place at your dream university.
Good luck and enjoy your time here – you’ll love it!