Before you request a reference or draft an essay, we encourage you to take time to reflect on how the M.S. in Global Commerce might fit with your strengths and goals. Here are three tips for using that knowledge to make your application more competitive:
1. Be sure to tell your unique story.
The M.S. in Global Commerce Admissions Committee practices a holistic review process, which means we’re interested in learning what motivates you, what your strengths are as a student, and what you have to contribute to the M.S. in Global Commerce community. Resist the urge to think about your application as a checklist of items to complete or GPA/test scores you need to obtain. Use the application as an opportunity to communicate a robust picture of your personality, potential, and fit. Keep in mind that all three universities will be evaluating your application – the University of Virginia, Lingnan (University) College, and Esade Business School.
- What story does your experience + academics + personal characteristics tell about who you are and what is important to you? What themes or trends emerge?
- How have you changed or matured intellectually, socially and personally during your undergraduate experience?
- How has your career interest changed or matured?
- Is there a story you can share in your essay that will give the committee more insight into your character or motivations, particularly as they relate to working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures?
2. A strong academic profile goes beyond a GPA or test score.
Successful candidates must demonstrate that they have the intellectual and academic skills needed to be successful in the fast-paced and immersive environment of the M.S. in Global Commerce Program. At a minimum, candidates must demonstrate that they can be successful in a rigorous academic environment. If you didn’t start off with that skill set during your first few semesters at college, did you show significant improvement over the course of your undergraduate career? Look at the trends in your grades and the types of courses you selected. How can you support areas in which you might have less experience or been weaker? For example, if your GMAT score on a particular section is less than you would like, do you have strong course grades, work experience, or work samples in that area that you can highlight?
As a graduate student, you will be expected to complete readings, team assignments, and related work outside of class in order to actively participate in discussion and debate on the topics during class. In addition to grades and test scores, your essays and interview provide an excellent opportunity for you to demonstrate effective written and verbal communication, especially in the program’s official language of English.
Beyond the challenges that students normally face in a rigorous graduate program, students will need to be open to working with faculty, staff, and classmates from a variety of cultures and adapt to different institutions and expectations across three continents. As a candidate, you have multiple opportunities – through transcripts, standardized test scores, academic reference(s), essays, and the interview – to demonstrate your intellectual curiosity, resiliency, and adaptability.
3. Don’t be the hero in your essays or admission interview.
Your application essays and interview offer the best opportunities for you to highlight your unique attributes and characteristics. It is easy to default to talking about your accomplishments – how you came to the team’s rescue to salvage the project, how you reached out to someone from a different background to integrate them into your group – without sharing very much about who you are or what’s important to you. The result is a missed opportunity.
The best essays and interviews are the ones in which candidates reflect on their unique experiences and share how that experience helped them learn more about themselves and the career path they wish to pursue. Yes, it can be more of a risk to let your personality shine through, but isn’t the willingness to take a calculated risk an important global business skill to practice?
If you would like to discuss these tips or your individual situation, please feel free to reach out to any member of our recruiting and admission team.