In last week’s post, my colleague Nicoleta provided an insight into the types of candidates we look for on the Masters in Management. So now that you have identified yourself as a good fit, you may think that you should apply straight away. While this is one option, deciding whether you intend to pursue your postgraduate studies is a big decision and a big commitment. As such, you’ll want to take time to carry out a proper ‘RDRP’ –that is Research, Discussion, Reflection, and Preparation. What does this mean? Let me walk you through each stage step by step.
By following our Admissions Blog and reviewing the advice given by our Admissions Teams you have already made a great first step in your London Business School and MiM research. But by no means should you start and end your research here.
Now I am going to say something which may surprise you but do ensure that you research other schools and programmes. You need to be able to compare curriculums, campuses, faculty, student bodies, and so much more in order to understand whether you may be a good fit for them and them a good fit for you. A few things to think about:
Visit each campus – is it an environment that will allow you to learn and thrive in? If you can’t travel to visit campus, does the school or programme offer online information sessions or virtual tours?
Reach out to students and alumni – what did they value most from their experience? Was their experience similar to what you’re looking for?
Examine the programme structure – does the curriculum focus on theoretical, practical or applied tuition, or a combination? Do the faculty have experience in academia and the external business environment? Is that important to you?
Consider the network – do you want to have an international career and do you need a community that can reach different markets and industries?
Speak with admissions teams – how would they assess your profile and would they encourage you to apply?
What do you want to achieve – are you looking for professional development, personal development, or both? Will the programme help you get that?
These are just a few of the many questions you should be asking yourself and those connected to the schools you are interested in. Now is the time to be asking questions so don’t be afraid to do so.
Once you have asked yourself these important questions and determined which schools and programmes you feel will give you what you’re looking for, discuss your findings with those around you. If you will be receiving financial support from family, do discuss tuition fees and living expenses early in the decision-making process. Pursuing your postgraduate studies can be a big financial commitment and if you are planning to receive support from family you’ll need to decide what this support will look like.
And for those of you who may be moving away from home, possibly for the first time, you will want to discuss how the distance may affect your relationships with family and friends. Will they be able to visit you? Will you be able to return home during school breaks? Do discuss the challenges the distance may cause and how you will cope with these challenges.
You may also want to speak with friends or peers who are also planning to pursue postgraduate studies. How have they been conducting their research and what have they found? While it can be helpful to speak with those who are going through the same process, do remember that this is an individual one and that each person you speak with may have a different rationale for pursuing their studies or applying to a particular programme.
After discussing your plans with those around you, reflect. Reflect on your discussions, reflect on your research. As I mentioned earlier, this is a big decision and one not to be taken lightly. You may find that after conducting your research and carrying out discussions that you have discovered a different path to pursue, one that you may not have considered early on. If this is the case, you may then need to then go back to step one to conduct further research into entry requirements and application processes, for example.
Ensure that you reflect as well on the challenges – personal, academic, and professional – that you may face during your postgraduate studies and what you will do overcome them.
Once you have decided your target schools and programmes, the next step will be to prepare your applications. Do remember that each application can be very different – some programmes require GMAT, others GRE. Some require a personal statement, others multiple essays. Some require an interview, others may not. Make sure you check entry requirements and application timelines, whether they are rolling or staged admissions. If you have to prepare for entrance exams, you may need to begin preparing your application months earlier than for programmes that don’t require these exams. Make yourself a timeline for each programme you are applying to and before you know it, your applications will be submitted.
I hope that you will find this information helpful in your postgraduate study research and, as always, please do not hesitate to post any questions. In the meantime, I’d like to wish you all the best with your application journey!