Ralitsa, a prospective Master’s applicant, talks about how she prepares for exams and her current search for the right Master’s program. 

[0:08] Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit more about your academic and professional background?

[0:15] A: My name is Ralitsa Tsoneva, and I graduated from the American University in spring of 2017, and in the fall of 2017 I actually started working. I spent my first 18 months in the finance field as a finance analyst at Coca-Cola Hellenic. I subsequently joined a startup which was a completely different environment.

[0:46] Q: Why did you choose to do a Master’s degree?

[0:48] A: Well, because I realized that in order to be better equipped in the field I’m currently pursuing, I definitely need a Master’s degree, and the experience of it. And the network, I believe, will be valuable too.

[1:07] Q: Have you taken the GMAT, GRE, or other language tests?

[1:12] A: Specifically for the Master’s degree, not yet. I’m currently preparing for GMAT and TOEFL, but when I was applying for the American University, for my Bachelor’s degree, I had to take SAT and TOEFL, so I have some experience with taking these kinds of tests.

[1:34] Q: Which part of the admission process do you find most challenging?

[1:40] A: Oh, definitely the tests, and I would say, the interviews with some of the universities, because for many universities one of the requirements is a personal interview. And I believe this is when actually they decide whether to accept certain candidates.

[2:03] Q: What is the hardest stage of this application process for you, I mean, of the application interview?

[2:12] A: I’m not really familiar with the interviews yet. I’m still at the initial stage of preparing for the Master’s. I’m currently studying for GMAT, which will be my first step, and then I will take TOEFL, so I’m not really comfortable saying which is the hardest part.

[2:34] Q: What is the best way that you prepare for your tests?

[2:38] A: I’m currently preparing by myself, with the official guides of GMAC, and I plan to take the exam once and see whether this will be enough. Then, if I consider this is insufficient, I will seek further help.

[2:58] Q: What kind of tools do you think would be most helpful for you to prepare for those exams. Would it be tutoring or something else?

[3:06] A: Practice. This is the one thing that I realized is most valuable. When I was preparing for SAT, I came to believe it was very similar in a way to GMAT. Even though it’s not as adaptive an exam as GMAT, its components are very similar. So the one thing that helped me get a good result on SAT, it was just practice, a lot of practice.

[3:35] Q: Do you have a particular school that you like and that you wish to be accepted to?

[3:40] A: Yes, I’ve already listed four as my top priority schools, and I’m actually really glad that two of them are here now at this event, and I’ll get a chance to meet them.

[3:53] Q: Which schools do you plan to go for?

[3:56] A: One of them is IE, another is ESADE, another is the University of Glasgow, and the other is the University of Edinburgh.

[4:09] Q: What factors do you consider when choosing a school?

[4:13] A: Well, I consider its ranking. It’s simple as that. I was just looking at the ranking of the school, and then the ranking of the Master’s degree that I’m pursuing specifically, so the key factor is - how does its Business Analytics Master’s rank compare to other schools?