Are you looking for the best way to get noticed by the admissions committee of your dream graduate school?

Dr. Don Martin from the Graduate School Road Map (GSRM) has the answer. In this webinar, he highlights the top 7 ways MBA and Master’s applicants can prove to program representatives that they are the perfect fit for their program.

Make your graduate application shine by watching the full video recording.

#1. Send a cover letter

Always include a cover letter with your application, advises Dr. Don Martin. If you know the name of the dean of the school, address the letter to them personally. A good cover letter speaks volumes about your commitment and interest in applying to a particular program.

The cover letter is best structured in three paragraphs. Start with an introduction – your name, background, and important information. In the second part, show you did proper research about the school you are applying to. What made you pick this particular program over any other? Be honest and specific in your explanation. Finally, wrap up with an opportunity for the school representatives to contact you – your phone number or email address.

#2. Choose your recommenders wisely

If you are applying for an MBA or Master’s program you may need to submit letters of recommendation. There are two important points to keep in mind. First, it is the recommenders’ job to evaluate your skills and potential with honesty. It is not a good strategy for recommenders to focus only on your superior skills because this will diminish their credibility.

Second, they need to give specific examples of your qualities. If they claim you have excellent communication skills, they should be able to prove it with an example.

Work together with your recommenders to ensure that they are presenting you in an authentic way.

#3. Be creative but don’t get carried away

As Dr. Don Martin explains, some applicants can go overboard when trying to approach their application with creativity. There is a thin line between a creative application and an unprofessional one. For example, it is usually not good practice to send flowers to the admissions committee.

Think of creative ways to show your professional and academic strengths without coming across as inappropriate.   

#4. Provide specific examples

Every university and business school wants to be recognized for their great campus, great faculty, or great alumni network. These facts are too general and they will not help you get noticed, so don’t focus on them too much in your application. Instead, give specific examples that are unique to the school. What makes you want to apply there and not to another institution that has the same program?

Don’t worry if you repeat the same point or example in different parts of the application. In fact, this will show that you are consistent and that you have prepared your arguments with care.

#5. Stay calm

It’s normal to get a bit nervous about your MBA or Master’s application since you are spending a lot of time, effort and resources on your preparation. However, managing your stress is essential. Even if something in the process goes wrong or there are roadblocks along the way, you need to show that you can handle it. Dr. Don Martin says that staying calm in difficult situations will show the admissions committee that you will be able to manage the stress of the actual graduate studies.

#6. Show you are interested

If you think that saying you are genuinely excited to begin your studies at a particular school will seem insincere, you are mistaken. Dr. Don Martin believes that communicating your excitement is a great way to boost your application chances and make a good impression. As long as you don’t go overboard and remain authentic in your communication, this direct approach will work in your best interest.

For example, if you are talking to a representative from the school which is #1 on your application shortlist, tell them and explain why they are your first choice.

#7. Remember the admissions committee is evaluating you

Your goal in every contact with the university is to come away with making a positive impression. It’s useful to remember that just as you are assessing if the school is right for you, so is the admissions committee evaluating your fit for the program. Stay upbeat, confident, and mature but, of course, don’t lose your authenticity in the process.

Do you want to learn about the seven ways that can boost or ruin your graduate application? Watch the full video recording of the GSRM webinar with Dr. Don Martin to get his full list of recommendations.


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