How To Enroll In The Dream University
Ekaterina Shevyakova is a promising student from HSE. Over the past year, she has managed to spend a semester in London, make friends around the world, and get offers from three prestigious US universities for a master's degree with a partial or full scholarship. Now, she will share the secrets on becoming the most desirable candidate with us.
Hi! Well, I'm a fourth-year undergraduate student in Political Science and World Politics, and last year I spent a semester in London. I am also a part of the educational system myself – I do tutoring, work on my own projects and run blog on Instagram.
After my semester in England, I realized that life can be what we want it to be! I’ve met new friends, in particular, several American girls, and it only fueled my "childhood dream" to move to the United States. In addition to the environment I was in, the fact that I had already managed to go for an exchange gave me confidence and showed that everything is possible. I see master’s degree as a logical continuation of my path. It not only gives career prospects, but also the opportunity to try myself in something else. For instance, I am very interested in management. And as we know, America has no equal in business, so my choice was obvious.
I find foreign education superior to domestic in many ways. First, it is possible to get a degree in just one year, which makes it possible to quickly apply knowledge into practice. I'm not ready to study all my life. In addition, it's a great career prospect. In the field of business, access to the international market is extremely useful. But, again, it solely depends on your plans.
If you are going abroad, I can say for sure that it is not difficult to change your field of study. Though, you have to explain why you are doing so. Accordingly, when I switched from political science to management, I clearly outlined my motivation, which did not limit me in any way while applying and even receiving a scholarship.
First of all, it is the university rating. I care about the quality of the educational program and its students’ feedback. Also, I was looking for something modern and innovative that gives character to an institution. And, of course, you should pay attention to the community spirit, how easy it is to get in touch with the university and whether they are interested in you as much as you are in them.
I can say that the application process is quite time-consuming, so if you do not understand the requirements, of course it is better to have someone help you. I applied without a mentor or agency, but spent a lot of time learning the information online. In any case, it’s best to take this path by yourself, but some support never hurts.
It is not easy for sure. It is worth studying the criteria in advance and taking care of passing such exams as IELTS, GMAT or GRE. Usually, it’s better to allocate at least six months before applying as, in addition to exams, you need to write motivation letters, a CV, and collect recommendation letters. Although, I’ve managed to do it in 2 months.
In my opinion, the main difficulty is that not everything depends upon you. For example, sometimes to get a recommendation, you had to remind the person about it multiple times. And of course, motivation letter is a kind of unusual essay, where you analyze and present yourself in the right way. Don't underestimate the complexity of it.
I think it is because I showed my potential and that my education will benefit not just me, but the university itself. The main secret is to come up with your own mission, which can further benefit the society and can only be achieved through that university’s program.
I believe they pay attention to all aspects of your application rather evenly. But, apart from hard skills, it is important for them to see your soft skills. That is, what kind of person you are and whether you will fit into the culture of the university. The requirements can be completely different, for example, Babson College asked me to write 4 funny facts about myself.
I think my first advice would be to plan ahead. Secondly, be creative. You need to show individuality to really catch on. People like to believe in some success formulas, but in reality, you simply should think outside of the box. And lastly, dream big! I am the first person from my educational program to go to the US, even without any outstanding qualifications and experience. Which once again proves that absolutely anyone can do it!
Now Ekaterina is finishing her last bachelor year, working and preparing to move to the United States. You can follow Kate’s journey on her Instagram blog @kate_sheva. Let this inspiring story serve as an example that you should believe in yourself and can achieve any goal!