Tips for Getting Accepted into Your Desired Master Finance Program
Applying to a Master of Science in Finance program should be an exciting and motivating time. The opportunities that open up for graduates of Master Finance programs can be financially rewarding.
The skills and knowledge acquired through a master finance program can separate you from your peers and position yourself for career advancement.
Unfortunately, for far too many people interested in a Master Finance program can become stressed as they worry about the quality of their application and second guess themselves throughout the process resulting in an application file that never reaches its full potential.
Let’s take a look at 8 great tips to build your absolute best Master Finance application file and take the stress away from applying to graduate school:
#8 Show Enthusiasm
Admissions Committees typically have the luxury of reviewing more Master Finance applicant files then they have spots for in their programs. They are fortunate to be able to sort through candidate files to find the applicants that they are most excited about. Often times there are several applicants with similar applicant characteristics.They share similar levels of work experience, GPA’s and test scores.
So how can you rise above other applicants and receive that precious acceptance letter? Well for many schools enthusiasm matters! A lot of schools look for candidates that are truly excited about their program.
Individuals who will appreciate the opportunity to earn their MSF degree from their university and who will become strong ambassadors for the program upon graduation. A great way to show enthusiasm for a particular program is to attend one of their open houses whether it is on campus or virtually. Many schools track those who attend their events as it helps to demonstrate enthusiasm and interest.
Take a look and see if the program you are applying to is hosting an open house either in person or online and make plans to attend and participate.
Be ready to ask questions and show that you are engaged and excited. The application process is competitive so show enthusiasm for the program you are applying to and get out in front of other similar candidates.
Check out the Top 7 Reasons to Pursue Your MSF Degree in 2017.
#7 Don’t Hide It, Explain It
Rarely is there a perfect applicant that hits every one of a school’s preferred applicant characteristics. Most applicants will have something in their file that in retrospect they would have done differently if they could dial back the clock and do it all over again. Admissions Committees understand this.
They realized there are very few perfect applicants. How do you handle this situation in your file? Get out in front of it and explain it to the committee in your application. If your undergraduate GPA is lower than you would like and you do not feel it is the best reflection of your academic aptitude, make sure to discuss it in your application.
Describe to the committee what led you to underperform during your bachelor’s program. Take responsibility for your subpar performance, explain how you are in a different position and are prepared to excel in their program now.
#6 Reach, Reach, Reach, Reach, Reach
Choosing a MSF program is a big decision so don’t sell yourself short. If you have a dream school out there, take a look at their admissions requirements and if you are remotely in the neighborhood of those who have been accepted in the past put your best foot forward and apply.
Admissions standards change every year and you may have something in your file that the committee gets excited about that you would not expect. Schools are looking at diversifying their classrooms in regards to types of experience, levels of experience, international experience, and geographical location to name a few. There may be something in your file that they are looking for this year so don’t be afraid to reach and apply to your dream school.
There may be something in your file that they are looking for this year so don’t be afraid to reach and apply to your dream school.
#5 Be Engaged, Be Efficient
Once you begin the application stay engaged. Red flags can appear for the committee when you begin an application and then take several months to complete it.
If you need to take a graduate test and you are going to spend a few months studying for it, complete every other part of the application in a timely fashion.
Completing an application in an efficient manner demonstrates your ability to multitask and manage your time.
If you are not committed to putting aside the handful of hours necessary to complete your application committee members may have concerns about your ability to manage your time and handle the coursework required to be successful in their program.
#4 Highlight Your Strengths
Take a look at the student profile of previous classes that have started the program you are applying to and then take an honest assessment of your own applicant characteristics and make sure to emphasize those that align well with previous students.
If your work experience exceeds the average of others accepted in the past you need to highlight your experience and outline how your experience will benefit the classroom.
If your undergraduate GPA is outstanding make sure you emphasize that you have the academic background to handle the more rigorous course work that will be encountered in your MSF program.
If the program emphasizes international experience and you grew up in another country, studied in another country or do a lot of business in another country it is important that you highlight these attributes as it helps to separate you from other candidates.
Play to your strengths when applying to graduate school.
#3 Write a Great Essay
For many schools, the essay is a part of the application that they spend a great deal of time on when evaluating candidates. Everyone has their own personal story to tell, so make sure you tell it to the best of your abilities.
If you think there is nothing special about your story, then keep thinking until you identify it. Every candidate has their own unique story to tell. Make sure you follow the guidelines set for the essay.
If the program asks you to submit a 2-page essay as part of your application, don’t turn in a 12-page autobiography.
Stick to what is outlined. Make sure you discuss your credentials and your enthusiasm for the program.
Most importantly, spend part of your essay discussing how the Master Finance program you are applying for will make you either:
- More effective in your current role
- Prepare you for future promotion opportunities
- Allows you to impact your community in a positive way
Admission Committee members want to see their students be successful professionally upon completion of the program.
Your professional success strengthens their brand so make sure you take the time in your essay to explain how their program will give you the knowledge and skills necessary to reach your professional goals as that is a shared interest you have with the committee.
#2 Work Effectively with your Admissions Counselor
Many universities now offer you the opportunity to work closely with an Admissions Counselor when applying to their graduate programs.
These counselors are in a unique position as they often times work closely with applicants to the program and the members of the Admissions Committee that are making admission’s decision.
They typically have nothing to do with making the actual decisions, but they are uniquely positioned between the applicant and the committee.
They are able to provide valuable insight into what candidates in the past have done to receive a favorable admissions decision.
What trends they are seeing from recent decisions and what the committee may be emphasizing when making decisions now.
Take the time to build a strong relationship with your Admissions Counselor. Make sure you turn in supporting documents for your application file on or before the scheduled deadlines that you establish with your counselor. Return their calls in a timely fashion and keep them informed about any changes to your file.
A lot of universities have Admission Counselors write up a brief synopsis of their interactions with you. They will comment on your professionalism, communication skills, and efficiency throughout the application process.
Invest time in developing a strong relationship with your counselor as it may ultimately play a factor in your decision from the committee.
#1 Get Started!
It sounds easy enough, but it is the hardest part of the application file for many candidates.
If you have made the decision that a MSF degree is important to your personal and professional development get started with the application today.
Once you start the application process you will feel a connection to the university and be far less likely to make excuses on why now may not be the right time to start a graduate program.
Accept the fact there will never be a perfect time to go back to school and start the application for your favorite MSF program today and invest in your professional success.
A Master of Science in Finance degree has the potential to change your career arc. Employers value individuals who possess advanced financial skills which can be learned by attending a Master Finance degree. Having a mastery of finance will make you more valuable in the workplace and give you the skills necessary to truly elevate your career.
Take that all important first step in achieving your professional goals by starting your application to your favorite MSF program today!
Check out The MSF Degree Fit: Do I Belong?