MiM scholarships, or scholarships for Master in Management programs, are highly sought after by each applicant to these early career management programs. With most top MiM programs in Europe (although some top schools in the US, such as Kellogg, and Ross, are also catching up), a majority of applicants looking for early career options have their sights set on not just admissions, but also scholarships in Euros! This post discusses some of the criteria that top management programs use to award scholarships and also highlights a success story of Vishal Sanduja, a GyanOne client who won a EUR 20,000 scholarship to ESSEC and an admit to the HEC MiM too. Vishal joins multiple GyanOne clients who have made it to top MiM programs in the past.
MiM essays and their role in scholarships
The fact that MiM essays play a big role in earning scholarships is not a secret from most MiM applicants. However, MiM applicants also need to exhibit greater achievement based on fewer experiences as compared to their MBA applicant counterparts, because the huge factor of work experience is absent or restricted largely to internships. Work achievements therefore play hardly a role. Further, most MiM applicants bring in achievements that are not very different in nature (the college experience provides for similar opportunities), and therefore differentiating oneself is very important. MiM applicants also need to enunciate career goals with greater clarity, because their statements of the future are not based on exhibited professional achievement, but an extension (and often a change) of what they have studied.
MiM essays therefore play a critical part in not just admissions but also scholarships. Think about it – a scholarship is money from a school being offered to you to come and attend. If your essays are not able to make a strong enough case for you to be successful not only in the program but also beyond, there is lower incentive for the school to do that.
MiM scholarships – what else counts?
Apart from the essays, there are a few other things that count as well. Test scores are one of them, though they can be overcome through other means too. Strong academic grades are another. The fact that you have done well in your bachelor’s program, even if it is unrelated to the area you propose to specialize in during your Masters’ (for example, many engineers apply to management programs), is an excellent indicator that you have the potential to do well in your Master’s too. The institution you come from can also matter to some extent, though that has mattered less and less over the last few years.
ESSEC Scholarship and an HEC Admit
Vishal Sanduja, a GyanOne client, is a biotechnology major from IIT Delhi, who has secured a EUR 20,000 scholarship from ESSEC Business School for its MiM program, and has also made it through the HEC Master in Management for the programs beginning 2016. While results are still pouring in, this success places Vishal among top applicants who already have excellent options to choose from. We discuss here some of the things that led Vishal to this success, as well as what future applicants can learn from led Vishal to these achievements. This will serve as a good reference point on some common factors that contribute to success and scholarships for European MiM programs, though many of the same principles are also valid for US and Canadian early career MBA and MiM programs too.
ESSEC and MiM sample essays – should one use them?
One of Vishal’s defining characteristics is that he works very hard. His IITJEE success, as well as his sporting achievements have all come through his hard work. Very cognizant that using MiM sample essays (available on the web) could be very harmful and would hurt his own originality, Vishal approached GyanOne and worked with us to create, customize, and refine his stories for 4 early career programs – Yale Silver Scholars, HEC MiM, ESSEC MiM, and LBS MiM. As Vishal worked on his essays, GyanOne acted as a source of advice, leading to multiple changes and refinement. For example, ESSEC’s second essay – what matters most to you, and why – requires quite a bit of brainstorming to arrive at what one really wants. Beyond academic and test scores, or organizing fests, one has to dig deep. Vishal discussed ideas on many calls with GyanOne, refining his stories to ensure that his sports achievements, social work, and academic achievements all came out well in the context of his overall story.
ESSEC MiM letter of motivation and HEC MiM essays
Another key aspect that Vishal worked hard on is his ESSEC letter of motivation. Beyond what most applicants think, this is not meant to be a restatement of one’s resume but a powerful expression of one’s plans and background. Yet, there are often so many things to highlight, that making a good selection is key. After this, highlighting things well and clearly is critical. Again, Vishal’s diligence in discussing his plans, refining how to express his thoughts and goals, and discussing how he could achieve these at ESSEC with GyanOne helped him strongly. Similarly, Vishal’s HEC essays required brainstorming and discussions too, to decide on the right stories and points for his achievements, failures, and skills gained during his internship.
Vishal’s own emails (in a series) denote his own escalating happiness at his achievements. Some results still pending.
28 Oct: “I have just received the interview invite from Yale for silver scholars.”
3 Nov: “Another good news. ESSEC shortlist!!“
7 Nov: “LBS now !!!! Thanks a lot, Respect for You ! Great work, Really appreciate you efforts.“
4 Dec: “I have been admitted to ESSEC( w/ 20k euro scholarship) and HEC.“
Creating a successful MiM application
Vishal’s success has some lessons for all MiM applicants that can lead to an admit as well as a scholarship:
– Start early. Refining your stories takes time and multiple rounds of discussion and review, and that cannot happen if only a few days are pending till the deadline.
– The application is the endgame, not the beginning. Work on your initiatives and achievements while in college. You cannot suddenly take up many initiatives close to the point of application or even in the last year of your program.
– Customize your application; do not follow the herd. Using sample essays or not thinking your own goals through will only harm your application. Make sure your work and your thoughts are your own. Discuss and refine with a trusted advisor. Make sure that you have conviction in what you say.