Starting your application to graduate school can be a daunting process. Kara Keenan Sweeney, Director of Admissions Marketing and Financial Aid at Lauder, shares some of her tips for getting a handle on the process early:
- Do your research – beyond visiting program websites, find out as much as you can about the programs you’re interested in. Attend information sessions in your region or online. Staff from the Lauder Institute travel with Wharton MBA Admissions during the fall and summer to meet with prospective applicants from all over the world. If you can, try to attend one of these sessions in person to learn more about the program and hear from alumni; or, if you can make the trip to Philadelphia, visit the Lauder program in person. We host weekly information sessions on campus during the fall and spring every Thursday at 2pm. You can also sit in on a Lauder language class, elective, or core course. This is a great way to experience the program first-hand and meet with current Lauder students. To set up a visit, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Talk with students and alumni – reach out to your network to connect with those who have attended the programs that intrigue you. Each year, applicants to Lauder tell us that their best source of information, guidance, and advice came from a current student or alumnus. To connect with someone in your region or in the Program of Concentration you’re interested in, contact me directly.
- Connect with programs on social media and online – most programs push out a ton of helpful information online. You can easily follow various social media channels to get the latest on what’s going on with the programs on campus, and with alumni and faculty. You can connect with Lauder on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter. Follow us today! And if you haven’t done so already, check out our latest Lauder admissions video on YouTube which highlights details about the program, as well as current students and alums.
- Start thinking about your application – every graduate program has their own unique application process, requirements and essay questions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about what you’d like to say and how sooner rather than later. Generally speaking, admissions staff want to hear about your personal and professional experiences, accomplishments, goals and why that program is the right one for you. We definitely want to know “Why Lauder?” in our application. Think about how you can contribute to the program and where you can add value, along with what the program can do for you in terms of your education and career objectives. There truly is no wrong answer when explaining your background and interest in the program.
- Think about funding – one of the biggest hurdles for any applicant is the increasing cost of tuition and fees for education. Do some investigative research on sources of financial aid that might not be obvious. At Wharton, all applicants are automatically considered for fellowships when submitting their applications. For Lauder, we ask you to submit a separate application, but the vast majority of our students do receive some support from the Institute. However, very few students can count on any institution to provide full funding. Student loans are always an option, but there are a lot of outside scholarships available to students from certain backgrounds, industries, or nationalities. Do a basic internet search to see if there are some fellowships out there that you might qualify for. Lastly, talk to your employer about full or partial funding. It may mean that you have to return to your employer for a time after graduation, but the financial payoff could be worth it.
- Relax! We know how stressful in can be to put together an application. Between GMAT and GRE preparation, writing essays, requests to recommenders, and getting everything in by the deadline, it can be easy to let nerves get the best of you. Feel confident in what you have to bring to the table. Each applicant has their strengths and weaknesses, and recognizing those weaknesses and highlighting how graduate school can help you improve and grow is key. As admissions staff, we love hearing about what makes you, you – and as long as you have done your research, taken your time, and put the energy and effort into building a strong application overall (that includes what you like to do for fun!) you’ll be a compelling applicant for any program. Good luck!
To learn more about the Lauder program, check out our How it Works page on our website. There you can find information on our five regional Programs of Concentration and our Global program, as well as details on other key aspects of the program including the Summer Immersion, Culture Quest and the Global Knowledge Lab.
If you have any questions about the Lauder program, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com.