After high school, many students move towards an international study path by choosing schools renowned for their teaching quality and a deep understanding of the global context in which they operate. It is undoubtedly important to present yourself with a solid school curriculum to get noticed among thousands of candidates and be admitted to the most sought-after degree courses. Still, above all, it is essential to focus on what makes you unique and different. The watchword for standing out is, therefore, authenticity.
But how does authenticity fit into an application for admission? Combining the experience of an admissions manager and some alumni of the Bachelor in Management (BSc) of ESCP Business School, we take stock of the personal traits to highlight in a successful candidacy.
The ideal candidate for a prestigious international degree
ESCP’s Bachelor in Management (BSc) has the particularity of offering a unique academic experience that leads students to live in a different European capital during each of the three years of study. This exclusive course, which makes avant-garde teaching and interculturality its hallmark, is designed especially for highly motivated candidates willing to constantly measure themselves against different cultures, new ways of working, and diverse points of view.
As Charlotte Hillig, Director Programmes & Student Experience at ESCP Berlin Campus, explains, “to adapt perfectly to the programme, the candidate must demonstrate maturity, openness, flexibility, and ability to adapt quickly to new situations. School excellence and a fluent level of English are necessary to stand out among thousands of students who apply every year. However, we are looking for a combination of academic excellence with the uniqueness of the person.”
For a complete evaluation of the candidates, the applications for admission to the Bachelor must include, in addition to the CV, the references and school results, and also a particular cover letter in English called the ‘personal statement‘.
“The personal statement is an essential part of the application. In this motivational letter, the candidates tell us about their personalities and the life experiences that encouraged them to apply for a unique and certainly demanding international degree like ours. The letter must present to us the character, passions, and aspirations of the young candidates in a genuine way.
Often, students tend to shape their letters according to what they believe to be recruiters’ expectations. This paradoxically leads to conform to many other candidates, thus losing the opportunity to make themselves emerge,” adds Charlotte.
A world-oriented programme that enhances international profiles
To enable students to gain an in-depth understanding of today’s business world and prepare them for a career in a global context, university education of excellence today places interculturality and the international dimension at the center of its interests.
Therefore, candidates who show a natural inclination towards these topics are particularly appreciated, as highlighted by Alice, a Franco-Italian alumna of the Bachelor in Management (BSc).
“When I applied for the Bachelor, my greatest asset was my dual nationality and the fact that I was already speaking three languages fluently. ESCP is looking for international profiles, that is, people who have already had contact with more than one culture, more than one country, and are open to an international career. Of course, the high school results also helped me a lot, as well as my linguistic, professional, and humanitarian experiences.”
- READ ALSO: Alice Dary: “The BSc allowed me to explore the business world and also to discover new horizons.”
Stand out with your application by focusing on authenticity
To prepare an application capable of attracting attention, Jad, a Franco-Lebanese alumnus of the Bachelor, chose to bet on his creativity.
“To distinguish myself, I concentrated on making my cover letter as original and unconventional as possible. I also added a document containing all my projects: texts, videos, and short films, poems, essays, speeches, and drawings. Even a musical comedy. I wanted to highlight my personality in my application, and honestly, I think it made a difference.”
According to Jad, a former student of the Franco-Lebanese Grand Lycée in Beirut, showing his strengths through his authenticity was, beyond his academic achievements, the key to conquering the selectors: “If I had to advise students who are preparing their application, it would be to distinguish themselves by relying on what makes them unique, especially outside the classrooms. It is important to be excellent students, but the recruiters want to meet determined people, open to discovery, and ready to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. So put yourself in your candidacy.”
- READ ALSO: How ESCP Business School’s Four Values of Excellence, Singularity, Creativity, and Plurality Make It Stand Out
Find out about the programme to get to know your interlocutor
Before applying for a degree course coveted by many brilliant young people, it is good to do thorough research on the school and the programme that interests us. The opportunities are many and must be exploited to the fullest. For the Bachelor in Management (BSc), for example, it is possible to participate in one of the numerous Open Days or Webinars and discover the ESCP campuses in Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, or Turin. It is an essential first step in understanding the expectations of the school, establishing a direct relationship with the recruiters, and understanding whether the programme fits our profile and plans for the future.
“I highly recommend candidates to contact current students, attend our events, and get to know the campuses more closely if possible. It is much easier to understand what kind of candidate the admission team is looking for by talking directly to someone who has already successfully applied for the programme,” concludes Charlotte Hillig.
“To be able to give and receive the maximum from a stimulating context such as an international degree in one of the best universities in the world, it is essential to know each other and have a complete self-awareness. In this way, even a weakness can become a strength, once identified.”