Given the competitive nature of colleges, students interested in entering into a good accredited international business program must take certain steps to ensure the best possible outcome when applying. The following are the most critical steps students must make to get into the program that will best prepare them for a successful career in this dynamic field.
Steps Before Applying for Colleges
Students thinking about which colleges to apply for should do plenty of research on the schools, and, in particular, their international business degree programs. Students should investigate how the schools they are interested in are rated for the field, to ensure they will be positioned well to attain a good job once they graduate. Besides the strength of the international business degree program, students should take into account other factors, such as the location of the school, campus activities, its size and its costs. Of the colleges that most interest them, students should also find out the statistics on the percentage of students who return after the freshman year and their graduation rates.
Students should also understand that the best fit for them may not necessarily be a prestigious college: some of the lesser prestigious schools may offer excellent opportunities to study abroad and learn about how other cultures conduct business. Generally, students should apply to multiple colleges in case they get turned down by the ones they prefer.
To increase one’s chances of getting accepted to a particular college offering the international business major, students should select classes that will look more appealing to admissions officers. In particular, courses in economics, finance, foreign languages and computers are relevant. The more competitive a college is, the higher the grades will have to be for the student to get accepted. Thus, students aiming for highly competitive schools should work hard to bring their grade point average (GPA) as high as possible while taking the courses the college will find suitable for the major.
Submitting Academic Records and Extracurricular Achievements
An important part of the application process involves submitting a copy of academic records. Business schools are interested in a prospective student’s academic history to ensure he or she is a good fit for the school. Before submitting a transcript, one should review it carefully to make sure it does not contain any errors. A high school counselor can help students to navigate through this process to ensure the colleges receive the transcripts.
An application may also require the student’s score on an SAT or ACT. Colleges will only accept the scores from the testing organizations, which provide instructions on notifying colleges of the results. Colleges are interested in these scores to find if they support the grades or to get a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of a prospective student.
Besides academic records and standardized test scores, college applications typically ask about the extracurricular activities of prospective students. This allows them to determine the personality traits and character of prospective students to see if they will complement the student body. In particular, business schools will value traits such as leadership, ethics, commitment and special talents. Students should also list summer jobs or activities they have performed and the things they learned doing them to give the colleges a better glimpse of their character.
Submitting an Essay
Admissions officers of colleges often place great emphasis on the essay submitted by a prospective student. The essay gives them a more complete picture of the applicant’s personality and character. A good essay may even override academic records and standardized test scores in importance, as it may reveal the most about a person of all the parts of an application. What colleges typically look for in the essay is candidness. They are not interested in an essay that aims to impress but rather shows the prospective student can be of benefit to the campus environment.
Submitting a Letter of Reference
Besides submitting transcripts to colleges, the high school counselor may be needed to provide a letter of reference to colleges. High school students should therefore get to know their counselors, who can emphasize their particular strengths when submitting an application. The letter of reference is a part of the application some schools will pay special attention to in order to find if the prospective student is a good fit for the school.
Preparing for the Interview
Some colleges require or allow an interview to get a better grasp of the prospective student and his or her goals. As is the case with the essay, the goal while being interviewed should not be to impress the college but rather to honestly tell the interviewer one’s skillset and goals. Because colleges generally seek a diversified environment that will enliven the campus, they will select prospective students with different traits and abilities to complement one another. The student should be dressed well for the interview, arriving on time and avoid using slang. After the interview, the student should give the interviewer a letter thanking him or her for the opportunity.
Once the prospective student has received a letter of acceptance from a college, it may be a good idea for him or her to visit its campus to get a feel for it and the attitude of the student body. If this is not practical, a prospective student can email or call the admissions office to answer important questions. If a prospective student has received multiple offers of acceptance from colleges, he or she should compare the financial aid offered by the schools to help make the best decision. Upon choosing a college, the student should send the college an acceptance letter and any other required documents. The student should also send brief letters to the colleges that have been declined thanking them for their consideration.
By following these guidelines, students will maximize their chances of gaining entry into the international business degree program that best suits them.