After 1.5 years of working and making money, I thought it’s about time t take the next step and go back to school for the masters degree. I knew I wanted to continue my journey in market research so I started researching on schools with the program (I graduated with a marketing degree and have been working as a project manager at a market research software company). Also, I knew that I wanted to go to Europe for my masters, so I had a geographic filter on my search. I also started attending various MBA fairs including QS World MBA tour and talked to a number of representatives from schools around the world.
Then one day at the QS World MBA tour, I started a conversation with a representative from IE. She asked me which program I was interested in, and I told her that I’m looking for something in marketing, preferably in market research. Then she got pretty excited and told me about their master in market research and consumer behavior program. As she told me the details of the program, as cliche this is, it was like a little light bulb moment. It sounded like it would be something that I would totally love to do, it was a relatively short program (10 months), and plus the school was in Spain!!
I grabbed every brochure and leaflets that they had at the booth, came home, and started working on the application. I won’t lie though, I started my application in October 2013, and only completed it in January 2014 which means it took me about 3 months to complete the application. The representative, however, had told me that it will take me only a couple of days to complete my application. But for the portfolio portion of the application, I wanted to make sure my application was unique and perfect so as one of the component of my portfolio I prepared a 10-minute prezi presentation. Also for my references, I asked my mentor who is a Senior Associate Dean at Sauder, and my friend who’s an ex-President of American Marketing Association BC Chapter. I believe it was relatively easy for them to complete the reference forms, but at the same time I felt extremely lucky to have them as my references.
One roadblock that I was not expecting, was the GMAT/Entrance exam score; At the MBA fair, the representative had told me that next incoming year would be the last year to not require GMAT or IeGAT score. Nonetheless during one of the online information sessions, another representative have said that now I needed a score to submit with my application. As a full-time working professional, I definitely did not have the time to study for GMAT or GRE so I had to find another way. After talking to the North America representative, I found out that they were going to have a session for IeGAT in Vancouver in March, so I signed up for it and started researching to see if I could find any study materials for the exam. BUT unfortunately do to the nature of the exam, there wasn’t any materials, other than some abstract description of how the exam is designed and that I will be given 80 minutes to complete the exam. After finishing the exam it didn’t feel like I’ve done a good job on it, but later I found out that I scored within the top takers of the exam.
After everything including the test score was submitted, I received my acceptance letter about 2.5 weeks after I received my exam score. Now that I am waiting for my student visa, told my work, handed in my resignation letter, and found a place in Spain, I am excited and nervous at the same time. I plan to record my experience at IE on my blog, so hopefully I will be diligent and keep up with this!