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Application Season - Almost to an End

Application Season – Almost to an End

I’ve noticed that my blog posts come to an abrupt halt each year in February.  Apologies for that!  February is the busy month of reading applications…. And we are now nearing the end.  Rest assured, if you have not yet heard from us, we are getting through the final round of applications now … just in time to work on financial awards.

I have to say, each year I really enjoy reading applications. I love hearing from prospective students about their backgrounds, experiences, and most importantly their dreams for the future. It is always nice to see how Maxwell – and our graduate programs in PA and IR – may assist these young professionals achieve their goals.  This is my 20th year of reading applications for the department.  And NO, it does not get old.  In fact, I see more and more diversity of backgrounds and experiences each year. I simply love it!

People, upon hearing what I do for a living, always ask me what makes a good candidate for our top ranked programs in PA and IR.  I have to say that our most successful students every year are those with clear goals and motivation for careers in public and international service – and those who not only understand the kinds of positions that our alumni take upon graduation, but aspire to this work as well.

So, this is what I look for most when reading an application. I always start with the resume and personal statement. If they have clear goals, aligned with our school/program’s missions, and they can show a pathway and motivation for these goals… then I am sold on the most important question.  It is then the rest of the application’s duty to show me that this student can be successful here – that they have the academic preparation, knowledge and skills to make it through.

We are quite proud of our near perfect retention to graduation rates in our MPA and MA IR programs. But it not always the straight A students at the top of our programs each year – it is the students with the clearest direction, passion and motivation … that is what sustains them through the rigorous courses and program requirements.  And that is why I love reading applications so much each winter. I get a glimpse into each applicant’s life and dreams. I never tire of appreciating that there are so many young professionals and aspiring public and international servants out there who want to make our world better – and they do so in so many various ways!

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