Guide to Postgraduate Applications • Postgraduate

How to Leverage University Networks in Your Master’s Application

POSTED ON 07/12/2023 BY The Red Pen

Postgraduate students networking

Competitive international universities often emphasise their extensive networks. According to an article from the Harvard Business Review, neglecting to engage in networking can hinder one’s ability to gain leadership and guidance. Columbia University, on the other hand, highlights the importance of networking in getting a lead on a job, gathering information, or connecting with people in your dream company. Therefore, when applying for an international master’s programme, students must demonstrate how they will leverage an institution’s diverse network to achieve their personal and professional objectives. In this post, Nimisha Mirani, our expert in postgraduate admissions, highlights the benefits of networking and provides invaluable insights on effectively using your interviews and essays to showcase your interest in a graduate school’s networks.

1) Explain how you intend to make the most of your cohort network

Your peer group represents a deep reservoir of talent, inspiration, and expertise, where fellow students engage and borrow constructive information from each other. This invaluable resource of student connections and peer learning is easily accessible, requires minimal effort and costs nothing. Seizing the opportunity to tap into the collective wisdom of such a group is a prudent choice that can yield tremendous benefits. So, explain your understanding of this collaborative learning in your essays and interviews and how it will help you achieve your goals.

2) Share your strategies for maximising internship opportunities

Internships acquaint you with the industry and connect you with like-minded peers, providing valuable industry insights. A notable example is Paul Allen, who convinced Bill Gates to embrace computer programming during their internship. Being part of an industrial network can provide valuable insight into what it takes to succeed and enable you to identify areas for improvement. So, research the industry connections of your graduate school and discuss how the internship opportunities will help you develop industry expertise and grow further in your career.

3) Highlight your utilisation of graduate school club facilities

Graduate schools actively promote numerous clubs and societies for character and skill development, fostering team spirit and community building. For example, the A Capella club at the University of Texas-Austin offers a unique platform (online and in-person) for emotive expression through singing. UCLA is another exceptional university, boasting an impressive array of 1,200 student clubs and societies. While applying to a university, align the activities on your resume with their clubs.

4) Describe your plans to engage with alumni and leverage their support

Alumni networks serve as crucial connections that foster business growth and development. Members and their companies constantly interact with graduate schools to remain updated with research, innovation and outstanding talent. For instance, the best computing courses will link strongly with leading computer manufacturers and programming companies. These connections eventually pave a seamless transition for computer science students into the industry, leveraging the network and support of their alma mater’s notable alumni. In your essays and interviews, tell the admissions committee how you will use this two-way street to your advantage.

5) Outline your strategy for maximising faculty support to achieve your objectives

Graduate school professors and instructors are often well-connected in their respective fields. Guest lecturers are often industry leaders. They can provide recommendations, referrals, and references and are sometimes on the admissions committee. In your application, mention faculty members and their research projects, and how collaborating with them will help you gain subject matter expertise and find opportunities.

In conclusion, using your graduate school’s networks is essential for personal and professional growth. Discussing their value can increase your chances of impressing the admissions committee. You may also want to read our blogs: Can a Master’s Degree Help You Get a Better Job? and How to Put Together Your Master’s Application? If you need more advice on postgraduate studies, please get in touch. Our experts look forward to helping you.