Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This is not about Groundhog Day

Boris Yeltsin was born on this day. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran after 15 years in exile on this day. In 1793, France declared war on England and Netherlands on this day.

And, yes, applications to SAIS Bologna from non-U.S. citizens are due this day -- February 1.

We mention this not to put applicants' feet to the fire any more than necessary. Most applicants do not need the reminder.

But this does give me a chance to make one important point: If you are facing the February 1 deadline and you think one or more elements of your application will not make it to us in time, tell us now.

There can be circumstances beyond an applicant's control which prevent a piece of the application puzzle from reaching us on time. Referees -- or authors of letters of recommendation -- can be forgetful. Test scores can take time to trickle in.

We try to be understanding where we can without being unfair to the other applicants. And it is a lot easier to be accommodating if we are briefed on the circumstances.

A couple of related points:
  • We will not be telling applicants when elements of their application reach us. That would pin us down for days. But we will be contacting you after February 1 if something is missing.
  • I understand that there has been discussion among some applicants about how long a CV should be. I wrote about this in November. While I'm a big fan of one-page CVs, we don't require them to be one page. Like a good news story (remember, I was a wire service journalist for 24 years), a CV should be as long as it has to be and no longer. Don't inflate it and don't waste words. And remember, unlike a cold call for a job, you are guaranteed other opportunities in your application and in your interview to flesh out your story. So you needn't say everything in the CV.
Looking past February 1, what do we expect to write about in this journal in coming weeks?

Obviously many applicants will be interested in the interview. Just what goes on during an interview? What is the purpose? How long will it last? How should I dress? Is it better in person or on the phone?

We'll be writing about financial aid -- another important topic. We'll try to spell out clearly the time line for the Admissions Committee's decisions and what is expected of applicants.

So do keep reading this journal if these topics interest you and if you still want to learn more about SAIS Bologna (and SAIS DC). And keep in mind that we've addressed many of these issues in the past year. You can search for topics using the search engine in the upper right-hand corner of the journal. And each post has labels, or tags, capturing the topics.

What have been the five most popular posts since we launched this journal 13 months ago?

1. The Analytical Essay
2. The Statement of Purpose
3. What is in a name?
4. Seeing how you think
5. A video peek at SAIS DC

Nelson Graves

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