It is no secret that the scary season of Halloween only begins in October for applicants, but it definitely doesn’t end there. The application process can be quite an overwhelming experience, but you’re not alone! Here I’ve listed some of the things that helped me to finally press that “submit” button for my application to the Master’s in Bioentrepreneurship programme at Karolinska Institutet.
1. Start early
All applicants are required to submit a CV form for their specific programme. As mentioned in the website, only experiences that have been certified will be considered for selection. For me, this meant that I had to reach out to some of my previous employers/supervisors to retrieve certifying documents. Make sure you give them and yourself the time to gather your documents.
Take your time to compartmentalise your experiences into the specific sections listed on the CV form. A good way to do this is to look at your original CV and brainstorm how your experiences and activities relate to bioentrepreneurship. You might realise there are things you have not mentioned in your resume that are relevant to the MBE application form. Perhaps you’ve attended a medical competition or pitched an idea? Perhaps you still have time to do it?
2. Focus on the WHY
One of the things that took most of my attention was the motivation letter. What led you to fill out the MBE application form at KI? Think about it. A common answer is, “I don’t see myself working in the lab for the rest of my life”. And that’s okay, neither did I. But how will the MBE programme help you achieve your ambitions? There can be many answers to this question, and it’s up to you what you mention and in what fashion. In my case, one of the reasons I applied is because I wanted to combine my scientific background with business skills to help accelerate the process of innovations in life science to reach the bedsides of patients. The WHY is an important thing to answer not only in the application, but also to yourself.
3. Talk to people
A great way to find out more about the programme is to reach out to people. For example, when I was applying to KI and had some general questions on what to expect at Karolinska Institutet, I reached out to some people from the MBE programme on LinkedIn. I find that this is one of the most informative ways to find out more about the programme and KI in general.
Aside from that, talking to your friends and family about the application itself might be a great source of inspiration. Some of the things that I wanted to write in my motivation letter were hard to put into words at first, but after I explained these motivations to other people, I felt that the ideas crystallised into something I could write down in a concise manner. I would write down the things I’ve mentioned on my phone and then use them when drafting my motivation letter at home. So talk to people!
4. You first
To put it short – focus on yourself. Don’t compare your achievements to others. Focus on your own experiences. Describe them to the best of your ability, but my suggestion is to keep it rather concise. For example, I chose to describe my achievements in bullet points, but you can choose to write in clear sentences as well. Place emphasis on the most relevant aspects of your achievements. And don’t underestimate yourself! You are not the admissions office – let them decide, don’t waste your time in debating whether you’ll get accepted.
It’s okay to not know what exactly you want to do for the rest of your life. Plans change, opportunities come and go, life happens. No need to go into an existential crisis. Although I knew I wanted to focus on the combination of life science and business after my bachelor’s, I am still trying to figure out what I am tailored for. Take your time, read some articles, watch some videos – maybe you can relate to some things other people are doing and take some inspiration from them? If you are set on what you want to do – congratulations! You are ahead. If not – relax. You are not alone.
I know the process can feel overwhelming, but don’t stress too much. One thing that helped me deal with the stress is having back-up plans. For example, although the MBE programme at KI was my first choice, I also applied to other schools and programmes to feel more secure. The most important thing is to apply! 🙂
My name is Fausta. I am originally from Lithuania, but spent most of my life in Canada, so the Swedish winters do not scare me! I’m the blogger for the Master’s Programme in Bioentrepreneurship here at Karolinska Institutet. I am also a camping enthusiast and a huge fan of exploring new hidden cafés to visit in Stockholm. I am excited to share my experiences and adventures in Sweden and hopefully provide some useful tips and tricks!