Wednesday, 15 February 2012

What's next?

You've submitted your application to SAIS Bologna. (What a relief, you say.)

What are the next steps for non-U.S. applicants?

First, Amina is going through the dossiers to make sure they are complete. If something happens to be missing from yours, we will be in touch with you. If you do not hear from us, all is OK.

Second, we soon will be arranging interviews. (Remember, only non-U.S. candidates to SAIS Bologna are interviewed.) A few words on them:

Interviews are conducted by members of the Admissions Committee. The Committee is made up of SAIS Bologna faculty and staff. Each candidate is interviewed by one member of the Committee.

If you have applied, you will soon be receiving an email proposing a date, time and venue for the interview. We base the choice of venues on the candidates' preferences as expressed on the application.

Some of the interviews are done face-to-face but by no means all. There is no disadvantage to doing your interview over the phone or via Skype. We do not expect candidates to travel long distances to participate in an interview. And a candidate can make every bit as good an impression on the phone or via Skype as in person.

The interview is a chance for us to learn more about the candidate and vice versa. It is not knowledge-based -- that is, it is not a test of one's knowledge. It is an opportunity for the candidate to say why SAIS Bologna is the right match. It is also an opportunity for the applicant to ask questions about SAIS.

The best way to prepare for the interview is to understand why you want to go to SAIS Bologna, how it would benefit you and what unique characteristics you would bring to SAIS.

It's likely that at some point the conversation will turn towards a current event that is relevant to you. There is no way to prepare for this except to know in advance that there is no right or wrong in such discussions, just the opportunity to show that you can think on your feet and express a reasoned opinion.

Prof. Erik Jones
(If you come to Bologna, be sure to ask me about my interview at the college I ended up attending. Very memorable but not something I'll put in the Internet.)

One other way to prepare for the interview: Get a good night's sleep.

Finally, one of the most watched videos that we have posted since we launched this journal shows Prof. Erik Jones discussing what he expects during an interview. Here's a link to the post.

Nelson Graves