The last couple of years were marked with many acceptances from the universities to most of the Indian students. The period was smooth in terms of the application process and selection criteria. But this year it was marked with a great amount of rejection from all the ‘top’ universities. The reason behind such rejections cannot be narrowed down to one because there is a combination of two-three factors responsible for the rejection. The university adopts a holistic approach while reviewing an application. So what exactly it needs to impress a reviewing committee? What extra you need to add to your profile to get selected?
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The process of building your profile is not an overnight process. It takes time. You must start with it in the 2nd year of your graduation. Yes, that early! But it is never too late, if you are reading this article you can start off right after completing this article.
Keep your academics strong. Average universities accept GPA of 7.5+ and not less than that. Maintain this GPA through the academic sessions. A backlog or year gap can sometimes hamper your section process so try not getting any of these. A university will always choose someone with GRE 305, IELTS 6.5, Academic 8 rather than GRE 310, IELTS 7 and Academics 7.5. So watch out future MS aspirants, academics does count a lot in the profile.
You must decide the course of your interest, the one you want to opt for MS. This may not seem important at first sight but it is very crucial. If you know the course you want to apply, you can channel your efforts in the direction of creating a profile that matches the requirement of the course.
During graduation, we undertake minor and major projects. Choose these projects wisely. You should choose something related to the course you want to apply. If you can to apply for Mechatronics, a project which comprises a combination of mechanics, IT, electronics will definitely add weight to the profile rather than a non-relevant area. You can also apply for a live industrial project. This allows you to score an extra point while reviewing the application. Utilize the internet and search for projects in industries. In the era of technology when the world is just a click far from you via the internet, finding a requisite thing will not take much time.
The universities are interested in looking for whether you are eligible for doing research or not. In MS you learn to do research so publication helps you to stand out among a number of students. Two or three publication to your relevant study will prove passion as well as commitment towards the course. You can take help from your professor for this thing. Even a better idea is to publish a paper on your academic project. Colleges and universities in India encourage publications so you can get the utmost help and facilities from them. A patent in your name is again something beneficial for your application. So it is a better option to file a patent when working on the project.
During your graduation, you must go for a summer internship. But again this internship must be relevant to your course; other than that, the internship does not carry any importance. Internships help you to get a practical approach of theoretical knowledge you learn during classroom program. You tend to get a tight grasp of the subject when you study its practical application and thus, internships are requisite criteria for a strong profile.
Participation in various competitions as well as maintaining a hobby can benefit you a lot. This projects a positive image. The reviewer considers you an all rounder. You are not only academically strong but also active in other happenings of the institutions. You can mention participation in paper and poster presentation competition or gained accolade in it; a post of responsibility you undertook like the president of your branch forum; writer of your college magazine; etc. in your profile.
There prevails a myth regarding SOP that universities do not read it. Sorry guys, but this is not true. In fact you can stand out with your SOP. A well written and compiled SOP is worth spending time. Each year a large number of Asians of similar score compete for the same seat in a university. This time, your SOP plays a crucial role. Write your SOP on your own, give it much time. Make it presentable and more importantly, worth noticing. Taking SOP lightly is a big NO guys.
You must ask letter of recommendation from the one with whom you have worked closely with. The one should be willing to write for you. You can seek to your project guide, lecturer of your favorite subject, and even your current employer.
An experience in an MNC is worth counting. If due to some circumstances you decide to apply in the next session then you surely have much free time between your undergraduate degree completion and beginning of MS. Do not seat ideal during this period. You can apply to industry and gain experience during this period.
Get certification of the courses required for your MS degree. Courses such as assembly language programming, VHDL, computer languages, software etc. can prove really helpful.