We are starting to see applications to the Applied Information Management (AIM) Master of Science Degree Program for Winter 2014. In reviewing them, it got me to thinking about what it is that I really look for in an AIM applicant and who will hopefully become a successful AIM student and graduate.
At the heart of it all, I am looking for a clear record of an applicant’s professional and academic history. There is no need to add extraneous or superfluous honors and activities if they do not support your core message. Less is more. If you can explain your history in a shorter format but still convey your message, fantastic; if you can find a fresh format, even better.
There is not a lot you can do about your transcripts at this point; they are what they are. BUT, if you did go through a period of distraction and failed grades during your undergraduate experience, please find a way to explain the situation. If you don’t offer any detail about that time period, then I will assume that you are OK with your record, but usually I am not. It could be a prediction of things to come.
Tell me about yourself and some of the choices and influences that brought you to where you are today. Tell me about some of the experiences that shaped your life. Sell me on your life story and why you are a good candidate for the AIM Program.
Statement of Purpose
Elaborate on your autobiography and tell me what it is you are looking for in life and how you expect the AIM Program to further your progress toward that goal. How can the AIM Program help you grow and develop to achieve your vision? Conversely, how can you help the AIM Program and the other students that you will be working with? What experiences do you bring to the program that will further the understanding of your fellow students and help enhance their experience? Finally, tell me about your experiences with distributed learning and distributed teams. If you do not have experience in these areas, tell me about your plan to succeed as a student in a distributed online learning environment.
Choose people that can speak to your skills and your potential to succeed in the AIM online graduate program. Choose people who may already be thinking about your next role, post graduation. Mentors are great because they know your strengths and weakness and hopefully realize your potential to succeed in the AIM Program as well as your potential to succeed and grow with your organization.
In short, we are looking for intelligent, hard-working individuals who have had some life successes already and who show promise for even greater success with help from the AIM Program. We are looking for individuals who are open to learning and open to helping others be successful in their learning.
If you are in the AIM Program or have graduated from the AIM Program, congratulations! If you are thinking about joining us, I look forward to meeting you soon.
Kelly Brown is an IT professional, adjunct faculty for the University of Oregon, and academic director of the UO Applied Information Management Master’s Degree Program. He writes about IT topics that keep him up at night.