ESSAYS & VIDEO
Essay — This section is important in understanding who you are, not just as a student but also as a person in order to grasp the value that you could add to our program. Take this as an opportunity to showcase your unique attributes and personality. There are three formats you can choose to express yourself: a video (max. 3 minutes), a PowerPoint presentation (max. 10 slides), or a written essay (between 250-650 words). Please pay special attention to punctuation, structure and content.
What is the most important thing that you would like us to know that is not in your resume or application?
Some refer to this type of essay as a “back of the resume” question; meaning, what makes you special beyond what is apparent in your application? The best way to approach this essay is to start by diving into yourself. What are you passionate about? Outside of work, what activity do you most enjoy? What are your strengths? What were the positive and negative experiences that shaped your life? What have been your major accomplishments?
If it’s too difficult for you to audit your own profile, ask those individuals that know you best, your friends and family, what characteristics and events they believe most define you. In fact, it’s often the case that the people around us have a much easier time identifying our unique traits than we do.
Once you’ve chosen your topic, you should select the medium that will produce the highest quality response. So, don’t automatically feel compelled to translate your idea onto video or slides, especially if you believe it will lead to a bad representation. For example, some individuals are simply camera shy, so it’s clearly in their interest to avoid submitting a video. Keep in mind that your goal is to develop a compelling message to IE, no matter the form.
Live Questions — Once you have submitted the application form and paid the admissions fee, you will receive an email to complete an online assessment through our partners at Kira. During this exercise, you will be answering questions to demonstrate why you would be a valuable asset to the IEU community. This will take around 20-30 minutes.
In this section, you will be presented with 3 questions. The first 2 questions will be video recorded. For each prompt, you will have 30 seconds to prepare an answer and 1 minute to respond. The final question requires a written response and provides you with 5 minutes to create it.
Before we get to strategies for answering the questions, let’s quickly discuss the mise-en-scène. You want to appear serious in your treatment of this timed interview. Therefore, dress as you would for a job interview. And, make sure that the environment that’s going to appear on camera is professional and well lit. Not only will this approach allow IE’s admissions team to concentrate on your message rather than the setting, but it will also show your seriousness as a candidate for the program.
In terms of the questions that you may be asked, they can cover a broad range of topics: hypothetical situations, geopolitics, your work ethic, your strengths, your accomplishments, etc. To succeed in this section, you should practice as much as possible. And, luckily, you will have the opportunity to practice as many times as you like on the Kira platform. However, your aim should not be to memorize several hundred potential answers for questions you may or may not ultimately have; instead, you should target improving your delivery: how you prepare and structure your answers, how you manage the timing and what message you concentrate on in each case.
If you’re looking to significantly increase your entry chances, be sure to connect with our IE Admissions Experts. You can also consult the IE’s official site for technical information on the application process.