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Cracking the Ivey Code: My Coffee Chat with Emily Liu

Navigating the path to a prestigious business school like Western Ivey can be daunting. Luckily, I had the chance to uncover some tried and true strategies during a virtual coffee chat with Emily Liu, a current Ivey student with a string of successful internships. Here’s how her insights can guide your own journey to business school success.


Start Early with Solid Research 🔍


Emily highlighted the importance of beginning preparations early, ideally by grade 11. Understanding the prerequisites and aligning your high school courses accordingly is crucial. “If you miss these basics, your application might not even be considered,” she explained. This advice resonated with me as a clear call to action to plan ahead meticulously.


Craft Essays That Tell a Story 📖

The art of essay writing is pivotal in business school applications. Emily advised treating each essay like a narrative that showcases your challenges, actions, and results. “It’s not just about listing achievements; it’s about demonstrating the impact you’ve made,” she shared. This approach to essay writing can truly set you apart by highlighting how you solve problems and make a difference.


Incorporate Personal Anecdotes 🏒

Adding personal touches to your essays and interviews can make a significant impact. Whether it’s discussing your cultural heritage or a unique hobby like hockey, these details offer a glimpse into your personal world. Emily's use of personal stories has made her applications memorable and distinctive.


Effective Time Management ⏲️

Balancing academics and extracurriculars is essential. Emily swears by time-blocking techniques and the strategic use of different study environments to boost focus and efficiency. “Changing your study location can refresh your mind and improve concentration,” she noted. I found this advice particularly actionable, reminding me of the power of structured schedules and dedicated study zones.


Networking Beyond the Surface 🤝

Emily stressed that effective networking is about more than just making connections; it’s about fostering and maintaining those relationships. “It’s crucial to stay engaged and show genuine interest,” she told me. This insight has made me rethink how I approach networking, emphasizing the importance of building lasting and meaningful connections.


Be Prepared for the Influence of AI 🧠

We also touched on the evolving landscape of business due to advancements in AI. Emily believes that while AI will automate certain tasks, there is a growing need for creativity and human insight in roles that AI can't replicate. This perspective is a useful reminder of the importance of developing skills that AI cannot easily replace.


What Makes an Intern Stand Out ??

From her experience, Emily shared that personalizing interactions and demonstrating emotional intelligence in professional settings have been key to her success. “It’s about making every interaction feel personal and memorable,” she said. Her approach to building relationships has clearly played a pivotal role in her internship successes.


Unique Extracurriculars Matter

As schools like Ivey receive applications from many high-achieving students, unique extracurricular activities can play a crucial role. Emily suggested engaging in activities that align with your personal interests or cultural background to stand out. Something thats unique, lots of kids do deca, or hosa, but everyones doing it. Maybe join a cultural club or cookig club, in your essays you connect it to your background and these clubs.


Chatting with Emily was a game changer for me. Her practical tips not only cleared up a lot of my confusion about the business school application process but also boosted my confidence. A big thank you to Emily for taking the time to guide me. I’m genuinely excited to put what I’ve learned into action.

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