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Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy

The Concours International SAI is the international recruitment application specifically for the Masters in Management program at: Audencia Nantes, Emlyon Business School, ESCP Europe, HEC Paris, and SKEMA Business School. Essentially with this single process you can apply to all five or just a few schools, your fee and procedure will be the same. They have four selection periods: Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer. I personally applied through the Autumn period since I already graduated and had all my examination results. Another benefit from applying earlier, besides the fact that you get your admission result sooner, is that you have a wider breadth of scholarships available but I’ll get more into funding in a later post.
The SAI is broken down into three steps: the online application,standardized written test, and the interview. The online application consists of:
  • your personal information and all of your academic transcripts, even those for exchange semesters
  • two academic recommendation letters, and if you must one can be professional however they would prefer that both be from your academic studies
  • resume with a photo attached to it
  • English test score, unless you’ve taken your bachelor in English
  • your academic degree or enrollment certificate
  • and of course the completion of the questions online
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Most of the application is straightforward, asking about your language abilities and university degree however there is an essay portion that you should take time to prepare. This is the section where you can really differentiate yourself from other candidates. When looking at your profile the admissions teams will only have your resume, recommendation letters and these essays to truly understand what kind of person you are and if you would be well suited for their university and program. These essay questions include:
  • Which personal achievements are you most proud of?
  • Describe a situation where you failed. What lessons did you learn from it?
  • Why is your application an added-value for the SAI international selection process member schools?
  • Describe your extra-curricular activities over the last few years (leisure time, social life, clubs, volunteer work, etc.)?
In these essays write about yourself so the admissions teams can learn more about you and keep in mind the information they already have from you in your resume and recommendation letters. You only have 500 characters per section so don’t lose valuable space reiterating things they already know. Also since they give you such a harsh word limit, try not to use flourishing words and just get to the point. They have more detailed information on their website and include a step-by-step guide on how to properly submit your application. They are also very good at responding to any questions personally sent by email in either French or English.
After your application has been completed and sent, and you’ve submitted your standardized test scores and paid the fee, you receive an email declaring your eligibility. This means that you’ve successfully provided them with all of the pertinent documentation and they are now sending your application file to the schools you’ve chosen. This process also takes about two weeks for them to respond. Approximately a few days after you have been deemed eligible the Evaluation Committee informs you of your admissibility. If you have successfully passed you will be invited to the center you previously chose for a 30 minute in-person interview.
I underestimated the amount of information that I had for the application portion of this process, therefore the Interview information will be in a separate post because it truly deserves a full explanation of what to expect!