Student Diaries: Applying for University in Europe

Our student diarist, Stefania Cioban, tells us about her university application process. Stefania, a Year 13 student at GEMS FirstPoint school plans to study Fashion Business in Florence, Italy.
Student Diaries: Applying for University in Europe
By Jenny Mollon
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The university application process can be very daunting, and for me this was no exception. It is a process where one puts so much pressure on themselves to make them seem the best candidate possible in order to stand out from other applicants.

This can be incredibly draining if the student does not have the correct mindset with a clear goal in place. However on the flip side, it's an incredibly exciting opportunity and a new challenge that most A-level/ High school students haven’t gotten to experience, a process that includes months of preparation and interviews.

Once I realised I wanted to apply to Polimoda, I knew I would be faced with a rigorous application process to get into the best Fashion Business school. At GEMS FirstPoint School, in year 12 we are already exposed to the university world, having to prepare things such as CVs, personal statements, conduct research, and much more. Therefore when it came to me staring my application I can safely say that I felt ready to face this challenge.

Applying to Polimoda is no easy task; first off, I had to complete the online application via their online portal. The requirements were that I needed to attach my CV, and fill out personal details. However, there were no standard steps within this application, and that I found very intriguing. For example, no personal statement is needed so the university asks you to fill out a few questions on this same application.

Polimoda, where Stefania plans to study Fashion Business

Questions like ‘why do you want to study at Polimoda?’, ‘why are you interested in this programme?’ were asked. In addition to this I had to mention three of my favourite fashion magazines and three of my favourite Instagram accounts. I later came to realise that this would be used by the interviewer in my interview to create targeted questions, specifically for me.

For a university application, I think Polimoda had a unique application process, one that is specialised to the fashion industry.  This attracted me even more to the university.  As I was building my CV, I tried to ensure I presented myself as the well rounded individual that I am. At GEMS FirstPoint School, we have core values that help students become more caring, enterprising and inquiring, meaning that we become more ready for university and the wider world.  I ensured I mirrored this in my CV.

Upon receiving an email saying I had moved on to the next phase, an interview with one of the professors at the university was scheduled. The big day was 19th of December 2020, I remember it like it was yesterday! I remember feeling very nervous that morning, so I made sure I had all my points written down on a flash card in front of me.

While at first the interview can be very intimidating, I have to say I had a pretty good experience where it didn’t feel like an interview but more of a conversation. I felt pretty well prepared as my school provided us with a lot of seminars held by external speakers. I found that these had helped me with information on how I should approach an interview in the best way possible. I also learnt about how I should market myself to the university through the interview process.

Then, on the 23rd of December 2020, I was at the mall doing some last minute Christmas shopping when I got a call from Polimoda. I was checking out at Zara when I got the call saying I had an unconditional offer to my first choice university. I froze! I was over the moon. This was the start of my journey into the fashion world which will hopefully lead me to a successful career in the industry.

Overall, this experience was extremely valuable to me as not only did it go well, but I learnt a lot during the process such as CV building, how to interact in an interview, etc. I am very grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait for what is to come!

With thanks to Stefania Cioban, Year 13, GEMS FirstPoint School

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