‘We’re Working to Ensure Candidate Applications Aren’t Disrupted’: Instagram Live with Imperial College Business School | Top Universities

‘We’re Working to Ensure Candidate Applications Aren’t Disrupted’: Instagram Live with Imperial College Business School

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Craig OCallaghan

Updated May 21, 2020



‘We’re Working to Ensure Candidate Applications Aren’t Disrupted’: Facebook Live with Imperial College Business School main image

The process of discovering universities and submitting your application has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, as visiting and contacting institutions to learn more about their programs has become much harder.

To help bridge the gap and keep you connected with universities, business schools and other useful sources of information, QS Chats are running on a regular basis across our social media channels, putting you in touch with notable figures from the world's top academic institutions.

Last week, we sat down with Joel McConnell (Executive Director of Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions) from Imperial College Business School for our first QS Chats, talking about how they’ve adapted to COVID-19 and what prospective students can expect from the institution.

If you weren’t able to join, we’ve excerpted some of the best bits from our conversation with Joel below. And, you can join us this Friday at 3pm BST for our next QS Chats session on Instagram, when we’ll be chatting to George Washington University School of Engineering.

Imperial’s ground-breaking research and modelling has been pivotal in the UK’s fight against COVID-19. How is Imperial responding to the pandemic?

Imperial is at the forefront of the scientific response to tackling COVID-19, with leading research and disease modelling led by Professor Neil Ferguson of the MRC Gida team and a £22.5 million investment from the government to trial a vaccine which is being led by Professor Robin Shattock (Department for Infectious Disease).

Other faculty have drawn on their expertise to provide commentary to media on the business and economic impact of COVID-19 including Professor Tarun Ramadorai (the impact on developing countries such as India), Professor Franco Sassi (impact on the NHS) and Professor Tommaso Valletti (long-term economic impact / second Great Depression).

How has life changed at Imperial the past several weeks?

The move to a digital-only environment has proven relatively straight forward. For students it has meant a finish to their programmes that is offered via remote delivery.

Our early investment in EdTech has proven a wise move, and our strategy of Stabilise, Enhance, and Innovate is working well. We are now building out the strategy around how to continue to deliver a world-class student experience outside the classroom in a digital-only environment.

How are you supporting your students? Any changes in admission requirements?

First and foremost, our aim is to help current students finish their programs, and navigate the placement process, which has included remote assessments, and that has gone relatively well. We’ve worked to make sure students have the necessary pastoral care, and access to support services and mental health resources, especially for those students who are far from home.

We are working to ensure candidates aren’t disrupted applying and enrolling. We understand everyone is in difficult circumstances and are accommodating where necessary. It’s better for candidates to apply and then we can work with them individually on their next steps.

We are continuing to think about how to enhance the student experience, and for candidates that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are maintaining our access to scholarships, and encourage admitted applicants to apply.

What advice can you offer prospective students?

Have a clear narrative that explains why a specific program and why a specific school is the right fit for your professional development and career advancement plan.  Use concrete examples from the wide array of services and centres the school offers, to showcase how you want to make the experience your own, and that you understand what’s unique about the school.

Think about context, think about career outcomes, and show resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic has had really importance consequences, particularly for those families directly impacted by the loss of loved ones, and on public healthcare services.

However, we will get through this situation, so my advice is to stick to your plans, and make this the time to improve your skillset, get added life experience and exposure to other ambitious professionals, and watch trends in corporate recruiting closely, and be open to new career pathways.

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