Have 7 years of work experience? Join this one-year course at Harvard

Harvard University | Photo: iStock

Former Kannur Collector Mir Mohammed Ali and Thrissur native Kavitha Menon currently have a bunch of elite classmates. The elite list includes dignitaries from 60 countries, including the former vice-president of Ecuador, the Deputy Mayor of Kyiv (capital of Ukraine), the Minister of Foreign Trade and Commerce of Costa Rica and a person who played a significant role in five US presidential elections.

After eight years of Civil Service, Mir returned to academics on a one-year break. Kavitha returned to the classroom after a career in finance since 2005. They are all pursuing the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration at the Kennedy School of the prestigious Harvard University in the US.

60 countries, 60 perspectives
During a webinar organised by Malayala Manorama Career Guru, both Mir and Kavitha shared their Harvard experiences.

As fellow students in the class are from 60 countries, we get to have 60 different perspectives on the same topic. All 240 students in a batch are together during the first month. Then we can choose our sub-courses from the hundreds of options and pursue those.

Kennedy School of Harvard University | Photo: iStock

Mir opted for courses such as finance, politics and policy, and leadership from the inside out. And Kavitha chose courses such as comparative politics, recession, growth and macro-economic policy. In case of any difference of opinion, the students can feel free to take it up with the professors.

The weekend assignments are more important than the exams.

Those who have completed a full-time career of at least seven years can apply for the one-year Mid-Career in Public Administration. While applying, the applicants have to provide short essays as response to the questions along with the experience. Apart from this, they should have academic and professional references as well.

The GRE and GMAT score are required for other courses at Kennedy School, but not mandatory for the mid-career course.

Mir came to Harvard after securing the Fulbright-Nehru Master's Fellowships. For the courses beginning in August 2024, applications must be submitted at the University from November 2023 to January 2024. Applicants will get to know by April if they have got the admission.

Applications for Fulbright Scholarship can be submitted in May itself. If selected, the applicants will be called for an interview in August and the results will be declared in September. If all these are done, you can complete the visa procedures and join the course. There are scholarships offered by Harvard also.

Take note of these
» Check the form: As there isn't much time to apply for the mid-career programme this year, you can go to the Harvard Kennedy School website, open the admission form and understand the essay formats.

» Resume: Instead of just writing about your educational qualifications and the institutions you passed out from, include the skills you have acquired even from small training programmes.

» Certifications: While learning foreign languages, earn the basic certifications as well.

» Extra-curricular activities: Apart from studies, take part in art, sports, and volunteering activities. This would add depth to your essays and the University would be convinced of the varied experiences you have had.

» Write: During your academic years itself, write blogs or for small publications. The University scrutinises the academic ability of the applicant through writing as well.

For details
On Harvard Kennedy School admission: bit.ly/hksadmission.

On Fulbright Fellowship: www.usief.org.in.

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