L.Mijiddorj: To get into Harvard, you do not necessarily need to graduate from best schools in the world.

2022-07-27 17:01:51

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/. Economist at the Monetary Policy Committee, the Bank of Mongolia, L. Mijiddorj gave an interview.

He graduated from the 'Baigal-Ekh' high school of the National University of Mongolia (NUM). In 2012, he entered the Faculty of Economics, NUM. After graduating from the university, he worked for the Central Bank of Mongolia for six years, during which he improved his English language skill. As a result, L. Mijiddorj passed the relevant exams and received an invitation to continue his studies at one of the best universities in the world - Harvard.

-First of all, congratulations for receiving the invitation to study at the best university in the world. Could you tell us when you started planning and preparing to study abroad?

-Thanks. I have had an interest to study abroad since I was a student. At the time, I used to ask myself “why can't I also get a world class education, gain experience and contribute to the development of home country?”

After graduation, I worked for six years in the Monetary Policy Department of the Central Bank of Mongolia. During this time, I have learned a lot. Also, I started preparing for the exams namely TOEFL and GRE.

-Could you tell us about the difficulties you have encountered whilst preparing for the exams?

- The biggest problem was English. When I graduated from university, my English was not fluent. I spent almost three years to improve my English by means of reading books, and magazines, listening to songs and podcasts in English. I have taken an exam called TOEFL four times and the GRE twice. After two years of preparing for the TOEFL, I scored 93. But I had to retake the exam, as scores above 100 are required to enter the best universities in the world.

- Studying English while working may not be an easy task. How did you manage your time?

-Of course, it was not easy for me. However, if you really want to do something, you'll find a way. For example, our work starts at 9am. I came to work at 8am and spent one hour preparing for the exams. I also did it for 1-2 hours after work.

-Was your goal aimed at Harvard, from the beginning?

-No, it was not. In any case, I sent my application to universities that are ranked excellent and medium in the world. I applied to about ten universities, of which four invited me to study, and among them was Harvard.

-How about the application requirements for Harvard? Could you tell us about the essay required for admission?

-As for Harvard, a cover letter and an essay are required. In order to fulfill the requirement, it is necessary to consult with your teacher in advance. Secondly, school grades and TOEFL and GRE scores must meet the requirements. Thirdly, you need to write four types of essays. The essay is the most important part and I spent the most time on writing. After fulfilling these requirements and submitting materials, the university will inform you after a certain period whether you have qualified or not. It is very important to consult with an experienced person who has also gone through all these phases. This person will help correct your mistake and guide you in the right direction.

My essay covered a wide range topics on what problems our country is facing and what possible solutions can be made by pursuing master degree as a profession I have chosen, as well as my contribution to be made to the development of the country. In my four-question essay, topics were touched upon including the international development program, problems in state administrations and its possible solutions, leadership and, about myself. My essay based on my experience that have accumulated at the Central Bank.

-Why did you choose public administration course from Harvard?

-In order to be specialized more in the field that I work, I chose public administration course. Our course’s core program is based on the global economy. As Mongolia is one of the developing countries, it faces economic difficulties. In this context, Harvard will help me find possible solutions.

- You have received an invitation letter in 2020. Could you tell us the reason you have postponed your academic year?

-I sent all my materials in the winter of 2020, and received the letter of invitation in the spring of the same year. Although I got the right to study at Harvard, I struggled with problems related to the tuition fee. Harvard University is very high-priced. The amount of scholarship granted to me by Harvard University was not enough. So I had to postpone my studies for a year.

Luckily, I grabbed the opportunity to receive the Prime Minister's scholarship.

-Some people believe that getting into Harvard is like a near-impossible dream for those who graduated from ordinary public schools.

-It depends on the person. Harvard might seem a major challenge. But if you are able to fulfill academic requirements, you should give it a try. To get into Harvard, you do not necessarily need to graduate from the best schools and universities in the world.

In addition, your English will improve if you practice it every day. You can watch movies, listen to podcasts and read books in English every day without paying for big private schools or courses. That is how I have improved my English.