I’ve got a 5-year gap after graduation (IT engineering) and my applications. I was working as a software engineer, but then got fired. After that, I started preparing for standardized tests and now I want to go for a masters in MIS/Business Analysis. Is there any way I can give this a positive spin?
Absolutely…just don’t say you got “fired.” Instead, use positive terminology, like:
“When my company downsized due to upheavals from the COVID pandemic, I took the opportunity to pursue the academic questions that have always been my great fascination.”
This is really a writing/craft/technique issue. It’s kind of like the rule for working in sales: “never give the customer an easy opportunity to say no.”
Of course, you could just avoid mentioning it at all. The fact that you got fired doesn’t mean you won’t be a great student again, and lots of people return to grad school mid-career. Just focus on your future goals and your ability to achieve them, and this could make a great foundation for an essay. Especially if you’ve been using your time off wisely.
Are you taking part-time classes? Did you enroll in a coding bootcamp of some sort? Have you been tutoring younger students?
Focus on these stories instead. Focus on all the things you’re doing to prepare to be a great grad student. If you’re working hard, and learning more about your academic field every day, then the fact that you got fired won’t matter. All that matters is if you’re qualified to learn more and be a great student.