Latina Mom working in Tech Gets Into UT McCombs and Rice Jones with a Scholarship
For over six years, Alma had bookmarked her goal of going to graduate school and getting an MBA. She read The Art of Applying® newsletter and watched client case studies, witnessing countless success stories that she just couldn’t imagine for herself. After facing low scores and rejection, she almost closed the book on her own success story forever. Instead, she chose to start a new chapter for herself after a discussion with her husband about being the kind of parents who still pursued their dreams.
Alma is a first-generation college graduate, a 33 year-old mother, and was an avid follower of The Art of Applying® long before deciding to book a Quick Call for herself.
She says, “I would read all of the amazing client stories and they would really inspire me…but I always kept thinking, ‘That’s them, they did it, they’re wonderful, like – this is not going to happen for me.’”
After the talk with her husband, Alma realized that becoming a mother meant she actually needed to start chasing her dreams now more than ever. She started out reading client cases but never imagining herself in the same position. Now, Alma’s story is featured in the Fortune article What is an MBA admissions consultant, and should you hire one?
Choosing The Art of Applying® to take that first step with her was the easy part for Alma, having spent so long hearing accounts from wild card applicants just like herself. She explains, “[Kaneisha is] helping out other people like me. We’re a very interesting bunch, right, like we need a little bit of different love, so that’s why I reached out to [The Art of Applying®]. I knew that you had helped people in my similar situation be successful.”
Alma says that predominantly, what took her so long to reach out to The Art of Applying® for help was not thinking of herself as an investment. “I used to think things happened to me and I realized, I have to make things happen for myself.” Working with The Art of Applying® really proved to Alma that she was more than a test score, and those tests weren’t predicting her future success in graduate school. In the end, her scores didn’t hold Alma back or keep her from applying.
During her success interview with our founder Kaneisha, Alma said, “You do this day in and day out, and help people like me. You’re the expert in this, so it’s something you’ve just got to like, let go and trust that other people have the best interest in you as well.”
This whole process has been a family affair for Alma. After the initial Breakthrough Call®, Kaneisha actually suggested she invite her husband to the next call. Alma explains, “I already knew, Wow, she gets it, right? When you have a partner, this is like who’s supporting you through this like you feel even more energized to keep moving forward.” Involving her husband in the process kept Alma motivated and made it feel like getting into school would be a family victory instead of hers individually.
It was from that same perspective that Alma chose to go to the University of Texas McCombs Business School of Business, where she received a $20,000 scholarship, over a full ride to Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. She ran the numbers and factored in the emotional math of how she wanted to spend her first summer with her daughter. After reaching out to and feeling a special connection with McCombs students and alumni, Alma knew it was the right decision. Her story shows that it’s not all about the money, or going wherever is free. When you face a variety of choices, you can truly pick what’s best for you and your life at the time.
From a conversation with her husband about inspiring their daughter to pursue her dreams, Alma now has two articles her daughter can someday read to learn about how she chose not to give up when things got hard and ultimately made her dream come true!
Start Date: July 2020 | End Date: June 2021
- GPA: 3.2
- GRE: 152V, 154Q (GMAT equivalent: 530)
- Major: Communication Studies and Spanish Language
- University of Texas McCombs School of Business
- Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business
- University of Texas McCombs School of Business: $20,000
- Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business: Full Scholarship
For anyone hesitating to reach out to The Art of Applying® because of low scores:
“That was me, and I spent years…just sitting by myself with my own thoughts, looking at these websites that said this is the score you need, basically. But those are averages. They are very clear about that, but you’re still in your own head when you don’t talk to someone who really knows about the process – and that’s you and your team. And you focus on what score do you need based on your profile. Because everyone is so different, they come with different backgrounds, and now I really do understand that schools do look at all of you, not just your score. I know that when we met you were like, ‘Okay, this is your score. How can we bolster other parts of your application to make sure that’s not what they’re really focusing on?’”
On deciding to walk away from a full ride in favor of another program:
“It was very much the students. I took your advice to talk to as many students as I had time for, and I felt like I really connected with the McCombs students. They really do want to make the program better, as students and then as alumni. I spoke to several alumni who were like, whatever you need let me know and that’s really great because I know that’s a really strong community… At the end of the day it kind of balanced out, right? We’d have to move, and the move, even though it’s not maybe like, hard dollars, was going to be time and energy. I really wanted to spend the summer just with my daughter and hanging out with her, and I thought this is time that I’m never going to get back. So the money, while some people are like, You put what? You left what? Life will work itself out, is sort of what I’m thinking at this point.”
Alma’s advice to anyone worried they can’t have a success story like the ones featured by The Art of Applying®:
“My husband is the one, really, who kept me going through these years and this journey and he would always say, ‘The journey’s not over until you say it’s over.’ And even though I said it’s over back in 2018, I was still holding on. So, if you’re still holding on just ask for help. Because once you talk to someone and you on your own decide this is the end, then that should be the end for you, but you should keep going if you’ve still got a glimmer of hope.”
Want to have a success story like Alma’s?
If you feel like you keep seeing success stories that you can’t envision for yourself, take Alma’s advice. Our team can help you with an application that showcases how much more you have to offer than a score on a page. Start chasing your dreams like Alma did and book a Quick Call with our team today!
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