23-year-old Liberal Arts College Graduate Accepted to Harvard Kennedy School, Columbia SIPA, Chicago Harris, Georgetown, Tufts and UT Austin
Gina graduated from a small liberal arts college in the Midwest, and never imagined herself at Harvard. To her surprise, she will be attending the Harvard Kennedy School this fall! After graduating from a small liberal arts college with a dual major in Psychology and East Asian Studies, Gina moved to Japan for a fellowship with an international organization. During her fellowship, she began applying for graduate programs alone. That’s where we came in.
“I found The Art of Applying® relatively late into my process, two weeks before the deadline to Stanford’s program,” Gina explained. “I was in the middle of writing the essay, and I had already written a couple of drafts of the essay, and I was feeling very down and kind of stranded in that process.”
Gina knew she wanted to go into international affairs, but she wasn’t sure what specific career path she wanted to pursue and what graduate school programs would help her get there.
“By working on the essays, it helped me to do more research about the schools and about the field as well,” she explains. “And about the organizations, I may want to work for.”
Aside from HKS, Gina was also admitted to Columbia SIPA, Georgetown, Tufts, Chicago Harris and UT Austin LBJ. In addition, Chicago Harris, Georgetown and UT Austin offered her scholarships. She was waitlisted at the Harvard Kennedy School, and was later accepted. Gina decided to attend Harvard in the fall of 2020.
“It’s just super exciting news for me because that’s something I never really imagined happening,” she explains. “It was literally a dream coming true, And more importantly, is that the goals don’t seem that far away anymore… The long term career goals, I feel like I can just do all of that. I feel like I am just full of energy now.”
After working with us on her grad school applications, Gina said she would give herself this advice, “Believe in your experience and stop panicking too much!”
We believed in Gina, and we are so excited to watch her fulfill her dreams. Congratulations, Gina!
Start Date: October 2019 | End Date: May 2020
- Age: 23
- Work experience: 2 years at an international organization
- GPA: 3.69
- GRE: 320
- Attended: Liberal Arts College in the Midwest
- Majors: Psychology and East Asian Studies
- Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
- Harvard Kennedy School
- Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy
- Tufts University
- University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy
- University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs
- University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs – $47,000 scholarship
- University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy – $60,000 scholarship
- Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy – $36,000 scholarship
When Gina thinks back to the experiences that helped her build her graduate school admissions story:
“I have a unique experience, getting a chance to work at an international organization in Japan. I speak Japanese, and I am also a native speaker of Chinese. If I could say something to myself a year ago, I would say don’t think too little of your experience.”
What made The Art of Applying® unique to Gina was Mindset Coaching:
“Mindset Coaching was one of my favorite parts. That was very helpful for me to calm down. Because I tend to overwhelm myself with all the thoughts and emotions I have… [Mindset Coaching] was something that could calm me down in the process, and [help me] refocus every time I was overwhelmed with emotions.”
What Gina valued most about working with her consultant at The The Art of Applying®:
“Across this period of time, three to four months, I worked with my consultant on various essays for different schools. I got to polish not only my essays, but also my goals. I could tell my essays I worked on later on were much better.”
Gina was surprised and thrilled to be accepted to the Harvard Kennedy School, and so were her parents:
“I wasn’t really expecting too much from HKS to begin with because I am a younger applicant and I didn’t have much confidence in my application… and my GRE score… At first, I didn’t feel much because I didn’t expect much, and then I told my parents and they were super excited. It was my last day in Japan when I saw my email. So, I called my parents right away and they were overjoyed. They couldn’t believe that I was going to Harvard! Harvard means a lot to them.”