First-Generation Latina applicant accepted to USC Price School Master of Public Policy program with full-tuition scholarship
Karla knew that she wanted to take her career to the next level. She’d risen from the ranks of Teach for America to become a college access director at a nonprofit in the Bay Area. She knew she needed some quantitative skills along the way to a graduate degree, and initially came to The Art of Applying® in November 2017, just two months before the deadline for the MBA programs she thought would be the right fit.
She got waitlisted to just one of the schools she applied to, and could have given up on her grad school dream. But she had some powerful insights during that first application process, some on her own, and some through her work with The Art of Applying®. As she recalls, changing the letters MBA to MPP on her essay made her goals make so much more sense.
And guess what happened? She got accepted everywhere she wanted to go, including the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, where she’s now attending with a full ride scholarship.
“I didn’t give up,” she reports proudly. “Part of me very well could have been, ‘forget this, it’s not gonna work out for me. I’ll apply to something maybe easier to get into’ … I could have very well gone to a lower-ranked MBA or MPP program. I think it feels good that I didn’t lose persistence and that I took time, because I think sometimes our own timelines get in our way.”
So while a 2018 entry into an MBA program wasn’t in Karla’s plan, a 2019 entry into an MPP program most definitely was.
Start Date: November 2017 | End Date: May 2018
- First-generation American and first-generation college student
- School: University of Chicago
- GPA: 3.6
- GMAT: 550
- GRE: 310
- University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy
- University of California Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy
- University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy
- UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
Scholarships & Fellowships
- Full tuition scholarship
- USC Price School
“So when I heard about The Art of Applying®, I felt like I needed that expertise about admissions, because honestly, I was the first in my friend and family group to pursue those degrees … so for me it was really a matter of finding a thought partner. I think I had been talking about the MPP and MBA with lots of friends and family and no one could really encourage me or give me actually helpful advice. So I think that was a huge thing for me: finding someone that could actually look at my materials, look at my test scores, look at all of that for me and actually explain … I’ve done a lot of informational interviewing, but I think I really needed that support.”
“I’ve always been a really strong writer, but what I really needed was someone to help me connect the dots.”
“I needed that time to take the advice I had gotten and really do something with it.”
“I think [the Breakthrough Call] was going to be more like a sales pitch, but I come from the counseling background … and felt like it was counseling. At that point, I was like super stressed and frustrated and ready to give up, and so having someone hear me out who wasn’t biased … was the most helpful thing for me, processing out loud [to determine] where I was in the path and what that could mean.”
“It was an investment that actually paid off in the end, because if you really think about it, applying with all of your ducks in order is going to mean maybe better scholarships in the end. So, for me, investing in the front end was more helpful than having to figure out how to finance my intuition on the back end.”
“There were lots of ups and downs, like I mentioned. I was honestly super depressed after I got denied across the board, but I think for me, it feels good now. I didn’t give up. Part of me very well could have been, ‘forget this, it’s not gonna work out for me. I’ll apply to something maybe easier to get into’ … I could have very well gone to a lower ranked MBA or MPP program. I think it feels good that I didn’t lose persistence and that I took time, because I think sometimes our own timelines like get in our way.”