32-year-old Bengali-Iranian Mother Accepted to Harvard, Columbia, University of Chicago and More Public Health Programs with $131k in Scholarships
Our client Lily spent nine years of her career in healthcare, where she worked her way up from an entry-level role to senior management. Having always dreamed of going to graduate school, Lily developed an interest in public health through her life and work experiences.
However, Lily put off applying to graduate school for years because testing anxiety held her back from taking the GRE. Lily shared, “I had a lot of testing anxiety and…I thought that it was insurmountable to get through the testing anxiety.”
Not knowing many people who had studied public health, Lily started searching for help with her application and test preparation. Lily knew that more time would help her application and test scores, so she started working with The Art of Applying® in early 2019 and continued working with us for two years. Lily’s hard work more than paid off. After working with us, she received acceptances from nearly all the schools she applied to and was awarded over $131,000 in scholarships!
Lily attributed part of her success to the fact that being part of the Application Accelerator® helped her move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. She said, “Once you’re in the program, the consultants are really sold on your vision of what you want to accomplish. And even when you don’t feel very great about it, they say, ‘No, but this is what you said you would do…and you’re going to accomplish it.’ You need that sounding board when you are doubting yourself.”
Now that she’s on the other side, Lily shared that she wouldn’t advise others to wait quite as long as she did to start working with The Art of Applying®. In particular, she advised against waiting to apply until you’ve achieved a perfect test score.
She shared, “I waited for many, many years to start working with The Art of Applying®, but there are so many ways to get around [not having a perfect test score]…You can still have a great application even if your GRE score isn’t perfect. Mine wasn’t and it was fine. The Art of Applying® actually helped me a lot in that.”
We couldn’t be more excited to see where Lily goes!
Are you inspired by Lily’s story?
Take Lily’s advice, and don’t let the GRE hold you back from working on your applications! You don’t need a perfect GRE to get into your dream school. Keep reading for more details on how the Application Accelerator® helped Lily on her journey. We are here to help you take the next step. Book a Quick Call with our team today to get started.
Start Date: January 2019 | End Date: May 2021
- GPA: 3.59
- GRE: 317
- Work experience: 9 years in healthcare
- NYU School of Global Public Health
- University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy
- Carnegie Mellon Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy
- Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
- Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- NYU School of Global Public Health – $24,000 scholarship
- University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy – $30,000 scholarship
- Carnegie Mellon Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy – $35,700 scholarship
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – $42,000 scholarship
Lily’s advice for moms or moms-to-be who are considering applying to graduate school:
“It’s important to be as proactive as possible… I used to be able to work whenever I wanted to or procrastinate whenever I wanted to. But when I became pregnant, I had to really change my mindset and be as proactive as possible, because sometimes I’d be nauseous and things like that… Don’t give up on what you want to accomplish, pace yourself through the entire process. As I got more and more tired near the end of my pregnancy, I felt like I had started to work so early and upfront that it was manageable because of that, and because I was consistent in keeping myself paced.”
How the support of The Art of Applying® team helped her through some rough patches in her application process:
“Everybody is super positive about what you’ll accomplish and I came in very pessimistic about where I would be and what I could accomplish. And every single person around me was like, ‘Yeah, you’re going to get this. You’re going to get really great results.’ I was so skeptical. But, because I heard it so many times, I actually believed it and it changed my mindset…My favorite part was just being surrounded by a group of super positive people who just say yes to your dreams and…want to help you get there.”
Lily reflects on what she would change about her approach to the application process:
“I wouldn’t worry so much about everything… The statement, ‘Perfect is the enemy of good,’ really applies here because you go through so many iterations [of your application] with your consultant if you put in the work, and if you go through the calls. My essays changed so much, even in both years, that it was incredible and it turned out well. Every time that I’ve sat and worried whether it was going to get done on time, in hindsight, it was a waste of energy. It got done. It was fine.”
How she overcame test anxiety with The Art of Applying®’s help:
“The Art of Applying® has GRE coaches to help you…There are ways to manage your testing anxiety. I had never worked with somebody who was able to be so effective at helping me manage my testing [anxiety]…The first time [I took the GRE] I did okay, but then after being very disciplined about studying constantly I was able to…make a huge breakthrough.”