30-Year-Old Latina Woman Accepted to Five MBA Programs with Scholarships, Despite Low GRE Score and a Non-Traditional Background
As a non-traditional applicant, our client Natalia had big dreams. Natalia wanted to use her MBA to pursue her passion for women’s issues on a national and global scale. As a Mexican woman, she knew that an MBA could help her in this pursuit, but she needed accountability and support for the application process. Working with The Art of Applying®, Natalia was accepted to five top MBA programs with scholarships!
She heard about The Art of Applying® through the Forté Foundation. Natalia’s top priority for her MBA applications was to focus on her essays and telling her story. She knew that she was making an investment in herself and her writing. Natalia explained what drew her to The Art of Applying®: “What really resonated with me was the opportunity to work with another woman of color and the opportunity to actually get feedback on my writing.”
“I have always felt that the most important part about your application is your story,” Natalia says. “Because that’s the only thing you can truly differentiate yourself on and it’s not a number, it’s not a GPA… I wanted to be able to tell the most compelling version of my story and I felt like I am a writer, and I know that writing improves when you have feedback.”
Natalia first interacted with The Art of Applying® in her Breakthrough Call®: “I thought the Breakthrough Call was going to be a lot more about The Art of Applying® and it ended up being a lot more about me.” After the Breakthrough Call, she found that other programs felt like they were trying to make her profile fit into their program. But, Natalia realized that The Art of Applying® was focused on who she was, what her goals were, and how she could achieve them. She was also worried about her low GRE score and knew that was a hurdle she had to overcome in her application.
Natalia’s consultant worked to really get to know her, her goals, and the best way to put together her applications. “I felt like I really had somebody in my corner the whole time,” she said. “The calls allow you to really get to know that person, share your story, your ambitions and craft a collaborative relationship.”
Overall she said the resources and support available to her made the application process easier and held her accountable to deadlines. “There’s just so many things that are available to you if you know they exist, and having them all in one place for me was really worth the investment,” she shared. “I have a really busy work and life schedule and so I knew I needed the accountability and the partnership of a program that would keep me on track.”
Natalia’s investment paid off! She was accepted to Georgetown McDonough, Chicago Booth, Michigan Ross, UT Austin McCombs, and UVA Darden. Natalia was awarded scholarships to Michigan Ross ($20,000), UVA Darden ($85,000) and UT Austin McCombs ($40,000).
When asked what advice she would give to potential MBA applicants, especially women of color and Latinas, she said:
“You can chart your own path. I think I was a non-traditional applicant with non-traditional post-MBA goals. At first, I thought that was really going to weaken my application. I think through my work with The Art of Applying® and my experience of meeting recruiters in the MBA process I realized all the things that I worry make me nontraditional make me a desirable applicant to them.”
We could not agree more. Congratulations, Natalia! We can’t wait to see where you will make an impact.
Start Date: July 2019 | End Date: May 2020
- Age: 30
- GPA: 3.9
- GRE: Quantitative 150 / Verbal 161
- School: Mount Holyoke College
- Major: Politics, History minor
- Work Experience: 6 years of marketing and strategy in the education sector
- Georgetown University McDonough School of Business
- University of Chicago Booth School of Business
- University of Michigan Ross School of Business
- University of Texas Austin McCombs School of Business
- University of Virginia Darden School of Business
- University of Virginia Darden School of Business – $85,000 scholarship, Forté Fellowship
- University of Michigan Ross School of Business – $20,000 scholarship, Forté Fellowship
- University of Texas Austin McCombs School of Business – $40,000 scholarship
On the many resources so few people know about when applying to graduate school and how The Art of Applying® helped Natalia navigate those hurdles:
“There really is this hidden curriculum in applying to graduate school, and undergrad for that matter. There are so many steps that particularly for anybody who is first-generation, or who may not be from the US and therefore does not have parents or grandparents who are familiar with that process, that can be incredibly difficult to navigate… so just having a dedicated community where you can be open about your dreams, your aspirations, and your fears all of them in the same place that’s really invaluable.””
On how The Art of Applying® helped with the MBA application process and gave her clarity on her career goals:
“[Working with The Art of Applying®] helped me refine what it was that I wanted to do after my graduate school and what were the gaps I needed to cover in order to get there.”
On how making the investment in The Art of Applying® was worth it:
“Making this investment made me feel like I was doing everything I could to really set myself up for success. I felt very much like this was an investment, and not an expense.”