Accepted to Policy Programs at Harvard, Oxford, and the University of Chicago with Scholarships
Our client Rachel started her career in the nonprofit space and always had a passion for social impact. To take her career to the next level, Rachel set her sights on a policy degree.
Rachel knew that she wanted to attend a top-tier policy school. However, she was worried that her 3.6 GPA might hurt her chances of getting into a top program. Fortunately, she decided to look for help and found The Art of Applying® in 2018.
Rachel shared, “I just didn’t really know where to get started…I felt like I didn’t have structure and that’s why The Art of Applying® was so appealing to me…There was that structure and…[they had] an amazing track record with students and [helpful] resources and knowledge.”
Although Rachel signed up for The Art of Applying® in June of 2018, a career opportunity changed her application timeline. Rachel had the chance to work on a project at her non-profit job that she was confident would ultimately strengthen her application. Although she was worried about delaying graduate school and self-conscious that she might be a slightly older student, she decided to take the professional opportunity.
Upon reflecting on her decision, Rachel shared that she now realizes, “It’s okay to be a little bit older going to grad school. You just know more about what you want to do and what you want to get out of it. It’s been a blessing to wait a year because that’s exactly what happened. My story was so much stronger. [My reason for] why I wanted to attend the school was so much stronger and it just also gave me so much clarity about what I wanted to do.”
Fortunately, Rachel’s instincts were correct. Her application was so strong that she was accepted to the MPA/ID program at Harvard Kennedy School, among other policy programs. Now that she’s on the other side, Rachel is thrilled to start graduate school.
Looking ahead at what’s to come, Rachel shared, “it’s just taking me to the next level. Before I was on a sort of linear path. It’s exponential growth now! I can see myself really excelling.”
We know that Rachel will excel in anything she does and can’t wait to see where the exponential growth in her future takes her!
Start Date: June 2018 | End Date: May 2021
- Age: 28
- GPA: 3.6
- GRE: 158 Verbal / 167 Quantitative
- Work experience: Non-profit financial service for underserved communities
- Undergraduate: UC Berkeley
- Major: Business Administration
- Harvard Kennedy School (MPA/ID)
- University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy (MPP)
- University of Oxford – Blavatnik School of Government (MPP)
- University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy – $25,000
Rachel’s take on why her Breakthrough Call solidified her decision to work with The Art of Applying®
“That Breakthrough Call was [what] sealed the deal for me because I just felt like… You knew exactly what needed to get done for me, and you guys were asking me questions about what I wanted to do instead of what would look great on paper. I think that was really key…because [what you want to do] shows through your personal essays and all these other things that you need to do. I felt like it was very personalized versus a cookie-cutter program.”
How working with The Art of Applying® gave Rachel a new perspective on her own life experiences.
“Consultants helping out with the essays [was one of my favorite parts of working with The Art of Applying®]. I think the essay part has been just life-changing for me, in this process because…I don’t think of myself as a great writer or anything, and I just felt like working with the consultants has really highlighted certain parts of my life story that I didn’t really think about before.”
Rachel’s advice for anyone who wants to delay their application until they reach a ‘perfect’ GRE score:
“I would say just start with [The Art of Applying®] first. Don’t wait because there is a whole GRE component, and the support…was so helpful for me. Having a whole group around studying together and having other consultants who are GRE experts to come and help and guide [sessions]… I was very concerned about my GRE scores because I hadn’t taken the standardized tests in the years, and when I first took it, I went in blindly… I got a pretty bad score, and that also got me in the spiral of low self-confidence. I didn’t want to apply, but then, once we started working together, I saw that there’s a whole support track for the GRE…I don’t think that you should wait to get started on working with [The Art of Applying®] just because you haven’t taken the GRE.”
Rachel’s advice for applicants who may be self-conscious about a particular part of their application:
“If you feel like there’s one aspect or even several aspects of your application that you are very concerned about, I don’t think that should stop you from applying. Because there are so many different strategies out there that you can use to boost up other parts of your application, and that’s one thing…I was extremely worried about. After seeing that there are so many strategies, there definitely is a way [to make it work]! I think I’m an example of that. I would say just don’t feel that lack of self-confidence. Just go for it, even if it’s not perfect, because [the admissions committees] look at the application very, very holistically.”
Want to have a success story like Rachel’s? Whether you’re self-conscious of your GPA like Rachel was, or you don’t know where to start, we can help. Our team specializes in helping applicants from all different types of backgrounds get into their dream schools. Book a Quick Call with our team to start your graduate school journey.