We’ll also be looking at how to find the time, motivation, and insight to write outstanding essays even if you feel you are not a strong or confident writer. You’ll also learn how to get the guidance and the support that you’ll need in order to keep the many moving parts of your application process organized and keep yourself encouraged and focused on your singular goal of getting into the best graduate school you can. We’re guessing if you’ve made it this far in this post, these are probably things that you’re dying to know right? So let’s jump in. Ready for the first secret of the six secrets of multiple Ivy League graduate school acceptances?
Secret #1: Honesty is the Best Policy
We always tell our clients to be the best applicant they can be and to have everything in their application accurately reflect that. In short, the strategy of authenticity and honesty is at the heart of everything we do. We tell our clients they should never pursue any goal that they don’t actually want to achieve, whether it be getting into a school, getting a prestigious fellowship, or any other kind of award. This is because when you operate in your application process with complete integrity, you will end up having complete clarity on why you are applying to graduate school, which schools you really want to go to and what it will take on the school’s side to get you to come to their school. Think about it this way: the application process is a mirror for your entire life. If you are applying to schools that you don’t actually want to go to, you’re going to attract communication from schools that will encourage you to apply even though they have no intention of actually admitting you. Or if you lie or understate what your career goals are in your application, the admissions committee will underestimate you and not feel compelled to admit you. If you don’t operate in a state of total integrity when applying to graduate school you’ll be in the terrible position of having to juggle the multiple lies you’ve told to yourself, your recommenders, and to the schools in your essays and interviews.
Here’s a story to illustrate what we mean:
We once had a client from Latin America who was a former Congressman in his country. He was not running for Congress; he had already served in the position. He started working with us after he had been rejected from Harvard Kennedy School despite having letters of recommendation from high up individuals, including an alumnus from HKS. He was devastated and in shock at his rejection and couldn’t understand what had gone wrong. After some careful digging on our part, we learned that his ultimate career goal was to eventually become president of his country, which is a huge deal. But is this what he wrote in his essay? Nope. He instead wrote something more humble and realistic even though it wasn’t the truth; much less the highest version of the truth—that he wants to one day be president of his country—an ambition that would resonate deeply with the Harvard admissions committee since he already had a political career. After sharing this first secret (Honesty is the best policy) with him, we were able to help him get admitted into Harvard Kennedy School, where he has since graduated, and is now on his way to running for president in one of the most powerful countries in Latin America.
So what have we learned so far about honesty being the best policy?
Don’t tell lies in your application. Don’t downplay or overstate your accomplishments or what you want to do with your career in life. Don’t apply to schools that you don’t actually want to attend. And most certainly, do not tell a school you’re coming, take a spot, and then not end up going. Always remember, when it comes to applying to the world’s top graduate schools, honesty is the best policy. Check back with us next week to learn the second secret of multiple Ivy League graduate school acceptances!