Any guesses on what secret #5 might be based on the picture? If you’re thinking the essays, you’re right. Secret #5 is:
Essays are almost everything.
Something we’ve found to be true for all applicants is that even if everything else in your application is perfect, but your essays are lackluster, you will not get into your dream school. Every year when we’re reading about the clients of other consulting firms, we see people with these extraordinary GMAT scores and really high GPAs, and they’re baffled as to why they didn’t get into their dream schools. Many of these individuals ask us to review their submitted applications and tell them what went wrong. And you know what it almost always is? It’s that they underestimated the importance of the essay. Schools like Harvard, Columbia, and Wharton could easily fill their classrooms with students who have perfect GMAT scores, but they don’t. Now why is that? It’s because every one of these top schools is building holistic and diverse classrooms, and not armies of accomplished robots. Once you understand that essays are almost everything when you’re applying to these schools, you can focus your time, energy, and attention on what we think is the most fun part of the application: getting to share your story, your passions, dreams, and plans! It’s simple. Do your best on the other parts of the application and start as early as possible gathering your essay prompts, brainstorming what you’ll write about, and drafting your essays. In our example today we’re going to tell you about one of our clients, Kenny. Kenny had a 3.05 GPA in industrial engineering from Purdue University, as well as a 710 GMAT score. His work experience was in what he studied, industrial engineering. After working with us, he was admitted to Cornell Johnson with the Park Fellowship, which is a full scholarship that is very prestigious and competitive. He was also admitted to Cornell Johnson with the Consortium Fellowship, which also happens to be a full scholarship. Because he couldn’t accept both, he ended up taking the Park Fellowship for the prestige, and didn’t take the money from the Consortium, but was still a Consortium Fellow. Dream story, right? But Kenny had an incredibly long journey to get those results. Before he came to work with us, Kenny had been rejected 10 times over the years from different top business schools despite his great GMAT score. You know why? It was because Kenny was doing everything else right, but was neglecting the most crucial part of his application, his essays! After the devastation of getting rejected 10 times over several years, Kenny came to work with us and we helped him understand the secret that essays are almost everything. And we were able to turn his application process around and send him to Cornell on a full scholarship. Check back next week to learn our 6th and final secret!