25-year-old University of Texas liberal arts graduate accepted to HEC Paris
Soffiyah graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in International Relations and Global Studies, and Art History. As a born and raised Texan, she joined a small team in a continuing medical education office in San Antonio. She never pictured herself in business school.
“It’s a very small business, even though we work for a large institution. It’s only about seven of us in the office itself,” Soffiyah explained.
“I was able to break into the industry, and learn about how a small business works. In a small business, we kind of just all get to dabble in different functions. So, I got a little bit of marketing here, a little bit of project management there, and I realized I really enjoyed the marketing portion… I really wanted to take my industry and function and shift it completely… I just kept going back and forth of just changing a job or an MBA, and then I ultimately decided on the MBA.”
Soffiyah didn’t know where to start when applying to business school. She also worked a very demanding job, which made her realize she needed accountability. That’s when she saw a friend post about The Art of Applying® on Facebook, and she set up her Breakthrough Call.
When asked about the impact of the Breakthrough Call, Soffiyah said, “If you’re on the fence like me, I was really debating whether to just go about it alone or really have some help. My job is pretty demanding. I knew that I needed something to help me focus. If you’re kind of having that internal struggle, take the call.”
She said that talking with a Breakthrough Call Coach helped her understand her own narrative, and confirmed that an MBA was the right decision. “My Breakthrough Coach was amazing… he just helped me tell him what exactly I wanted to do, and he helped me build a really great story for me to tell on my applications,” Soffiyah explains about working with The Art of Applying®.
“Honestly, it’s all about you. You’re the one leading the conversation, they just want to know that you know where you are and what you want out of the application process… You’re telling your story,” Soffiyah emphasized about the Breakthrough Call.
Soffiyah was not a cookie-cutter applicant. She knew her test scores, undergraduate GPA, and only two years of work experience were going to be a challenge. But, she said the guidance she received from The Art of Applying® with her essays and resume made all the difference.
“I really needed that focus, and someone behind me encouraging me to build my story in a proper way,” Soffiyah shared.
“And someone with experience, of course. It was very nice working with you guys. I mean, the essays and the resume help, just amazing… I didn’t know how much I needed the help until I was actually moving forward with the process.”
We are delighted to have been a part of Soffiyah’s journey from Texas to Paris!
Start Date: May 2018 | End Date: May 2019
- Age: 25
- GPA: 3.4
- GRE: 310
- School: University of Texas at Austin
- Major: International Relations and Global Studies
- HEC Paris
- George Washington University School of Business
- Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business – waitlisted
- $20,000 merit award, George Washington University School of Business
What Soffiyah learned about herself during her Breakthrough Call:
“A Breakthrough Call is where you get to talk to one of the Breakthrough Coaches, and they help you articulate why you want to apply to business school… My Breakthrough Coach was amazing. He really helped me build my story…. He got me digging into why I wanted the MBA.”
What Soffiyah enjoyed most about working with The Art of Applying®:
“It’s just really helping you build your story. I just never felt like there was someone telling me what to do or how to do it. It was very just. ‘Are you ready, are you wanting to move forward?’ It was very, very “you” driven, you’re telling your story and no one’s telling you to stop or anything like that, you’re really just articulating what you’re trying to do… It’s just more of a guiding process.”
Soffiyah’s advice for others who are looking to transform their future career paths:
“I didn’t imagine I’d be going to business school in Paris… The possibilities are endless, especially if you have a liberal arts or fine arts degree. I didn’t major in business. I took a couple of business classes. You can really change the path of your career and transform yourself if you really want to. I feel like that’s what I’m doing right now.”