Indian Political Consulting Entrepreneur Accepted to Harvard Kennedy School, Columbia SIPA and Chicago Harris
Surabhi spent the last seven and half years as an entrepreneur running her own boutique political consulting firm. She always knew she wanted to attend graduate school in the United States, and had her heart set on attending the Harvard Kennedy School. She had applied to graduate school at MIT once before, but she was not accepted. When she decided now was the time to apply again, Surabhi knew she needed help if she wanted to get into her dream school.
Surabhi did a lot of her own research before she reached out to us. She said, “I didn’t want to go into the process of applying to a U.S. school without knowing what is expected of me. I liked your honesty and the genuineness with which you portrayed the process.”
Surabhi and her husband joined a Breakthrough Call where she discovered what The Art of Applying® could offer, and what she could bring to the table. Surabhi said the Application Accelerator® program gave her the tools and community she needed to complete her applications. The weekly Q&A sessions, the Writing Center, the Test Prep, and the weekly calls with her consultant held her accountable while also inspiring her.
“My consultant has possibly given me the most important gift through this entire process… She gave me confidence,” Surabhi shared about her experience.
Even though her dream school was the Harvard Kennedy School, Surabhi’s consultant encouraged her to apply to more than one school. Her consultant encouraged her to apply to various schools as a negotiating tactic, and gave Surabhi confidence in her ability to be accepted to other top schools.
Surabhi said her consultant helped her understand her own story. She reflected on crafting her story, “How does my story matter and how can I make sure somebody else knows… that these are my aspirations and I belong in the class.”
Surabhi was concerned about the cultural differences when it came to applying to graduate schools in the United States as an applicant from India, but said The Art of Applying® put her at ease.
“I made the decision to apply, and to do it in the best possible way and I think it became a little easier knowing that I’m making such a big investment,” she said. “This investment you’re making to work with The Art of Applying® will probably come back to you in double, triple returns and that happened for me.”
We are excited for what lies ahead in her journey. Congratulations Surabhi!
Service: Application Accelerator®
Join Date: May 2019 | End Date: May 2020
- 7 years experience as an entrepreneur
- Age: 28
- GPA: 3.44
- Attended: Christ University, Bangalore
- Major: Economics
- Harvard Kennedy School
- Columbia School of International and Public Affairs
- University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy
- Princeton Woodrow Wilson School — Waitlisted
- University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy – $15,000 per year
- Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore – Full scholarship and stipend
On how much Surabhi learned from working the Writing Center and with her consultant to get her essays to reflect her story:
“The Writing Center call was my backbone through this entire process… Every single word of my essay was edited, not just by somebody, but somebody who is a writing expert and by my consultant who knows my story, who’s invested in my story. It was like every single word and sentence had to make sense, and I wrote until it made sense… It really was perfect.”
Surabhi’s advice for other people who struggle with standardized tests, and the value of having weekly Test Prep calls to overcome that struggle:
“For people who don’t like standardized tests: every week you are reminded [in the Test Prep calls] that this is a test! It’s not about how much math you know, or how many words you know… You need to understand why. I heard that every single week and I enjoyed it. I absolutely enjoyed it, because it got me to refocus.”
What Surabhi has to say to other Indian applicants, and her special advice for entrepreneurs thinking about graduate school:
“I feel that a lot of Indians are hesitant about working with consultants… and I would just like to say that this is possibly one of the best decisions I’ve made… Entrepreneurs, I think, are a tricky bunch to share any advice with because everybody has their own sort of stories and come from a different context… [But] if graduate school is something that you’ve made your decision to attend and you want to go to graduate school, then you know you need to have all of the help and support system that you can get.”