24-Year-Old Ashoka University Graduate Gets Into Columbia SIPA and Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy with Scholarships
After graduating from Ashoka University in India, Yash worked as both a climate change policy researcher and a geopolitical analyst for a risk management firm. But, his heart was set on serving in conflict zones for non-profits. Yash decided the best way to begin doing the work of his dreams was going to a top policy school, but he knew he needed help to get there.
When asked what was difficult about the application process initially, Yash said, “I think the biggest challenge for me was the number of pieces you need to put together. For an application, it’s not just one component. It’s not just your test scores, your GPA, or your essays. There are a lot of moving parts. You need to ensure that they are one cohesive unit, and that is the one thing I was struggling with and I needed help on. Prior to working with my consultant [at The Art of Applying®], I needed to take my quant coursework, do my standardized testing, and write my essays. That just seemed like a mountain of work.”
At the urging of a friend who’s a former client of The Art of Applying®, Yash reached out to us for a Quick Call to talk about our Application Accelerator® program. In Yash’s words, “This particular individual urged me to reach out because I was just venting about the whole process. Then, I looked you guys up, saw some of the [client case study] videos that you have done, and I think what really appealed to me was that you didn’t have a cookie cutter model like a lot of firms have. It was very personalized.”
Knowing that this was a big decision, Yash chose to have his father, mother, and sister join the Breakthrough Call as his support system so they could counsel him on whether or not to enroll in the Application Accelerator®. On recapping the Breakthrough Call, Yash said, “To be honest, I was fairly confident going into the Application Accelerator® program because I knew that there are a lot of moving parts and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done, but I felt that I would have the necessary support I need and that would lead to a desirable outcome… I think the Breakthrough Call did wonders for me and even for my family. My mother, my dad, and my sister felt the same way.”
Yash quickly agreed to join the Application Accelerator® program and loved getting to know other applicants in our community, “My most favorite part would be interacting with [other clients who are] in the same boat as me. I did not understand the value of it when I was going through that process. But now, a month or two removed from it, I see the value in it because while it’s always good to get the expertise that The Art of Applying® provides, talking to someone continuously who’s in the same boat as you makes a big difference… So I think that was the biggest and most enjoyable factor because these are connections for life.”
After working hard at his applications with guidance from his Consultant. Yash recently got into both Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy with scholarships!
On how his life will change going forward, Yash shared, “These are really good policy schools, and I think it is the launchpad to a career that I have always wanted, but have not been able to get with my current skill set. More importantly, I’m getting to that goal with less debt. Policy school is not cheap! Getting that scholarship really makes a difference because it enables me to achieve the goals I want without taking too much debt.”
By the way, Yash almost missed the deadline for applying to the scholarship from Columbia SIPA, but his consultant encouraged him, worked with him, and pushed him to persevere and get the results he wanted. “Another shoutout to my consultant. I remember there was the SIPA scholarship deadline and I had a little bit of work still to do prior to the deadline and I had pretty much given up on hitting the deadline. And my consultant wrote to me and said, ‘Hey, listen. I know there’s X, Y, Z that’s left, but we can work this out. Just stick with it and trust me. You might have to put in a few more hours, but just do it and you will get the results at the end of it.’ So yeah, I think that’s another key aspect I had learned. I had kind of given up and my consultant really helped me on that particular front of just sticking with it and getting it done.”
Congrats on your acceptances and scholarships, Yash! We’re so proud to have been a part of your journey to policy school.
Start Date: June 2020 | End Date: May 2021
- Age: 24
- GPA: 3.57
- GRE: 166 Quantitative, 165 Verbal
- Major: History
- Undergraduate: Ashoka University
- Work Experience: Climate Change Policy Research and Geopolitical Analysis
- Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) – Masters of International Affairs
- Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy –
- Columbia SIPA – $10,000
- Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy – $18,000
On how Yash felt during his Breakthrough Call with The Art of Applying®
“It was very seamless. It was exactly what I was hoping The Art of Applying® would be in that it would give the expertise I sought and it was still done in a people-friendly manner. I just realized I didn’t have to stress about anything and that I think that was a sign of how the next few months would be. There’s work to be done, but there’s no need to sort of stress and pull your hair out, which I was doing prior to the Breakthrough Call.”
On why Yash chose to include his family on the Breakthrough Call:
“Generally, I do involve them in a lot of decisions. Especially these big ones, but even with small ones, I always keep them in the loop… Going through this process requires a very strong support system. Your support system needs to be onboard and in the loop so they’re better equipped to help you. The Art of Applying® in itself is a great system, but to have a similar system back home I knew would do me good… I think that the [Breakthrough Call] helped in that sense because I remember we also spoke about what their role in this is so they knew how their role was defined and I think that sort of helped them help me better.”
On whether Yash thinks you should try to take the GRE first or to reach out to The Art of Applying® for a Quick Call to begin the process:
“I would say that it is definitely much better if you do the GRE concurrently with the [Application Accelerator®] program. I started my GRE preparation alongside doing this program. The reason it worked is there is a Test Prep Power Hour so you can get a lot of your doubts solved and you can seek expert advice, but more importantly, you have a consultant that you can talk to to help you manage your time better… I think what is truly needed is not just a GRE score, your application is much more than that. There are a lot of moving parts and you need to ensure that all of them are moving in a coordinated fashion, and that’s what this program really does. It manages your time and ensures that it’s one cohesive unit that is being formed at the end of it.”
Yash’s words for people who are still on the fence and want to go through the process one step at a time instead of accelerating their application by working with The Art of Applying®:
“To all future applicants, I had this very concern during my Breakthrough Call. I took that leap of faith. Having gone through it, I can assure you it works. And it works better. Because if you just focus on your testing, that can go on and on and on. There’s no end to it. That is not a system that works as opposed to this, which is a proven system.”
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