May 17, 2022

Getting Started

May is the perfect time to start preparing for fall applications so in today’s blog the Admitify team is highlighting tips on ramping up your applications.


How would you differentiate two applicants who have very similar GPA and GMAT scores, and who both work for prestigious well-known Fortune 500 companies? As a Cornell Johnson admissions director once sagely noted, “the most critical aspect of the application is the essay. We read them closely. They tell us a lot about you.”


It may sound surprising that of all the components of the application – your GPA, resume and work experience, letters of recommendation, GMAT/GRE – the essay is such a critical element. But it is. Remember that the other application data points are primarily just historical and generally don’t communicate personality and individual context. The essay is really the one component that gives you the greatest freedom and control to personally express the individual “you” behind the data.


The essay-writing process begins with introspection.


Even before you begin writing, we encourage you to begin developing a short personal self-marketing message or “handle” that conveys the themes you want your application to communicate: the key characteristics that, taken together, make you unique: ‘Niergia-born AI entrepreneur who loves surfing’ or ‘Croatian journalist who founded an NGO for Ukrainian refugees” etc. Drilling down effectively to the key differentiators that authentically capture your unique profile can make or break your application.


After you arrive at your “handle”, back it up with ‘data’. Look for vivid stories that provide evidence of and texture behind your “handle”. Some techniques to help in data mining for stories include using your resume as an autobiographical timeline, random listing, journaling, visual mapping or stream-of-consciousness writing.


Finally, a last prep tip before you start writing your essays – build an outline. Our recommended organization is an introduction (where you grab the reader’s interest and state your differentiators), then body paragraphs that share your strongest stories/experiences and a conclusion that shows your ability to introspect and draw takeaways from your experiences.


As you dive into your personal “handles” and begin outlining your essays, contact Admitify for expert guidance on developing your authentic story.