Meet Allison, age 28. She's from China.

Biggest Strength

Rising star

Biggest Weakness

Lack of extracurriculars



Competitiveness of Demographic 9

The Challenge

This client is from China and works in finance. Even a solid GPA and GMAT score couldn’t help differentiate her from the extremely competitive Chinese applicant pool. Because she had been so busy with work (everyone is!) she didn’t have very many extracurricular activities or unique experiences to showcase. Additionally, she was making a career switch from investment banking to venture capital, which is a common switch among finance applicants. We needed to make her story stand out from the crowd!

Possible Approaches

We had to find a core theme that would make the client’s profile and story stand out. We could have focused on the client’s deep expertise in a particular technology area, discussed her international experiences, or try to play-up the few extracurriculars that she did have. With regards to her career switch, we could have encouraged her to choose a more realistic goal along her current career trajectory, which may have been a more assured path to success.

The Admissionado Approach

We decided to double down on the client’s deep passion for a specific tech sector as a core theme in her applications. This also allowed us to highlight that she was a fast riser at work, partly due to her subject matter expertise. It also placed the focus on a different industry rather than showcasing her as just another finance applicant. Despite her lack of extracurricular activities, we highlighted the most relevant ones to tech and her career goals. We also pulled out all the activities that she had volunteered for at work to show that although she had a demanding work schedule that limited her to the office environment, she was still able to go above and beyond her normal responsibilities to make an impact on her company.

Her career switch was also related to this specific tech sector. We walked through what a potential career switch would actually entail and identified what she would need to meet her career goals. We included this specificity into her essay and created a convincing case that she was indeed well-informed, truly committed and ready to make the switch, with a little help from the MBA of course.

The Result

Allison ended up getting into Wharton and MIT!

Personal Shoutout

Allison knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it! She’s driven and outspoken and I have no doubt she’s going to have an awesome impact on our world. Looking forward to reading about her in the paper someday!

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