Nina’s main challenge was just that, on paper, she looked like a LOT of other applicants to top schools. When you didn’t dig deep, she looked like your average hard working, good-at-her-job applicant with a solid GMAT, solid work experience, and solid undergrad GPA. Plain vanilla.
A typical approach might have been to try to help her stand out by emphasizing her significant work accomplishments and her extracurriculars with the hope that we could position them as “better” than the competition. But the truth is, that’s a conventional approach and the risk is an application that looks like everyone else who is fighting to be “better.”
The Admissionado Approach
Instead, the angle we took was to paint a picture of who she was as a PERSON and show why her courage and character made her a kick ass business leader.
This girl literally landed a job as a financial analyst at GE Capital without a background in finance. After that, she uprooted herself and moved half way around the world to Paris with no work permit, no job, and rusty French. Within 5 years she had established herself as an expert in French real estate who was fluent in the language & knew how to make a mean beef bourguignon. Needless to say, she knew how to take a risk and make it work and THAT was what made her unique. She pushed herself outside her comfort zone and then KILLED it when she tackled a new challenge.
She was not only accepted to Wharton but got a generous fellowship to boot! Woo hoo!
I’m calling you, Nina, when I finally make it to Paris. I want ALL your recommendations on where to find the perfect croissant, the best sidewalk café, and the coolest up-and-coming neighborhood to stay in.