The Dominate Test Prep Podcast

3. Framework for a Successful Grad School Application, with Linda Abraham

September 24, 2019 Brett Ethridge / Dominate Test Prep
The Dominate Test Prep Podcast
3. Framework for a Successful Grad School Application, with Linda Abraham
Chapters
The Dominate Test Prep Podcast
3. Framework for a Successful Grad School Application, with Linda Abraham
Sep 24, 2019
Brett Ethridge / Dominate Test Prep

Your standardized test (GMAT / GRE) is only part of the admissions criteria when applying to graduate or business school. But what about the rest of your application? In this episode, we invited expert admissions consultant Linda Abraham, founder and CEO of Accepted, to share her 5-part framework for a successful MBA / grad school application. She breaks down each of the five key components and explains exactly what you need to do in your application to showcase yourself in such a way that schools will want to admit you.

In the second half of the episode, we've excerpted participant questions and Linda's answers from a live Q&A where she goes even deeper into best-practices for crafting a winning application. These are common questions that you may have yourself, such as:

  • If you’re filling out a general application that will be submitted to multiple schools, how do you connect with the values of each school?
  • What advice do you have for video essays when they're requested as part of your application?
  • What qualities should recommenders highlight in their letters of recommendation?
  • How can you show "fit" if your background is different from the focus of the grad program you’re applying to?
  • How can you make up for a low GMAT / GRE score?
  • If you don’t have a track record of community service, should you volunteer for something right before applying?
  • And more!

So be sure to listen all the way to the end.

Also, here are the two Admissions Straight Talk episodes that Linda references, in case you want to go deeper:

  1. Tips for overcoming a low GPA: https://blog.accepted.com/what-to-do-about-a-low-gpa/
  2. Interview with Ida Valentine, HBS 2021: https://blog.accepted.com/ida-valentine-investment-banker-inspirational-speaker-hbs-2021-episode-311/

Finally, here's the quote we opened the show with:

"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." -- Henry Ford

Show Notes Transcript

Your standardized test (GMAT / GRE) is only part of the admissions criteria when applying to graduate or business school. But what about the rest of your application? In this episode, we invited expert admissions consultant Linda Abraham, founder and CEO of Accepted, to share her 5-part framework for a successful MBA / grad school application. She breaks down each of the five key components and explains exactly what you need to do in your application to showcase yourself in such a way that schools will want to admit you.

In the second half of the episode, we've excerpted participant questions and Linda's answers from a live Q&A where she goes even deeper into best-practices for crafting a winning application. These are common questions that you may have yourself, such as:

  • If you’re filling out a general application that will be submitted to multiple schools, how do you connect with the values of each school?
  • What advice do you have for video essays when they're requested as part of your application?
  • What qualities should recommenders highlight in their letters of recommendation?
  • How can you show "fit" if your background is different from the focus of the grad program you’re applying to?
  • How can you make up for a low GMAT / GRE score?
  • If you don’t have a track record of community service, should you volunteer for something right before applying?
  • And more!

So be sure to listen all the way to the end.

Also, here are the two Admissions Straight Talk episodes that Linda references, in case you want to go deeper:

  1. Tips for overcoming a low GPA: https://blog.accepted.com/what-to-do-about-a-low-gpa/
  2. Interview with Ida Valentine, HBS 2021: https://blog.accepted.com/ida-valentine-investment-banker-inspirational-speaker-hbs-2021-episode-311/

Finally, here's the quote we opened the show with:

"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." -- Henry Ford

spk_1:   0:00
failure is simply the opportunity to begin again this time more intelligently. Henry Ford. Hello and welcome to another episode of the Dominate Test prep podcast. I'm bred Ethridge and I have a special treat for you today. A guest presenter, Linda Abraham, who is going to share a five part framework for a successful grad school application. Now, if you're listening to this and you're not applying to graduate or business school or another type of graduate program, maybe you're applying toe undergrad. What Linda is going to share will definitely still be relevant for you. Certainly certain aspects of it will be so I encourage you to listen. I know you'll gain something valuable from it. But before we begin, I just want to thank you guys for all of the love you have been sending me for the podcast. How much you are loving it. I know we're only a few episodes in, but the feedback I've already received has been incredible. I'm so grateful that you guys are listening that you're sharing continued to do that. Please tell everyone you know, to subscribe and listen. But again, thank you for taking the time to reach out to me and say how much you are enjoying these first few episodes. I have a lot of good stuff in store, so I know you'll like the future episodes as well. And let me actually take a second to give. A quick listener shat out not about the podcast, but Amanda, one of my students. She reached out to me this week via email to say Quote, I wanted to tell you again personally, how incredibly helpful I found all of your G R E prep videos to be. She's obviously one of my g r E students, she says. I am 32 for the first time in my life, I finally felt like someone was teaching me math in a way that I can understand. Well, that warms my heart. Amanda. I love hearing that. Obviously, I certainly try to teach math in a new and different way, as sometimes that traditional methods aren't always the best methods on different standardized tests. I'm glad my teaching style is resonating with you and congratulations on all of the success you are experiencing in the course so far. All right, So, as you know, my expertise is test prep, but I want the dominant test prep podcast to be about more than just helping you prepare for your standardized tests because there's more to your application and going back to school than just your standardized test. I want to equip you with resource is and skills and insights and how twos and tips and strategies in all aspects of empowering you to create success in your higher education journey and beyond. And so what I wanted to do today is help you with other aspects of your application. And I am sharing the audio from a recent webinar I just conducted with Linda Abraham. Linda Abraham is the founder and CEO of Accepted, the top tier admissions consultancy that helps you unlock your competitive advantage. For the last 20 years, Linda and her highly credentialed, experienced team have helped thousands of college and grad school applicants gain acceptance to top programs in the U. S. And around the world. She is also the co founder of a Jack and host of the graduate admissions podcast Admissions. Straight talk. Now, on a more personal note, I actually met Linda about five, maybe six years ago, now at an A GAK Conference, A Jack stands for the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants, and again, Linda is the co founder of that event. I had recently joined it and wanted to see what it was all about, so I decided to attend one of their annual conferences. This one was in Philadelphia, and we heard from lots of admissions officers from various universities in the Philadelphia area. But I remember there was a woman who sat up front, and she always asked these particularly insightful questions and everything she said was really on point. And and that woman turned out to be Linda Abraham. And what I love about Linda and what she is all about is that she is selfless. You know, a lot of times in business we take that adversarial me against you competitive attitude, whereas Linda understands that the pie is big enough for everybody that there are hundreds of thousands of people applying to college and graduate schools around the world every year and they need help. They all need help in that. If we come together in an organization like a gak and work together and figure out best practices and how to be ethical. And what did the admissions officers want? And what can we do to contribute to help them with their job? Better? We can make the entire process better for students like you who need to navigate that process. And so that's what a gak is about. That's part of who Linda is. And so without further ado, here is the audio from that recent webinar. I think you'll find it incredibly valuable as Linda shares a five part framework to help you create us of successful grad school application. How to put your best foot forward, how to separate yourself from your peers so that schools want you. Then, in the from the mailbag segment of today's podcast, we're actually going to kind of let you in on the live Q and A that we did at the end of that weapon are so the questions that we will be answering our questions that students had during the webinar and and they're all related to applying to school and questions that they had that I think you may have, Or even if you don't, I think you'll still find Linda's answers insightful, so definitely stick around all the way to the end for the from the mailbag portion. But without further ado. Here is Linda Abraham with her five part application framework.

spk_0:   5:42
All I can say is, that's not the intro I sent over. Thank you so much breath for that wonderful Ah, wonderful introduction had accepted. We have thousands of applicants exploring our side daily for information that will help them get accepted to the graduate program of their choice. We also have helped thousands of applicants with individual advising, editing and interview prep. Is Brett mentioned a minute ago? Some of those clients or their parents end up talking to me before they purchase, and they frequently asked questions like I blew my undergrad G P. A. Can I still go to grad school? I blew my jerry. Can I still go to business school gangs looking a master's of any kind. I want to become an engineer, but I don't have an engineering classes. Do I need research to get into Program X? Whatever X. Maybe all these questions have one element in common, really a common thread. Can I go to the grad school that will prepare me for the career of my dreams Now we're going to spend the next 30 minutes or so discussing what you need to do to get into your target graduate school so that you can pursue that career of your dreams. I'm also going to in the course of the 30 minutes issue a few caveats and warnings. Um and I'm gonna start with one. Actually, you're not going to get into graduate school by waving a magic wand. A dab of makeup won't do it. Even spin won't do it. When you need, however, is a substantive, impressive application. And by substance, I mean competitive qualifications and an effective presentation of those qualifications you're overriding. Aim is to show that you belong at the grad schools you are applying to, and if you do see that successfully, they will want to accept you. My goal for this webinar is to show that you that that a successful, gradual application has to have each of these five elements not 123 or even four. But if you're talking about a competitive program and most graduate programs are competitive than you need, all five, so the 1st 1 which is on your screen, it's a show that you can do the work grad school requires. Now, I'm sure you've all thought of this. This is kind of the foundational element for all graduate programs. How do you intend to show that you can do the work required of the graduate school? Your interested in attending the most common way is through your undergraduate transcript and test score, which most of you got. You want to be at or above the average for accepted students, ideally, for both grad grad grades and test score. If not, if you're slightly below, how can you convince schools to accept you with below average grades, for example? Realize that averages are what they are because some are accepted with below average debts and some are accepted with above average stats. That's the nature of an average, but the father away you are below average. And if both your grades and test scores are below average for the schools that you are targeting, the harder it is for you to effectively demonstrate you can do the work. So what if, for example, you have below average grades, um, for grades, I would strongly encourage that you go to accept it dot com slash 1 37 I have a whole podcast devoted to how to mitigate low undergraduate grades. And I'm not going to go until that All that here because, well, just take up the whole webinar. If you have a low test score that you're concerned about, whether it's the Jerry or the G man or whatever, the relevant test is the best option. Saw the most delightful one, but the best one is Retake it and raise your score up your prep. Improve your prep. Raise your score. Um Ah, hi. Test score can mitigate a low grade. So, um, here you have the, um, grades typical with percentile scores on your screen. Now, um ah, 3 30 on the jerry, for example, is an excellent score. The schools will also look at the individual scores and particularly the score that is most relevant for their field. So, for example, if you are applying for masters in English and we didn't see that earlier, But if there's anybody like that, the verbal score is gonna be more important. If you're applying for Masters and Data Analytics, the quant score is going to be more important. But they're gonna look at the total. They're gonna look at both, and basically they want a certain minimum on both and really in all areas now, being able to do the work is a foundational element of a grad school application. At competitive programs. It's necessary but insufficient for acceptance. Schools want and get more when they there is competition. The second element that's important in a grad school application is purpose. That's why you have to write a statement of purpose that many graduate school programs or a goals essay for business school schools want to know that you know what you're going to do with the education if you leave the schools and with the opportunities offered while you're there. They also want to know that you have a realistic idea of what you're getting into. So, for example, somebody was is interested in pursuing P A. As a career physician assistant, they want to know that you've worked in clinical settings and that you know what being P A is going to be going to mean. Grad schools want to admit people who know why they're doing what they're doing. They're not interested in perennial students or young adults trying to postpone adulthood. They want people with direction, and that direction really has to be based on experience. So you have to show that you're a realistic about the demands and rewards of your chosen field. And then do you have the direction not only in terms of the future post graduate school, but in terms of your educational needs while in graduate school and the Post grad school's bad plans to show that direction, you need to answer these two questions. 1st 1 What do you want to do after graduate school that requires this degree or education again? That gets back to the statement of purpose? Or the goals essay for MBA programs? And then the other part of that question is, Why are you pursuing this education at this particular program? How you take advantage of this school's distinctive opportunities and strengths to prepare yourself for your chosen path. So number one, let's show them you can do the work. Number two is have that that sense of purpose and direction that shows they need, ah, that that you need the education they're providing. Three. Show that you share the school's values and its mission. In other words, show fit in order. Show fit. You need to look at the school's missions and values and its strengths. So if you're applying to a research or in oriented program, then definitely showing that you want to do research under specific percent, professor, because that's the research that most appeals to you. And that's the one that supports your future. Goals is definitely part of showing fit. What you're gonna want to do is look at the school's mission and values. Most schools and most departments have mission statements, and if you're not sure, you definitely to research it. And you need to be prepared in your statement of purpose and interviews and relevant to be able to talk about your experiences and to draw from them the qualities that your target programs values One of the people one of the consultants accepted, Carol Drummer, is the former head of graduate admissions at Hofstra University. And when she was years ago first getting involved in admissions, she set in on the committee for I think Hofstra Society or psychology can be put aside. Your PhD program and but it was definitely psychology, and there was an application from a seemingly very qualified applicant with good grades with test scores, relevant experience. And, ah, nobody wanted to admit this person. And Carol was very surprised. He says, Why aren't you admitting this highly qualified person? This is all her work is Ah, in terms of behave cognitive behavioral therapy. Our department has an entirely different approach to psychology, and remember, it was Freud, inner or wedding. But it's a different approach entirely psychology. She's not going to fit here. She doesn't belong here. She belongs at that school down there that the focus is on that approach of psychology. So the idea of fit is really, really very important. How can you show that if service the urban poor, for example, is a priority for your MSW program or your MPP program? Talk about your experience at an urban serve soup kitchen and how you interact with the clientele and succeeded in helping one patron to navigate the bureaucracy and find housing. If your target programs are highly quantitative, talk about your internship, an investment bank or demanding Quan project that you had and know the difference between mouthing platitudes, spitting back websites and actually showing you share the values showing fit if you're spitting back the websites. Frankly, it's just late of hand is still isn't convincing. It isn't riel, but examples in your statement of purpose and essays or your diversity statements. Bullet points in your C B A resume items in your activity history What you're recommending is say about you, names of the specifics that they use. And, of course, again, if you're interviewed, the responses to interview questions must demonstrate these qualities and this fit. There are really two qualities that are highly valued by all graduate programs, and they're kind of flip sides of each other's. One is leadership, and the other is teamwork, in essence, your ability to work well with others. So unless you're going into a field and none of you mentioned the field like that earlier, were you really gonna be working in isolation? Ah, and there are very few fields like that today. Then you. It's important also, that you reveal this ability to work well with others so you don't have to spit back phrases at all. You need to know the school's values in order. Both choose the most appropriate schools for you and show the fit that will help you convince them to accept you. Now. The fourth part of the framework is demonstrated that you'll be able to contribute to class discussions and teamwork the school's community and ultimately make the school proud to have you as a member of their class and ultimately, Ellen line in network. Well, one of the things that means is that you have to show that you made a difference in the past because a fundamental assumption of admissions, Mrs Key, is that past behavior predicts future behavior. Exactly. Drew, you're right on what different perspectives can you bring from your past experiences? I think you are. Marks is I think it boils down to impact. To a certain extent, you're both right. The point is to show that you've contributed and made a difference in the past, okay, because if you've done in the past, there's a greater chance that you but you'll do it in the future. So for many fields, that means that you could be on the job contribution. That's greatest, and it's really important for all those MBA applicants in this audience. But for many of you, it's going to be community service, especially for again. The M. P P's and Miss W's in the audience, the P A. Also, it could be in organizations like those you see on your screen right now. It could have been as an undergrad on campus Onda. Also, when you talk about community service, realize that community can be a very, very broadly defined, it doesn't just mean your neighborhood. You were all parts of multiple communities. It could be your community at work. It could be an alumni association. It could be an ethnic group, religious group, political group, affinity group of sports, all kinds of definitions. But when you when you add the words service to it, it means that you assume some responsibility for an event, an outcome, organizational skills, whatever. There's an assumption of responsibility that that is implied by service. Commitment is implied by service, so you can serve really any group that you're a part of. Some of you have work experience or internships, and that's fantastic, especially again for them MBA applicants among you. How is it relevant to what you want to do in the future? Now many of you are going to be going for a graduate degree, especially an MBA to change careers or to select the career. That's fine. Um, if you have already a job, a career, but you that you're transferring out of your changing what is its relevance to your chosen goal? Perhaps you're a teacher, and then your communication skills will be very important. If you're going in to be an MSW or even if you're a P A, you have to educate your patients. Um, those skills are transferable. Perhaps you are an engineer, and you did a lot of quantitative analysis that could be really, really valuable. If you go into data analytics or business, go for that MBA. So realize that many graduate schools so so again that would be how you show fit show the relevance of your past experience. Being on the job are all off the job to your future. Goals realized that many graduate schools have too many qualified applicants. Many of the people rejected from top graduate programs actually have the competitive stats. I said they were necessary, but insufficient, and this is what I mean. In fact, for most top graduate schools, the application of Valium product evaluation process is really a two step process. The first part is evaluation. Determining the qualified those of the people who have the grades half the test scores show the fit have the appropriate goal they have. All that, and then the issue is selecting are crafting a diverse class of committed, talented future professionals in this field. And that's where standing out showing that you can make that distinctive contribution becomes so important. And it also injects a subjective element to the whole process that sometimes makes it appear vory opaque. Okay, but the implication from the selection part of the process is yes. They want someone who could do the work, has direction, shares their values. However, given the competition again, that's not enough. There's no reason to admit someone without something distinctive to contribute or someone lacking the history of impact and contribution. You want to stand out in a in a positive way. You want to light up the room, if you will, when they're looking at your application. The fifth element is revealed. Personality traits, the different fields value. I touched on this briefly, but I want it. I want to go back to it. So, for example, um, what are some of the character traits sought. Let's say in business, Okay, when we have many NBA's here, what are or some of the character traits sought? Let's say I know we have a P a here. I don't know everybody here. What are some of those character traits? What would be important? Because they're not all the same integrity. That's that's good, Bret. That actually is probably sought in all fields. Passion. Okay, I want I want some. Can you tell me what field you're going into? Passion is almost always good. Mph. Very good. Absolutely, absolutely. That's for it. Good communications and P good, this practitioner. Excellent. That's very important, I would say. For for and P also, compassion is very important. But what about engineering? What do you think would be very important in problem solving? Excellent Marine for finance major. Very good. Also, quantitative skills, discipline, resilience, perseverance, empathy. Is that for MBA Mark Yes, okay, agreed as well as leadership and organizational skills. So it's not that organizational skills are bad if you're going into therapeutic fields or compassion is bad if you're going into business. But these are qualities that these fields specific fields are going to look for, and these trade should come through in the stories that you tell in your statement of purpose and the identity or diversity statements that you have to write. And, of course, your interview. If you have one attention to detail, eyes also valued in many, many feels especially political health fields, and it's reflected in the care you take in your essays and your applications. So I once interviewed for admission straight Talk our podcast assistant dean of admissions at SUNY Upstate, and she absolutely railed against the typos and lack of punctuation that she sometimes see. And they're very simple secondary applications you're applying to professional and graduate programs you have to present professionally. No sloppiness in your applications. Um, your applications are in Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter or Snapshot, and they can't look like those either. There's a place for those. Yes, I use them, too, but it can't be everywhere. And speaking of social media, clean it up, okay, it can hurt you Now, in selecting the examples in your essays and interviews, choose those examples experience and anecdotes that answer the question. You respond Hutu and reveal the trades that are valued by your specialty. We've into your anecdotes, the trades that you want the schools to recognize. Don't rely on them to figure it out or to come to the conclusion you want them to reach. Tell them one more way to show professionalism, commitment and discipline and organization in the application process. Apply early. Now I'm saying, you toe, I'm telling you to apply early and I mean it. But also use Lynda's rule. I modestly call this Linda's rule. Apply as early as possible, provided you don't compromise the quality of your applications. In other words, don't rush. Focus on your test score. Get it done than a, then focus on your application and and don't rush it. Don't try and get it done in a weekend. The recipe for rejection. Take your time. You have time now for most of you if you can't make the round One Deadlines for the business school Round two is in January. But don't wait till you know the holidays. To start working on your application works steadily towards the Round two deadlines. All right, let's go back to your goal in submitting application. Show that you belong in grad school, and let's review the five things that will make graduate schools want you. The 1st 1 show the academic track record that reveals you can do the work they will have you doing to have purpose. That's what you have to write. A statement of purpose. It's miserably difficult to write one of those things if you don't have a purpose and if you don't have a goal, so make sure you know what you want to do after a degree. How you intend to use a degree and how you intend to use the opportunities present in the school that you're applying to show that you share the school's values and mission demos that you'd be able to contribute distinctively to the class the alumni network on the program in general, and then reveal the traits and qualities valued by your specific field and use a step. These steps are high level answers to the many questions that we get from applicants, whether it's the business school, p A programs MPP, masters of whatever it is. Okay, these are again on a high level. What you need to do

spk_1:   25:37
for today's from the mailbag segment, as promised at the beginning of this episode, we are actually gonna take live Q and A from the participants of Linda's Webinar. And so the questions are gonna be questioned straight from you guys about the application process. So let's listen in. Here are some of the questions that you had for Linda and her answers from the mailbag.

spk_0:   26:01
All right, so my question was, if you have with general application, like for P a school, how do you create the values for the schools if you're sending it to multiple schools at a time? All right, so it's like the Casper application. Yes. OK, you can't. But you can in the supplemental or the supplemental essays. Okay. Gotcha. Thank you. Okay. Awesome.

spk_1:   26:23
Okay. Drew has a question. Drew, you are

spk_0:   26:27
off mute. Okay, um, my question is, can you talk a little bit about advice you give for applications that asked you to send in a video portion of the application? Is it is it a video that you prepare? Or is it like, a one minute video where they just ask you a question and you have to speak extemporaneously? Ah, video that you prepare. So it's a minute video that you prepare and send in. Um, And the question is basically, you know, introduce yourself to your future classmates and tell them why this school is a good fit for you. Okay, so the first thing you should do is is think about the different elements of the application. You don't want the video to just repeat what's in the rest of the application we wanted t reveal something that's not revealed in the rest of the application. So And this is true by the way of multiple essays. Also, you wantto think strategically about it. So what are you most proud of? What do you want the schools to know? So obviously they have questions of looking for information. You have to respond to the questions. If you don't answer the question, you're in trouble. Even if you tell them what you want them to know, you gotta also tell them what they want to hear. And then this is not in the sense that you're making yourself up, making yourself into somebody you're not. But in the sense that you need to ask, answer the questions because that's telling you what they want to know. You have a question like this it's giving you more leeway. What do you want them to know? Um, and you're the fact that you have to address it to your colleagues. Your future classmates is kind of Ah, a little bit cute, because obviously the admissions committee is the fly on the wall listening in. Yeah, that's just the reality of it. Right. So, you know, you you, um, again, you want it. That's the first thing you wanted to compliment. The more professional you presumably that's presented in the rest of the application You don't want to repeat. So let's say you are an avid. I don't know, Tri athlete, I think Brett, you're attract Lee, don't you? Okay, um, you know, you could you could write a little bit about being a triathlete and how you intend to participate in the triathlete club at the school or organize a triathlon or help help get people involved in it. Or maybe it's, um ah, some other commitment that you have Where, um, maybe you could talk about how you organize a running club on the job and you like to do something, you know, similar in the graduate school. I am symbolises for MBA That sounds like MBA. Yes. Yeah. Okay. Um, you know, So there you're you're already you're revealing something that didn't come out. The other essays you're talking about, uh, something that you're passionate about, because if you're not passionate about being a triathlete, I mean, I don't know what you're doing doing it. Um, and and you're showing organizational skills by showing how you contributed on the job showing contribution, right? Organize you organize this group, and also you can. You've looked into what the school offers. Maybe they don't have that program that you could talk about. How you'd like to organize it. Anybody interested? Come on over. I want to hear about it. Okay, So do you. Do you hear? What? I'm going with this. Yes. Yeah. Is it helpful? It is. Okay, great. Thank you. You're welcome. All right. Daniel. Hi. Can you hear me? Yes. Hi, Linda. Hi. My question. I will be applying to Nurse Practitioner School. Okay, I would like to know what, um, qualities or should my recommend there's put in their letter of recommendation about Okay. All right. And I think there's this is Danielle. Ready? Thing is also another question about let his recommendation. So I think for nursing school again. First of all, is the letter recommendation of general recommendation. And there was one letter going to a bunch of nursing pregnant practitioner programs. Or is it a specific form? That's for a specific nurse practitioner program. So most of the schools, what they do is I put in the recommended email and then I think be recommend. Er can kind of free. Right. Okay, so but it's a different recommendation for each school, right? Sounds like it. Well, yes, but I would have, like, some of the same people, Right? Right. Yeah. Okay. So obviously, I think for nursing compassion is very important. Attention to detail is very important. Work is very important. And what I would suggest you do for you recommend recommend. Er's is given, like a one page summary. They're already doing your favorite. You don't want them to have to read a book. Okay, Give him a one page summary and ask them. Two. Talk about times when they saw you, um, demonstrating these qualities. The kiss of death in a recommendation is somebody that something is very flowery. Very general. Very non substantive. No, examples that is a, uh, week recommendation. But if your recommendation kind of like your essays, by the way, has examples and substance, then it's a much more powerful recommendation. So it's not just that you're recommend, er's should say, um, Danielle is ah has great communication skills is a very compassionate person, um, and is a great team player. You can see what the letter recommendation should say is, You know, I observed Danielle when we had this very difficult click case. She was, you know, she did this and this with the patient. She worked well with her colleagues, but but much more specific than I. I can, because I'm I'm making it up as I go. Right. But and and, um And she was. Even though the situation was very difficult, she comes. She communicated with sensitivity such that the patient felt included the decision process or was maintaining control or whatever the issue would have been. You hear where I'm going? Is this helpful to Yes, Very. Thank you so much. You're very welcome. Um, and could I get a, uh, drew a de Nick? I had a very similar question again. If you are writing a little reference we have on the site. By the way, 10 tips for letters of recommendation, which is directed at writers of recommendations point is that they should write with examples. Okay. They can't just give flowery generalities. That doesn't do you any good. But if they substantiate those generalities with examples Ah, anecdotes, specifics. It could be a very, very good letter of recommendation. The combination is what makes it good. Thank you for that. Can you also speak a little bit Thio? The minimum references versus the maximum allowed? I'm not sure what you mean on that. Oh, sure. So my application software is through sofas, and they have in my college. I'm applying to also has a minimum of three applications. Are it sorry? Through through recommendations, three letters of recommendation. Yeah, but it says there can be up to five. So to me, and like, Well, I better have five. But then I'm also like, Oh, but do they Are they really gonna read? All five were the only gonna read three thinks through that one a little bit. All right. I think it would depend very much if if the different recommend er's can be coming from different places. So let's say. And could I ask what? What degree program you're applying to? Yeah. Master's in public health and epidemiology. Okay, so maybe you have ah, recommend er that can talk about you in a clinical setting. Maybe you have a recommend. Er, who could talk about you in a community service? Right setting. Maybe you have a recommended or to a recommend we could talk about you in an academic setting. Maybe you worked in a lab. I could talk about you as a researcher, but if you have, if you don't have that kind of variety of experience, I'm not sure I would go with all those different recommendations. So it's a little bit situational. Cool. That's very helpful. Okay. Glad to be of help. Hi, Linda. I have another question. So, like I said, I am applying to nurse practitioner school. Okay. My current background is medical and surgical. Um, a little bit of I c. U experience. However, I will be applying to a woman's health nurse practitioner program. So my question to you is, um how can I kind of ah, show or betraying to, um, the graduate admission committee that I'm a good fit. Although, technically my background is not in that expertise. Do you have any experience in that that area whatsoever? Well, yes and no. Because I treat I do treat women can. You know, woman health is not only about gynecological reproductive, right? You know, the total care. But one of the things that have fueled me to pursue this career was, you know, the things that have happened in my life with, You know, I'm a parent and, you know, things that go, you know, a status cool with, like, my, um my care when I was pregnant. And, you know, just being a women herring. Some of the things that occur during, um, you know, our pregnancies are checkups are miscarriages. Those are the things that have fueled me to pursue this career. All right, well, I think he obviously the fact that you already a nurse means that you know something about what? Being a nurse practitioner, um, entails. All right, so there's no five. You can draw on that experience. You can if you want, draw on your experience working with women. But you can also draw on your personal reasons. is no them. I'm not. I didn't mean to imply that that's irrelevant. You have a personal motivation or personal experience that does pulling. You are pushing you in a particular direction. That's fine. By all means. Bring it out. It makes sense. You're building on your experience and going into a direction that you personally find or for Billy, you'll find more satisfying. Okay, okay. Thank somebody asked i almost jokingly earlier in the chat window about a low G R E score. Does that mean they're toast? But I think they have two weeks to go, So I would say Think positive and pull the score as high as you can. All right. Um, should we let that person talk or should I just keep talking myself? Probably better. Female stocks for a little bit. Does

spk_1:   37:48
anybody else have a question about

spk_0:   37:51
you

spk_1:   37:51
know how to overcome a lower G R E or G Matt score? Anybody want clarification on that? OK,

spk_0:   37:58
America does. Okay. Well, as I said earlier, the best thing if you get a low score is to raise it to read to prepare again, take it again and raise it. I can't. I can't change that. That's the best thing to do. However, let's say you've taken it several times, and it's just not going up, especially for uh, then. Then I would say You have to look at other factors and see if you're If your G man score really knocks you out or your Jerry score knocks you out of the running, then I would suggest applying to different schools. That's still support your growth, your goals that will still help you good get to where you want to go. But that perhaps doesn't have quite a high an average G Matt or Jerry score. The other thing is that realized schools. If schools on Lee looked at Jerry orgy math scores, that was really the only thing they did. They wouldn't look at transcripts. They wouldn't wear your transcript that wouldn't wear your work experience. It wouldn't wait. Community service. They wouldn't look at your essays. It wouldn't have videos. They wouldn't do any of that stuff. So my general advice when somebody has a low jean matter Jerry score, especially if they are applying to business school, is give it a shot at your dream schools, but also applied some programs where acceptance is more likely. Okay, I'm I'm not. I try and be very realistic, but I'm also not a dream killer. So if you know you have a dream, go for it. But also, while you're while you're reaching for the stars, keep your feet on the ground. What

spk_1:   39:42
do you think about switching exams from the G Matt to the G R E, for example? And my question, I guess, more broadly, I probably get a question or two a day from people saying Here, my stats, Here's what I want to do Should I take the g r

spk_0:   39:55
E orgy nut?

spk_1:   39:56
So if a school are we at the point now, especially for an MBA, Um, where really schools are indifferent or is your ah

spk_0:   40:06
sense that some schools still really do prefer one over the other Inside, for example, still prefers the G man. It's actually quite clear about it. It doesn't take the g r E, but it wants to see a higher score. Um, most of the business schools that I've we're off talk of directors. They are Jerry and gee, Matt agnostic. They really don't care now, in terms of, you know Should you take Jerry of the G Met? My advice is take the one. Where you going to do better? You know, I can't tell in any individual which one they're going to do better on. They have to sit down, take practice exams and kind of just see where it falls out. And then they can start working on the one that where they start with a higher score. And the exception to that would be if you are thinking of going into, um, investment banking and possibly management consulting. Many of those fields want to see a G Matt score. And if that's the case, then I would stick with Gina.

spk_1:   41:10
Linda, you had mentioned and feel for you guys can chime in. You had mentioned that you can't You can't trick the admissions officer, is you. You know you have to be authentic. However, let's say I mean, you talked about showing that you are going to be a good contributor track record of community service, for example. But so you don't have a long track

spk_0:   41:29
record of community service and

spk_1:   41:31
you say you know what? I'd better get my act in gear. I'm gonna sign up for Habitat for Humanity. The summer before applying is actually a good thing to do to show that you're trying or is it a red flag? Because it's clear that

spk_0:   41:43
you're trying to cram things like fit or values. I think it's better toe get your acting year and do it. Okay, Um, if you don't do it, then you say I won't even serve my community when it's gonna benefit me through your actions. You know, it's like you really don't want to do it. Um, so I would. That's That's one reason the other reason I would say get involved. It doesn't have to. It could be habit at your free Manning. That's obviously fine. It can also be, as I mentioned earlier, it could be an ethnic group. It could be a religious group. It could be ah, alumni association. There are so many ways we are all part of multiple communities, as I said earlier, and the one that you feel most strongly tied to, or the commitment that you, uh, excites you the most. That's the one that you should get involved with. So that's that's you know what? My mind, my one answer. The other thing is everybody. Let's say it's you know, you haven't done anything until you decide to volunteer monthly for habitat for humanity. Great leaving G. I'm only gonna do It's up. September, October, November, December, January. Well, what if you wait listed? All right, then. Suddenly this three months commitment isn't so, so peut. Could you keep on doing it? And maybe you take on more responsibility, and maybe you'll even find it satisfying as opposed to just a chore that you're doing for your application. So and maybe you even don't get accepted this year. You have to reapply. Suddenly this this thing that you did for a month or two just to get something on your application, it becomes much more of a commitment, and you will grow from that commitment. And, of course, whenever you're benefiting, will benefit. So, um, I would say, Don't don't just say, because I haven't done it. Don't do it. That would be my particular

spk_1:   43:40
Amanda has a question.

spk_0:   43:43
Hi. Can you hear me? Yes. Okay, Sensei, about that. You know what really stuck out to me was hearing that there is some sort of personal opinion that goes in the selection of these students during that secondary round, And I just, you know, I feel like I have a lot of diversity and I could stand out, but I just wonder how toe also stay really professional on authentic and not be to open about. I think we've all been in situations where maybe we're on an airplane and the person next to us starts toe, you know, spill their life story. And you think, you know, it's a little too much information, right? That's what you don't want. Okay, I want you now. Sorry. It's so it just seems like a balancing act. Really. It is a balancing act now, um, one of the more moving. Ah, I shouldn't say. Normally, one of the most moving interviews I ever did for a mission. Straight talk was with ah, young woman named Ida Valentine, who overcame incredible hardship. Really tragedy. Um, I'm not gonna tell you what it is. I'll spoil the podcast for you, um, and and graduated college, got a job and is now starting at Harvard Business School. I think she recently got married, but, um, she had that she had to do that balancing act in a really tough way, and she talks about it in the podcast. And she actually did say that in this case, the guide and she got from her except a consultant was very, very helpful to her. But you're 100% right. It's a balancing act. Um, yeah, you want to be revealing, but not like that. You know, too much information revealing, um, you want to be authentic, and you want the different elements in the application to complement each other only like a puzzle. Right? If you think of ah, jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces, they fit together. So while I think it's perfectly appropriate for one s a toe, let's say talk about how you've overcome a difficult childhood. Other essays could talk about travel or hobbies or community service or critical exposure that you've had again p a schools. They want to know that you've been in clinical settings. So whether it's again for the NBA's among you, um, another lot of MBA Africans here again, you could talk about work experience. You could talk about community service leadership, have different essays, and different elements of the application, reveal different things about you. Don't don't be a one trick pony.

spk_1:   46:33
All right, We have come to the all important action item portion of the episode, and for this week, your action item is to get on a piece of paper and make a list of at least 10 values that your particular graduate program that you're applying to would be looking for in an applicant. I love what Linda said about that, about how different graduate programs actually value different things in the candidates that they're evaluating. So think about the type of program you're applying to. Are you going for traditional N b a. R u going into nursing education, engineering? And what different values might those programs be looking for? Write them down and then brainstorm ways that you exemplify those values. This advance work will serve you well when you actually get to crafting your application following Linda's framework. But take the time now to start brainstorming a minimum of 10 of those values. All right, so with that, we will wrap things up for today. Thanks again for listening. Please share subscribed. Tell your friends about the Dominate test prep podcast. Go out and have a great week, everyone, and prepare to dominate your test