Admissions Blog

Application Advice from an Associate Director

By Brianne Kain
Posted Oct 14 2022

Hello, Readers! Brianne here.

As I'm beginning to read applications for the upcoming term, I felt that it was a good time to share some general advice when it comes to presenting the strongest application you can for admission. I know how stressful the process can be and the self-doubt that accompanies it, so please know we are all here to help. Our admissions inbox is always open for questions!

  1. Proofread Your Essays: I have seen very obvious spelling errors such as Colombia rather than Columbia (remember, the O spelling is the country.. not the university!) or general grammatical errors. Please consider having your essay proofread; ask a friend, mentor, partner, professor, supervisor - any extra set of eyes can help eliminate very basic mistakes and take your writing to the next level. Think about if a stranger picked up your essay; could they identify your goals within a career of policy? Would they know you wanted to work in public service? If your essays cannot answer these questions, think about refining your thoughts.
  2. Follow The Prompts: All our essays have word counts for a specific reason. When you are submitting essays more than the word count, it shows us the lack of following basic instruction. Please make sure to follow these instructions!
  3. Attend an Information Session: Our information sessions spend about 15 minutes talking in depth about do's and don'ts within your application and I find it super beneficial for students to attend. Questions such as "What should I cover in my short essay?" or "Do I need to submit the optional essay?" or "How can I prepare for the Video Essay?" can be answered for you during these events. Check out the options we have here!
  4. Prep your Recommenders: Your letters of recommendation serve as such a vital component to the holistic review because we get to hear from people who know your skillsets and how they give you the foundation to become the next global leader. My piece of advice is to provide your personal statement to your recommenders so they have a clear vision of your goals and how that ties into public policy/affairs.
  5. Read this blog: This is a bit of an obvious plug for the admissions blog but my goodness, there is SO much good content on here from a student perspective. It almost feels like there's a blog post for everything. Can't find a post and think it would be useful to have? Let us know what you want to read at [email protected]. Do not underestimate the power of the information here!

Wishing you the best of luck in working on your application! I hope this can be useful advice when you're making your final edits. You got this!

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