Be The Complete Candidate: Developing Your College Admissions Strategy

It’s ALL About YOU!

Just as archaeologists study prehistoric cultures by excavating and analyzing artifacts and inscriptions, the college admissions officers will attempt to discover things about you via your application package.  Let’s begin our deep dig into your personal college admissions strategy. I tell my college-bound friends, this is one of the rare times in your life when it really is ALL about YOU – so embrace it!

Each of us is a composite of our life experiences to date – family, values, interests, dreams, talents and quirks.  You are as individual as a snowflake, and no other applicant will present your specific combination of background, education, talents and interests.  Consider yourself a professional marketing manager during the college application process and the product is YOU.  Just as a product relies on packaging to attract customers, your college application packet must effectively market you to your target school.  How do you differentiate yourself from the other students competing for admissions? By articulating who you are clearly and concisely through the application components.

Let’s begin by defining who you are by crafting your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). Take some uninterrupted quiet time to unearth your life story and excavate interesting aspects.  Get this step right, as it is the cornerstone of your application package.  I like the analogy of the advertising industry’s “elevator pitch” whereby you have moments alone with your client in order to set your hook.  It is not about what you do; it is about who you are and the value you add.  Most importantly, you must have the evidence to support it.  Consider your unique skills, talents, career goals, academic interests, the impact you hope to have on the world.  The online personality style and learning assessment provided in your Complete Candidate™ package will help you excavate and polish these nuggets about yourself.  Just as Indiana Jones perseveres until he unearths the treasure, you will discover your Unique Value Proposition through self-reflection, research and effort.

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