I’ve set out a more detailed plan since I posted this. I have come up with what I call an application matrix. I got the idea after reading this blog post. My application matrix contains all the goals, attributes and personality traits that I plan to show the admissions committee as well as all the different aspects of application process. It looks like this (without the blacks, that’s just to take out my personal info):
The application matrix shows what I want to show the adcom:
- My academic/ personal/ professional backgrounds
- My personality traits/ strengths
- My goals both personal and professional
The different aspects of the application process: Online application forms, recommendations, essays, GMAT
Then I linked each goal to the exact part of the application where I planned to show it. As you can see, each goal shows up in multiple parts of the application because I want to mention it more than once but at the same time I do not want to keep repeating myself. Also, I came up with methods by which I was going to show the adcom. For instance, I’m not going to simply say, “I’m an excellent team player”, I’ll work it into one of my essays.
What the matrix allow me to do is to keep track of all aspects of my application as well as everything I want to showcase so I don’t loose sight of any of them during the application.
Additional tip: This is for ONLY one school. I do not think one approach will work for all the schools, for one thing, the essay topics are different and I think the schools are looking for different traits/ aspects of my personality.
In order to show strong fit with a school, you should tailor your application to the school – my opinion.