Stand Out. Get In.
I developed this site to help students get into rigorous graduate programs. There are several common internal obstacles that many students face when they apply to grad school:
- The impostor syndrome (“I’m not good enough to go to University X”)
- How to be ‘humbly boastful’ (emphasizing achievements without narcissism)
- Being genuine, yet professional
- Procrastination or dreading the application process rather than embracing it (and even enjoying it)
One of the most important pieces of advice I can give is to make sure to be authentically yourself in your application. What I mean is that you need to be fully you, even if there is a strong pull to ‘say the right thing’ on an application. Saying what you think the application reviewer wants to hear (“The faculty at X University piques my interest because of the rigorous scholarship that they …. blah blah blah”) will usually come off as disingenuous. Your goal for your application – especially your statement of purpose – is to let the graduate program get to know you as a person and why you are an ideal fit for their program.
At the end of the day you want to be in a graduate program that knows you and values you as a person. If they don’t value you, your contribution, and specifically what makes you a unique applicant, then move on to a program that does.
If you have a specific question, just let me know. I read every message.
Dr. David Gard, Ph.D.
Brightfish Founder, Professor of Psychology