Mike worked at a boutique investment bank before moving to a mid-market PE firm, where he had been for two-years. This put him in an extremely competitive pool of applicants.
Mike wanted to apply to Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton. This is a risky strategy given how competitive these schools are. We had to make sure Mike had a compelling story that distinguished him from his peers.
We focused extensively on looking for a unique experience during Mike’s persona and background assessment. We learned that Mike had helped a European entrepreneur in the healthcare industry enter the US, a unique project that was sure to set him apart from his peers. We decided to talk about this project and how it had a profound impact on his career goal of becoming a healthcare entrepreneur.
There were several members in Mike’s community (including himself) who had faced mental health challenges. We made this the theme of his HBS and Wharton essays. The essay writing process helped Mike reflect and realize that a desire to address mental health issues had been ingrained in him from an early age.
Through this process, we were able to help Mike draft a differentiated application that touched on his understanding of and interest in the healthcare industry. He was able to combine his passion for improving mental health along with his ability to dissect successful businesses through his private equity background to create a differentiated story. He ended up getting accepted at HBS and Wharton with a $75,000 and $105,000 scholarship respectively.