Monday, April 28, 2014

Applying Emotions to Applications | The Harvard Crimson Admissions Blog

Applying Emotions to Applications | The Harvard Crimson Admissions Blog

Check out our most recent post on the Harvard Crimson Admissions Blog chronicling the emotional reactions of various InGenius Prep former admissions officers like Jean Webb!

Below, you'll find some commentary from Noah Greenfield, the co-founder of InGenius Prep about the sentiments shared by our former admissions officers in the Crimson article and how this was part of the impetus for him founding the company:

I was involved in making decisions for summer programs at Columbia and Yale. What was surprising to me was just how easy the decision making process was. The good applications were just so good - everyone who got into these competitive programs (from about 250 applications for 20 spots each) stood out far above most of their peers. It was only when some students contacted me after they were not accepted and asked me to help them understand what they might improve that I realized that a good number of those rejected students had the exact same numbers, extra-curriculars and experiences, etc., that the WOW students had. But, the difference to me was that they couldn't figure out how to communicate it to us in a WOW fashion. We might have taken a closer look if they had, but why would we bother when a) we were busy with other aspects of the program b) the great students were so compelling they were no-brainers?

The idea of the people behind these applications being probably equally qualified, but having less polished application materials made me uncomfortable for a long time. It would really keep me up at night that I seemed to be making such snap judgments based on such a small sample size of information. What I take solace in, though, is that a lot of that polish reflects the “extra mile” that students can go to in order to make sure their application truly stands out as a WOW application instead of one that just has like many others status upon review. I also realized pretty quickly that this phenomenon isn’t unique to the admissions process. It’s prevalent in job applications, almost any competitive or selective process in the world, and almost any important decisions that a businessperson or professional makes. Decisions are always made on sub-optimal information and often with limited resources and time, so preparation, persistence, and presentation are just as important as performance.