Determination and Passion: The Key to Getting into Stanford Business School

The words etched on a cornerstone in Stanford Graduate School of Business reading, “Dedicated to the things that haven’t happened yet and the people who are about to dream them up,” resonated completely with Vivek’s* career goals. Vivek believed Stanford University would be the perfect place to turn his passion for creating into a successful career, thanks to the university’s excellent faculty, student diversity and the vibrant startup community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Vivek’s goal of enrolling in his dream business school came true, but the journey was an interesting one.

Who would have guessed that what started as a disappointment might go on to become one of the greatest achievements of Vivek’s academic life. After a year of applying, interviewing and facing rejections from his top business school choices, Vivek decided to do things a bit differently the next year. Armed with a fruitful year of valuable work experience at a startup that helped reinforce his passion for FinTech and provided him with experience in a variety of functions, Vivek re-applied, determined to get into business school. 

With an updated plan, Vivek took risks at the workplace to differentiate his profile and he was able to achieve his goal of getting into Stanford University. His winning formula involved starting early, creating a strong support system through friends and family as guidance, seeking professional help with applications, conversing with current students and alumni, and introspecting. Vivek says, “I would recommend starting at least a year ahead of the application cycle.” He adds that the admissions committee are trying to identify the person behind the application. “Introspect and find your deepest passions and emotions that define who you are today, and who you will be 10-20 years down the line,” he says.

He believes involving The Red Pen in his second application cycle helped him achieve his goal and ensured that the journey was smooth. The constant support he received throughout the application process, essay writing and interview preparations helped him portray his real self to the universities and boosted his confidence. 

All in all, Vivek is now determined to change the world, one innovation at a time. 

*Name changed per applicant’s request.

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?