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Harvard Kennedy School Rejects 2014


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Me too dude.. Btw any suggestion on improving application for next year ??

which one do you guys think will hold better value Teach for all initiative or NGO or policy related job??

Edited by admm.noops
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This will probably sound cliche, but I think whatever best fits your story will be most beneficial as long as its germane to policy. Doing something you'll enjoy and do well is far more likely to benefit you than trying to check a box. Personally, I don't have a ton of policy experience, but I have a pretty good narrative for why I'm trying to do what I'm trying to do. I think that has benefitted me in the application process.


For what it's worth consider Ford, too. I likely won't accept and I'm sure there are others in the same boat. I love the University of Michigan, but I've been here a long time and the weather and other factors have me considering a change of scenery.


Just my 2 cents.

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You can also write the admissions team at Harvard and request feedback on your application.  I know the Fletcher school will do this, as will Princeton, though the feedback may not come for a couple more months, once the acceptance/waitlist season has wrapped up, but it may be helpful. 

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Oh, my heart sank when I saw the title of this thread, but the vibe in here seems very positive, which is awesome.  The process is so long and energy-consuming that the only way to persevere is to stay positive and have a sense of community with other people.


Here are some tips for improving your application when you reapply. I've had success with helping people get in the second time around, so just know that all hope is not lost:

  • Consider waiting at least a year to reapply rather than reapplying the exact next year. Even if you ignore this piece of advice, you could get in. It happened last year with a client.
  • Make sure your CV is the best as it can be. People underestimate the power of your CV to speak on your behalf about your achievements. Use numbers to quantify your achievements (more is not necessarily better; quantified is better than vague). Avoid jargon. Make sure the "why" of what you are stating you are doing is clear.
  • Revise your essays. Make sure your career goals are clear and specific and cover your immediate (right after graduation), mid-term, and long-term goals. Any time you tell a story, be sure to include what you and other major stakeholders thought, felt, said, and did.
  • Reconsider your recommendation strategy. Make sure your letters are as strong as they can be by choosing people who can wholeheartedly recommend you to the program, who understand what the program is looking for, and who know why you want to go.
  • Get that score up. I recommend that you aim for a GRE score on both sections of at least 159 on each section and a very strong score is 164 on each section.
  • Flex your network. Reach out to current HKS students and recent alumni who may be willing to look over your application and give you feedback for improvement. Reaching out to people you don't actually know is a delicate art, but you can do it. The people most likely to respond are people who share some commonalities with you such as home country, workplace, undergraduate college, etc.

There are lots of other ways to improve your application, but I'll share those for now. Stay positive, and for those of you reapplying, keep making progress toward your goal.

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