We interviewed one of our former clients to share with you her thoughts about Applicant Adviser. Milagros is a young Argentinian with a background in environmental engineering. With our help, she was accepted into Oxford to undertake an MBA.
AA: Did using Applicant Adviser augment your chances of getting into your ideal school?
Milagros: Yes, definitely. The post-graduate selection processes in Argentina are very different than in the UK. I had previously applied to foreign universities and had never succeeded. With this previous experience in mind, when I decided to apply to Oxford I looked for help. Thanks to Applicant Adviser I vastly improved my essays and CV in a small amount of time. Shortly after applying for Oxford, I received an invitation for an interview. So to answer your question, I would say that my chances increased enormously with the help of Applicant Adviser.
I would like to ask you about the co-creation process for putting together your application. Tell me a little about how this worked.
It is a very efficient process in terms of time. As I had already undertaken other application processes I had already reflected on my story, my strengths and weaknesses and the experiences I had to share. Then I began writing the first version of my documents, and then the co-creation process began. My mentor advised me on what needed to be worked on in my texts, the type of language I needed to use, the way I should express the ideas I was trying to articulate. My advisor helped me a lot in writing my personal statement and in perfecting my CV.
How long did the whole process take?
It was very quick – I only had two weeks in which to do it when I decided to use Applicant Adviser’s university application service. My adviser was able to provide me with great service throughout this short time period.
What aspects of the text needed to be perfected?
As an engineer, I think that I tend to write in a more direct manner. My text needed to be more persuasive.
Was there some idea or specific suggestion that your mentor gave you that you thought helped make a real difference?
Yes, principally in my CV. He made many comments on what sort of information I should include or exclude from my CV, and how I should frame it. My adviser also suggested that I join professional engineering associations or some type of international organization. And this, in fact, was great advice because I was already a member of a few and this gave me the opportunity to join others. Now I’m receiving lots of interesting information. In a general way, I feel that the major contribution was in helping me order information, how to present it, and how to communicate what my objective really was.
Which English proficiency test did you write and how did it go?
I did the TOEFL twice. I scored 107 out of 120 points and then, after working on my weakest skill, I did it again and scored 113 points.
How do you see the cost-benefit calculus of using Applicant Adviser?
When I decided to become a candidate I knew that there were people and companies that offered this kind of help. However, I did not think it would be worth the cost, that I could do it alone. In effect, having the help of Applicant Advisor made an enormous difference. Now I don’t even think it was expensive – Applicant Adviser is cheaper than many other services. What I most valued was the question of timeliness. And it was fantastic: I wrote a version and the same day he would send it back to me revised and with suggestions to keep working on. The benefit was not only a question of cost, but also having a person available to respond so quickly.
How will going to Oxford, one of the world’s best universities, change your life?
It will change my life in many ways. First, I like to study and I always had good grades in high school and university, and I always dreamed of going to a top university, one of the world’s best schools. So it was a personal dream of sorts. It’s also obviously a question of employability on the job market. Most importantly, the network that I will build at Oxford will be super important because I will have the ability to share classes and experiences with brilliant colleagues and professors from all around the world.
What is the major difference between entering into a Master’s in Argentina and those that you have applied to internationally? What most surprised you?
If you want to get into a Master’s in Argentina you only need to present one or two letters of recommendation. Furthermore, no one asks you to write a Personal Statement and, obviously, all the documents are written in Spanish, which makes it very easy for a native-speaker. Learning how to write a personal statement and developing a strategy to sell your case is different in countries like the US and the UK – it’s another mindset.
Transforming a ‘me-centered’ narrative into one on ‘my profession, community, country, world’ is one of our principal recommendations. How did this work for you?
At the beginning I thought that my profile, my studies, and my profession spoke for themselves – that I wanted to have an impact on the world, on society. I had not reflected so much on how to express my objectives – I thought it was obvious. My mentor helped me to transform my Personal Statement and demonstrate through my previous experience how I had produced impact in the world, how I wanted to use my skills to continue contributing to the world, and how I saw the Master’s as helping me.