Success Stories
Aug 25, 2022

Vrinda Khandelwal: Ashoka University undergrad debunking the Code Ivy

Believe universities care only about your academic credentials? Think again and learn more from Vrinda Khandelwal’s journey to Carnegie Melon and Cornell

After a bout with an educational consultancy that had proved unfruitful, Vrinda sought our guidance hoping to increase her chances. At first glance, Vrinda’s Bachelor degree in Computer Science, her 3.6 cgpa, a published research paper and teaching experience all emphasized her eligibility as a candidate for an MIM degree. However, Vrinda had been dissatisfied with her previous service and was looking for assistance in taking her personal essays to the next level. While initially, she had requested edits from our end, we soon convinced her that we needed to improve the foundation and rebuild the essays from scracth. We were glad that Vrinda was placed her faith in us.

As a first step remedial measure, we evaluated Vrinda’s college choices and created a more balanced list. The process allowed us to revisit the requirements of each college and we realised a glaring gap in Vrinda’s profile was the lack of displayed commitment to one’s community. Thus, we identified a volunteering opportunity aligned with Vrinda’s interest and future educational plans. Immediately, she began working with an NGO that provided alternative CS degrees to the underprivileged to help them with employability in the fields of software engineering and web development. Vrinda showed great initiative and sincerity in orienting her pedagogy to maximizing impact for the batch of 50 students she engaged with.

When we approached the essays, we now had the advantage of being more focused in our approach of projecting Vrinda’s profile. Through an elaborate process, we made structural edits, shifting the focus of her profile to align more explicitly with her future goals. Mapping her experiences with her motivations, we clarified her technical and intangible learnings- emphasizing her not just as a scholar but as a person, balancing proficiency with vulnerability.

Vrinda’s recent admit to Cornell University justifies her brilliant efforts. Good writing is not simply the use of embellishing vocabulary. Everytime we present ourselves, we must repeatedly ourselves some critical questions. Have we identified the best possible instances of our accomplishments? Are they aligned with our career goals? Are we building up our motivations and elaborating on our learnings? Are we being clear and coherent? It is a marvel how some fundamental things such as these can marginally improve our chances. We need to work on our weaknesses yes, but more importantly we need to work in projecting our strengths.

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