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Advice from a Stanford admissions officer to all students

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A student who was recently admitted into Stanford University shared his experiences from his first day on campus, one of which was the conversation he had with a Stanford admissions officer. The advice he received from a soon-to-be Stanford freshman is the same advice all students should receive about applying to school to study or job to work. Here is the student’s account:

First, he was really clear was that he really wanted to see passion.

“I don’t care if their passion is shoe shopping. A passion for anything means they are the type of student that will be passionate about other things.”

When you are writing an essay to apply to college, graduate school, or even a job application, make sure your essay shows whatever you are passionate about. You don’t need to write about a huge life changing event. Write about something you really care about. This was the most important thing he stressed during our conversation.

Second, you must show that you are open-minded. It is a turn off if a student appears close-minded and bigoted. The admissions officer’s example was if someone was a Democrat and in their essay made it clear that they wouldn’t want a Republican roommate because they care so much about Democratic values that they couldn’t live in the same room. Though the student tries to show passion, he sounds like he is intolerant of Republicans. Don’t appear narrow-minded. Appear and be open-minded.

Finally, an admissions officer is your biggest supporter. He or she argues for you to get you an acceptance letter, so giving him or her something convincing to say in front of a committee is crucial. It takes more than just impressive test scores. Regardless of acceptance rates and quotas, a school will not say no to a student that really deserves to be admitted. A company will not say no to a student that really deserves to be accepted.

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