| THE GRAD ESSAY |

Clients come to me when they are writing something that matters.

Together we develop a response that is powerful and aligned with your work, personal history, and goals.

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{:. know your strength

PhD student
Harvard University
Full tuition & living stipend

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This essay required me to compress a lifetime of passions, experiences, and intellectual influences into probably the most important two pages of my application. I am incredibly lucky to have had Ariel's thoughtful feedback when composiong my "personal statement" for graduate school applications.

Ariel helped me clarify my statement by asking me probing questions. This forced me to think about what exactly I was trying to express and why I had chosen specific words. She pointed out the aspects of my experiences that made me stand out and helped me highlight those areas.

If I had to specify the single most transformative piece of advice that she gave me, it would be suggestiong that I cut certain words and sentences to make others pop out. In my rough draft, I had described my teaching experiences as "electrifying and incredibly rewarding," follwed by a final sentences of summary. Ariel advised me to cut everything after "electrifying." The sentence, paragraph, and entire essay were more powerful as a result.

Even though the application process is over and I no longer need to tweak that particular statements, I find myself pulling out her notes and referring back to her feedback when writing other assignments. I consider the writing advice I received from Ariel to have not only improved the essay she read, but my ability to express myself in writing generally.


{:.what i am trying to say

Masters of Public Administration
George Washington University
Full tuition & living stipend

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Writing is always a daunting task for me, so I really appreciate the way Ariel approached advising me and helping me to find my own voice in the essay. Her process was different from what I expected. In the past, I had worked with people who simply edited my work, rather than what Ariel did, which was to take something that I'd written and ask me a lot of questions about it -- what my goals were, what each specific sentence was about.

I think right after experiencing something life-changing like the Peace Corps, you haven't had the time in life to process what it means, but that's what you're being asked to do when you apply to graduate school. Ariel helped me drill down to the essence of what I was trying to say, rather than reacting immediately to conjunctions or grammar issues. The process worked!

I was able to finish the essay on my own and when the admissions committee nominated me for an additional scholarship, they commented specifically on the strength of my essay.