How Positioning Landed this Re-applicant a Wharton Scholarship After Multiple Rejections

A common mistake that many applicants make is that they don’t focus on their positioning. This is also something that many counsellors overlook.

A very strong candidate, who is in every way the ideal student for a program, can receive a rejection if their application does not focus on what makes them different from others.

This is exactly what happened with one of my clients when he first applied for an MBA.

He was working at McKinsey & Co., a top consulting firm, and had carried out many interesting projects. For instance, he created a technological phishing net for a government project aiming to reduce terrorism. Here, he bridged the gap between the public and private sectors and aided communication between these vastly different bodies.

This is obviously not an experience that most have. However, he had only written a sentence or two about this.

Perhaps, this is because even he did not fully comprehend the value of his contribution to the project. When he told us about his involvement in the project, it was us who made him understand how his subtle leadership ensured the success of the project.

While reapplying, we picked out different instances from this example to showcase his interpersonal strengths. We also highlighted examples that showed his strengths across the six pillars that MBA programs look for (leadership, teamwork, analytical skills, social responsibility, ethical decision-making, and diversity).

This focused application that highlighted his most unique experiences and set him apart from his peers got him admission to Wharton.

So clearly, positioning is key. Have you thought about yours?

Contact us to learn more about how you can leverage your experiences to distinguish yourself from the competition.  

Curiosity + Effort > IQ for Academic Success

Most parents want to raise high-achieving kids, but we’ve been focusing on the wrong thing. It’s time to shift our focus from searching for innate talents to nurturing Curiosity and Effort.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that high achievers possess a hidden, innate talent waiting to be discovered. But science tells us that our intelligence isn’t fixed; our brains are dynamic. The brain is made up of billions of neurons and it is the connections between these neurons that allow us to think. The more connections we make, the better our problem-solving ability is.

It’s not about finding talents; it’s about cultivating curiosity and effort. I’ve witnessed this transformation while coaching over 10,000 students to prestigious universities.

A study showed that 7th graders who were given two sessions on how intelligence isn’t innate, in addition to being taught about study skills, performed 3 times better than the group who was just taught about study skills.

That’s exactly why I’ve developed programs to nurture curiosity and effort. Let’s shift our focus from the talent hunt to empowering the next generation with the real tools for success.

Contact us to learn more about our Future Achiever programs where we help students understand what they’re curious about, engage with their interests in meaningful ways, combine their interests to create new ones, and reframe limiting beliefs.

Nurturing Children’s Curiosity: The Key to Motivated Learners

Many parents come to me worried about their child’s motivation. In many cases, the problem is that we are trying to get them to be curious about things that they simply aren’t curious about. Children’s curiosity is not content-free. We need to pay close attention to what they are curious about and nurture those interest areas.

Why is curiosity important?

When kids want to know, they will learn. So, developing or encouraging kids’ curiosity is the best way to ensure that they engage with and enjoy learning. In fact, science tells us that curiosity and effort have been more strongly associated with success than IQ.

What are the biggest mistakes we make when it comes to curiosity?

  1. We assume certain things are good to be curious about versus others and dismiss what the kids are interested in.

This is a big one. We often have our own ideas about what is important for kids to learn about, and we can be quick to dismiss their interests as trivial or unimportant. But the truth is, all curiosity is valuable.

  1. We simply answer questions, without directing the child’s curiosity.

When a child asks us a question, our natural instinct is to answer it. But we can also use this opportunity to direct their curiosity. For example, if a child asks us what a bird is, we can tell them that it is a flying animal. But we can also ask them what they think birds eat, where they live, and how they fly. This helps them to think about the bird in more depth and to develop their own questions.

So here are some quick tips to nurture your child’s curiosity:

  • Follow their lead. Pay attention to what your child is interested in and encourage them to explore those interests.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Provide opportunities for exploration.

Contact us to learn more about how you can nurture your child’s curiosity.

The Power of Profile Building

Students often know their interests, but they are unable to link them together themselves. This can lead to a lot of frustration and uncertainty about their future goals.

Here is an example of how profile building can help students connect their different interests and find a clear path forward:

One of our students was interested in volunteerism, psychology, and dreamt of going to UPenn. We helped her brainstorm a unique research topic combining her interests, which led us to positive psychology, a field that was born at UPenn.

We not only mentored her through her project but also helped her network with professors at UPenn, one of whom wrote her letter of recommendation.

This shaped her career and goals- She went on to study psychology at UPenn and is now pursuing her PhD.

It’s extremely important to start thinking along the lines of how you can add to your profile in meaningful ways at an early stage. Your profile reflects your skills, experience, and interests. It’s a powerful tool that can help you achieve your career goals.

If you need help starting the process of profile building, please reach out to us. We are here to help you connect your different interests and find a clear path forward.


Students Who do Research are 20% More Likely to Get Into a Top 10 College.

You might have heard of high school students writing research papers but what about younger students who are not yet at that stage?

They can write a research-based article, which is typically shorter than an entire paper. These articles may be reviews of existing research and literature or commentary pieces.

Here are some of the benefits of writing a research-based article for ninth graders:

  • It helps you develop your research skills. Writing a research article requires you to find and evaluate credible sources, synthesize information, and develop your own arguments. These are all essential skills for success in college and beyond.
  • It helps you explore your interests in depth. When you write a research article, you have to choose a topic that you are passionate about. This gives you an opportunity to learn more about your interests and how they fit into the broader world.
  • It helps you develop your critical thinking skills. As you write your research article, you will need to analyze and evaluate the information that you find. This will help you to develop your critical thinking skills and to form your own opinions and conclusions.

While one article may not be enough on its own for your college application to stand out, many students write and publish multiple articles on the same topic. This looks rather impressive and shows your commitment to the subject. Some

If you are a driven and curious ninth grader, I highly recommend writing a short research-based article. It is a great way to build your skills, explore your interests, and strengthen your college profile.

Business Schools Pioneer Healthcare Transformation with Specialized Programs

Did you know that more and more business schools are incorporating specialised healthcare and business programs in their repertoire?

These programs aren’t just about business; they are about revolutionizing the way healthcare operates. From supply chain management to resource allocation, the role of business in the healthcare sector is undeniable.

For instance, The Wharton School offers an MBA with a Health Care Management (HCM) major, bringing together students from diverse healthcare sectors, from pharmaceuticals to venture capital. In fact, more than 15% of applicants to Wharton cite the HCM program as a key factor in choosing the school.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business takes a unique approach with its joint MBA/MS Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program, where business expertise is combined with foundational biomedicine knowledge. This innovative curriculum equips students with the tools to navigate the unique nature of the healthcare industry.

B-schools are pioneering the path to creating and capturing value by merging traditional business principles with the nuances of healthcare. Reach out to us to learn more about how you can develop your profile and application towards these specialised programs!

NYU Stern MBA Graduates Outpace Job Market in Tough Economy

Most students working towards a master’s or an MBA program have the same concern in the present economy. Will they get a job?

Despite the tough economy, NYU Stern MBA graduates of 2023 outpaced the job market, securing jobs at the same rate as their predecessors. In fact, they set new records in terms of base salary and total compensation.

What was perhaps most surprising was that most students were hired in the consulting industry, despite reports of hiring cutbacks.

Consulting firms were the top employers of NYU Stern MBA graduates in 2023, with McKinsey hiring the most students (24), followed by Deloitte (18) and Strategy& (15). Amazon, the top hirer in 2022, came in sixth place with 10 hires.

These are interesting statistics for MBA aspirants to consider. The strong job market for Stern graduates is a testament to the school’s rigorous curriculum and its focus on preparing students for the real world. Stern graduates are highly sought-after by employers across all industries, and they continue to achieve success in the global economy.

Reach out to us for guidance on strengthening your application to top B-schools.

Reapplying to Oxford

At Futureworks Consulting, we believe in the potential of every student, no matter their initial setbacks.

One remarkable story we’d like to share with you today involves a highly driven student who, despite impressive test scores (95% in boards) and strong LNAT and CLAT scores, faced rejection from Oxford’s undergraduate law program.

Upon a thorough assessment of his profile, we found that he had not undergone any mock interviews or critical thinking training, which are crucial for Oxford’s rigorous admissions process.

We immediately got to work! We conducted approximately 20 mock interviews to prepare him for the challenging Oxford interview.

To bolster his reapplication, we guided him through a Socratic Colloquium where he engaged with industry practitioners. He also participated in a prestigious national essay competition and collaborated on a research paper published in a US-based journal and featured in a book chapter.

Together, we transformed his personal statement to reflect these enriching experiences and the profound insights he gained from them.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that he is pursuing his passion for law at Oxford University, demonstrating that with dedication and strategic support, even setbacks can lead to remarkable achievements.

If you’re ready to embark on your own journey to academic excellence, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Reach out to us today to explore the possibilities!

Harvard Kennedy School’s Enriching Opportunities For Public Policy

Did you know that the Harvard Kennedy School offers a variety of exciting international opportunities for students?

The school combines cutting-edge research, the teaching of outstanding students, and direct interaction with practitioners to provide a unique educational experience. With various research and summer opportunities, students can learn diverse, global perspectives.

For example, the Vietnam Program at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation supports one first-year Master in Public Policy, Master in Public Administration, or Master’s in public administration in International Development student for an internship at the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) in Vietnam for eight weeks during the summer.

Interns work under the auspices of FSPPM with the guidance of faculty affiliated with the Program to support the research of faculty associated with the Vietnam Program on land policy, rural poverty, environmental issues, industrial policy, infrastructure, urbanization, and other macroeconomics/trade issues affecting Vietnam.

This is just one example of the vast variety of opportunities that students can immerse themselves in at Harvard Kennedy School, enriching their higher education experience.

Harvard Kennedy School is extremely selective when it comes to offering admission. Do you need help crafting a compelling application? Contact us today!

HEC Paris Has Been Ranked The #1 Master’s in Management (MiM) program

HEC Paris has just been ranked the #1 Master’s in Management (MiM) program in the world by the Financial Times, for the first time ever.

HEC Paris surpassed St. Gallen, which was previously ranked as #1, across three metrics:

  • Employment rate three months after graduation: 100% for HEC Paris vs. 98% for St. Gallen
  • Salary increases between pre- and post-MiM salaries: 76% for HEC Paris vs. 52% for St. Gallen
  • Average salary within three months of graduation: $129,806 for HEC Paris vs. $129,264 for St. Gallen

So, what has HEC Paris done to put itself on top?

HEC Paris has revamped its MiM program, featuring multi-disciplinary courses, simulations, boot camps, a capstone course, ESG electives, field experiences, and ESG integration into all courses.

If you are a student who is passionate about making a difference in the world, and you are looking for a MiM program that will give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed, then HEC Paris is a great option for you!

Reach out to us if you need help making your HEC Paris application more competitive!