Too brilliant on paper? How to make shine?

Too brilliant on paper? How to make shine?


Usually, you’re trying to extract untapped amazingness to get a client INTO the cream of the crop assessment pool. What you do when there’s too much amazingness and you need to desselect assets in order for a crisp brand profile to emerge? A great problem to have, but no walk in the park.

770 GMAT Score
3.9 Undergrad GPA
Undergrad Resume Finance major, VC/PE experience, non-profit leadership

The Situation

On paper? Devastatingly impressive. But a bit stony, robotic, plain even. The crackle was missing. When we dug into our strategy sessions, we were stunned by her genuine warmth which managed to somehow eclipse her on-paper-brilliance. An absolute joy to work with. We needed to ensure that her target schools were confronted with THIS version rather than the one that might have been impressive, but not emotionally relatable or resonant. This became part of our focus. The other part was simply deciding which of her amazing traits to highlight and which ones to de-emphasize in order for her impressiveness to shine through and not be weakened by ‘too many positive traits to the point where the reader tunes out.’ She needed a spotlight, and she needed her warmth to emanate.

Our Solution.

We helped "humanize" her by emphasizing extra-curricular leadership (which we also encouraged her to pursue) and her supportive / supporting roles at work when she asked for help. She got to choose from 3 outstanding offers – and became a highly valued leader with the non-profit organization that she joined. Had she not exhibited sincerity and inadvertently conveyed a sense of expectation/entitlement, the outcome may not have been quite as good!

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What we can do for you.

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