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BeBeyond留学申请九步第九步:沟通:展现自我的时间到了! [复制链接]

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发表于 2007-10-17 18:52:34 |显示全部楼层
The 9-Step Guide to Successful Applications to US Schools
[size=large]9. Communicate: Presenting Yourself


In applying to US schools, think of yourself as a product that you want to sell to your customers: the US schools and professors.

Then, think: What kind of product are you? What kinds of products do your customers normally buy? And how are you going to convince your customers that you are the right product for them? These are the most important decisions that you have to make for your application and they fundamentally determine whether you will succeed or not.

This is why the BeBeyond 9-Step Guide to Successful Applications to US Schools devotes the first 6 steps to helping you make the right decisions in designing yourself, determining your customers' needs, and coming up with the correct selling strategies. (That is one of the reasons why we have created BeBeyond; by participating in BeBeyond community, you will understand better the "market" conditions -- America -- in which you are going to sell your product -- yourself.)

However, we all know that even great products cannot sell without a nicely designed package, powerful advertisements, and positive responses from previous customers. When it comes to these aspects of products, we Chinese are not nearly as good as we should be.

So, think of the information on your application forms, your TOEFL or GRE scores, your working experiences, and your research papers as the technical specifications of the product (yourself). Regard your reference letters as the feedback from previous users of the product. Treat your application essays as advertisements for your product. The question is: how to put these three parts together to create a powerful, irresistible presentation of the product that is you.

Steps 7-9 of the BeBeyond 9-Step Guide to Successful Applications to US Schools are designed to help you do just that. And is the place that you can come to improve your communication skills, which in turn assists you in making a strong presentation of yourself.

How to Make an Impressive Presentation

(1) The Main Image: Project to your audience one -- and only one -- primary, appealing and memorable image of yourself.

When you think about Sony, the first image comes to mind is an innovative audio/video electronic product like a Walkman or a TV set. This is Sony's primary image. The image is likable and appealing and easy to remember.

What is your main image that you want to leave to admissions officers after they read through your application? Are you the one who has a great potential to become a leading scientist in biology? Are you the one who will be able to build a world-class company based on your past business experiences and determination? Are you the computer expert who can provide the help that the Sociology Departments are desperately looking for for their research projects?

Images can be many different kinds. Which one to choose depends on how you want to present yourself based on your background and which images are easier to impress on your customers.

However, you can only have one, only one, primary image because that is the only way to get the admissions officers to vividly remember you. Don't try to be everything! Many Chinese applicants emphasize too many aspects of their qualifications: They are good at English, active in extra-curricular activities, hardworking, smart in computer usage, and nice in dealing with people.

After reading the application from such an all-mighty student, you will find it difficult to vividly picture his or her image. When you are trying to be everything, you may turn out to be nothing. Can you imagine if Sony also made women's underwear, cigarettes, and mooncakes? If it did, could you visualize Sony as easily as before? Would you buy soy sauce with a Sony logo on the bottle? Probably unlikely, right? So, don't make the same kind of mistake in your application.

(2) The Breadth of Your Image: While you should focus most of your energy on building a primary image of yourself, your image should have some breadth. In other words, you cannot say that you are only good at one thing.

Some of the Chinese applications tend to focus too narrowly. For example, all of their reference letters and Personal Statement are repeating the same thing: the applicant is an extremely good student with high test scores. This image in itself is not a bad image. But if this is the only thing that an applicant talks about himself or herself, this image becomes one of a nerd. No good!

An applicant is a real human being with flesh and blood. So while maintaining an impressive primary image, you should also add a few minor images and details to it. This way, your image will become fuller, more likable, more believable, and more interesting. For example, your essay may show slight humor to add some fun to your otherwise very serious application -- also good for those admissions officers who have read too many serious essays. You can also write about one or two very little stories of your life which shows your personality or other life interests to make yourself more colorful. It might be valuable to have a unique hobby.

(3) Consistency (and Reinforcement): Inconsistency in your presentation does the most harm to your application. And be warned: Inconsistency is also what the admissions officers are looking for in each application. -- confirm the message...

What is inconsistency? For example, if you are emphasizing on how good your English is and then your essay shows bad writing skills, the admissions officers will immediately question the credibility of everything you have said. Inconsistency shows when your reference letter ranks your analytical skills as the best of all your skills and then your analytical score from GRE is very low. Inconsistency can also come from the fact that you claim to be experienced in a certain area, but your working experiences seem to be unable to provide the confirmation.

Final Words: Learn Something Valuable


No matter how good a product is and no matter how well designed the presentation of the product is, there are always some people who don't like it. It happens in the business world all the time and it happens in the admissions process. Therefore, there will always be admissions officers or professors who don't like you or your style.

This, however, doesn't mean that you are not good. Different people have different judgment and different personal likes or dislikes. So do admissions officers! This is why Lili, who was refused by several second- or third-tier schools, was accepted by University of Michigan. In that sense, admission sometimes is a matter of luck (in other words, probability).

What is the most important thing you should keep in mind in preparing to go abroad? You should learn something that is valuable for the rest of your life from the process!

(Jinbo Xie,

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发表于 2008-2-3 01:25:44 |显示全部楼层
en~~ i think this is very useful when we have a admission
          Thank u~HAHA
even though i have not take a admission
    but i will remember it

Rank: 9Rank: 9Rank: 9

发表于 2012-5-4 09:53:55 |显示全部楼层
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