Interview: Former Assistant Director of Admissions at Harvard Law School on Higher Education Admissions to Top Universities in the World
Ms. Heather worked for Harvard Law School for twelve years. Prior to joining the graduate program at HLS, she worked as a lawyer and immigration law specialist with a focus on the area of ââbusiness and family immigration. Today, she is the Director of Wallick Global Consulting Private Limited, a thriving coaching practice that provides support, mentorship and capacity building to students for their highly competitive graduate application process.
Wallick Global Consulting has achieved tremendous success in helping students gain admission to highly prestigious global higher education institutions. Wallick Global Consulting quickly set the benchmark for higher education career planning and academic counseling in the Indian education scenario.
Today, Ms. Heather Wallick shares her perspective on the success of the consultancy firm and her advice to prospective students who want to make their college dreams come true.
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Why did you choose to come to India after your time at Harvard?
When I was at Harvard, I reviewed many applications from international students. Through my work, I have realized that candidates make common strategic mistakes in planning and choosing activities that make them less competitive. I wanted to use my expertise and training gained in one of the best academic programs in the world to support students in their higher education efforts.
Traveling to India was an unrealized dream for many years. When I left Harvard, I had time to think about my next career. As an international relations student, I had a constant curiosity about the world and a wish to live outside the United States for a while to experience the world. I have come to India, which represents for me a great amount of untapped human capital waiting to be nurtured. It was the perfect place to start my career planning and personalized education business.
What kind of preparation have you done to prepare for the unique needs of Indian students?
Most, if not all, of the dedicated admissions professionals who work at the world’s top universities have a highly developed interest and expertise in the unique region they serve. In my case, I undertook significant research on the Indian education system and its progression requirements, various councils and national admission procedures. When I arrived in India, it was important for me to have an idea of ââthe needs of the moment; and hence, I have traveled extensively and also gave my ‘early preparation’ lectures, free of charge, at top universities and law schools such as IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kanpur, IIT- Madras, NLSIU Bangalore, NALSAR Hyderabad, NUJS Kolkata as well as many other public and private universities. In total, we visited over 55 educational institutions in 18 Indian states to understand the realities on the ground in India.
Tell us about your experience working with the Indian student pool over the past 4 years?
I’m glad I came! India has talented students that any university would be proud to have on its campuses. However, most of the students I meet seem confused about the overall application process and lack understanding and direction as to their future employment prospects. My company can help you. Our students have been admitted to the world’s most renowned universities. Working with them, we have proven our hypothesis that engagement, guidance, and early intervention strategies can help students achieve their dreams of pursuing graduate studies at top universities in the world.
Where do you see the gaps in applications from students applying to top ranked universities?
The most common mistake applicants make, whether they are undergraduates or postgraduates, is that they start thinking about the application process very late. Often times we find that they are not very clear about the career they wish to pursue and hence their higher education aspirations are not clear either. We have also seen that there is a gap between the preparation of candidates for studies outside India and their aspirations.
I say this often when I am interviewed: Students often underestimate out of fear or because of poor planning. I have seen many smart students who are completely bewildered by the overseas application processes and the need for “extras” – eg, appropriate small-scale research projects, community service, music. , arts, sports are almost absent by the time a student reaches Class 12. These are important engagement activities that are seen as preparation for a successful college experience.
What is the most important piece of advice you have for students who want to study at the best universities in the world?
Start early! When we compare the global competition, we realize that students who start late do not have the elements of a globally competitive application, as it takes years of focused activity and college degrees to compete. this pool of candidates.
Have your first meeting with an advisor two or more years before considering applying. Give yourself the time to plan, execute and deliver results in the years leading up to your application. The number of years and the specific type of preparation will vary from person to person, but generally speaking, set your goals and then strive to achieve them one by one. For aspiring graduates, be sure to do a project or job by your third year. Research and intellectual curiosity are essential to enhancing your graduate study experience.
Why is your model of early preparation so much more important in the Indian scenario?
We believe that moving abroad is an important decision for the family, both financially and emotionally. Through the early preparation model, we educate students from an early age on the demands of leading global universities. Through many discussions with the child, we try to identify their interest in offering suitable career options, and then streamline their preparation with these goals in mind.
We also discuss their challenges and opportunities, and encourage independence and lifelong learning. One of the objectives is to give them the means to meet the social and academic challenges they will encounter during their studies in a foreign country.
We also see that there is a huge difference in the approach to secondary education in India and in the knowledge base that international universities expect from their applicants. India places great importance on fundamentals and these often put students ahead in math and science subjects. However, there may be an opportunity for growth in areas such as soft skills, language application, reading, and knowledge application.
Where have your students been admitted?
Since its founding in 2017, Wallick Global Consulting has received numerous admissions each year to the most prestigious programs of top ranked world universities including Princeton, Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge, Yale, Stanford, MIT (Sloan), University of Chicago , LSE, Imperial College London, Kellogg, UC Berkeley, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, University of Toronto, UT Austin, Georgetown in undergraduate and graduate programs. In 2021, we had five admissions to Cambridge and seven to Columbia for graduate law degrees. Our students have received scholarships worth US $ 1 million and we are continually helping them seek additional funding opportunities.
What do you offer to working professionals who wish to apply?
There are a lot of people who apply while they are in the workforce. We advise them to work hard in their job while working smart in their applications, to choose their assignments according to their interests and to align them with the course they want to take. We have a special module through which we schedule evening and weekend sessions for our working professionals.
Students and parents can contact Heather and the Wallick Global Consulting team here.
Disclaimer: This article was produced on behalf of Wallick Global Consulting by the Times Internet Spotlight team.