Higher Education

What Matters? and What More? with Author Liza Weale


What Matters? and What More?

Liza Weale is the Founder of Gatehouse Admissions and the coauthor of What Matters? and What More? 50 Successful Essays for the Stanford GSB and HBS (and Why They Worked) with Jeremy Shinewald, the Founder of mbaMission. Liza joins hosts Mike Palmer and Melissa Griffith for a conversation about business school admissions, authentic storytelling, and the return on investment (ROI) of attending B-School in these transformative times.

Liza and Melissa begin by sharing their experiences applying and gaining admission into prestigious business schools before we dive into the examples of successful applicants’ essays from the book. We explore the importance of vulnerability and sharing your personal values when trying to gain access to elite business schools like Harvard and Stanford and just generally in life.

We also delve into the benefits and challenges elite business schools are facing as they attempt to respond to the disruptive forces of the pandemic, the awakening around racial injustice, and the transformation of the modern workplace.

It’s a fascinating conversation you won’t want to miss. Subscribe to Trending in Ed wherever you get your podcasts and find more great shows like this at TrendinginEd.com.

Jeremy Shinewald, & Liza Weale. (2021). What Matters? And What More? mbaMission. https://poetsandquants.com/product/what-matters-and-what-more-gsb-hbs-essays/?pq-directory-type=product


Mike Palmer:  Welcome to Trending in Education, the Business School Admissions, Special Edition. We are very pleased to be joined by a couple of friends of the show. First off we have Melissa Griffith back. It’s been a little while, Melissa, how are you doing?

Melissa Griffith: I am doing good. I’m happy to be back on and talking about one of my favorite topics. So I’m very excited to be here. 

Mike Palmer: Yeah. And we’re talking to one of our favorite people who specializes in that topic, which is Graduate School admissions, Business School admissions in particular.

She’s written a really interesting book that we’re going to talk about. Liza Weale is joining us. Liza is the Founder of Gatehouse Admissions. Liza, welcome to Trending in Education. 

Liza Weale : Thank you.  It’s great to be here. It’s great to reconnect  with old friends too. 

Melissa Griffith: Yes, it’s a reunion! I don’t know the last time we’ve all been together. 

Mike Palmer: Yeah, exactly.  We all work together back in the day and it’s exciting for us to be back together again.

And what brought us back together Liza is you’ve written an interesting book What Matters? and What More? 50 Successful Essays. It’s comprised of essays of applicants who successfully were admitted to Harvard Business School or Stanford School of Business. Really interesting themes around storytelling and getting to know what resonates with folks who are on the hook for some high stakes admissions decisions these days.

It’s something that you’ve been focusing on of late, Liza. But when we begin with a guest, we always love to get their origin story. What got you to this point in your professional life? Can you catch us up on what got you to this point? 

Liza Weale: Sure. I think it’s a few things.

First off it started a while ago before I went to business school. I graduated from college and didn’t know at all what I wanted to do and was fortunate enough to find a role as a business analyst in IT consulting. The truth is I knew nothing about information technology consulting. I learned a ton, but all of a sudden I realized, huh, am I suddenly going to be an IT person?

And nothing against that just, I was just wondering if that was really the right path for me. So I ended up applying  to business school. I applied to only two business schools, Harvard Business School, and MIT Sloan. And I like to say Sloan made a brilliant decision and let me in. I won’t mention what the other school decided, but my fate was sealed and it was the right decision. 

So I went to MIT Sloan and loved it. Absolutely loved it. I just loved the experience of being in school again. After graduating, I went into management consulting at Bain and Company, but it was actually there that on the side I started coaching people.

I came in as a post MBA consultant and then I worked with younger pre MBA associate consultants who were applying to business school. So on the side, I just said, Hey, if you’re applying to business school, I’d love to read your essays. Even then, I just loved hearing people’s stories.

Mike Palmer:  Yeah. 

Liza Weale: Fast forward. I spent about a decade, first in management consulting and then in educational technology. And then decided I wanted to really do this coaching full time. So now I’ve been at it for over just about 10 years in a full-time capacity. 

Mike Palmer: Yeah. And the experience and the genuine connections that you make with folks who are trying to pursue their dreams here around a business school, definitely comes through in the structure of the book, which we’re going to get into in a bit. 

Melissa, I’d love to get a little perspective from you as someone who also went through the admissions process to go to business school. And I know you’re someone who is also thinking about the future of business school. So any perspective on business school admissions, and some of the work that Liza and team are doing? 

Melissa Griffith: Yeah. The work that Liza is doing is amazing. Quite candidly when I went to business school, and this is one of the things I would love to get your perspective on as well, I knew nothing about admissions consulting. I actually knew nothing about that. This wasn’t even a service that existed. 

So how did I get into business school? I spent a lot of time talking to prospective students because I wasn’t sure which school I wanted to go to. I was looking at Kellogg, NYU and Columbia. Probably one more than you, Liza. One of those schools also rejected me. I have no idea why, but it happens. I guess it happens that you don’t hit it. But I think it’s what you were saying in your book, Liza: you’ve got to tell a story that resonates with the school. 

Honestly, I think I lucked out when I went to Kellogg and in hindsight, the story I told–I still remember the essays that I wrote to get into Kellogg–was very much  what Kellogg was looking for.

I remember that Kellogg at the time I was going, which is why I chose them, was looking for  socially conscious leaders. As a student coming up in New York City. one of the things I was terrified of, my family are diehard liberals. They resent everything that looks like business to some extent.

So much so that when I said to them, I was going to business school, they all were like, seriously, no! Law, please. Do law. Do not go to business school. And I was really worried about becoming one of those people that was just a money grabbing heel. 

But the point is I talked about that as I was going to business school. And so Kellogg appealed to me. And the story I wrote on what matters more was I talked about the fact that I didn’t just want to go to business school and become a consultant  and make money. I wanted to make sure I can give back to the community.

And I talked about it quite personally. I told the story of my first experiences in New York City where I was on a subway. It was the first time I had to deal with the homelessness in New York City. 

I can still remember as a 12 year old I’d come to visit in New York. It wasn’t even when I was living in New York, I had met this homeless person and she still haunted me. The fact that I can travel the world and this person was sitting there and I wanted to make sure that everything I did in my life was to get back to that. And that is a story that resonated with Kellogg. It didn’t resonate with some of the other schools I applied to, but I feel that’s what you’re looking for in an essay connection.

But I think it was dumb luck on my part. I wish I had someone saying to me this is what you should be doing on your essay. I don’t know how you feel about that Lysa? 

Liza Weale : I have to say I got goosebumps when you were telling that story to me.  The role I play is not necessarily telling people what stories they should tell.

It’s helping them dig into the stories that are actually most valuable to them. I don’t know if it was luck that you came up with that one, if that was really something that was meaningful for you it probably came across in your writing and was probably the reason why Kellogg did like you. It’s just not worth trying to guess what new schools are looking for.

But I always think about these stories as when you open up, you create these little windows for yourself, We establish a human connection. As I just said,  when you were telling that story, I’m like, wow. Yeah, that’s cool, if that was true, 

Melissa Griffith: It is true. I’m unable to lie like that.  It is something that I can still remember because it was so impactful in my life. Is admissions consulting something that a lot of students know about or do you think it’s still something that only certain people have access to?

Liza Weale :  That was your original point. And I think that it is an industry that has grown in many ways over the past 10 years. For the most part, I did not know about  admissions consulting when I applied to business school. My interview, oh, I can still remember my business school interview. I think he just felt sorry for me and said come on in because I bombed. I did everything wrong that I now tell my clients to avoid. But I think what’s been going on in the industry is it actually starts more with the high school or others who are looking for advisors, even if it’s just the guidance counselor to start thinking about colleges. Those people have now gotten used to having somebody, an outside expert.

So I think business school admissions coaching was trailed behind high school advising or college test prep.  It’s the next layer. 

So it’s really started to take hold, I’d say over the past 10 years. Also with the prevalence of  online testimonials, there’s a lot of online repositories where people can go and search for reviews and resources. So you’re not alone in not having heard about it. 

Mike Palmer:  It does remind me a little bit of further down the road in your career, you may wind up having an executive coach or someone who can help you navigate some of the leadership challenges you face. Or maybe you’ll have a therapist depending on where you wind up. Or both.

But it does seem like finding someone at a point in their life where they’re making a very big decision makes sense. And the decision to go to business school is two years of your life. And particularly for many of these schools, it’s a very dedicated focus. It’s full-time and frequently you’re also taking on some debt to get through that run. And there’s a lot of conversations now about the return on investment around higher education and also around any formal credential like an MBA. People are asking more questions about the return there. I’d love to get a little bit of your perspective on that Liza. My understanding is that the return on the top tier schools, even though they are expensive, the return is genuinely there. And there’s a lot of research that indicates that, but I’d love to get  more of your perspective on that.  

Liza Weale : Yeah.  I often talk to folks that say, I have to get into business school to change my life. I have to get into these business schools. And the reality is there are too many amazing candidates. There is simply not enough room for all these candidates at these schools. And I agree with you, Mike, that the ROI, I think it’s great that people are asking these questions, because I do think that there is this belief out there that if I go to business school, everything will be better. I’ll earn this amazing salary. My life will be set for life. And I think that folks should be looking at part-time programs, at Executive MBAs and online MBAs, because they really are much more cost-effective. I was paying off my school for years, and I went into a very coveted role right after business school and still had those debts weighing me down.

It’s not a light decision and you need to also consider more than just the monetary payoff that you’re going to get. You have to be realistic with yourself and really try to figure out if that math is going to work. And remember that there are some other routes to getting that boost that you’re looking for.

Mike Palmer: And there’s been a lot more soul-searching around educational outcomes and trade-offs. And opportunities with online learning, but the reality is there are a softer returns to the traditional business school experience, particularly in these elite institutions in terms of the network and the experiences that you have that do set you up for continued success in new ways, which again, full circle comes back to the benefit of having a trusted guide who can help you through this conversation both to make sure you’re applying to the right schools and then also that your application is making sense. 

And then at the same time, there’s more questioning of the standardized tests, which makes the essay and your ability to tell your story even more important. Because the essay does connect to the interview in some ways where you need to know who you are, and you need to be able to speak coherently about that.

Melissa, any additional perspective from you on this> 

Melissa Griffith: What Lisa was saying, it resonates so much with me. When I was going back to business school, the ROI was clear for me there. But what I remember coming out of business school is not even the debt, which yes.

I had a good amount of debt. But business school fundamentally changed the way I thought. That is not well-understood.  What it actually does to the way you structure your thinking. And it may not be for everyone. But for me, when I was an undergrad, I was a creative writing major, a theater minor. Business school just taught me how to think strategically and to break things down into logical components.

The thing I’d asked about the ROI and business is is that value still there? Is there enough focus on that? Are they selling the right thing coming out of business school? Because it should no longer be about the salary you can get, because quite frankly, you can become an engineer. Spend four years of school or go to a bootcamp and make the same amount of money that you will make coming out of business school.

The return for it is not the immediate next job, but how does it set you up to grow in your career? Which is what I think I still value from the business school. And Liza, the question that I would ask you is: Long-term, do you think that the value is still there as when we went to business school?

And what would you like to see the business schools do to  change what the program means? Because I think they’re going to have to do that eventually, 

Liza Weale : Yes.  One point I want to make is, yes, business school. I loved it.

I would go back. And I’m hearing you say, it fundamentally changed you as well.  Again, in my role, I sometimes say, and I want us to remember it: to any people who are listening, you don’t need business school. It’s a school, not a panacea. You can still succeed without it. I see people who believe that this is going to make or break them.

And that’s only the case if they let it. I am fundamentally a believer in people and want them to succeed. So if you’re listening to this, you can still find your path forward without it. But definitely be on board if you go after it. 

Melissa Griffith: Let me “plus one” that too, because people ask me that in my current job, and I’m like, no, I do not think business school is right for you.

I will wholeheartedly say it was the right choice that I made at the time I made it in my life. But you’re making a valid point. Everyone has to evaluate where they are in life and what they’re looking to get out of it and the point I’m making is, if business schools want to survive, they also have to understand the value they’re giving and figure out how they evolve that as well. 

Liza Weale : Yeah. I think with business schools, you definitely have Harvard and Stanford leading the charge in shaping what the business school education looks like.

And I think HBS Harvard Business School does a great job of consistently reviewing its cases, bringing in new cases and cases of leaders of all sorts, which I think is really important. I think they are also putting more emphasis on creating great leaders. 

But I think there was this assumption that you go to business school and then you get a great job on wall street. And it’s all about making millions. That’s not the message anymore. The schools are not selling that today. The focus is on how you can become a good, balanced leader who is committed to all stakeholders. 

Mike Palmer:  And that came through very much in the stories that are told through the essays that are really the heart of your book.

Can you walk us through how the book is structured? How you went about pulling it together? And then maybe you could tell us some of the stories of the successful applicants and how they told their story, because I think that does speak to what you’re describing.

 To my recollection, there weren’t a lot of Gordon Gekkos who were writing stories about how greed is good, and I really want to hit a certain salary right out of business school. But even if Gordon Gekko was out there, he was probably savvy enough to masquerade as someone who had a little more of a soul.

But I’d love to hear more from you on this Liza. It struck me as a very personal way to go after business school admissions. And as someone who wasn’t even actively pursuing this, I thought there was a lot to learn from understanding how to tell your story, understanding how to be comfortable with vulnerability.

A lot of the themes that you touch on transcend the specifics of the business school admissions. I was really fascinated by the work you did. Can you outline that a little bit for us? 

Liza Weale : Especially if you remind me, go back to your vulnerability point later, because it’s a really good one.

I co-wrote this book with my former colleague and very good friend of mine, Jeremy Sheinwald, who is the founder and president of mbaMission. And we did this in partnership with Poets and Quants. Poets and Quants, if you don’t know it,  is a media spot, a destination for people who are thinking about business school and there’s a big community there.

And so with Poets and Quants, we asked people who had been successful in applying to these business schools to submit their essays. And we weren’t sure what we were going to get. But we got a lot. People were willing to share their essays and we started reading them. 

And our goal in this really was twofold: First, we wanted to share the essays more or less as they were. We cleaned them up a little bit. We disguised them some, but we wanted to share them as they were written so that people could realize, Look, these aren’t works of art. They’re normal stories, normal people. So that was one part – to reassure people that their stories are worth telling.

And then for the second piece what my coauthor and I did was write a review or critique of each one. Identifying things that we thought were very effective and used call-outs which show where we thought somebody was doing something really well or creatively, or even maybe saying we would have actually done this a little bit differently.

 And we look at Harvard essays, HBS essays, and we look at Stanford, the GSB essays. And then we actually have a selection of essays that were from candidates who applied to both schools. The prompts are notoriously challenging and to have this window into the same applicant applying to both schools is really fascinating. It certainly was fascinating for me to read as well. 

Mike Palmer:  Yes. And if you’re applying to both, I saw this in the book, there’s a logic to it where Stanford has a shorter word count. So I think it’s easier to start with the long one or it depends on how you want to try to game the system. 

Liza Weale: Yeah. Unfortunately there’s no gaming of the system with this, Mike. I know. Let me tell you, I wish I knew how to game the system. So this is actually something my colleague and I differ on. 

I believe in starting with Stanford, because at the end of the day, the question is what matters most to you and why? And I don’t know about you two, but I can’t think of any time I’ve really been forced to answer that question succinctly for myself. It’s a really hard question to answer. 

But to get to that answer, it’s such a wonderful journey that, for me, I think start with it because if you have that True North answered, then any other school you apply to, and you made this point earlier about the interview or job searches, if you know what your True North is, that’s going to help you communicate who you are. So that’s why I always say, start with Stanford. 

Mike Palmer: Yeah. And then to clarify, Harvard asks, what more do we need to know about you? So assuming we know everything so far, round it out, and then they give you  more rope to work with. They give you more words put out there. But I did find that fascinating as well, where these are softer recommendations around word count, and there’s a lot of thought that goes into how much do you actually need to express? What do you need to express? And then can you go longer? And that’s where I did think there was a lot to learn about the choices successful applicants make for high stakes endeavors like this. And even the process that you have to go through, which is like life coaching, executive coaching, what do you value? And if you don’t know that you’re probably not gonna get into these business schools, but you’re also probably not going to interview well, you’re probably not going to get a good job on the other side. So it’s important to reflect on this, which is why I thought the book, while it’s hugely relevant to the folks who are pursuing this particular outcome, I was pleasantly surprised how much there was to learn about thinking about yourself, thinking about how to tell your story. 

And that’s where, maybe touching on vulnerability, diversity, some of these other elements that I think thematically are bigger than business school admissions, I felt like this was a very distilled and focused way to get at this stuff.

So I’d love to get a little bit of your thinking on what works and what is resonating, I’d like to say things are zeitgeisty.  What’s new and emerging that is surprising or insightful about telling your story well, so that you can get to these outcomes that you want?

Liza Weale: I think one of the things that you just said, really hammers home why this book is approachable. Because, as you said, the stories felt real to you regardless of the outcome and I’m going to extrapolate from that, tha something that might have surprised you is how infrequently you saw pure work stories in there. There’s very few boring work stories of when I was a consultant, I did these great things at work. I made a deal or whatever. That stuff maybe if you’re in that world, that specific office, that’s going to be exciting to you, but otherwise wow, it gets really one-sided or there’s no color to it. And I think what makes  these stories real is that even though you’re applying in this case to business school, or if you’re in an interview for a job, the things that are inside you, the things that add the color beyond the bullets on a resume, that’s really what’s going to just transcend and stick with somebody long after a conversation or long after they read an essay. 

One of the things we do in this book is break down the different ways applicants can think about telling and structuring their stories. And we identify the three different ways we saw people using most frequently. One is a thematic approach.  There’s an example In this book of a skeptic. He calls himself the “ever skeptic,”  Christopher the “Ever Skeptic” and his whole narrative is how at every point in his life, he asks himself, what am I missing?  And in doing that, he has really found a fuel and a motivation to create change.

So it’s just a nice story of how his asking “What am I missing? What don’t I get here?” actually paved the pathway to making change. That’s one way. 

Another way is it’s a journey. And this one is always very pleasing to read, usually because we like a good story. Somebody starts and then there’s some middle stuff, then there’s some growth and some struggles, and then they get to an ending and the journey of someone’s life.

Of course, the difficulty is what aspects do you choose to highlight? How do you zero in on those moments that are most important? And my advice there is don’t worry about what you think someone is going to want to hear. Focus on what was most important to you? What are the challenges you found and how did you get through them?

We can probably stitch together a pretty compelling journey. And I’m happy to talk about examples that I thought were really effective of the personal journey in this. There are a lot. 

And then another example of a way of going through an essay is there might be one moment that is just so important to you, so defining to you where you had the leeway to talk about anything in your life you want to, but there’s this one moment and an entire essay could be blowing out that one moment. And if it’s done well, the reader can extrapolate and make assumptions about who you are because of that. How you’ve gone through this one story.

Mike Palmer: Yeah that’s a little bit like what Melissa, in your example, it sounds like that was the approach that you took. 

Melissa Griffith: Yeah, although, it is what it affects you. I think what you’re getting at is I have always tried to be vulnerable. And I think that is the point. When you open yourself up, it is scary thing to do. Because I remember thinking that just, I don’t know if you experienced this with some of the folks that you’re helping. I just do not like being judged. I know you have to be, and I had this fear of what are people going to think about me when I put that there? And I think that sometimes causes people to try to make that happen.

Liza Weale : Oh, absolutely. I think some people say, I have to show in my writing I’m vulnerable and I’m like, forget that. You can’t fake it. Even just writing an essay and laying it out there and being like, this is who I am. That requires a huge amount of vulnerability. And I see people often hesitate. And it takes them a while to really give into saying “Okay. I got to just put myself out there.” 

It’s like anything else, you’re not going to find the steps forward that you want for yourself, unless you’re willing to try and put yourself out there. But it is just, it is uncomfortable a lot.

Melissa Griffith: Yeah, because rejection hurts. I applied to MFA programs before I applied to business school and I got rejected from every MFA program. And I actually think that helped me a lot because I think in that application, I was trying to play a role that I want to be in. I was trying to be this cool artist that I clearly never was and I think that helped me because with the business school application, that started with this is something I want to do. I knew I wanted to do it. And I actually had the same viewpoint that you talked a little bit about Liza.

If I don’t get in, it’s not going to be the end of the world. This is one decision. I want to do this. If this doesn’t work out for me, I will make my path somewhere else. I think that was super helpful to me in my approach. 

Liza Weale : That’s great. Yeah. 

Mike Palmer: And then the other theme that I think comes out through the book, and it’s another one that we’ve been talking about a lot on this show is the importance of diversity and the importance of getting a cross section of backgrounds and perspectives, which is another place where people may not have the self-confidence or they may historically have felt like being full-throated in telling that aspect of their story may be a negative, where now if anything what I’m seeing from these stories is that in many ways your uniqueness and whatever challenges you may have faced are in fact strengths.

Liza Weale : That’s right. There’s an expression of “the road most traveled.” For business schools, one of the things that certainly happened during the pandemic, when the schools very abruptly had to change. Everybody had to change to the world of Zoom and these schools invest a lot in marketing and having events, high touch events. Suddenly that was out the window and all they had was big zoom events. But they could suddenly reach so many more people because of that. And I think as such this last year, the real numbers haven’t come out yet. I don’t know when they will. Probably sometime over this coming winter actually. But by all indications, the number of applications to the top business schools are way up. And I think a lot of it is because people could see themselves in this class, in this future class of business school students, which is really exciting to me. 

Melissa Griffith: Yeah. So you think they reach more people, but do you think that ultimately the pool is going to look more diverse than previous classes?

Liza Weale: So I don’t know how much it will continue, but I think there are certain pipelines – firms or industries that are always going to every year to have a new batch of MBA applicants. But I think what they discovered this year, certainly what I saw in the folks I was advising, is they were coming from less overrepresented spots in the school’s program.

And on average, they did really well in this process. And so now that they have done that, they’ll have their colleagues or their little brother, little sister start to see that these schools that are no longer untouchable or unreachable. They are suddenly more within reach.

Mike Palmer: Yes. And on the flip side, there is a new pressure. Now that the genie is out of the bottle around online education,there are ways to overstate your scarcity of seats when there are new ways to open up access through online tools in particular, because we were forced to cross the digital divide, hopefully. So that more people throughout the world, including folks who maybe traditionally wouldn’t have had access to this great transformative learning experience that business school can be, now they can get that and they won’t necessarily need to uproot themselves and relocate. There will be new models that emerge. 

We are entering the future-facing part of the conversation, so I’d love to get a little more of your perspective on how like you’re mentioning at the top of the funnel, the aperture was widened. I would be curious over time whether the bottom of the funnel is also widening in that there will be more ways to get access to at least the components of a great business school education without necessarily going through the major investment small group, expensive high touch traditional business school model.

Liza Weale : I absolutely think things will change. If you think about it these business schools are all fighting for great applicants and let’s be clear dollar signs, tuition dollars. They want new ways, just like any business or any organization, new ways to fund their operations.

And I think the schools will absolutely be taking a look at what worked when they had to do everything over Zoom. 

What can they incorporate in the two year program as a steady state? And then what can they leverage outside of that? A lot of the schools, a lot of the business schools have been offering different mini programs or specialized programs, offshoots that again, their whole goal is to get more people into their programs. And I think that this will just be the next iteration of that. I know the University of Michigan Ross Business School recently announced its online MBA. 

There are a number of online MBAs out there, but it hasn’t been necessarily something that the top say 15 to 20 schools have really been dabbling in. 

But they recently did this at Ross an I feel certain that there are going to be other schools that are on their heels also because in speaking to students in these programs this year, which course, everything is new and finding and making relationships with your classmates when you’re not in class with them was a challenge, but one that they got over.

So I think the schools are going to take what they learned with their kids learning virtually how they still formed relationships and bake that into the online MBA options, which I think will be great. 

Melissa Griffith:  Yeah. I have another question for Lisa, because we did, we went through a pandemic that forced the online revolution. But we also went through a lot of social unrest and how did our schools respond to that, because it seems like these top business schools can sometimes be perceived as elitist. So how are they responding to that and how are they looking for applicants and addressing that issue?

Liza Weale : Let’s see. I think there are a few things. Number one, I think they’re well aware of  that perception and they’re working actively to get around it again. I think that’s why they’re going to be investing in a better marketing outreach. We could talk specifically about certain schools or not, but I think in general, they are going to be focused on bringing in more diverse applicants. Just making sure that everybody knows about them and has what they feel like is a pathway or gateway to those programs.

But beyond that even the questions themselves are changing and some of this predated this past year. I think about Dartmouth’s Business School, it was about three years ago, they changed one of their questions and their organizational description to say “We like nice people. Tell us why you’re nice? When have you had to invest in somebody else when it was difficult?” And I think that’s a great move on their part to be like, we want nice people. We don’t want jerks. It’s such a small thing, but, and then they are forcing their applicants to write about a time where they helped somebody when they didn’t have to. Some people are going to struggle to answer that.

Melissa Griffith: And those are the people they probably don’t want to show up. 

Liza Weale : Exactly. 

Melissa Griffith: That’s a good question. 

Mike Palmer: We’re getting close to time here.  Any other thoughts for our listeners? Obviously if they’re interested in going to business school, particularly to get into some of these top tier schools, they should check out Gatehouse, Admissions. Where should folks go?

Liza Weale : Yeah, you can just come visit us for sure at www.gatehouseadmissions.com. Nice and easy. 

Sign up for a free consultation. It’s a 30-minute session with someone on the team, whatever questions you have on your mind. This process can be really daunting. There’s always this question about whether or not I have what it takes? What school should I be looking at? I don’t have the right stories. Before you make any of those decisions and talk yourself out of that, reach out to us. Have a conversation with us, as you can tell, we love what we do.

I love talking to people. 

Mike Palmer:  I’m tempted to take the 30 minutes, even though I’m not planning to apply to business school, but that’s a whole other problem. 

Melissa Griffith: We can launch a new business with career coaching for you Liza. We’ll come in, you can talk to us, see if you can help us on our journey! 

Mike Palmer: As we’re wrapping up here any concluding thoughts or takeaways 

Liza Weale : From my end, my biggest thing, what I loved most about writing this was seeing how many different stories are out there. No two people are the same. It sounds so obvious and not valuable, but you will doubt that when you are applying for a job for college, for business school. Don’t doubt your stories. They’re all valuable. And just have the trust to tell them. That’d be my biggest thing. 

Mike Palmer: A wonderful conversation with Liza Weale, the Founder of Gatehouse Admissions. Thank you so much for joining. 

Liza Weale : This was great. Thank you guys so much for having me today. 

Mike Palmer: Awesome, Melissa. Thanks for coming back. It’s always lovely to have you here. Hopefully we’ll see you more again in the future.  

Melissa Griffith: I will come back anytime. 

Mike Palmer: So thanks everyone for joining and thanks to our listeners as always for listening. If you like what you’re hearing, tell a friend, subscribe, share the love. We’ll be back again soon.

This is Trending in Education.