Issue 49: Why this Babson admissions fellow’s essay worked, plus new updates on fact-checking college apps

“Sometimes students write ‘I enjoyed my visit at Boston College,’ when they visited Babson. Do you really think that you’re going to persuade us?” admissions fellow and full scholarship student Dario Guerrero Jr. tells us his best piece of advice on getting into Babson and why he thinks his essay got him in.

Exclusive Insider Interview: Admissions Fellow & Full Scholarship Student, Babson College

SocratesPost: Something that stood out to me was when you said you wish that you laid those foundations of learning how you best learn, so you can best study. It’s like you’re on the way to learning those foundations. Do you feel like you’re there yet? If not, how are you learning those skills?

Dario at Babson: Oh, I most definitely have a lot to learn. I feel like, in general, you never stop learning. I know that’s something that’s very cliché to say. I’m not going to claim that I’m performing extremely well here at Babson, academically, but one thing I’ve always given myself credit for is that if I don’t perform academically, there’s something that compensates for it.

SocratesPost: What’s an example of giving yourself credit when you don’t perform academically?

Dario at Babson: I performed poorly on the exam, and literally the next week I was offered that internship by the governor. When I looked at those two things…Do I want to be an accountant? Probably not. At the same time, I look at this opportunity and interest as me being recognized for something that sets me apart, not just because of my grades. I’m still learning.

SocratesPost: How are you able to balance your self-perception?

Dario at Babson: I have friends I’ve made here that come from even public high schools that had all the resources and the tutors, because I didn’t have that growing up. I didn’t have tutors that my parents could afford. I had to find and join programs that were not really offered to Lawrence students; I had to go out of my way and find those.

SocratesPost: The fact that you didn’t have tutors in high school differentiates you from many college students today. How did that affect you in college?

Dario at Babson: Coming to college, I still struggled. And to this day, I will tell you, I’m still learning how to study. But picking up little habits. Our library is a great resource. We have so many tutors that are free. We have math tutors, we have English writing tutors, speaking tutors. So, Babson allows me to use those resources to my advantage. Even sometimes when I’m lazy and I don’t want to because I’m so hard-headed and I think that I can just figure it out. Even using my peers, like my good friends and what they use, writing all their notes on index cards, and quizzing yourself or using online resources and using Quizlet, making your own little quizzes and flashcards to pick up terms and whatnot, or studying in groups, reserving a classroom or a study room in our library and sitting there for hours together.

SocratesPost: It sounds like even if you’re struggling academically, you know what to do next to help yourself.

Dario at Babson: What I’ve been able to take advantage of here is that we have a lot of resources at Babson and that’s one way I’ve been able to aid the transition. We have a math center that tutors and helps with math courses. We have a writing center, things that provide you with the help that you need, which I didn’t have growing up; they weren’t handed to us. And then I’m sure I mentioned using using my closest friends to my advantage. That’s one way I’ve been able to work out the transition.

SocratesPost: That’s not something I often hear about: using friends to your advantage. Can you tell us more about that and how you do that?

Dario at Babson: One of my closest friends, who was my roommate in the fall, he’s really good at finance. He’s going through a finance concentration at Babson. So, he’s really good with numbers, and he took finance with me and throughout that, we would rent classrooms out. We would sit down and go through problems. He would sit down, break down a problem for me, and explain each step. I would take notes explaining each way as to why he picked this number, and why we need to use this number, and what formula we need to use, because that’s the way I could learn. Even though the professor could do the same thing, it was just so much harder for me to do in class, versus slowing down the process. Because, in a college classroom, you don’t wait for anybody, pretty much go go go all the time. It’s not just at Babson, it’s everywhere. A professor’s not gonna wait for one student to catch up and understand everything. So, that’s when you have to really take the time for yourself and figure out “What do I need help on?” And I still sometimes have that problem of really acknowledging what I need help on, but I’m still learning.

SocratesPost: That’s a resourceful idea and a good skill to have.

Dario at Babson: Going back to your question, I still learn every day as to what I need to know more about or what I can do better. And, like I said, my friend, he’s very good at finance, so he invests in stocks, he knows all that good stuff with numbers, and he’ll be in my room with my roommate, my roommate is gonna be a rising sophomore and he’s interested in finance, as well. So he invests in stocks, and I sit here and I listen to them talk about it. And even if they don’t acknowledge it, I’m listening, I’m in the background listening to what they talk about. Because I don’t know what they talk about half the time, but it’s something that even if I’m not interested in it, it’s something I can just add to my skill set, or my repertoire. Just because later down the line if someone would ever question me “Hey, what is this color? What do you know about this?” I can say I don’t know too much, but I can tell you this.

SocratesPost: It sounds like you also learn so you can teach others. Is that something you believe in?

Dario at Babson: Whether or not it helps me or hurts me, I don’t mind sharing what I know. Because I’m open to learning as much as I can these last two years in college. People is probably one of the most important things that I’ve taken advantage of.

SocratesPost: Do you find that knowing how to utilize your friends and other peers as resources is a skill you’ve learned?

Dario at Babson: One of my best friends from high school that I’m still friends with to this day, I’m very, very thankful for the kind words that he says about me, but one thing that he always tells me is that, Dario, what really makes you special is that you might not be number one academically, but I can tell you that when you enter a room, you can talk to every single person that room and that can be 1000 people in a room. But I can guarantee you, when you leave that room, people will know you’ve left, and people remember you. And that’s not something a lot of people can do. Yeah it has brought me to tears when he says things like that, because it really makes me sit down and think that because when I do question myself and say that I’m not doing something too well, it humbled me and I really am thankful for people acknowledging that sometimes the things I’ve been working for are paying off.

SocratesPost: Some people believe that there are secrets to getting into college. You’ve gone through the college application and admissions process, and now you work with admissions. What do you think the secret is?

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SocratesPost: Alright, tell me why you think that’s the secret to college admissions. There must be a story behind that.

SocratesPost: That might seem like a trivial mishap, but how does that make you feel as someone working in admissions?

SocratesPost: Even though you didn’t show interest in Babson, and you were honest about it, you still got in. Why is that?

SocratesPost: You must’ve also learned how Babson admissions reviews applicants. What perspectives have you gained from them?

SocratesPost: How did your application show authenticity?

…And I use college as being that home plate of scoring and accomplishing what you want.

SocratesPost: Was that essay topic completely original or was it inspired by another essay topic you’d heard?

SocratesPost: When you were on the mock committee, did you and your teammates disagree? Were there right or wrong answers as to who to admit or deny?

…we are selective school, we only accept about 44% of our students, which is relatively low compared to some schools.

SocratesPost: That’s really insightful actually what you said about every school uses a different grading rubric and metric system. I mean, getting a 7.5 GPA isn’t the same as getting a grade D or a grade.

SocratesPost: What is your best piece of advice for someone trying to get into Babson?

SocratesPost: Thanks so much for your time and insights today, Dario.

Stay tuned for a brand new exclusive insider interview next week!
Steph
Stephan Donche a.k.a. Steph, an artist originally from the South of France, will be designing fresh, humorous college admissions-relate cartoons exclusively for SocratesPost, published only in our weekly issues! “’If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, I would be happy to do it for you,” Steph quotes Groucho Marx. Find more of his work and follow him on Instagram here: @life_medium_rare

Dear Socrates Q&A

This week, we chose a question from John, a student in Umunnachi, Nigeria:

“Can you tell me about the admission processes at Stevenson University?”

Hey John, we haven’t interviewed an admissions insider at Stevenson University, but we did some digging into their admissions process to help you out. A few highlights: compared to many universities, Stevenson can get your admissions decision within 4-6 weeks. Here are a few things to keep in mind as an international applicant:

 

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  • How are universities fact-checking college apps after this latest scandal?
  • Here’s how wealthy families are preparing their kids for SATs and ACTs. Hint: It involves vacations.
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