There is literally (see blog below on words…ouch) not a week that goes by that someone does not ask “What is the best and/or worst application you have ever seen?” It’s a fun question and a elicits a trip down memory lane — fraught with fond and fail memories.
Let me first speak broadly on each before I get to the [top] and [bottom] tales. For “best”, a highly subjective term of course, my favorites are almost always the candidates who I get to know through the process. Two of my testimonials on spiveyconsulting.com come from “best” example Justin Ishbia and Jason Mayer. Neither were 180′s, but both were exceptionally interested, hard-working, stand-up applicants who did everything the right way. Both are now highly successful law school graduates and it was obvious they would be — they simply had it in their DNA — fiercely loyal, always looking to help others first versus take help first, socially adept, etc. This helped each of them tremendously — not only in the admission/scholarship process but also in the legal employment realm. I have hundreds of examples just like this, of course, through thirteen years in the industry and they almost always stand out… not because of any score or empirical metric but because of the time they spent developing a relationship with our admissions office. (The notable exception will be coming up below). The take away being, always be gracious, humble, etc., as it really does help.
So, the reverse easily stands out as the worst, says Mr. Obvious. I have had people come up to me as say “Harvard, Stanford, Yale and maybe you guys as a safety” ….to which I say “great, what is your name?” I have had someone threaten to fly to me and “beat the living hell out of me” which was not very surprising given their admission (not the good kind) of steroid use. I could go on and on — the point being don’t be a jerk. It WILL NEVER HELP. But, if you are going to put these on a hierarchy and you have to be either a jerk or a creep, please be a jerk (below)
So, with that said, and without further ado, I give you my best and worst from thirteen years of this:
This is pretty simple. I never met her. She seemed normal enough through her personal statement, no character and fitness issues, etc. The one abnormal exception being the following:
* This is pretty self explantory, other than *I challenge you to top that, and if you do, I have always coveted a Spivey Consulting Rocketship, so please contact me.
DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME. But here goes.
A friend of mine ( moved on to bigger and other things), was the dean of admission at a law school and, as it is salient to the story, an attractive and MARRIED person.
So, she meets with an applicant in her office. All is entirely normal. “I want to go to your school because…” etc., etc. Applicant leaves. All is normal. Applicant send a follow up email. All starts normal. Something like this:
“Dear Dean _____
Many thanks for taking the time to meet with me. I loved the law school and the people. My visit and meeting with you only served to reinforce my desire to attend ___ law school. I hope to be in the entering class and to see you at orientation”
Our applicant could have left it at that. Or, he could have said P.S. “thanks again for your time.” But, alas, no. My only theory is that he really could not help himself. And thus, this likely admit, did the following:
“P.S. I think you are YUMMY”
and even if he had a 180/4.0 major in Physics from Princeton would not have been able to fix this problem.
There you have it, my all-time best/worst. Have something better? Please share! Worse? Please keep your Carlos Danger stories to yourself!