Accepted Consultant Publishes Her First Novella

Read more about Jessica here!You already know that our consultants are admissions experts, eagle-eyed editors, and incredible coaches. You can probably also guess that they’re prodigiously talented in their lives outside of Accepted (we sure think so!). Here’s a case in point:

When she’s not helping clients get into law and med school, Jessica Pishko is a writer—and she just published her first novella!

Based on a death penalty trial that she worked on as a law student,  A Trial for Grace explores the complicated question of guilt and innocence. It’s available for Kindle (and Kindle apps).

You can download A Trial for Grace here.

Check out the book!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• An Interview With Our Own: Jessica Pishko
• 5 Ways To Start Your Med School Personal Statement
• So You Didn’t Get Into Law School…

Approaching The Diversity Essay Question

Learn How to Use Examples to Write an Exemplary Essay

Explain how your experiences built your character.

Many applications now have a question, sometimes optional, geared to encouraging people with minority backgrounds or unusual educational or family histories to write about their background.  If you are an immigrant to the US, the child of immigrants or someone whose ethnicity is a minority in the US, you might find this question an interesting one to show how your background will add to the mix of perspectives at the program you are applying to. If you are applying after having an unusual experience for applicants like joining the military, becoming part of a dance troupe, or caring for an elderly relative, you can use your experience to evoke the way in which you will bring diversity to campus.

Your family’s culture, situation and traditions, and the way they have helped you develop particular character and personality traits are of interest, as well unusual experiences that have shaped you. Perhaps you have grown up with a strong insistence on respecting elders, attending family events or learning your parents’ native language and culture. Perhaps you are close to grandparents and extended family who have taught you how teamwork can help everyone survive. Perhaps you have had to face and deal with difficulties that stem from your parents’ values being in conflict with those of your peers. Perhaps teachers have not always understood the elements of your culture or outside-of-school situation and how they pertain to your school performance. Perhaps you have suffered discrimination and formed your values and personality traits around your success in spite of the discrimination. Perhaps you have learned skills from a lifestyle that is outside the norm–living in foreign countries as the child of diplomats or contractors, performing professionally in theater, dance, music or sports, or communicating with a deaf sibling.

Understanding and explaining how your experience built your empathy for others, a strong will, and character is a good focus for the diversity question.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes [Free Guide]
Writing About Overcoming Obstacles in Your Application Essays [Short Video]
• How To Write About Overcoming Challenges Without Sounding Like A Whiner

Venture For America: Champion Of U.S. Entrepreneurship

Listen to the show!Entrepreneurship among 18 – 30 year olds in the USA is at a 24 year low, but the founder of Venture for America, is on a mission to spur economic growth through entrepreneurship.

Listen to our talk with Andrew Yang, Venture for America’s founder, for great insights into the state of entrepreneurship today, the case for why you should become an entrepreneur (and not a management consultant), and more.

00:02:14 – What is Venture for America?

00:04:20 – The story of how Venture for America came to be.

00:06:35 – How to create 100,000 jobs by 2025.

00:09:00 – Becoming a Venture for America fellow.

00:11:04 – What VFA Fellows do after boot camp.

00:14:27 – A look at where grads of the program end up.

00:19:20 – Chickpea pasta: A Venture for America success story.

00:22:18 – What inspired Andrew to write Smart People Should Build Things.

00:23:34 – Society aside, what is the benefit of becoming an entrepreneur to the individual.

00:28:45 – Do entrepreneurs need business school?

00:30:30 – Why the best and brightest should be kept out of consulting.

00:35:17 – Advice for making the transition from the corporate world to the start-up world.

00:37:20 – The definition of entrepreneurship and what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of

Related links:

• Venture for America
• Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America
Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast
• The MBA and Entrepreneurship
Which B-Schools Send the Most Grads into Entrepreneurship?

Related shows:

• Jon Medved & OurCrowd: The Remarkable Story of an Entrepreneur
• A Wharton Grad Rids the World of Bank Fees
• An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility
• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson
• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup Street
• A B-School Professor on Main Street, USA
• MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart

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An Interview With Our Own: Jessica Pishko

Read Jessica's Bio here!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the staff. Next up is…Jessica Pishko.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where do you currently live?

Jessica: I went to Rice University in Houston, Texas for undergrad where I majored in English and French. I currently live in San Francisco with my family.

Accepted: Can you share 3 fun facts about yourself?


1. I used to be a yoga teacher (but haven’t taught in a few years).

2. I worked in the French department in college where one of my primary jobs was to open bottles of wine for faculty parties. So, I got very good at it and used to work at a few faculty parties as a bartender for extra money.

3. I have a two-year old daughter and a Chihuahua named Sammy.

Accepted: Do you hold any graduate degrees? 

Jessica: Yes, I have a JD from Harvard Law School and an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University.

Accepted: Can you walk us through the jobs and experiences you had that led you to become an admissions consultant for Accepted? 

Jessica: Before I went back to school for my MFA, I worked as a recruiter – this was 2008, which was a terrible time to be recruiting. But, I did learn a lot about the legal job market and found that I enjoyed working with people. As an MFA student, I had the opportunity to work in Columbia’s writing center, where I helped all sorts of students with their writing, from admissions essays to final papers. Based on my work there, I was asked to become a writing consultant for Columbia’s Postbac Program and worked with students applying to medical school. I really enjoyed helping people achieve their dreams, as cheesy as that sounds, and am thrilled to be on the team at Accepted.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Jessica: As someone who switched careers herself, I’m very sympathetic to the challenges of applying to school and getting accepted into the right program. I really like to help people who are working hard to achieve their goals and make their dream careers happen. That’s very satisfying for me, and I hope it’s equally satisfying for my clients!

Accepted: What sorts of applicants do you mostly work with?

Jessica: Law school, medical school and graduate school.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?


1.  Try to see the application – including the personal statement and interview, if applicable – as an opportunity rather than a hurdle to overcome. I think that changing your attitude about the process helps to reduce anxiety.

2.  Be flexible and willing to change. It can be hard to take criticism or encounter a set-back, but if you are able to let go of your preset notions, it’s a lot easier to revise and improve your application and admissions strategy.

3.  Be yourself. Too often, I think applicants worry about what admissions committees want or try to “stand out” rather than write something that actually reflects who they are.

Learn more about Jessica and how she can help you get accepted!

View our catalog of admission services! Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Get Your Game On: Prepping for Your Grad School Application
• Law School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
• How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience Working With A Medical School Consultant