The start-up founded by two enterprising minds during the nationwide lockdown imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, Application Ally is a student mentorship platform, where students are aided to translate their unique individual stories into their overseas university applications with professionalism and a lot of customisation. The brainchild of Arya Diwase and Anushka Desai, the process is unique and derived from the founders’ own experiences.
Starting from the research about their best-fitted colleges to post-admission requirements, this start-up helps students get into their desired undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at their dream schools abroad. Along with customised assistance, Application Ally also provides counselling to individuals for extracurricular support, alumni network and interview prep, with a series of workshops to support self-learning.
Arya’s ideas about the start-up
Arya, who is a New York University graduate in Journalism, Environmental Studies herself, is aiming to build a powerhouse of resources for prospective application with their start-up. “Earlier we were helping students informally with their applications and interviews but after the pandemic hit, we thought we could do something more. When I was applying myself for my courses abroad and reached out to consultants, I was not getting the desired results.
Also, international or US consultancies are really unaffordable for a lot of Indian students. I did research, used my contacts in America and saw that what students really need is people who really understand the process, have hands-on experience, studied at these colleges and are able to provide personalised attention throughout the application process. That’s how Application Ally was born,” explains Arya.
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Adding to that, Anushka says there are a few things for applicants to keep in mind. “It is important to get in touch with faculty, research the courses you want to go for before you finally decide on something. That’s what we try to do at Application Ally. Realising and understanding that everyone’s story is unique, thus writing those college essays with unique factors.
The goal of the start-up
Our goal is not to secure you just any admission. But rather to secure admission to the university that is right for you. We won’t provide you with a pre-designed, overused list of colleges but will gear our research to your particular interests. Not just a good institution based on your marks, but a financial fit, cultural fit for the applicants,” she says. Anushka is equipped with a Masters in Understanding Domestic Violence & Sexual Abuse from the Goldsmiths University of London and she is a firm believer in experiential learning. She also has training in psychological counselling. Which enables her to assist in mental health counselling for the applicants throughout the process.
Moving on to the process of how they aid aspirants. From the beginning to the end, Arya explains, “We first have a one-hour long conversation with the student. To determine what they are looking for. We tell them what we offer and then go on to researching for colleges. To aid them in writing their mission statement. We also have an internal questionnaire that we have prepared for applicants to answer. So that we understand where they are coming from. What their learning has been so far and finally what their aim is.
What we also focus on majorly is their unique stories. Colleges want to hear about what drives you, your passion, your life story- basically what makes you, you. We help identify the most interesting story to leverage that during the essays, mission statement and more.
Our assistance does not end after the admission process is completed. We also negotiate for financial aid for some of our clients. Applicants sometimes do not know that they can negotiate the financial aid. Some colleges provide and get a better deal for themselves. We help with that too.”