Andy Wolanski recruitment harris policy
Assistant Director of Recruitment, Andy Wolanski

Are you putting the final touches on your 2019 Application? As you prepare to hit submit for our Round 2 deadline, check out this helpful Q&A with our Assistant Director of Recruitment, Andy Wolanski


What are you looking for in an application?

When I’m reading applications, I immediately start with the motivation statement. Reading this essay allows me to get a good sense of who you are. This is your opportunity to tell me your story as well as your thoughts on how a degree from Harris can take you where you want to go in life. As I read, I look for specific examples of leadership and volunteerism, including projects taken on while on the job or in your undergraduate studies. I also want to learn what sparked your interest in public policy and what kind of work you envision taking on with a Harris degree in your pocket. Above all, make me remember you!

How can applicants stand out?

What are you bringing to the table that’s different from other applicants? Do you have certain life experiences that caused you to want to study policy? Do you have a background in service? Have you traveled abroad for work or school? Fill me in on the details that make you the person that you are. Don’t shy away from being unique. A lot of the time it can work in your favor!

What else should an applicant know about Harris?

One of the really great things about Harris is how easy it is to get involved. Our student organizations include groups like Harris Policy Analysis and Debate, OutPolitik, and Women in Public Policy. We also have an active Harris Student Government that we encourage students to get involved in. Students at Harris not only go to class, they also participate in these and other amazing groups, helping to put words to action every single day.

What timeline do you suggest for applicants?

The truth is, the earlier you start this process the less stressed you’ll be in the end. Get your GRE and TOEFL (if required) out of the way early. Make sure to study for these. Also, start writing your motivation statement well in advance of the deadline so you have plenty of time to make corrections and add elements of your story that you may remember later on. Starting early also allows you to have time to contact your recommenders without having to give them a quick turnaround time. In addition, you’ll have time to visit campus so you can get a feel for what classes and Harris culture is like!