Whether you are applying to graduate programs directly out of undergrad or are revisiting academia after a few years in the real world, graduate programs want evidence that you are ready for the next level. This evidence comes in the form of undergraduate grades, test scores (LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, or GRE, depending on the program), personal statements, letters of recommendation, related experience, and interviews. They want applicants who are passionate about their respective fields and have already taken advantage of every opportunity they’ve come across to advance both their knowledge and experience. Particularly in professional schools, universities fear washouts — students who don’t really understand what they’re getting into and drop out, wasting a precious spot in a small, elite graduating class — and are inclined to admit applicants who have proven their commitment to the field. Someone who has volunteered in a hospital, for instance, is more likely to understand what a life in medicine entails than someone with zero real-world experience.
That being said, admissions officers do understand that people have changes of heart and are will consider excellent applicants who are green but determined. Your test scores and undergraduate GPA/class rank should be excellent, but your essays and interviews are your best opportunity to sell them on WHY you are changing direction to pursue this new path. (NOTE: Undergraduate GPA matters less for business school than for other programs, as the former puts great weight on professional experience, growth, and success).
We have a number of counselors on staff who are extremely experienced with the graduate school admissions processes for a wide variety of programs/degrees, and they will work with students to put together the best application possible. Not only will they ensure every “i” is dotted and every “t” crossed, but they will also discuss the pros and cons of various programs, prepare students for interviews, and devise ways to make this particular application stand out from the competition.