Hackbright Application Tips – From Your Fall 2014 Cohort!

[Updated: June 29, 2015]

We sent our enrolled students a survey asking about our admissions process. Thirty of our forty students responded, and we’re excited to share some of the results with you.

We asked the students: “What Advice Would You Give To Someone Applying to Hackbright?”

We tallied the advice mentioned and have the most popular advice listed here with commentary from the Hackbright Admissions office!

1) The #1 Most Popular Advice: Be honest and be yourself!

Hackbright Admissions says: This would be our #1 advice, too! One of the biggest mistakes candidates make is telling us what they think we want to hear. The truth is, we want to get to know you with all your weirdness and uncertainty as well as learn about the things you love, what you’re confident about and what you’re proud of. If you keep trying to craft your conversation around what we want you want us to believe about you, we’re not going to see your personality.

2)  Practice enough coding to make sure this is what you want to do.

Hackbright Admissions says: Sound advice! Do you want to be a programmer? Are you sure? How are you sure?

Protip: If you want to know if you’re going to hate sitting in front of a computer fiddling with code all day, practice sitting in front of a computer fiddling with code all day.

3) Submit a thoughtful and thorough application.

Hackbright Admissions says: Yes. But don’t confuse thorough with lengthy. True, most of the students who get in have applications on the longer side, but what they all share is a thoughtfulness and a desire to convey personality. A lot of the notes on this piece of advice mentioned that their application took them hours but that they enjoyed the process.

4) Don’t be nervous!

Hackbright Admissions says: Well…it’s good advice, but it’s probably a lost cause to insist on this one. We understand that just by the nature of interviews, people get nervous, but hopefully a few minutes of chatting will get you to loosen up a bit.

5) Do the optional questions (video).

Hackbright Admissions says: We understand that it’s not easy for everyone to express themselves in writing, so we’ve included a video option. If you think that adding a video would help us get to know you better, then this option is for you! The video never counts against applicants, so it’s always a good idea to submit one if you’re on the fence. Don’t worry – if your video is awkward and terrible, we just pretend it’s not there.

6) Do your research (Hackbright blog & website, alumnae blogs, etc.)

Hackbright Admissions says: Again – great advice. Know what you’re getting into! Our alumnae are full of insight and our videos and website contain a lot of info. You’ll be much more confident coming into an interview if you feel like you have a firm grasp on what Hackbright has to offer.

If you’re wondering how to seek out an alumna, it seems like the most popular ways to snag her attention are:

  • Directly contact students who have written about Hackbright in their personal blogs
  • Ask questions on Quora/Reddit
  • Come to Hackbright’s events and corner an alumna until she talks to you. (Be nice, please.)

Alumni – anything you think we missed? Help out your future Hackbright fellows and let them know in the comments!

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