Pin Your Hopes Online: Graduate School Applications and Pinterest

By Hilary Flanagan

Published November 14, 2012

If you are applying to graduate school you are probably already familiar with your schools application requirements. Yes, your grades should probably be solid. You’ll need to earn a minimum score on your entrance tests. You will most likely spend some time creating a killer essay and compiling strong letters of recommendation.
Dream Big - Pin your Dreams OnlineHopefully you have already taken stock of your overall online presence. It may be good to review your Facebook account to ensure it is “cleaned up” and public access to your information is limited. You may also want to take some time to update your LinkedIn page to include recent examples of your experience. If you have a well-developed website or blog with lots of followers, this may be something you want to mention in a graduate school application. 
While updating your basic social media profiles can be very important, you may want to consider using the social media site Pintrest to create a portfolio of your original work and the work of others you find inspiring to give application committees a deeper look into your personality and qualifications. Just like you would share and comment on articles of interest in your field through LinkedIn, you can do the same marketing visually through Pinterest.   Pinning up examples of your own work could give the admissions committee a better understanding of your past accomplishments. 
If you are not familiar with Pinterest, on their site they have the following definition:
“Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse boards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. People use boards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes.” 
One student who was pursuing a graduate degree in nutrition had a good sized following on her blog and a significant network through LinkedIn. She used her existing network to increase traffic to her Pinterest page.    There, she posted a few boards. One was a board devoted to recipes and nutrition plans she either created or was inspired by from other boards or websites. She also had a board for general health information, as well as one for yoga poses. When it came time for her graduate school interview, she was able to talk about the way her Pinterest boards allowed her to connect with nutrition thought leaders around the globe, not just within her circle of friends and colleagues.
Pinterest is a tool you can utilize to add depth to your online persona and help show selections committees just how awesome you really are! 
What about the rest? What about telling an even more compelling story to the admissions committee?
You may be able to significantly enrich your graduate school application by ensuring you have a strong social media presence demonstrating your best qualities and emphasizing your skills and passions.

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