A photo of me in Florence.

Hi, I'm Daria.

I’ve been applying for scholarships, grants, fellowships, and all kinds of study programs for the past 10+ years.

I received my education in Russia, Germany, the United States, and Italy. I hold a master's degree from Harvard Law School and am finishing doctoral studies at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

I firmly believe that accessible, quality education is everyone's birthright.

You can find me elsewhere on LinkedIn.

How My Work Can Benefit You

I am an advocate for accessible education.

I am also an education junkie. I thrive in academic settings.

This is not to say that the existing system of formal education is not broken. It is.

But even in its current form, it’s done more for me than I could have ever imagined. It opened the doors I didn’t even know existed and let me create a life aligned with my core values and who I am as a human.

The central question I explore through my work is, ‘How can more people access the education they need to transform their lives?’

I am continuously looking to improve the frameworks I use to achieve what I want and pass them on to other people.

My writing focuses on topics like:

  • how to maximize your chances for success in an environment where you rarely, if ever, get direct feedback
  • how to plan your application process so that it doesn’t consume your entire life but fits into your schedule with its many commitments
  • how to create a system of writing admission & scholarship essays that works for you
  • how to work with your thoughts and your mindset to achieve the results that you want
  • how to interpret your soul in the language of graduate applications & stay authentic in the process

Most of what I write about is real and comes from my lived experience.

Before I share my ideas, I test them over and over in the process of actual applications that I prepare myself or help other people with.

I consider it my job to extract the best practices and pass them on to other people in a way that makes them applicable, actionable, and easy to understand.

I started like you: desperately wanting to reach for the stars, and not finding a single bit of valuable advice on the web.

Everything I’ve found on the web was either too generic and therefore useless, or polished to the point of being Nobel-ready and giving me no clues as to how to start my own process, or targeted at narrow groups such as American MBA or JD applicants neither of which applied to me.

This is the reason I started this blog. Nobody should waste their limited time of this earth to access the education they need to transform and improve their lives.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I’m happy to share what I’ve discovered so far.

My style and work are not the only way to think about graduate applications but it’s the way that brought me results.

I hope you find it useful as well.

Here are some of the things I've done, academically:

  • offers for postdoctoral research from the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship, Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University, New York University (Emile Noel), Humboldt University of Berlin
  • grant for doctoral research at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Harvard Law School Summer Research Fellowship
  • Harvard Law School Graduate Program Grant; Grant of the Harvard University Committee on General Scholarships; the Fellowship of the Russian – United States Legal Education Foundation (over $60,000 in total)
  • scholarship for a research stay at the UNIDROIT Institute, Rome, Italy
  • award of the German-Russian Society of Lawyers for the best doctoral thesis in comparative law (Deutsch-Russischer Juristenpreis)
  • two grants for research stays at the Max Planck Institute for comparative and international private law, Hamburg, Germany
  • Addison Brown Writing Prize for the best paper in conflict of laws at Harvard Law School
  • two DAAD scholarships for the research stay and exchange study at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • scholarship for studies in private international law at The Hague Academy of International Law, The Hague, the Netherlands
  • scholarship for studies in international arbitration at Paris Arbitration Academy, Paris, France
  • distinction for the graduation thesis and the final examination at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
  • summer school in human rights in Zadar, Croatia
  • Philip C. Jessup Competition in international law, 2nd place memorial and 3rd place team, national rounds (team competition in international law), Moscow, Russia; made it to the top 10 teams at the international rounds in Washington D.C.
  • award of the Francophone Association for the best first-time performance at the Concours Charles-Rousseau (team competition in international law), Clermont-Ferrand, France; later coached the team for two consecutive years, with the competition taking place in Paris, France and Varadero, Cuba
  • scholarship for studies of the German law and language at the University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
  • five time winner and laureate of the All-Russian Olympiads in law

I’ve had a fair share of failures too.

I talk about the mistakes I made and share the lessons I learned regularly, so that you didn’t have to repeat them.

I hope you find my work of value to you.

You can start by:

If you have any questions that I haven't addressed in my published materials, feel free to contact me. Due to the volume of work I can't promise that I'll reply, but I read all the messages I receive and answer them in my posts and essays.

You can also follow me on LinkedIn, where I post my reflections on the application process regularly.

Delivering high-impact application tips straight to your inbox.

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