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"The early bird catches the worm."| A Seton Hall Alum on Exceptional Programs & Extracurriculars

We had the opportunity of interviewing Noelle Sorich, an alum of Seton Hall University, about: Exceptional Programs & Extracurriculars In college, Noelle received a degree in International Relations, Economics, and Modern Languages interned with multiple organizations at the UN, and was invited to be the commencement speaker at graduation was the President of the Model United Nations team in Seton Hall, where the team is now ranked within the top 25 programs in the country. Key points Noelle shares: "...you're going to get significantly more credit for AP since a lot of schools just don't accept IB credit the same way that they accept AP credits..." "I had been doing college level assignments for two years before I entered college, so that is especially a huge benefit to this program (IB program)." "It really was my life, like I dedicated hours on hours on hours to working on anything I could get my hands on with international policy and with the UN." How much more rigorous would you say the IB Program is compared to regular courses? A: I will say that you're going to get significantly more credit for AP since a lot of schools just don't accept IB credit the same way that they accept AP credits, though they'll take pretty much every AP and fairly any IB. But I loved the IB program, and I cannot sing its praises enough. The IB program is extremely rigorous. How do you think that the challenges it’s presented have helped you out in college and career? I think it prepared me for school in a lot of ways that I didn't understand or appreciate until I was in college. Then I was like, “Oh my gosh, I've already done these things”. I've already written memos and done all of the critical thinking that college required me to do. I had been doing college level assignments for two years before I entered college, so that is especially a huge benefit to this program. How did you manage the wide variety of leadership positions you held while in college? From the President of the Seton Hall US Association, President of the Seton Hall University Chapter of the UN Association of the United States of America, Pacific Model UN Board of Directors, and others. A: Well, I won't lie, I did not sleep a lot in college. I think it really came down to the fact that a lot of them were on different days. Whereas, in high school, you had to dedicate every day or most days out of the week to your extracurriculars, in college, it’s different. In college, it is easier to say that for extracurriculars “if I'm not in this meeting, it's easy to shut off from that”. For instance, with the PACMUN (Pacific Model United Nations) Board of Directors, all we had to do was just assisting, doing oversight, and helping to make sure that the students running PACMUN at that time needed any advice or had any questions, could ask. So I was pretty far removed from it. It was helping out here and there to just make sure that everyone that was actually working on it had all the tools they needed. How did the things you participated in in high school transfer into what you did in college? A: In high school, joining the Model UN team was really a formative experience for me in the way that it literally decided what I wanted to do with my career path and what I wanted to study in college. So I feel really, really lucky to have found that and found my passion so early in life, because I know that for a lot of people, it takes them years to find that. So it was very formative in a way when I think of my experience in high school. It really was my life, like I dedicated hours on hours on hours to working on anything I could get my hands on with international policy and with the UN. This interview originally took place in an audio format. However, we have converted it to text to avoid sound quality issues. To ensure coherency, we have slightly modified the wording.

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"5 AM: The hour when legends either wake up or go to bed." | A Harvard Alum on Extracurriculars

We had the privilege of interviewing Taylor Reneau and asked for some experience about: Extracurriculars Taylor is: alum of Ivy League university, Harvard University in Massachusetts founder of Ivy Advise - an online course to help high school students get into dream school a YouTuber who speaks on various topics about education Here are some of her main points: "Everything had its place in my schedule, and I didn’t deviate from that schedule. I did, however, compromise sleep. A lot of it." "It all worked because I never allowed my feelings to get in the way of what needed to be done." Q: For some of your major extracurriculars, roughly how many days a week did you spend involved in it (preparing for competitions, attending meetings, etc)? A: I spent about 6-7 days a week on my extracurriculars. Track was every school day for at least 2 hours in the spring, tennis was every school day for at least 2 hours in the fall. Add in competition days, a couple other extracurriculars (e.g. debate club, NHS, etc.), and you’ll notice I didn’t have a life outside of school! Q: Did you ever prioritize your extracurriculars above your schoolwork or grades? A: Never. But I never had to. Everything had its place in my schedule, and I didn’t deviate from that schedule. I did, however, compromise sleep. A lot of it. Q: Did any of your extracurriculars shape your future or are related to what career path you want to pursue? A: As a YouTuber (youtube.com/yesreneau), I believe that my art classes (which weren’t extracurricular, but they felt like it) were very relevant for teaching me how to find inspiration in the mundane. Also, as the founder of an Ivy League admissions company, I talk about my high-school extracurricular life all the time. And now that I’m getting deeper into thinking about this... I still work out about 6 days every week, so I would say that athletics has also hugely shaped who I am today. I guess that I’m exactly who I was eight years ago, except a more matured version (hopefully). Q: What accomplishments or impacts did you make in the extracurriculars you were involved in? A: For track, I ran the 4X100m at States in Ohio. Our relay team placed 7th. In art, there were few awards… but my talent was conveyed through showing the admissions officers my paintings. I really didn’t have too many spectacular awards, though. My way with words is really what sealed the deal for me through the essays. Q: How do you balance extracurriculars with home, work, and social life? A: I didn’t back then. I just slept less, made my extracurricular life my social life, suppressed my feelings, watched comedy shows to blow off steam, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best. It all worked because I never allowed my feelings to get in the way of what needed to be done. Also, if you want to know more about Taylor, take a look at her LinkedIn, her YouTube Channel YesReneau, and her business, Ivy Advise.

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"A mind once opened never loses."| A Seton Hall Alum on the College Application

We had the opportunity of interviewing Noelle Sorich, an alum of Seton Hall University, about: College Application In college, Noelle received a degree in International Relations, Economics, and Modern Languages interned with multiple organizations at the UN, and was invited to be the commencement speaker at graduation was the President of the Model United Nations team in Seton Hall, where the team is now ranked within the top 25 programs in the country. Key points Noelle shares: "...don't count out private universities because with schools like Seton Hall (that are small enough and aren’t big research universities), you're going to be able to get much more scholarship money." "...when you're describing extracurriculars in the Common App or things like that, they also make a big difference - make sure you convey why it's important and why you liked it. Though bullet points are great, you still want to pinpoint on why xyz matters." How did you find out about Seton Hall? A: Oh my gosh, I honestly don't even remember how I found Seton Hall to be completely honest. It was probably when I was looking at CollegeBoard and Princeton Review to look at International Relations programs and colleges. I don't know, but I think it was also because I was looking for a certain type of school. I will say, however, Seton Hall was not originally the type of school that I was looking for. When I was in high school, I really wanted to go to a huge university, like a state school - a big, big university with a football team. That felt really important to me at the time, and I wanted to go to a big name brand school. Then I found Seton Hall, and I did a tour there. I loved the campus. It was very appealing and had small class sizes. I mean, I feel like that's what you hear every time from any smaller to midsize university, but it made a world of a difference. I had an Arabic professor that I had for two and a half years out of the four years that I was at Seton Hall. In fact, I’m Facebook friends with a lot of my professors, and I still keep up with them very closely because I was able to make relationships in college. And if I really liked a professor and liked their specialty, I was able to take their class multiple times, which I loved, because it made the connection so much stronger. What do you think is the most important thing that colleges consider in your application? A: I would say it is for the essay. Admissions counselors will spend the time to read it and ask, “Who is this person? Why does it matter that they want to come to this school? How will they fit in? They just want to get to know you because your resume can only say so many things (It's the same thing when you're applying to jobs). Also, when you're describing extracurriculars in the Common App or things like that, they also make a big difference - make sure you convey why it's important and why you liked it. Though bullet points are great, you still want to pinpoint on why xyz matters. What is something you wish you knew about the college application process while you were still in high school? A: I would say that when I was looking at schools, I was really close minded about a lot of schools. And I saw myself only looking at certain schools for certain reasons. In retrospect, I wish I would have kept more of an open mind about schools, because I wouldn't have found Seton Hall if I had only considered looking at big schools with football teams and national relations programs or polytech side programs that I liked. I did look at a lot of private universities, and I would say don't count out private universities because with schools like Seton Hall (that are small enough and aren’t big research universities), you're going to be able to get much more scholarship money. I ended up paying less for college than a lot of my friends who did go to other state schools. So, in turn, I'm really thankful for that. This interview originally took place in an audio format. However, we have converted it to text to avoid sound quality issues. To ensure coherency, we have slightly modified the wording.

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"A time for everything."| A Yale Student's Advice on College Apps

We had the great opportunity of interviewing Kai Xu, a student at Yale University, about: College Application Kai Xu is a student at Yale University majoring in Computer Science and Economics. He has been involved in the tech team of the Entrepreneurship Society, in addition to the development of an ornithopter in the Undergraduate Aerospace Association. During the past year, Kai interned at FounderTribes, an entrepreneurship startup, and Certree, an anti-fraud startup. In high school, he was involved in music production, computer programming, and their areas of intersection. Currently, Kai is also working on a research project in topography. Here are some main points he stresses: "Trust that everything will get done." "Don’t judge a book by it’s cover." "It is important to be kind and grateful." Q: What are some of the most important steps to take when preparing for college and when should they be taken? A: Plan your essays the summer before senior year. However, don’t expect things to get productive until a month before college apps are due. Trust that everything will get done, seriously. Engage yourself in various ways starting from your first year of high school. Q: When should I begin applying for scholarships and what scholarships are worth applying for? A: Apply for scholarships during junior and senior year. Your school cultural groups or PTSO may offer some. Otherwise, apply for scholarships that pertain to the things you are good at. Try to apply for scholarships before and after college apps. Q: When should I begin applying for financial aid and is it for everyone? A: Apply for as much financial aid as you can. Try to apply for financial aid before and after college apps. Or, you can get a job. College is expensive, and try your best to reduce those expenses. Q: How many colleges did you apply to and what are some key factors you considered? A: I applied to several UC schools and several HYPSM schools. Key factor is personal fit. National rank and major rank matter, but personal fit is crucial. Q: Did you visit any college campuses? Does visiting them really change your choice or decision? A: I was lucky to have had the opportunity to visit some colleges on the East Coast. An important principle: don’t judge a book by it’s cover. By the same means, don’t judge a college by it’s architecture. Also, it could happen to be that your tour guide did a great job, or perhaps not so great of a job. The quality of a particular tour has a very low correlation with the quality of life as a student on that campus. It is key to read online reviews and do your own research into the classes being offered. Q: Which teachers should I ask for teacher recommendations and how should I ask them? A: Ask one humanities teacher and one STEM teacher. You could perhaps ask one more person who knows you well. It is important to be kind and grateful. These teachers are willing to help you because they sincerely care about your future. You should reciprocate by letting them know how much you appreciate their support. Q: What do you think are some of the most important things that colleges consider and how did you make yourself stand it in that aspect? A: Make sure your essay is something that an admissions officer will remember for the rest of his or her life. Your essay is the place where you can rise beyond the realm of numbers to become a living, breathing entity.

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"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."| A Virginia Tech Student on Top Uni's

We had the great opportunity of interviewing Joshita Padala, a student from Virginia Tech about: Getting into a Top University Here are some of her qualifications: Education Junior chair in the Association for Women in Computing at Virginia Tech Public Relations chair for the VT Science Olympiad Majoring in Computer Science Here are some important words she shares "Every student at Virginia Tech comes from a background of extensive volunteering because it is one of the core principles at the school." "...it is so important that you do something that you love! Not only will that serve as a break from academics but it would also help with the stress and keep your mental health in check..." Q: Why did you choose Virginia Tech, and what did it have to offer you specifically? A: I chose Virginia Tech, because of its Engineering program! While applying to schools one of the main things that I looked for is how each school's Engineering program was ranked. After some research, I also found that many companies actively look out to recruit students from Virginia Tech, so I knew it would also be amazing for my future. Lastly, VT offers so many opportunities for Engineering students. For example they have an Engineering LLC, multiple career fairs, and various technical and non-technical workshops that benefit the students. Q: What type of student do you think would fit well going to Virginia Tech? A: Honestly, Virginia Tech is one of those schools that any type of student would fit into! But it also depends on the major. Most students that attend Virginia tech are students that are well rounded. They are students that did well in academics and were also involved in various clubs in High School. Not to mention, volunteering. Every student at Virginia Tech comes from a background of extensive volunteering because it is one of the core principles at the school. Q: What type of projects did you undertake on your own in high school(experiments, forming a club, nonprofit, research, internships, etc)? A: I was involved in MYEP (Mayor's Youth Employment Program) and through that I was able to get two paid internships. My first internship was for The City of Charlotte I&T department, and through this program I was able to learn so much about programming radios and the different software tools they use! My second Internship was for Payzer, which is a software company. I was able to learn so much about the work environment and different technical aspects through both these internships. Apart from those, I was heavily involved with the TSA (Technology Student Association) club for my high school. As the Vice President, I was able to not only compete in various technological competitions in different states, but I was also able to get insights of leadership which definitely is helping for my future. Q: How did you spend your free time in high school? (weekends, summers, breaks, etc.) A: Apart from homework assignments and studying for tests my favorite thing to do was to hang out with my friends! We would do all kinds of activities from going out to eat to playing topgolf. I think that it is so important that you do something that you love! Not only will that serve as a break from academics but it would also help with the stress and keep your mental health in check, which is a significant step in the road to your success! Q: Where was your main focus or priority in high school and how did you set them? (Academics, extracurriculars, etc.) A: My top most priority was academics, because this is the most important and first thing colleges look at. Then I placed emphasis on my extracurricular activities such as orchestra and clubs. Then lastly, my third priority was volunteering hours. I made sure to help out as much as I can in the community. I set them based on talking to different college representatives, and what they usually look for in students. Q: What would you say made you stand out for Virginia Tech? A: The main thing that made me stand out, in my opinion, was the school/life balance. I made sure to really focus on my academics while also excelling in extracurricular activities. And my ability to be well rounded while keeping my grades up really is something colleges love to look out for! Another thing is that I made sure to relate my choices in extracurriculars and classes to the major I was interested in, and that also showed that I was passionate in puring engineering. Learn more about Joshita and her experience on her LinkedIn account. Think you know someone or are someone that can give some advice? Fill out this form here! Have more questions based on what you’ve read? Submit them here!

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"Action will destroy your procrastination."| A UPenn Student's Advice on Extracurriculars

We had the opportunity of interviewing Uday Tripathi, a student at the University of Pennsylvania about: Extracurriculars Uday is: The President of MUSE Consulting, The President of Engineers in Medicine, An Engineering Teaching Assistant, Co-Founder of Golden Gate Editing (college application consultant), Valedictorian of his class in high school, Scorer of 5s on all of 8 of his AP exams, Achiever of perfect scores on three SAT subject tests, A Merit Semifinalist, and a Scholar Athlete. Uday shares with us: "The main thing for me was and always has been avoiding procrastination - it can really do wonders!" "Several colleges have programs similar to these, but definitely watch out to make sure that they aren’t purely taking courses and focus more on ones that will give you real-world experience." Q: In high school, you held various leadership positions and accolades, from debate, to baseball, to FBLA, to Boy Scouts. How were you able to make time for this wide range of activities? A: The main thing for me was and always has been avoiding procrastination - it can really do wonders! Whenever I had free time and had an assignment or extracurricular I could be doing, I would try to finish it even if it wasn’t due for weeks. I also got in the habit of planning my days every morning (and sometimes weeks during busy weeks) so that I would have a general idea of what I could accomplish that day. Time boxing helps in this regard. Q: You also researched cancer and cardiovascular disease at Boston University and UC Irvine. How did you find these opportunities? A: These two opportunities were through organized high school summer research programs (BU RISE and COSMOS). I did a lot of research online to find research programs where I would get to do meaningful work and ended up applying to several of them. I really wanted to avoid taking courses over the summer and instead to produce actual projects, which is what led me to RISE and COSMOS. Several colleges have programs similar to these, but definitely watch out to make sure that they aren’t purely taking courses and focus more on ones that will give you real-world experience. It’s a lot easier to talk about the latter than the former in college essays; research is far more unique than taking a summer math course at Harvard, for example. Learn more about Uday and his experience on his LinkedIn account. Think you know someone or are someone that can give some advice? Fill out this form here! Have more questions based on what you’ve read? Submit them here!

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"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few." | A UNC Student's Words on College

We had the privilege of interviewing AW via Google Doc and asked for some experience about: College Life AW is currently a student at UNC-Chapel Hill majoring in sociology and psychology. Here is a piece of wisdom she shares: "My priorities in college are to learn my place in this world, learn to love others as myself in light of the gospel, see my education as a privilege and leverage it to help others." Q: What are you currently studying in college and why? A: Psychology and sociology. The way this world actually works is fascinating to me. I also want to go into counseling so having a foundation in psychology would be nice. Q: What types of extracurriculars/activities are you involved in in college and how have they contributed to your college experience? A: I’m heavily involved in my campus fellowship. This community of people has really challenged me to put things into a God-centered perspective. My life really isn’t about me and that’s honestly really freeing at the end of the day because I know my worth isn’t in what I accomplish, it’s in what Christ already did on the cross. Q: Do you currently have any part-time jobs or have you done any internships? A: Yeah I work(ed) (Rip covid) as an office assistant in a dorm. I’m also a research assistant in my psychology lab. Q: How would you compare college with high school in terms of workload, social life, lifestyle, etc? A: Workload - depends on your major. STEM majors have it rough. Humanities majors have crap tons of readings to do. It’s never busy work though. All the homework/readings are generally really enriching. Social life - living with/near your friends is obviously different than living under your parents’ roof. Lifestyle - Being independent is nice. Q: What are your priorities in college? A: Learn my place in this world, learn to love others as myself in light of the gospel, see my education as a privilege and leverage it to help others.

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"Be careful who you pretend to be. You might forget you are." | A UPenn Student on College Essays

We had the opportunity of interviewing Uday Tripathi, a student at the University of Pennsylvania about: College Application Essays Uday is: The President of MUSE Consulting, The President of Engineers in Medicine, An Engineering Teaching Assistant, Co-Founder of Golden Gate Editing (college application consultant), Valedictorian of his class in high school, Scorer of 5s on all of 8 of his AP exams, Achiever of perfect scores on three SAT subject tests, A Merit Semifinalist, and a Scholar Athlete. Uday shares with us: "When writing my college essays, the main thing I focused on was telling admissions committees a story that was meaningful and unique to me, and not just one that could simply be written by another prospective applicant." "I think it’s important to understand what works for you and not to try and box yourself into a style that worked for others." Q: What type of message did you try to convey through your college application essays? A: When writing my college essays, the main thing I focused on was telling admissions committees a story that was meaningful and unique to me, and not just one that could simply be written by another prospective applicant. I focused on putting together a package for applications - I didn’t focus on only one aspect of my extracurriculars/internships/leadership. If there were four essays in an application, for example, I tried to gear each one towards a different subject (e.g. one about summer research, another about Boy Scouts, another about baseball, and the last one about debate). I think it’s important to not get absorbed in a singular portion of the application and let that dominate it. Q: Can you briefly describe the process you took to write your essays and how long this process took? (brainstorming, writing, editing, etc.) A: I spent the summer before high school brainstorming and writing my UC application essays as well as my Common App essay. I think I got to a few supplementals as well. This gave me a good foundation and lowered the amount of work I had to do during senior year when I was juggling classes as well. My writing style may be unconventional and probably not what seasoned writers would recommend - I would dedicate a couple days of my week to just sitting down at my desk and churning out essay drafts. Of course, I would tinker with them later but I preferred to enter that headspace a few times a week and really dig into my essays. This may not work for everyone, but this has always been my style (I rarely write outlines for papers). I think it’s important to understand what works for you and not to try and box yourself into a style that worked for others. Learn more about Uday and his experience on his LinkedIn account. Think you know someone or are someone that can give some advice? Fill out this form here! Have more questions based on what you’ve read? Submit them here!

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"Better three hours too soon than a minute too late."| A UPenn Student on High School Courses

We had the opportunity of interviewing Uday Tripathi, a student at the University of Pennsylvania about: High School Courses Uday is: The President of MUSE Consulting, The President of Engineers in Medicine, An Engineering Teaching Assistant, Co-Founder of Golden Gate Editing (college application consultant), Valedictorian of his class in high school, Scorer of 5s on all of 8 of his AP exams, Achiever of perfect scores on three SAT subject tests, A Merit Semifinalist, and a Scholar Athlete. Uday shares with us: "I think it’s important to develop good study habits early and to not procrastinate. Those were probably the two things that helped me the most. " Once I was able to hone in on the important parts, I was able to allocate my time well and maximize it. "I took APs that seemed interesting to me and/or would be useful in a STEM-oriented undergraduate education." Q: Which AP courses did you take in high school? How did you choose them? A: I took Calculus BC, Statistics, Physics C: Mechanics, Biology, Spanish, Government, Language and Composition, and Computer Science. I took APs that seemed interesting to me and/or would be useful in a STEM-oriented undergraduate education. From my experience, the STEM AP credits come in quite handy even at private schools that are notoriously stingy about which AP credits they accept. I didn’t know that at the time but taking those classes definitely helped me skip some of the weed-out classes like physics in college. Q: How were you able to manage the workload of your classes in high school and become valedictorian? A: I think it’s important to develop good study habits early and to not procrastinate. Those were probably the two things that helped me the most. Once a class starts, it is also easy to tell which parts of the class require more attention and will impact your grade more than others. Once I was able to hone in on the important parts, I was able to allocate my time well and maximize it. Learn more about Uday and his experience on his LinkedIn account. Think you know someone or are someone that can give some advice? Fill out this form here! Have more questions based on what you’ve read? Submit them here!

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"Break from the grind. Clear your mind. Enjoy some me time." | A MIT Student's Advice on HS Courses

We had the privilege of interviewing Joseph Li, a dedicated tennis player a YouTuber with over 2k subscribers who share college and life advice We asked for some experience about: High School Courses Here are some important words he shares: "Sacrificing mental health, sleep, and time with friends is not worth increasing your chances of going to Harvard." Q: Did you factor in what type of courses would help you in the colleges you applied to when choosing courses? A: Definitely. I took 2 science courses every year of high school, and I took really as many APs as I could in STEM fields. Q: Did you only take the courses offered at your school or did you also take online/summer courses? A: I did not take any online or summer courses. Q: If you had to choose between two classes that you both wanted, how did you decide? A: I honestly went with the class that I felt would give me the lower workload. I was very bad at managing my time throughout high school, and with an already stacked school schedule and lots of time spent on the tennis court, I aimed to give myself a break when I could. Q: How did you keep track of your work and assignments? A: I used a Google Doc with a rudimentary calendar as my “to-do list.” I’m trying to switch over to using Google Calendar to keep track of everything in college. Q: How do you prepare for tests? A: My study routine usually consisted of reading through all my relevant notes, any powerpoints/notes posted on the class website, and watching YouTube videos on topics that I was stuck on. Q: Which AP classes did you choose? Why? A: I took way too many APs to list out on here, but I mainly focused on taking AP classes in STEM subjects, since those are the courses most relevant to me as a student. Q: What is one thing you wish you knew while you were in high school? A: Sacrificing mental health, sleep, and time with friends is not worth increasing your chances of going to Harvard. You can check out Joseph's LinkedIn here.

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"Build your network before you need it."| A UPenn Student's Advice on Finding College Internships

We had the opportunity of interviewing Uday Tripathi, a student at the University of Pennsylvania about: Exceptional Programs Uday is: The President of MUSE Consulting, The President of Engineers in Medicine, An Engineering Teaching Assistant, Co-Founder of Golden Gate Editing (college application consultant), Valedictorian of his class in high school, Scorer of 5s on all of 8 of his AP exams, Achiever of perfect scores on three SAT subject tests, A Merit Semifinalist, and a Scholar Athlete. Uday shares with us: "Freshman and sophomore year internships are far less structured and require the most individual work to find..." "Alumni are great and always willing to help..." Q: How did you find internship opportunities in college? A: Freshman and sophomore year internships are far less structured and require the most individual work to find, even at a school where the on-campus recruiting opportunities are some of the best in the country. For these, I dug around Handshake (Penn’s internship database), emailed alumni using Quaker Net, and did LinkedIn cold emailing. This required a decent amount of time but it ended up being fruitful at the end. Alumni are great and always willing to help and I could find several alumni at each of the companies I was interested in - that’s actually a big reason I landed my sophomore year gig. Junior year internships are mostly run through on-campus recruiting and the process is far more structured. I had no trouble navigating the process that year. Q: Could you compare and contrast a couple of these internships? A: My two most formative internships were my sophomore and junior year ones, at AbbVie (as a marketing intern) and at McKinsey (as a summer business analyst). The former gave me a good look into big pharma and I worked on an internal project that had a sizable impact. My engagement at McKinsey that I was staffed on happened to be in big pharma as well, but this time I was on the external side, advising our client on a new initiative. While both experiences were excellent and gave me two different sides of pharma, I thought the summer at McKinsey was much faster paced and I found myself learning more and being more engaged in the work than I was at AbbVie. I think that had to do with the slow corporate culture that’s present in big companies rather than being unique to AbbVie. The AbbVie internship was in person, however, while the McKinsey one was remote (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), so I did find my relationship with my team being slightly more personal at AbbVie. At the same time, McKinsey did an excellent job of making me as close to my team as was possible given the circumstances. Learn more about Uday and his experience on his LinkedIn account. Think you know someone or are someone that can give some advice? Fill out this form here! Have more questions based on what you’ve read? Submit them here!

do-what-you-have-to-do-a-unc-chapel-hill-student-s-sat-act-advice

"Check your gut only once." | A UNC-Chapel Hill Student's SAT/ACT Advice

We had the privilege of interviewing AW via Google Doc and asked for some experience about: the SAT/ACT AW is currently a student at UNC-Chapel Hill majoring in sociology and psychology. Here is a piece of wisdom she shares: "Check your gut only once." "You just have to train yourself to think fast and take in only necessary information, cutting the fluff." "Read all you can." Q: Did you take the SAT, ACT, or both? Which one did you find fit you better (how did you do)? A: I took both but I definitely preferred the ACT. I think I got a 34, I don’t remember what I got on the SAT. I liked the ACT because it was more straightforward and the English section came more naturally to me personally. Q: What type of resources did you use to study (study groups, tutors, Kaplan, official test preps, online sites, etc) and how did you structure your studying? A: When I was a sophomore I did C2 classes for a couple months. They didn’t end up helping me but I’ve heard they’re effective. I’m better at just self-studying so if I could’ve done something differently, I wouldn’t have done private tutoring. For self-studying, I avoided Kaplan because those aren’t usually representative of what the tests are actually like. Princeton Review and CollegeBoard are pretty standard. I think my studying for each section depended on where I was. For SAT, I’d just do sections separately, check over them, and rework them. I’d only take a practice test once or twice a week. For ACT prep, I had to familiarize myself with the types of questions asked in the Science question and then just get better at reading charts from there. Time is of the essence for that section so I learned to not weigh myself down with the details. Q: When did you start preparing? (middle school, freshman year, junior year, etc.) A: Sophomore year for SAT, junior year for ACT Q: What is one strategy that you used on every single test to help you prepare? A: Check your gut only once. Q: Did you do the writing portion? Why or why not? A: Yes, it was required for the colleges I applied to. Q: For ACT Science, ACT English, or SAT Writing & Language, was any background knowledge necessary or helpful? A: For science, no. You just have to train yourself to think fast and take in only necessary information, cutting the fluff. For the English sections on both tests, it helps if you just read. Read all you can. Read prose, read the news, understand flows of ideas so it just comes naturally.