Thoughts on application success - career & school.
We've put together an easy to follow, high level overview of the college admissions process including the four major components that admissions officers evaluate: academics, extracurricular activities, standardized testing, and the application (and essays). This is actually a very truncated version of a presentation that we hold (for free!) in the spring time frame in both NYC and SF. We're hoping to add more YouTube videos in shorter chunks of time on the most asked frequently asked questions from our clients.
So you've made it through a few years of high school and you're feeling pretty solid about your classes, grades, and extracurricular activities. There are a few more things to now focus on if you're college bound. The most obvious - which schools should I be applying to? Fit is incredibly important and it's something that we stress when working with high school/transfer students. It's about a great match so that you get a lot out of the school, but the school and its community also get a lot out of you as a person. Outside of the usual check on your numbers (SAT/ACT, GPA, etc.), here are a few pointers to consider in the process:
Best of luck in exploring the different schools out there!
You're at the tail end of the undergraduate application process - the testing, the interviews, the essays are all behind you now. Whew - congrats on completing an intense process. And, if you're reading this article, my guess is that you also have choices ahead of you. Wonderful.
So, which college/university?
I've compiled a few tactics to thoughtfully review the choices at hand.
Best of luck on your decisions!
What does it mean?
Well, congratulations! It might feel like another rejection, but what the wait list means is that you're one of the applicants that the university finds qualified to be part of the community - just that there wasn't enough space for everyone. Due to the competitiveness of many colleges and universities, it means that there were several students just as qualified as you, and perhaps there was something else that someone else had that the admissions officers found would contribute to the mix of this particular class. Typically the difference between accepted students and those that are wait listed are arbitrary and minor. Pat yourself on the back for this accomplishment.
What to do next?
If you'd like to be on the wait list, you must actively notify the university. Follow the instructions included in the notice/letter and be sure to respond. There are several things to do and not do to better your chances of getting off the wait list. However, many competitive universities only accept small percentages of students off their wait lists, so be sure to put down a deposit at a school in which you'd be happy to go to otherwise. Most schools accept students off the wait list after the May 1 decisions requirements of those that were accepted before pulling from the wait list.
Things to keep in mind:
Best of luck on school decisions!
Nervousness and anxiety when it comes to standardized testing is pretty common - so, you're not alone. The anxiety or fear is actually a sign that your body is ready to focus on the task ahead, all that remains is how your harness that energy. Here are some tactics to keep cool and calm so that you perform your best on test day.
Months/weeks leading to the test:
I can't believe how much university/college tuition has risen over the last few decades! If you're a senior that has decided (back on May 1) which college you'll be attending, you might be overwhelmed about how to fill the gaps that you likely have in your financial aid package.
After all those essays from the admissions process, you're likely to want to take a break from anymore writing or submission of applications - but don't! Applying to scholarships is actually worth your while as there are many students that do sit back and relax and don't even bother to apply. This ups your odds of getting some aid. And, many of the times, you won't need to submit a personal statement. And very likely, you'll find that you can recycle a lot of the work that was completed back in the fall!
We highly advocate for prioritizing application to local scholarships. There are many of them, while at a lower gift, you're more likely to actually receive the award. There are a few places in which you can search for all types of scholarships, specifically for local scholarships...
You can find both national, regional, and local scholarships online. Our favorite websites for the search are:
Again, if you don't apply, you won't get anything! And lots of smaller scholarships can make a significant dent in tuition costs. So, while we aren't telling you to avoid the big, prestigious scholarships, we do encourage you to apply to many of the opportunities that may have smaller awards that have less competition and better your odds of securing funds.
Best of luck on the scholarship search and application process!
Last week, a first-generation student from Walnut, CA gained admissions to ALL eight Ivy League schools! I was especially proud as she was born in Malaysia, where Tilia and I are originally from! Cassandra Hsiao's admissions essay hit tugged on a few heartstrings - do have a read here.
Cassandra captures the experience of the first-generation student so well - we have all been conscious about not just what we say, but HOW we say it, always in fear that a slip in pronunciation might just betray our immigrant roots. However, delve a little deeper and we can start to appreciate the many stories that come from the mispronounced words - the struggles to learn a new language, to adopt a new culture while at the same time trying your best to just fit in. Cassandra shows us how to rise above this fear of standing out by mastering the very same language her mom struggled with - to be an amazing student writer and journalist!
At Lucent, we have helped countless of immigrant families gain admissions into their dream school. We have always advocated for telling personal stories and this plucky Malaysian-born Californian high schooler has definitely shown what a unique and amazing experience being a first-generation student can be!
Here at Lucent Education, we must take it for granted that there are some pretty straightforward principles around resume formatting. It's a fairly easy and fun design task for us to work off of your current formatting (usually) and keep your stylistic flavor while modernizing - there are rare cases when we totally revamp the resume formatting. Here are some tips that go a bit beyond the general template of a resume:
Don't forget, read your resume as if you're a recruiter. It only needs the information on there to get you that interview (and sometimes for a hiring manager to see your experience further back). So, it sometimes hurts to cut out pieces of your work history because you lived it (and it was important!), but the resume isn't where you dictate your entire life's work; it's a personal marketing tool to help you get an interview.
With the new year, many are thinking about what they'd like to accomplish for the year. Eating and living healthier. Strengthening relationships with friends. Spending more time with family. And of course, what to do about a job that you're ready to move on from.
So, here are a few resume refreshing tips to get you started...
It's the end of summer, the weather's getting cooler and it's also college application time. We recently came across this very brief article on how Jessica Yeager, a graduate of Harvard and MIT, managed to get offers from 7 Ivies! Read more here.
Our take on this : Start early, dream big and do your research. The last point is we at Lucent Education feel that we can make the biggest difference. It's good and well to be able to get information off websites and YouTube videos, but nothing beats getting advise from people who have actually been there and have experience helping others get there too! Have a look at what our clients say about us!
As always, drop us a message or visit our Facebook page for more info!
With summer well and truly underway, we hope that you are using these warm and lazy days productively! Pokemon Go might be getting everyone off their couches and into the streets, but a little more effort productivity-wise goes a long way!
NPR Ed recently posted a piece on how high school students need more than just college-prep. Employers are increasingly expecting college graduates to possess some measure of competency at jobs, be it punctuality, customer-service or professionalism. It was suggested that any summer job, including ones that may seem 'pointless' or 'dead-end', might actually make students a lot more competitive out of college.
So there. We think it's definitely time to don those aprons and learn a few new skills - be it latte art or flipping burgers! Even better, go experience the work environment of a career you've never thought of being in. If jobs are hard to come by, volunteer to offer your time. There are few employers who would say no to bubbly enthusiasm and an extra pair of hands!
If there are any industries that you might be interested in and are looking for an introduction, do drop us and e-mail!
My younger sister, there's a large age gap, just graduated from Oberlin. It was her absolute first choice school - turning down other exceptional institutions to be there. She was considering pursuing music - and Oberlin Conservatory is one of the top in the nation, if not the world. During graduation weekend, this stood out. The spirit of the school is very performance oriented - from the O!Circus to steel drums to taiko - there was a performance every afternoon during graduation/alumni weekend, somewhere on campus. I really enjoyed hearing the senior recitals at Finney Chapel - the musicians are quite talented!
Oberlin's known for being quite liberal - and that showed. From man buns to an all-sex system for bathroom usage in dormitories, the school definitely inspires a tree hugger type feeling that you get when walking across the better known UC Berkeley (Cal). But, there's a more casual feel to the culture as compared to schools like BU, Tufts, Middlebury, Amherst. It's similar to how ballet dancers, perfect and tidy during performances, wearing gritty, ripped clothing during practice. Perhaps in the perfection of performance, Obies (as they call themselves) turn to a grittier, more laid back version of themselves as they walk through campus.
The school is composed of 2 schools - liberal arts & conservatory. I do believe that the conservatory's culture spills over into the rest of the school's culture. The tour guide even said that although she was a violinist, her goals weren't to pursue music in college, but wanted to be around performance (and she will be minoring in dance). However, from conversations with students and actions of the students at graduation - there is a clear differentiation of the two programs. As there were only about 700 graduates total, each name was announced. The conservatory was first - and not too long after the completion of the dual degree students, the conservatory students began to leave their seats. Ok - 3 hour long graduation, I'd be tempted, too! But, if one of my best friends was in the liberal arts college - I'd stay put and get ready to cheer for him/her. This was telling for me. Not in a negative way, but to share with prospective students that the two are separate entities and with as much muddling there is between them, there is still a clear divide between conservatory and liberal arts students. It all makes sense - you'd be spending a lot more time in classes with those in the same school.
Overall, Oberlin has an excellent academic reputation. Some of the newer buildings are LEED certified, the spaces are beautiful, the campus inviting. For the right student, what an awesome undergraduate experience! I would heavily consider the liberal arts school if you fit into the following categories:
For the majority of professionals, writing something longer than an email or a PowerPoint slide/deck is not a routine practice. So, here are a few tips on how to start putting together your cover letter. Each person's unique experiences in combination with each position should also be taken into consideration when putting together the cover letter. This is just a generic format for getting your first draft started:
You can do this in two main ways...
Summarize your education/certifications, any relevant coursework specific to the position. Then close it off with one or two sentences about how your experience and/or coursework is relevant to the specific position. This is also a good place (or the intro) to talk about how your personal passions align with the position if applicable.
Then add a sentence before the closing that conveys confidence and eagerness to move forward such as: "Thank you so much for considering me for the ZZZZ position at YYYY, I look forward to speaking with you soon.
The look and feel of a resume is sometimes just as important as the content itself. There are circumstances in which large companies will convert the content to a generic format. In those cases, the formatting is totally void. However, you're likely applying to multiple positions at different companies, in which case, formatting is the first thing someone would notice about the resume. Here are few key pieces to look at when re-formatting your resume:
Your life is filled with lots of accomplishments, events, and memories. So, there's a huge urge to want to share all of that in your college application essay. With between 500 and 750 words to work with, it's impossible to get all the wonderful things you've accomplished and want to share with the admissions officer into this one essay, at least not in any sort of meaningful way. So, resist that urge to list a bunch of events! There are multiple parts to your application - the resume, your grades, short essays, standardized testing, and recommendations. All of these components will contribute to giving the admissions offer a rich picture of who you are.
Let the resume tell your chronological accomplishments from work, volunteer, and extra curricular activities. Let recommendations brag about the more qualitative pieces of who you are - personality, drive, etc. And, let the essay tell the reader how you think, your aspirations, and where those aspirations come from. In most cases, this stems from a story or series of events that are pivotal in your life. Here are some questions that might help you pinpoint these types of events:
Once you settle on the topic, don't forget to expand on the story and why it's significant, how it's changed who you are/your goals, and how it ties to your aspirations for the future or your more immediate next steps.
About Lucent Education:
College, Graduate School, and Career Coaching.