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"Spike" and Interests Advice

RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
Hello!

I am trying to get into Northwestern HPME and based on what I have heard, Northwestern wants students with a diverse set of interests and clear focus in an area or two. I guess my spikes are teaching & public health/ medicine because I want to be a professor of medicine. Do you think that I have a diverse set of interests (education and medicine/ public health)? How can I show my diverse set of interests?
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Replies to: "Spike" and Interests Advice

  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Bump, bump, bump
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Bump, bump, bumpppp
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    bump
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  • me29034me29034 2260 replies116 threads Senior Member
    Raraimuno wrote: »
    Hello!

    I am trying to get into Northwestern HPME and based on what I have heard, Northwestern wants students with a diverse set of interests and clear focus in an area or two. I guess my spikes are teaching & public health/ medicine because I want to be a professor of medicine. Do you think that I have a diverse set of interests (education and medicine/ public health)? How can I show my diverse set of interests?


    Ok, I’ll bite since you aren’t getting any responses. A spike is a strong area of accomplishment that clearly comes through when you list your activities and awards. A person with a spike has a very strong focus usually in just one area. You say “I guess my spikes are teaching and public health/ medicines”. Those sound like interests, not spikes. It sounds like you don’t have a spike. That’s ok. Lots of people don’t have spikes.

    As far as how do you show your interest - you just list what you have been doing. If these areas of interests are strong enough for a HPME program, you should have a list of ECs in those areas.
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited August 15
    @me29034 Thanks. I have an international project and recognition in the area of public health so I think that is my passion and spike. Yeah that is a great point. I think I will focus on public health and mention that I am very interested in education/ teaching.
    edited August 15
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8200 replies87 threads Senior Member
    "I want to be a professor of medicine"
    "I have a diverse set of interests (education and medicine/ public health)"

    Have you considered JHU UG for public health? Do well and you can go into the Bloomburg MA program as a senior, then go on for a PhD , which will line you up for being a professor of public health medicine. I know a student doing that right now- a BS/MA in Public Health from JSU/Bloomberg, and now doing a PhD at Oxford (sponsored by the company she did her MA internship with). Her thesis work was developed in partnership with her JHU advisor and her Oxford supervisor, and is a global health project that is genuinely interesting, timely, and meaningful.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5893 replies96 threads Senior Member
    NU HPME is not taking applications this year.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35696 replies403 threads Senior Member
    So called "passion" and spike (or declaring career goals at 17) are NOT what gets you an admit to a highly competitive holistic college or program.

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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @collegemom3717 That is an AMAZING idea. Thank you so much! I'm super interested in that now.

    @Mwfan1921 I know :(:(:(

    @lookingforward Yeah, I know, but I know what I want to do right now so I'm trying my best to make that happen. I know that my goals won't get me into a selective college of course. I was just wondering how I could wavy my passion and focus on with my application.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35696 replies403 threads Senior Member
    Eliminate the notion of "passions" as some key. For reach programs, this is about actions, the choices and the awareness/thinking skills/drives evidenced by those choices. I don't know your ECs or academic background, but depth *and* breadth. "Show, not just tell."

    Many bsmd programs want a lot more than unilateral focus. Not all. But this is part of an emerging trend in med education.

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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @lookingforward I understand that passions aren't that important, but I meant to see if if my focuses meet that non-unilateral focus goal. I wanted to see if I would be a good candidate by having multiple focuses and passions. I agree actions are the most important thing which is why I have significant, international achievements and significant impact at 2 ivy league universities. Thanks for the great advice.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 10181 replies393 threads Senior Member
    I have an international project and recognition in the area of public health so I think that is my passion and spike.

    You just started your sophomore year of high school. Do you have this international recognition now, or is this one of the projected achievements from the list of goals on your other thread?
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited September 8
    @austinmshauri I started this international project that has significantly impacted 2 ivies (Yale and Brown) in 7th grade. Not projected at all. In fact, today we have started a project at Harvard and we should soon start at JHU. Thanks for your advice!
    edited September 8
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8200 replies87 threads Senior Member
    I am genuinely curious as to what sort of project a 13 year old could do- independently- that would significantly impact 2 major universities. I'm guessing you don't want to say too much (privacy), but can you indicate what sort of strong effect you are talking about? a policy change from a lawsuit? a new procedure that meets a specific need? a new software tool? And, who is "we"?
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35696 replies403 threads Senior Member
    Sorry, but most "projects" by kids so young carry little influence with top adcoms. They're well aware of the limitations and amount of support needed. Face it, they encounter thousands of kids annually and tend to have a great read on reality.

    This is less about your "multiple focuses and passions" and over-selling isn't good. You may have been involved in something. But you haven't saved the world. Or some universities. Humility and balanced perspective matter.
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @lookingforward
    @collegemom3717

    It is a major project that has helped tens of thousands of people and has a large following at 2 ivies (2 chapters created at those two ivies). I'm sorry, I didn't want to come off as arrogant, just stating facts. I created this thread to get advice on how to weave my story in my college app, and I never intended to get off into this tangent.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8200 replies87 threads Senior Member
    So, would it be more precise to say that you have been a part of creating something web/app based that a large number of students at 2 (soon to be 4) universities) like/use frequently? If so, that suggests that the impact is on the students, not the university itself- unless the project in some way affects the operations of the university (organizing flash protests? creating competition for a college provided service? contact tracing?).

    This isn't nitpicking. If you have- independently- created something that has demonstrably improved the college/life experience of tens of thousand of people by the age of 14 that is a very big deal, and I completely understand why you want to knit it into your college app.

    However, you have to do it carefully- b/c @lookingforward indicates, the BS antennae of AO's is very well developed. A completely true story can be so incredible that AOs don't actually believe it. So, if you say that your project has had a profound "impact on" something- you better be naming the right something. When you say "I did this amazing thing" you need to preemptively answer the obvious adult questions (how does a 13yo get the resources to do that? who signed the legal agreements that would obviously be necessary? What parts of this did the 13 yo do 100% independently, and what parts did they have help with?)

    And, crucially: what does that tell us about the actual person who would be coming to our campus?
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35696 replies403 threads Senior Member
    edited September 13
    In the end, OP will make his or her own decisions. But you started speaking of spike and passions, future career hopes, focuses...and that's just not the "it." I most often suggest kids go back to their target colleges' web sites (and allied info, from the colleges, themselves,) to try to understand what the colleges DO want.

    Often, it's the smaller efforts that impress. The kids who roll up their sleeves, take time out of their schedules, leave the hs comfort zone, to work directly with local needs, often directly with the local needy/neediest. Not the flashy, supposed world-wide, projects. Not projects where you get to work at a distance.

    Add to that, IF you did do something extraordinary (in admissions terms,) I mean this as a matter of reality, there would be some publicity to lean on. A GC could point to this "amazing" accomplishment. It wouldn't need to be woven into the personal statement, which has other purposes.

    If you are a soph, spend the time wisely. Learn what you can, don't assume. The process is holistic, not hierarchical, (not who seems to have some lofty accomplishment no one else does- or the applicant thinks no one else has experienced.)

    I think we've said what we have to say. It's really in OP's hands to find the right approach, gain the right perspective.
    edited September 13
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  • MWolfMWolf 3005 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Raraimuno wrote: »
    @lookingforward
    @collegemom3717

    It is a major project that has helped tens of thousands of people and has a large following at 2 ivies (2 chapters created at those two ivies). I'm sorry, I didn't want to come off as arrogant, just stating facts. I created this thread to get advice on how to weave my story in my college app, and I never intended to get off into this tangent.

    People have the right to be a little skeptical of a student who claims, as a freshman. to be the president of two clubs, who claims to be engaged in two intense research projects, claims to be shadowing doctors, climes to be running a non-profit which is helping 30,000 people on 6 continents, claims to be running another project which is impacting top universities, claims to have two patents pending, and claims to be a freelance graphic designer, all while they are a full time student.

    What perhaps makes people even more skeptical is that, in May, when you provided a list of things you claimed to have done or planned to, these amazing accomplishments were nowhere to be found.

    I will also tell you that providing seemingly contradictory narratives for what you did over the summer does not help.

    So you must understand why people may be skeptical of your narrative.
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