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It angers me when I see kids with ECs from nepotism

DankjewelDankjewel Registered User Posts: 373 Member
Especially kids from China, Bangladesh, India, etc. seem to have EC chambers filled with nepotistic opportunities. For one example, a kid in my school (who barely speaks her mother tongue) went to her mother country in her 10th grade summer with her father (who is a professor) and helped out in a lab of a local university, presumably due to connections and got listed as the SECOND author in a research paper. Honestly, considering her limited language abilities, it surprises me that she could even actively participate without her parent's help, except for maybe helping revise the paper into English (which I admit, is a task that can get your name on a paper in academia, but not like the second author). Considering she will have an edge in the college process angers me a lot.

Replies to: It angers me when I see kids with ECs from nepotism

  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 19,495 Senior Member
    Life's not fair. You see the same nepotism as well as favoritism and unfair advantages in the workplace. Might as well get used to it. Many just need to work harder to get ahead.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 40,267 Super Moderator
    edited November 2017
    Admissions Officers did not just fall off the turnip truck and will recognize such "opportunities" for what they are.
    except for maybe helping revise the paper into English
    Unless you know definitively differently, it's likely that the paper was written in English and that the working language of the lab was English. Even in non-English speaking countries, the primary language of many workgroups (in and out of academia) is English.

    Having said that, nobody ever said life was fair. The college kid who gets an "internship" because his dad's golf buddy is the CEO? Not much difference.
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 1,774 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    Do you seriously think that such nepotism is taking place more with kids with ties in "China, Bangladesh, India, etc."? Or does it anger you a lot especially because they have ties to those countries? What about all those rampant nepotism taking place right here in the U.S.?
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,033 Senior Member
    I think colleges do look with a bit of a jaundiced eye on student STEM research, especially if the parent lists a profession in a STEM field. It has nothing to do with ethnicity or country of origin, though -- it is an EC process equally abused by all groups from what I can see.
  • 3scoutsmom3scoutsmom Registered User Posts: 5,632 Senior Member
    As for the language, my dd a second year college student, did an intership in Germany this summer and less than half the other people in the lab were from Germany. The official language of the lab was English even though she was the only native English speaker! DD was disappointed as she wanted to brush up on her scientific German.
  • DankjewelDankjewel Registered User Posts: 373 Member
    Doubtful b/c that uni is a very small regional uni.
  • DankjewelDankjewel Registered User Posts: 373 Member
    edited November 2017
    It honestly does happen more, and more blatantly, in these countries. I can attest because I am from one of these countries (or at least used to be like that). The US is relatively tame compared to other countries with lower standards of ethics.
  • scubadivescubadive Registered User Posts: 809 Member
    Few high school students get such opportunities without these connections. I think it is safe to assume admission officers are aware of this. And you see, time and time again, they do in fact get rejected from schools.
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,351 Senior Member
    Another way to view nepotism is the wise use of one's resources. Why shouldn't they use those resources to their advantage? How is that any different than helping a kid get an interview for a job? That's what networking is all about. You've seen it in action. Now learn to incorporate it for your future. Trust me, someday, somewhere you will be the benefactor of knowing someone who can help position you for something you want. That's the way the world works.
  • wakey1wakey1 Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    I wouldn't be as concerned about others and be more concerned about your child. Your child needs to realize life is not fair whether it's high school college or the workforce.
  • GatormamaGatormama Registered User Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    Life is all about working hard and making connections. Personally too. It leads to marriage. Kids. Then you help them get ahead by sending them to schools and help them get jobs in the summer, maybe with someone you know, maybe in your own office.
    It's a societal thing, ya know, otherwise we'd all be solitary mammals....
    Your time will come, don't worry!
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 56,353 Senior Member
    If the tables were turned and you had had this opportunity, would you have done the same thing?
  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 5,555 Senior Member
    I always figured that kids in the US (no idea about foreign countries) who had these great research opportunities typically got them through connections through their parents. I don't see how that happens for high school kids without those connections, or without some program through their high school. Either way, I bet AOs can figure it out.
  • ThinkOnThinkOn Registered User Posts: 487 Member
    Wow, lots of cynical opinions here. DH and I are both humanities folks, with no ties whatsoever to anything STEM. When D19 found out that her birth defect could be a result of a mutation, she read up on it and found an article on the exact protein that was tied to her defect. She reached out to author, read up on the topic, went to presentations, was accepted to some selective research programs (one held during the school year, one held during the summer) and based on the specific type of genetic research she did, wrote to several university professors that were working on an issue she wanted to explore further and next thing you know, she's invited to 3 labs next summer (one at UC Irvine, one at SUNY Stony Brook and one at Yale). Again, no connections other that her reaching out to authors who had written on the topic that she wanted to research.

    Sure, she was extremely lucky to get selected to the initial research programs that allowed her to get her foot in the door (selection must have been based on essays, her PSAT score, etc), but I think her interest in the research really must have come across in the letters she wrote to these professors.

    Just putting it out there...I don't think my D's case is that unusual. There are kids out there that are really interested in this stuff and search out all types of opportunities because they think it's just really cool. She could live in the lab if she could. Nepotism? Hardly.
This discussion has been closed.