I need some EC advice ... DESPERATE SOON-to-BE Senior

<p>Well, I took the fall and uploaded my stats on a Chance thread. Most of the people who replied believed that my ECs are scattered all over and need more focus.</p>

<p>How can I "focus" my ECs into Finance and Economics? Im going to work(for free) in the summer at a bank and later at the finance department of a large company. Ultimately, I will be able to implement what I learned from a Financial Management course I took in Grade 10 (it was pretty much Excel and an Accounting textbook)</p>

<p>I also managed 4 portfolios that belong to family and friends. The annual return is 16% when I cash it in within a weeks time.</p>

<p>these are the only substantial things that are Finance and Economics related. Any suggestions guys? I really need help, and willing to do anything!</p>

<p>THANKS!!</p>

<p>1) only the tippy top schools care anything at all about ECs
2) ECs hopefully show one's ability to work with others and in an out-of-school setting. They don't need to be laser-beam connected with what you hope to study in college. (my ECs: job as dishwasher and JROTC. Result: accepted at all schools applied. Matriculated at an HYP college)
3) Do what really interests you and will help U grow as a person. Most of what HS kids feel that college admissions officers are looking for is just guesswork. Colleges know that there's only so much most 16 and 17 year olds can do.</p>

<p>I honestly wouldn't be super-concerned with combining your ECs into what your major is going to be. For example, I've been an active Girl Scout for 12 years, and have been a GS camp counselor for a few summers. This will reflect well, despite the fact that I have no intention of becoming a GS leader. </p>

<p>Having major-EC correspondence is really only applicable in other areas. For another example, I do plan on majoring in English and Theater, and so strong ECs for me would center around Theater, Speech/Debate, my school's literary magazine, etc. The arts, too, would present and opportunity to demonstrate interest in a specific category.</p>

<p>But for most things, it's not a big deal. Colleges want to know you're interested/passionate about something. You can be a prospective Russian Lit major and have done professional water polo and banjo playing for four years. As long as it's something.</p>

<p>Yes, well this is my "something". I am deeply in love with Economics and Finance ever since 9th grade (all thanks to an amazing Socials teacher that really,really impacted me...I went from 60/65 in grade 8 to high 90s in gr9 first term!! Tough teacher, but he had a very profound impact on me..I still remember his coffe breath 'till today! lol).</p>

<p>I also intend on working (in addition to the 2 planned experiences above) at a conglomerate in Indonesia for approx. 16 days out for the 4 weeks that i will be there (visiting relatives), retail and services.</p>

<p>If I want to do what Adcoms want, I wouldve done something easier (relatively) like volunteering at a hospital (the usual), nursing home, join an honour society (My school doesnt even have a single club!!), etc. but I REALLY love this stuff. like A&W's Uncle Burger :DD</p>

<p>@the indonesia gig: I wont be at an actual store, I mean the sectors that the company is concerned with, in addition to foods and Natural Gas. I will be working side-by-side with the CEO himself (dead serious)</p>

<p>As mentioned above, many schools don't really care about ECs. They might matter for some scholarships, but often not for admission.</p>

<p>What is your cumulative GPA and what are your test scores?</p>

<p>What schools are you considering?</p>

<p>"If I want to do what Adcoms want, I wouldve done something easier (relatively) like volunteering at a hospital (the usual), nursing home, join an honour society (My school doesnt even have a single club!!), etc. but I REALLY love this stuff. like A&W's Uncle Burger"</p>

<p>Actually, what the admissions officers want at the relatively few colleges that factor ECs into admission is that students pursue their own interests in depth and with creativity, independence and results. Admissions officers at such schools aren't impressed by students who pick ECs by selecting what students think admissions officers will most care about.</p>

<p>@mom2collegekids: All the Ivies (w/the exclusion of Brown and Dartmouth), MIT-Sloan, UChicago,Stanford,UC-Berkeley</p>

<p>Im not sure about CGPA since all the schools I ever attended gave percentage grades. My current school will convert it on to their scale when I graduate. Eitherway, I had a rough start freshman year{btw, gr9 is still junior high in Alberta..anyways of communicating that to adcoms?} (3-4 70s!! most of them silly electives...only electives my junior high offered) since I moved to a completely new province in Canada... Sophomore year was really good, great improvements(Again, I couldn't attain immediate perfection since it was a new environment, "Senior High School" in Alberta is 10-12). This year is my best, hopefully I can keep it this way until next year (maybe bump a percent or two).</p>

<p>My SAT scores should come in about 3-4 days time. I hope they turnout 2100+ (apparently the "near-guarantee mark" for non-financial aid internationals) on my first sitting (or else I'll have to redo it in November and rush scores to UPenn!). Taking SATII Math lvl2,lvl1,chem in october</p>

<p>@Northstarmom: Exactly. Or else I'd be volunteering at Quake centers in Indonesia or an orphanage center there or what not. I just need help with the "Creativity" part</p>

<p>How can I make it more "creative" than just International (unpaid) work experience? I thought about starting a commerce club at school (when they finish policywork for clubs and stuff)... how can I keep members busy though? We already have an honor society being structured over the summer (effort headed by yours truly)</p>

<p>I believe you are missing the point. ECs are to show that you have a depth of interest and a connection with your school and/or community outside of your daily academics. What you see as an 'easier' EC such as volunteering may be viewed positively if it is done over a long period of time. It shows depth of interest. What does not work in a applicants favor is being in 8 clubs where you simply show up to meetings once a month.</p>

<p>We were told by an adcom at a top tier university "I don't want to know the number of activities, I want to know what you did and the difference you made".</p>

<p>You sound like you have a clear interest and dedication to your ECs. I would not worry about what seems to be 'missing' per a certain formula (if one actually exists). Your entire application package (from transcript to LORs to essays) needs to show how you are going to be an asset to their educational community.</p>

<p>" What you see as an 'easier' EC such as volunteering may be viewed positively if it is done over a long period of time."</p>

<p>So called volunteering in which one just sits around waiting to be told what to do is an easy Ec for the lazy folks who are not interested in making a difference. Such volunteering - even hundreds of hours of such volunteering --doesn't impress the relatively few colleges that factor ECs into admission.</p>

<p>Volunteering that takes real effort and thought -- creating a summer camp (Yes, I know high school students that have done this) or organizing a fundraising project or spending a year being an official buddy to a developmentally disabled child -- are the kinds of challenging, impactful experiences that can impress the colleges that factor ECs into admission. Such experiences also are the kind of things that would help hone a student's skills and help the student figure out what they want to major in and do as a career.</p>

<p>Konig if you like finance probably not wise to rule out Dartmouth. It might have the strongest finance placement after Harvard, Wharton, and Princeton. The D-plan is ridiculous in how well it places its graduates.</p>

<p>@Northstarmom: And what if I have NO INTEREST at all in those things? yes, I feel for them, but Im not ready to delve into it like that. I want something where Im happy as could be. Not scratching for hours!</p>

<p>Infact, I have the following planned for next year:</p>

<p>-Start an honour society at my school (School gives no distinctions nor notable award...'cause it "will become too competitive"!!), fully structured by me and a friend. Also acts as a source for student complaints, "main problems", that can't pretty much be discussed elsewhere on a large-scale basis (since there are no discussion boards or forums for it!)</p>

<p>-Start a "Commerce and Economics Club"...we have yet to have ANY clubs at my school, so I think this is going to nurture peoples' interest in commerce, serves primarily to further educate people about the basics of Economics.</p>

<p>-Start a citywide campaign called "Diversify!", will start out on Facebook, then move on to standup displays at malls and trade shows. It promotes women and teens to start their own business, be self-independent, also gives them resources on HOW TO start a business here, since diversity and competition is always good for the economy.
-I am still planning, but I can't do much more since I have a 3 SAT sbjt tests to study for in October! and maybe a 2nd SATI sitting in November if I want to catch UPenn's Early Decision deadline!</p>

<p>@Admitone:Really? Never heard about it, hows the MBA feeder status for Dartmouth? Better than Cornell? thanks for the tip!</p>

<p>If you're not interested in community service, then don't do it. No college requires it for admission.</p>

<p>I've repeatedly said on these boards that when it comes to things like ECs, for their own sake (learning about and developing their interests/talents, making friends, etc.) students should pursue ECs and community service that they enjoy, and should take and make opportunities to delve into them with depth. Most colleges don't factor such things into admission, so it's silly to choose ECs, CS by selecting only things that you think colleges would care about.</p>

<p>The few colleges that factor ECs and service into admission are impressed when students pursue activities in depth and with impact, independence and creativity.</p>

<p>Konig- Dartmouth dominates Wall Street. Its ridiculous. Its better than Columbia, Penn, Cornell, and Brown (note I go to Brown). </p>

<p>Just do some research on banking - Dartmouth's placement is crazy good. I know the D-plan is one reason among others - including a really powerful alumni network. If you want finance its a mistake to leave it out. Interesting you didn't know that!</p>

<p>I looked at your chance thread and scanned over your list of EC's.</p>

<p>When people say that your EC's are scattered, it is not necessarily about the category in which your EC's fall under. Yes, sometimes it can be helpful to have a few EC's all in the same category in which you have done really well, but it isn't necessary. What is necessary is that you show leadership in some EC's (and, for HYP and the like, real leadership, not just being treasurer). </p>

<p>These colleges want kids who are not only going to be involved and active in their communities, but kids who are going to be leaders and transform clubs and organizations. So, even if your intended major is Economics, it is perfectly fine to simply show leadership in a variety of EC's that are unrelated to your intended major. It all comes down to how you shape your application. If you make your application Economics-centric, writing a whole essay about how Economics is your life, and then have EC's unrelated to Economics, well, that's not so great. But you can shape your essays and whatnot in a way that having EC's related to your major is not necessary, at all.</p>

<p>Onto your EC's. As I touched upon before, the problem isn't that they aren't all focused on Economics. It's that you listed a huge amount of them, but there really weren't any significant ones (feel free to correct me and point to one if im wrong). Schools want to see you involved in at least 1 organization throughout your high school career that you have continuously worked up through and are now leading (as a president or whatnot). Basically, depth instead of breadth. A large amount of what you listed as EC's are sort or insignificant (Karate, Intramural Badminton, etc.) Cut the ones that schools really won't care about and list the 4 or 5 most significant ones when you apply.</p>

<p>This is becoming a long post but I'll just finish up with a little advice. To be honest, your EC's alone do not make you competitive enough for the tippity top schools (HYP and the like). If you could found some sort of organization going into your senior year of which you are president it would definitely help. Make it about finance or whatever- just make sure you are also actually doing something as a club and that it is not simply a club you founded for the purpose of college, as admissions officers will see right through that. </p>

<p>Also, don't let this keep you from applying to colleges. If you get SATs that make you competitive (at LEAST 2100, hopefully higher) you can still have a good shot. A fantastic essay could make up for what may seem lacking in other areas. Applications at some of these schools (once again, HYP etc.) are an incredible crapshoot, so if you have a GPA and SATs that make you competitive, apply, regardless if your EC's are somewhat lacking.</p>

<p>Hope this helped</p>

<p>"If you could found some sort of organization going into your senior year of which you are president it would definitely help. "</p>

<p>Not true at all. Lots of students found organizations for this reason, and the organizations are organizations only on paper. It takes lots of work and organizational skills to found an organization that really accomplishes something. The relatively few colleges that factor ECs into admission might be impressed by someone who accomplishes that, but those colleges would be equally impressed by someone who has worked in an already existing organization and has taken it to a new level by getting it involved in new projects, for instance.</p>

<p>It's virtually impossible to found an organization senior year that actually accomplishes something meaningful by the time that applications are due. Organizing meaningful projects takes far more time than one could imagine until one actually has done that -- something that the interviewers for the top schools are likely to have done themselves.</p>

<p>Which is why I wrote that he should make sure the club actually does something as opposed to simply being a paper organization a few sentences later. Also he wrote (either in this thread or his chances thread) that his school in saudi arabia doesn't have any clubs/organizations, so founding one in his senior year is the best he could probably do. And i think founding one would be better than simply not having any club at all.</p>

<p>One doesn't need to found a school club to have extracurriculars or to have activities that colleges would care about. Being involved in one's spiritual community (e.g. teaching religion classes or leading a youth group), volunteering, being on community sports teams, being active in a political party, starting community youth organizations that really do things -- all could be things that impress the relatively few colleges that factor such activities into admission decisions.</p>

<p>@Admitone: I remember hearing it here or there...but not in the way you brought it up!</p>

<p>@wagsthedog: Well, my ECs are scattered due to me being at 3 different schools in the past 3 years (No, not performances or behavioural issues. I had to move from the first one 'cause G7-9 is middle school in that province, 10-12 is highschool. I attended 10 at a senior high, and moved to Saudi Arabia for grade 11.). Im going to ask the counselor if he can attach nice, full-page explaining my situation and how I have overcome the gaps caused by the curriculums (much more dense now!). should help, right?</p>

<p>@Admitone: I remember hearing it here or there...but not in the way you brought it up!</p>

<p>@wagsthedog: Well, my ECs are scattered due to me being at 3 different schools in the past 3 years (No, not performances or behavioural issues. I had to move from the first one 'cause G7-9 is middle school in that province, 10-12 is highschool. I attended 10 at a senior high, and moved to Saudi Arabia for grade 11.). Im going to ask the counselor if he can attach nice, full-page explaining my situation and how I have overcome the gaps caused by the curriculums (much more dense now!). should help, right?</p>

<p>Its going to be the first honor society at my school, nevermind club. So its a rather big deal for the administration.</p>

<p>@Northstarmom: I agree (to a certain extent), except with the political party thing....yeahhh. Well, you almost reiterated my ECs that some people regarded as scattered. I did participate in community teams (its in my chance thread I think), I did participate in 2 organizations that had me involved directly in making a difference, both LOCALLY and INTERNATIONALLY. I was an Executive Member on a 3 year old group (we met twice a week for lunch, all other hours involved unscheduled timing) that had previously sent Backpacks to Mexico and Desks to Kenya. When I attended, we were primarily focused with fundraising activities (selling snacks, dances, raffles, 24 hour no-food marathon etc.), and we raised enough funds to sponsor an orphan, and after talking with the supervising teacher of the group, I heard that 2 months into the following year (after I started senior highschool), they had enough money from LAST year to build a school in the Senegal (that was the 2 year goal). 4 months later, VOILA. the school was built. </p>

<p>I also did a 1 year stint as the regional correspondent and school representative for Youth Science Foundation Canada, but then moved here.</p>

<p>Locally (this year), my friends and I, with the help of a teacher, started collecting donations from friends,family, and schoolmates for a schoolwide campaign to repair some damaged flood homes in Jeddah that belonged do some labourers and caretakers at our school. We bought the supplies, tiles, paint, furniture, beds, canned foods, snacks, everything. Then we surprised the misfortunate workers and repaired their house. Believe it or not, they didnt have any flooring in the bathroom, and the house doesnt even have piping (located in one of the poorest areas in jeddah) so its all siting down there :( I was touched honestly, seeing stuff like this is way more shocking than on television, you can smell the misery. One thing that disappointed us was when 2 youngsters tried to steal my friend's car... turns out they sleep on the sidewalk...life is sad.</p>

<p>^didnt want to take up so much space in a chance thread to explain it, but this is what happened.</p>