College Advice I Wish I’d Taken

Great article by the NY Times that’s definitely worth reading. Some highlights are below. Full article available here.

Here’s what I wish I’d known and done differently:

A’S ARE COOL AND COME WITH PERKS – As a student, I saw myself as anti-establishment, and I hated tests; I barely maintained a B average. I thought only nerds spent weekends in the library studying. I was retroactively envious to learn that a 3.5 G.P.A. or higher at many schools qualifies you for free trips, scholarships, grants, awards, private parties and top internships.

SHOW UP AND SPEAK UP  If a class was boring or it snowed, I’d skip. My rationale was that nobody in the 300-person lecture hall would notice and I could get notes later. Attendance barely counted. When I went, I’d sit quietly in back. Yet as a teacher, I see that the students who come weekly, sit in front, and ask and answer questions get higher grades and frankly, preferential treatment. I reward those who try harder with recommendations, references, professional contacts and encouragement.

CLASS CONNECTIONS CAN LAUNCH YOUR CAREER – As an undergrad, I rarely visited my professors during office hours. I didn’t want to annoy teachers with what I considered triviality. Besides, I thought I knew everything already. But it’s not just your professors who will help your life trajectory. Several classmates of mine from graduate school wound up working as editors at other publications, and they have since hired me for freelance work.

PROFESSORS ARE PEOPLE, TOO – As a teacher, I’ve kept all the letters, cards and poems of gratitude I’ve been sent. It’s nice to be appreciated, and it makes a lasting impression. After one of my intro sessions, a freshman from Idaho blurted out: “Awesome class! It’s like you stuck my fingers in a light socket.” I laughed and invited her to speed walk with me around the local park — an activity I take part in nightly as a sort of active office hours — and we workshopped ideas that led to her first book. And when a student confided she was dying to take another class with me but had lost her financial aid, I let her audit. In retrospect, I should have been more open with the instructors I admired.

FIND YOUR PROFESSORS ON SOCIAL MEDIA – I answer all emails, and while I may not accept all friend requests, I respond to students who follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. More important, social media is where I post about panels, job openings and freelance work. Checking out students’ social media feeds also allows me to see new sides of their personalities.

YOU’RE NOT STUCK – Don’t be afraid to ask for emotional support. It was a graduate school professor who recommended my first therapist to me: She was a fantastic listener who charged on a sliding scale. Therapy can be cheap, fun and easily available — not to mention lifesaving. And if it turns out you’re in the wrong school, don’t worry. A third of college students transfer before graduating.

 

To Post or Not to Post? How Social Media Influences College Admissions

Very relevant article by the Huffington Post. Highlights are below. Full article here.

More and more, what teens post online influences the college admissions process. Some 35% of college admissions officers now check applicants’ social media pages, compared to just 10% of officers in 2008, according to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2017 survey of 365 college admissions officers.

So, what’s a prospective college student to do? Below are three tips to ensure your social media footprint works for you, not against you.

Determine your ‘it’ factor
Before jumping into the tactics, let’s think big picture: What passions, expertise, achievements, and skills can you showcase? What value can you bring to your college community? In short: What’s your personal brand?
“Pay attention to the image that you’re projecting,” stresses Hans Hanson, CEO and Founder of CollegeLogic. “Create the image you desire and build your brand. Work hard to develop it and protect it with every ounce of responsible intention.”

Develop your digital portfolio
Now that you have audited your online presence and reflected on your strengths, it’s time to create a captivating online portfolio.
Start with a clean-up. Remove social media profiles that are dormant, off-brand, or inappropriate. No references to alcohol or drug usage, no profanity, no defamatory comments.

Next, construct the right profiles. Make every word, photo, and video count. Spend time crafting a LinkedIn presence, and showcase your experience, achievements, and aspirations. Secure testimonials and endorsements from teachers, employers, athletic coaches, and club presidents.
Lastly, remember: less is more. Rather than using every social media platform, select just a few that are in sync with your career aspirations. For example: Those interested in the creative arts should leverage YouTube or Instagram.

Make some noise
You have your portfolio complete. Now what? It’s important to deliver the experience of you in a meaningful and deliberate way. Avoid posting “in the moment” — instead, take time to craft content that showcases your character, expertise, and passion. Hone the art of storytelling through blogging; tell your story through a series of thoughtful essays. And consider doing so on your own website. (If you’re not up to that just yet, still snag the vanity URL. Otherwise, someone else may come along and scoop up yourname.com.)
Invest in networking both online and offline. College-bound students can use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to communicate with other prospective students, or to seek out alumni events. Also make sure to connect via LinkedIn with college advisors and department heads at desired colleges and universities.

MIT at Band – October 9

Do you want to know more about MIT? Come to the event next Monday, October 9th from 1-3pm in room A11.

You will learn strategies to become part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a top university in areas such as Science, Technology and Engineering. You will learn more about undergraduate admissions at MIT and hear some inspirational stories about notable professors and young Brazilians who attend MIT.

The event will be hosted by Dr. Elaine Lizeo, in her role as Brazilian Chair – MIT Educational Council and coordinator of the Brazilian team of interviewers as well as Mr. Fernando Carvalho who has been working for over a decade at promoting MIT’s educational opportunities in Brazil. From 1997 to 2006, Dr. Elaine Lizeo concluded her Masters Degree at MIT and conducted research for her Masters, Doctorate and Post-Doctorate theses at MIT.

MIT logo