12 days ago
Harvard prospective students

Extracurriculars for CS Engineering for an International Harvard aspirant?

Hi! I'm a junior in High School and I'll be applying for a Computer Engineering Major in about a year's time. Now, the thing is that all ECs related to CS that are possible in the US and other first-world countries that I continuously see on blog posts, etc., aren't available in South Asia, and even if there are rare opportunities for the same, there's either an age limit or a financial restriction that limits me from being able to participate in said activities. I couldn't apply for the school's robotics team because the cost of components was way beyond the financial capacity of my family despite having built some projects before, like a bridge rectifier.

Over the course of the pandemic, I've self-taught myself basic front end web development (I am currently learning back-end development), android app development(Kotlin), graphic designing (adobe photoshop, illustrator and currently learning 3D designing), video editing and a ~little~ bit of game development.

I had Artificial Intelligence as an additional subject in my Freshman and Sophomore years so I learned quite a bit of that and think I want to pursue a career in that field. I'm trying to follow some udemy courses for learning these skills but I haven't had the opportunity to really showcase this in the real world. Yes, I built more than 1000 websites over the last year, but how will my admissions officer know that?

I'm publishing an app I built on the Android Play Store next week, but I'm still unsure how I can integrate that into my college application. is there a number of downloads that might make Harvard even consider taking me? I'm not sure how many downloads my app will get on release due to lack of resources for promoting and such, but I can try via social media if I'm given a goal number. Is there a number that will make Harvard Admissions Officers go "hmm maybe this girl has some potential?" On Collegevine's ranking tier on basis of how-strong-an-extracurricular-is, in the case of music, they said 25,000 streams on your songs on a streaming platform. What would be the Play Store app downloads equivalent of the same? Please assist me and let me know how I can improve my application by showcasing what all I have learned, and maybe what all I can learn which might help me get a foot in the door (or even a toenail for that matter) and help me achieve my goal.

------------End of the question, providing some context and insight on my other ECs below, feel free to skip that--------------

My ECs aren't that groundbreaking and revolutionary or something that will really make me stand out among hundreds of thousands of students, especially because I'm applying for a highly competitive major. My first extracurricular is dance, I've been dancing for over 11 years and have a national level diploma in the said classical dance form. Worked with exponents and pioneers of the said dance form. My second EC is music, I have had 9 years+ of training in classical music and vocal training. I can play 3 instruments as well. I've just started releasing my own music, have more than 13.5k streams in less than a month. My third EC is business and graphic design combined, I started my own small business and sold my designs and illustrations, and sold products worth over 12,000 ₹ in less than a year. Worked with other small businesses and collaborated with them on projects. My last EC, for now, is 'leadership' oriented? I was a member of the school's student council in my freshman year. I know many people have way more and better ECs. I've done a lot of out-of-classroom work throughout my years of high school, but nothing worthy of mentioning on my application.


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