5 months ago
Harvard prospective students

How can i improve on my ECs?

Hi! Im currently an international high school sophomore and I’m pretty nervous about my ECs as they aren’t spectacular or particularly ‘spikey’.

Im currently in the executive committee of a project that has reached over 3.5k people with zoom webinars and the sort that partners with local hospitals and universities and im anticipating that I’ll be in a managerial position by the time senior year comes around.

Im also in what you would call an ‘exotic’ EC as im playing a traditional instrument that’s rarely seen in the US (or heard of) and gained a grade 7 certificate and my club has won gold in the most distinguished arts competition in my country (however I’m not in a managing position)

In freshman year I’ve also taken part in various MUNs, and underwent a research project about artificial intelligence with a mentor from a local research institute. I’m also going to take part in a National science fair for this project. I’ve also won 4th place in the National astronomy team competition and gotten a bronze medal at a National physics team competition.(although physics isn’t something I want to pursue) Another exotic hobby I have is embroidery haha and I’m hoping to expand on that.

Any ideas on how to further my portfolio? Thanks! (Especially cause Harvard/Ivy/MIT/Stanford/Uchicago admits always look to have superhuman ECs)

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@keeks4 months ago

Hi! How did you find the opportunity for the artificial intelligence research project?

@keeks4 months ago

Also, how did you get the opportunity for managing the project that reached over 3.5k people?

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Accepted Answer
5 months ago

Hi, thank you for asking your question! There are a few factors to consider how impressive your extracurriculars are to admissions officers -- especially for selective schools. For one, you want to make sure your extracurricular is aligned with your major of interest. This is important especially at selective schools, I would read this blog post for more details. Secondly, you want to have a unique activity that not many high schoolers are doing that have gained recognition and awards. And third, you want to be able to show that you have dedicated significant time to the activity (hrs/wk, wk/yr).

More specifically, extracurriculars can fall into tiers based off of their impressiveness. I would check out this blog post here for more details about this, and to size up where your extracurriculars stand.

That being said, extracurriculars are, for better or worse, not the only thing that will get you into the school of your dreams, items like the essay, grades, course rigor and letters of recommendation matter. I would definitely recommend watching our livestream on how admissions works at elite schools for more info!


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