Finding your spike with Elias

Recorded Friday, April 16 at 09:00 PM

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About this livestream


Have you heard Elias's signature catchphrase "spiky beats renaissance" on air, and been completely baffled as to what that means? Well, we've told Elias he can't use it unless he elaborates, so in this stream he'll walk you through CollegeVine's best advice on approaching extracurriculars (so your "spike" can beat someone else's "renaissance").

Elias will give you a rundown on how to cultivate a strong narrative through your extracurriculars, and administer plenty of tips and tricks you'll need in order to find your spike and make your profile stand out to admissions officers.

Elias' advice is like a box of chocolates: each nugget of wisdom rarer than the next. So don't miss out on this opportunity and come prepared to drop all your admissions-related questions in the chat.

Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my fourth year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored thousands more through my livestreams. Apart from my work at CV, I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
0:50@sidney:Has the livestream started? Or am I freezing?
1:17@oreolover:it's working for me
11:39@anonymous:most definitely feel the energy
12:06@sidney:Would personal qualities be considered a spike?
12:27@zaraadam:Which one is better?
12:48@zaraadam:Well rounded vs Spike for Ivys?
16:37@sidney:What is the best way to make my spike original and unique?
18:13@zaraadam:Spikes for Economic or finance majors?
20:12@zaraadam:Could you have a spike even if are applying for undecided?
20:25@anonymous:what if you really enjoy an activity, and are deeply involved with it, but you aren't particularly exceptional at it?
21:06@zaraadam:So it won't negatively affect me if we say that I want to study mathematics but my spike is most made of politics.
22:15@fani:If you have a lot of extracurriculars that are geared towards the medical field such as virtual shadowing, red cross volunteering, and hospital volunteering, what could your spike be?
23:22@Parent24:Is the spike your passion?? 🤔
23:29@Parent24:I could pursue Engineering but my spike be music?
24:01@anonymous:are spikes only necessary for top schools?
24:13@zaraadam:Totally unrelated but does not have awards but a stellar extra-curriculum alright for the top schools?
25:38@angieshere:What if we did research, but you never got it published? Would that look bad?
25:53@anonymous:i'd love to hear about your spike
25:53@angieshere:I don’t mind at all
29:38@angieshere:Do you wanna sing a song for us? XD
35:13@zaraadam:Lol that would have been fun if he did
35:18@oreolover:Is it okay to develop your spike later on, like midway through high school?
35:22@sidney:Elias, I met a guy who founded a 1million usd startup, awarded by the government.... and he didn’t get into Wharton? Why do you think he was rejected?
36:04@angieshere:Is it too late to start a spike if you’re a junior?
37:00@sidney:Are spikes important for businesses schools?
37:21@angieshere:Got it! Thanks!
38:52@oreolover:@collegevine please add that option
39:04@anonymous:i agree
39:13@sidney:Spikes for business and environmental protection?
40:39@anonymous210:activities for developing business, tech, social impact spike?
42:15@Parent24:I play the piano, guitar, science and maths are my favorite subjects. Theme??
45:58@nolan32:How would you recommend tying together potential spikes that you've gotten heavily involved with and been successful with but aren't completely related to each other?
46:06@R9:How can starting a band be considered a spike and how can i elevate it to the point where it would be worth sharing in my admission?
47:28@fani:You said doing leadership is good for building a spike. What if you aren't actually in an official leadership position in the club like president or vice prez, but you have founded or led committees within the e club?
48:24@angieshere:I did a research internship last summer, I’m my school chapter’s HOSA officer, and I plan on doing another healthcare related internship (along with a community service). How would you describe my theme?
48:44@fani:it is health related
48:47@angieshere:Health Occupations Students of America
50:51@fani:how dare they rate you a two
51:20@anonymous210:how many activities to pursue at a time (w leadership position)
51:49@angieshere:You deserve an Emmy Award!!
52:14@Parent24:Really find these livestreams so helpful!!!! THANK YOU!!!
52:21@sidney:What if my spike is about something very unique and no one else makes the same thing, would I have a better chance to get into a great college?
52:55@sidney:Would I be considered a well-rounded person if I do a lot of things within my spike?
53:14@angieshere:Drop the link so we can watch ittt
54:31@sidney:Is Vienna a cool city?
55:26@sidney:Who founded College Vine?
56:32@angieshere:Did the founders of college vine use this platform as their spike?
57:20@sidney:Did you expect to get into Tufts/Columbia?
58:45@anonymous210:can we get an internship at collegevine darn it
59:49@sidney:Did you know what spike was when you were a high school student?
59:59@anonymous:how did you get 5s on all your APs that's insane
60:04@TheThird:Is it better to leave out an activity from your transcript that doesn't fit with your spike?
60:59@angieshere:Cold emailing?
61:26@daniel833:I am currently involved in several tech activities like finding a club and doing volunteering, but they are only on a local level. Would they be considered impressive?
62:39@anonymous:i think i'm starting a writing spike: i hold a high editorial position on a lit mag, i've won a few prizes for my writing here and there, this year i applied for the adroit magazine mentorship (haven't received an accpetance/rejection letter yet), and i've worked on my school's lit mag back when we had one pre-covid. is this too general, or am i on the right track?
63:21@Parent24:Starting a student led band in High school is a spike?
64:14@angieshere:What if we have a lot of volunteering hours, but no awards?
64:27@angieshere:Spikey like a porcupine!
64:46@oreolover:I take on a lot of creative roles in my extracurriculars where a lot of the clubs involve social justice. I want to major in graphic design and/or marketing but I don't know what I can minor in that involves social justice and art. Do you have any suggestions?
67:39@anonymous:Can you please give some ideas about how do I link sports (Ice Hockey and Karate) with computer science major ?
69:51@fani:I won second place in a states competition for debating, but I'm not in a debate club or really any extracurriculars in debating. Does that seem weird to colleges or somehow off-putting?
70:30@anonymous:if I have spikes but am also curious about a lot of different things, should I apply as that spike major or undeclared? Would undeclare hurt admission chances?
71:07@zaraadam:Own intuitive extra curriculums or school extra curriculums?
71:14@anonymous210:here's my spike ig: - founder/pres of economics society. reached 3000+ students - internship at roundpier (are y'all competitors ahahah) - run key club at my school, 70+ students - maybe: summer: internship at tech startup OR paid lab internship in tech
72:47@angieshere:How do you mention your spike in your essays by showing and not telling?
73:01@anonymous210:yeah - interested in business, econ, tech
74:26@fani:The debate did have to do with the medical field though, and I'm interested in building a profile geared towards that field.
74:46@angieshere:Thank you!
75:51@fani:Awesome! I'm actually taking an EMT class this summer and focusing on getting leadership to fundraise money for some organizations through school clubs!
76:04@anonymous210:ty elias! another gr8 livestream
76:10@angieshere:Are you running on caffeine?
77:12@zaraadam:Own intivate extra curriculms over schools cextra curriculms
77:18@angieshere:Hahaha! We love the energy! Thank you!


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