Finding your spike with Elias

Recorded Monday, July 12 at 10:00 PM

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About this livestream


After a brief hiatus and a flight across the globe, the one and only Elias Miller is back - and he’s ready to find your spike! In this series you’ve come to know and, dare we say, love, Elias breaks down your live chat submissions with free, golden advice on how to improve your profile. He’ll be focusing on spikes, which are extracurricular elements that make your application stand out to admissions officers. This is a very interactive session and Elias will not be holding back - so come prepared to hear his expert insight and possibly receive some life-changing advice.

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.
4:20@goldenretriever1:Whats happening in nyc?
11:53@goldenretriever1:Did your classmates from H all have spikes? If so what type?
20:13@biogirl2022:What would a math spike look like?
37:49@csmrc:How do you create a spike/theme for Leadership: ASB school leadership all 4 years, summer camp leader, founded support group for health condition, wrote a children’s book to educate youth on the subject
38:39@csmrc:On the health condition
40:57@maxxxiii:Hi, I am looking to do biomedicine but majority of my ECs are things relating to creativity (mostly writing), activism for women and Africans etc, with only like one that's major related. I was thinking a "looking at life from all aspects" theme but I am not sure. And is the lack of major-related ECs an issue?
43:45@goldenretriever1:Whats the link between STEM and a good vocalist
46:58@alliswell:I was wondering if you could take a look at my extracurriculars and find a potential spike or theme. Because I was thinking of a theme related to communication & public speaking... My intended major is political science or international business Model UN (I have been president since the past 2 years & won several best delegate awards at inter-school and college-hosted comps.) Debate (varsity -- and again won a few awards for inter-school comps.) Represent my school as a Tyler's Clementi Foundation Youth Ambassador (this organization encourages a student led anti-bullying initiative) -- I was able to organize an assembly for my entire school district but it got completely canceled due to COVID. I single handedly organized a school STEMposium in order to give research students at our school an opportunity to present their research to other students even during the pandemic. I am researching Cancer for a school research program I was also planning to do a gold award project related to my findings in cancer research (regarding how someone's personality & emotional well-being can impact their cancer) The thing is that I feel like nothing matches up at all --- its quite chaotic... 😂
52:43@alliswell:Ahh got it thank you so much!!!
52:46@csmrc:Thank you! I’m interested in applying communication/journalism. BU specifically!
55:19@goldenretriever1:All 5!!! Yay
55:27@goldenretriever1:Can u tell your boss Instagram is not good
55:46@goldenretriever1:Last time it frozen up
56:11@goldenretriever1:Yes live
56:48@alliswell:Thank you Elias!! You are the best and good luck for your concert!


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