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5 months ago
Admissions Advice
Discussion
Ec's

How to create an impressive extracurricular spike!

If you are really dedicated to one specific area, this is a great template!

Disclaimer So many people on CollegeVine ask for super impressive ec's, so this is a guide to create an incredibly impressive portfolio. Any of these activities can be lowered in difficulty.

-Competition Club for your theme (ex. Model UN, HOSA, FBLA)

-A summer or yearly program for your theme (Launch X, RSI, TASP)

-Starting a club for your theme (Art Club, Coding Club, Agriculture Club)

-Writing about your theme (History Blog, writing the science section of the newspaper, publishing a book about simple French terms)

-Working for your theme (Tech internships, marketing internship, translator)

-Entrepreneurship about your theme (selling your art, producing medical software, etsy shop for printed historical quotes)

-Providing a platform/campaigning for your theme (music education advocacy, launching a network of female writers, supporting POC artists)

-Application/Project of your theme (Directing a short film, researching cells, coding an app)

-A nonprofit/com. service related to theme (tutoring in English, book drive, physics workshops)

-extra! doesn't have to be related at all (cheerleading, nhs, sewing club)

Example:

Student A wants to major in film studies.

-Started a film competition club at school

-attended prestigious film camp

-president of film club

-had a blog reviewing films

-internship at major film studio

-etsy art shop

-Started program that teaches kids how to film

-created a film studio for kids to submit

-directed a short film

-Stage crew (theater)

Student A followed the template, pursued what they love, and, while it's no guarantee, has a relatively high chance at a school like Harvard or Princeton.

Comment below if you need help crafting your own spike, and I can try to help you!

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5 months ago

Can you help me with my spike? I want to major in marketing or Finance. They are both related to the business field which is very generic so I want to do anything possible to ensure that I stand out :))

2
🎤5 months ago

1. Try FBLA or DECA. Both great business competitions that show experience!

2. Many summer programs are available for business. Check out some!

3. Start a Women in Business club at school (presumed by name) or Finance Club. A lot of top schools have a Women in Business Committee at their college, so it would be great for the Common App part that says 'would you continue in college?'

4. Start a business magazine online for teens! Write about marketing trends in the newspaper! Help a professor write a textbook on finance!

5. Get an internship or a job.

6. Start a business! Perfect application of management and marketing. You could sell anything from phone cases to custom doorknobs.

7. Launch a network of high schoolers in business to connect, brainstorm, and collaborate on.

8. Maybe do some independent or collaborative research on econ or marketing. Would be great for the resume!

9. Start a workshop that teaches young kids about managing their money wisely!

10. WHatever you want!

Good luck!

4
5 months ago

Thank you so much !!!

1

5 months ago

Could you please help me create my spike? I want to go into the pre-med track. I'm in a few competition clubs such as speech, debate, and science olympiad already, but I still want to improve my ECs. Thank you.

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🎤5 months ago[edited]

Yep!

1. Try HOSA, if not stay in Sci Oly

2. There are many summer medical programs or certification programs

3. Start a medical/biology club at school

4. Start a medical blog/write about new science breakthroughs in school magazine. OR you could start the science nhs at school and create its own magazine

5. Science startup internships or general work

6. sell fun science kits for kids!

7. Maybe start a medical group in your city

8. Science/medical research

9. project/nonprofit that teaches kids about anatomy

10. Anything you want!

Thanks for the question!!

2
5 months ago

Can you please guide me in my spike ? I want to do physics as well as business management. Please.

1
🎤5 months ago

@utkarsh_110

1. Physics Olympiad or Future Business Leaders of America or DECA are great options.

2. There are numerous prestigious and nonprestigious business and physics programs and competitions.

3. Start a physics or business club at school

4. Write about business in the newspaper or start a science magazine at school and you could write the physics section.

5. Business and science internships

6. sell science kits to kids

7. Start a Business or Physics platform for students in your state.

8. physics research

9. nonprofit that tutors kids in physics

10. anything!

2
5 months ago

Thanks allot ❤️

1
5 months ago

@McKellarr Thank you so much!!

1

5 months ago

Can you help me create my spike? I want to major in political science but my school already has Model United Nation and most clubs of the sort. I already had an internship with a local city council candidate last fall.

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🎤5 months ago

Sure!

1. Model UN might be a great option. If you don't want to do that, try Junior Statesman of America, Model Congress. Those you can START at school, so a built in leadership position!

2. There are many summer programs offering these poli sci courses, and if none appeal to you, then start your own!

3. Join or start one of the clubs you were talking about (if they relate to poli sci)

4. Start a political blog, or a political news network, a poli news magazine for teens, write the poli section in the newspaper, etc.

5. You have this one down!

6. Produce and sell "I voted" buttons-you could make big profit!

7. Start a 'future lawyer' or 'future politician' network for high schoolers, or a Women in Politics club at school!

8. Campaign! Advocacy and starting large movements will really set you apart.

9. Maybe a community service program by teaching younger kids government and politics so they become educated voters one day.

10. Whatever you want!

Hope this helps! I have way more ideas if some of them you dislike.

2
5 months ago

Thank you so much! I’ll take whatever ideas you can give me!

1

5 months ago

Can you help me craft my spike. I want to major in Computer Science.

2
🎤5 months ago

Of course!

1. Hackathons/Tech Olympiads could be good, whether just at school, regional, national, etc.

2. There are so many amazing comp sci programs! One I recommend is the Girls Who Code summer program! (if you are a boy, there are others too!)

3. Start a coding or comp sci club at school!

4. Write the tech section of the newspaper or have your own comp sci blog or even write a short book about computer algorithms!

5. Tech or IT internships (or general work)

6. Have people give their computers for you to fix- that could make lots of money, especially in COVID

7. Maybe start a group of coders in your city who fund computer science education so more kids learn it!

8. Code a website or app!

9. Start a project or nonprofit that helps seniors with there smartphones and computers!

10. ANything.

Hope this helped!

3
5 months ago

Is creating a game good for colleges to see?

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🎤5 months ago

Absolutely! Females in technology especially get a little boost (underrepresented) so to code an app with a significant download number (10,000+) is highly impressive.

1

5 months ago

Could you kindly create a possible list of spikes for me? I love music specifically singing and theatre along with medicine and the health field. I was considering linking the two with psychology but it’s still a possibility.

1
🎤5 months ago

Sure!

1. HOSA is a medical competition club

2. Try some prestigious or nonprestigious theater summer camps

3. Start a drama or medical club at school

4. write a medical/theater blog/section of newspaper

5. intern at a theater or hospital!

6. give private acting lessons for kids

7. Campaign for arts education at schools

8. perform or do medical research!

9. start a project that puts on plays at low income communities.

10. anything!

Hope this helps!

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5 months ago

Wow! Powerhouse stuff! What if you are not entirely sure and have varied interests - for instance, pre-med, history, or math?

1
🎤5 months ago

This brings up a great point that I was going to post earlier-the dual spike. A triple spike just becomes 'well rounded', but a dual spike can show a two-dimensional character. Pick your top two. I would recommend combining like subjects, like pre-med and math (both STEM).

So here is how to craft the dual narrative:

1. Competition based club for either one (Model UN or HOSA)

2. Summer Program for the other one (History or Med program)

3. Start a club for either one (History Club or Med Club)

4. Write the history or med section in magazine or newspaper, or have a blog

5. Intern at a hospital, museum, pharmacy, or historical research center

6. Sell science kits to kids or something historical

7. Start a group of likeminded students in history or med

8. Medical or historical research

9. STart a project/nonprofit/workshop that helps kids with history or science

10. WHatever!

Try to keep the ratio like this: 1 extra; 5 what you'll major in; 4 the other spike

1

5 months ago

Thank you so much for this! Could you maybe help with my spike for journalism?

1
🎤5 months ago[edited]

Of course!

1. There are competitions for journalism, but those would go more in honors. Maybe start a journalism olympiad in your school district, then you can do competitions like that.

2. There are lots of prestigious journalism competitions.

3. Start a journalism/writing club!

4. Join the newspaper (and hopefully become editor in chief)

5. Intern at a local newspaper (not in school)

6. Sell freelance writing work

7. Create a group of writers in your city and start your own magazine!

8. Publish a short book or start a school news channel.

9. Nonprofit/project that teaches kids about writing and journalism.

10. whatever you want!

Hope this helps!

2

5 months ago[edited]

Nice job on spike ideation, @McKellarr! Super impressive to see and I like a lot of your suggestions! Thanks for helping everyone out!

1
🎤5 months ago

Thank you!

1

5 months ago

This is really helpful, thank you!! Can you help with my spike? I would love to major in neuroscience.

1
🎤5 months ago

1. Science Olympiad or the AAN Neuroscience Reseearch Competition

2. Try neuro or bio summer programs, or start one yourself!

3. Start a medical or neuroscience club!

4. Write the medical section of the newspaper/start a neuro blog

5. Intern at a hospital

6. Sell science/medical kits for kids!

7. Start a medical network for high schoolers

8. medical research

9. nonprofit/workshop that teaches kids about anatomy and hypes kids up for science

10. anything!

2

5 months ago

Could you help me with my spike? I am looking at majoring in business or medical engineering. I have had several internships/sponsorships with companies who sell equipment for my sport and promote them on social media so maybe thats a good start?

1
🎤5 months ago

1. FBLA or DECA may be good options

2. There are so many good business programs!

3. Start a business or finance club!

4. Write the business section of the newspaper/marketing blog

5. Intern/work anywhere (business is flexible for this)

6. start a small business, sell anything!

7. start a mentorship platform for young entrepreneurs

8. social media!

9. nonprofit-could be donating equipment of your sport, teaching kids how to play your sport, or others!

10. Sport

Good luck!

1

5 months ago

Thanks! Any tips on spikes for computer science?

1
🎤5 months ago

Totally! Computer science is an increasingly popular subject, with the most competitive demographic being Indian Males. In order to stand out, you not only need to show that you are good at computer science (most are), but what you DO with your knowledge is even more important. Sure, Tom won the regional Hackathon event and is fluent in 3 coding languages, but Anne started a non profit that teaches young girls about coding and campaigned for computer science education for her underprivileged school. That's far more impressive to me. This is an example of my answer to someone who asked about a comp sci spike too:

Of course!

1. Hackathons/Tech Olympiads could be good, whether just at school, regional, national, etc.

2. There are so many amazing comp sci programs! One I recommend is the Girls Who Code summer program! (if you are a boy, there are others too!)

3. Start a coding or comp sci club at school!

4. Write the tech section of the newspaper or have your own comp sci blog or even write a short book about computer algorithms!

5. Tech or IT internships (or general work)

6. Have people give their computers for you to fix- that could make lots of money, especially in COVID

7. Maybe start a group of coders in your city who fund computer science education so more kids learn it!

8. Code a website or app!

9. Start a project or nonprofit that helps seniors with there smartphones and computers!

10. ANything.

Hope this helped!

2

5 months ago

Can you help me out? I want to major in psych and African American Studies

1
🎤5 months ago

1. Science Olympiad or TOPSS might be good.

2. Start or enroll in a psychology summer program!

3. STart a psychology, future psychologists, or mental health awareness club at school!

4. Write about African American history or psychological breakthroughs in a magazine, blog, or newspaper!

5. Work at a mental health hotline/support center

6. Start a jewelry or phone case with BLM designs and quotes collection (just ideas)

7. Launch a platform for African American high school students interested in psychology to connect and be mentored with psychologists.

8. Campaigning!!! For both BLM and mental health support in schools!

9. Start a nonprofit or project that helps low income communities gain financial stability, or project that aims to increase mental health awareness.

10. Anything!

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7 days ago

Can you help with mine. I want to major in aeronautical engineering, I’m an upcoming junior. I don’t think I can get things like internships because I am 14

0
🎤7 days ago

try independent research, starting a club or a blog, and taking online courses.

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a month ago

I am just starting my senior year and I just realized how weak my extracurriculars are and I'm worried it will mess up my chances at colleges.

0
🎤a month ago

Its totally fine! Just try to get in some stuff last minute and apply to a good number of safeties.

0

a month ago

I want to major in mechanical engineering, but I'm not sure what ec I should get into?

0
🎤a month ago

Try some summer programs for M.E, do some research, start a blog, an engineering club, engineering competitions, and more!

0
a month ago

Thank you

0

5 months ago

Would you mind giving me advice on environmental science? There are some organizations near me that are environmentally-related, but most of them are completely professional and don't hire high schoolers. If you happen to know about environmentalism in the context of finance or economics (e.g. climate finance, green economics, etc.), that would extra awesome, but any help is appreciated. Thanks!

0
🎤5 months ago

THere are plenty of opportunities! One I would suggest is a competition called EnviroThon. Check it out! Other than that, I would recommend finding nonprofits and companies about environment or finance, then try to get some internships. Also, consider research!

0
5 months ago

Thank you for the suggestions! Also, do you have any suggestions for getting internships or research positions?

0

5 months ago

A bit late to the party here. This is out of the blue but what are your ec's?

0
🎤5 months ago

I'm only a freshman right now, but I guess I have a pretty decent list for 9th grade.

Mayor's Youth Council

Soccer (Both JV Captain and Varsity player)

Launching my nonprofit

Founder/President, Book Club

Editor and writer, school newspaper

Art classes after school

National Honor Society

Financial Club

0
5 months ago[edited]

That's decent!

0
7 days ago

Wait, you can be in NHS in 9th grade? Our school only has it for 10th and up...

0

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