a year ago
Admissions Advice


Hi everyone,

There is a lot of information out there, about having an EC spike or being well rounded, but the consensus seems to be that having a spike is the way to go. But personally I’m interested in a lot, from trading stocks to writing a book so I don’t know what area my spike would be in. But I do have some things I’m interested in which could be tied together in a way. Here are some of my top interests:

Business & Finance

- I trade stocks

- I like marketing

- I’m very into real estate

Innovation & Engineering

- I like coming up with new ideas

- I like creating things

More Humanities focused

- I want to write an autobiography

- I want to start a podcast

I’m still a freshman so I have time to figure it out but how do you all recommend turning these interests into activities and how can they be tied together? And would it be okay to have around 6-7 activities fall into a certain spike and the others just to be random/for fun?


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Accepted Answer
a year ago

Hi! I think its great that you have so many interests in different areas. I don't think you need to sacrifice other areas just for a spike, keep doing what you're passionate about!

IF you do want a spike, many of these things could have a common theme of sorts- for example, if you want business/finance to be your main focus, you could consider starting or joining a club at school for people also interested in stocks, marketing for other clubs or activities you do, doing work experiences or internships at real estate firms for the first three interests. Within innovation, doing something like an entrepreneurship club or event could be interesting, since you like coming up with new ideas and creating things. A student in my class started a regional entrepreneurship/pitch-deck competition for example. Within humanities, I'm not as sure but you could reasonably write a book/blog or start a podcast that is business-related. Basically, you can still do different things, but you could tie in your spike theme so that all these different activities still contribute to that spike.

If you still like the idea of a spike over being well-rounded, but don't have enough activities in one specific area, you could go with an application theme instead. This way, you can have a more broad range of interests that still fit a narrative of who you are. For instance, you could be passionate about business and finance, but also love communications (writing a book, podcast, marketing), and at the same time you love creating things that solve people's problems (basically, a product). As a theme, you're a customer-oriented businessperson- you're interested in stocks and finance, but what makes you stand out is your focus on bringing something new and exciting to people. While not all your activities are about business, many of the other activities are focused on coming up with ideas and helping people.

Don't feel like you HAVE to do things to flesh out your application spike, though. The best thing to do is what you're passionate about, since those activities will help you grow as a person far more than a spike-related activity you don't actually care about. Plenty of colleges admit well-rounded applicants, so if you feel like that's the route for you, you can still be an outstanding applicant who has a broad range of interests.

Hope this helps!

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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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