In the application cycle 2022-2033, we managed to assist another student admitted to Stanford University. We are excited to have her sit down with us for this brief interview to talk about her experience throughout the college application.
1. When did you have the idea of going to the US for undergraduate education?
Around the second half of Year 9, some friends at school and family friends started talking about the option of going overseas for college. That was the starting point.
2. At that moment, what did you expect would be the biggest challenge?
Definitely extra-curricular activities. There were rumours that people had to achieve some insanely impressive activities to get admitted to those highly selective colleges. Now when I look back, I would say that many of the activities I have worked on were very rewarding. If I had not decided to give those colleges a try, I might not have had the opportunity to attain these great experiences.
3. Why did you choose Elite Admission Consulting?
When my family and I visited Ray, we liked how he was very straightforward and used his expertise to explain what I needed to do and the challenges I would need to overcome in the first meeting. We thought Elite Admission was very reliable, so we chose to work with Elite Admission.
4. What is the most memorable thing in your long-term preparation before Year 11?
First of all, nothing can compare to the challenges in Year 12 J Overall, for me, activities were harder than school academics. For school, I just focused on managing my time well and took detailed notes in every subject. But for activities, reaching out to different people was something I had never done before. But fortunately, I had my mum, who was always very encouraging; “What is the worst thing that can happen” – she always talked about this mentality, and I think it worked very well for me. Meanwhile, Ray and I worked really well together. There was always a clear plan of where I should go next, and we collaborated a lot on different activities to make them happen.
5. Your activities were quite impressive. How to develop them gradually?
I would say the most important thing is to be alert about opportunities. There were multiple times when I found good activities or initiatives simply through the student newsletter at my school. Also, be willing to try and be patient. Sometimes, one activity you are working on can lead to new opportunities.
6. How to find your interest and sustain it?
In our first brainstorming session, Ray helped me identify my interest in political philosophy. Although it was vague at that time, it was still very helpful. After that, I began reading with more focus and gradually started my activities and competitions. Also, I am the type of person who doesn’t give up easily. Once I set a goal, I would persist.
7. What is Your experience in preparing SAT? How did Elite Admission’s preparation course assist you?
I attended the SAT course led by Natalie at Elite Admission. Simultaneously, I used Khan Academy as well to support my learning. Both of these sources were valuable. I achieved a solid score before my IB programme started and would recommend future applicants to start SAT preparation early.
8. During the application process at Year 12, what do you think is the most challenging part? How did you overcome the challenge(s)? How did Elite Admission assist you?
The essay process was the most challenging part for me. Elite Admission and I started everything very early, but coming up with the best ideas was never easy. However, I did gain a lot from the process; for example, I learnt to be better at self-reflection and presenting myself. Again, the mentality was important – be ready to embrace the challenge.
9. The reasons why you think you were admitted?
It is a very difficult question to answer 😊 But I would say Stanford’s supplement essays and interview. I found Stanford’s essays more natural to me. The prompts were more diverse, allowing me to show different sides of me and my creativity. I also prepared for the interview better and was quite relaxed when talking to my interviewer.
10. What do you think is the most accomplished part of the whole process? What is your most important reward besides the admission offer?
Activities, for sure. Without the process, I wouldn’t have made so much impact in the areas I am passionate about.
11. Any advice for future applicants?
It is super cliché but so important – “step out of the comfort zone”. Sometimes having a bit of “healthy ambition” can be useful too.
12. One last question, you know that a lot of very competitive applicants. How did you handle the pressure?
I would say there are too many people in the pond, so don’t overstress about what the people around you are doing. Also, remember that every applicant is different. So instead of stressing out about others, focus on what makes yourself unique.