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What high school extracurricular activities impress universities the most?

What high school extracurricular activities impress universities the most?What high school extracurricular activities impress universities the most?2021-11-27 20:37:02Mr_丰

It is not the activity that impresses the admissions committee, it is your role in that activity and the initiative you have taken that would impress the admissions committee.

Let's take an example:

Student A likes playing chess and is very good at it. Clearly there are positive signals - the student is following his passion, is analytical etc.

Student B likes playing chess, she is an average player, but she organizes chess camps to teach chess inner city children. She has enrolled a bunch of her classmates and friends to help with the camp and manages the scheduling, logistics etc.

Student B is not only an avid chess player but she is giving back to the community, she has portrayed leadership, time management, and organization skills.

As an admission committee member, unless Student A is a child prodigy and a grand master in the making, Student B's activity is much more impressive.

In addition, Student B has learned a few new skills, as well as grown as a person on a bunch of different dimensions (e.g., time management, organization) through her activity

To conclude, I want to encourage you to think, how you not only undertake an activity, but how you can give back to the community through that activity. You will grow much more as an individual with this approach.

Hope this helps.

What extracurriculars impress business schools the most?

What extracurriculars impress business schools the most?2021-08-21 13:38:34Mr_韩

There are no activities which will impress an admissions committee “the most”.

There are certainly some which are not at all impressive, such as collecting butterflies — unless one would have built a world’s-record collection of varieties, and discovered some new species in the process. Beyond those activities which are essentially meaningless, candidates have are choice of their own interests, and how they will pursue them.

The implication of your question is that if you could identify “the most impressive” extracurriculars, you would go pursue them even if they were of no interest to you at all — just to give yourself a leg up. in getting an admissions committee to select you over some other candidates.

That is both unethical and hypocritical. A child who would choose to pursue certain extracurriculars, for no reason other than to enhance his appeal as an MBA candidate, certainly does not deserve to be enrolled in any MBA program, in preference to other candidates who pursued certain activities due to their deep personal interest in those fields of endeavor.

So unfortunately we have here both an unworthy question, and an unworthy motive for asking that question. The extracurriculars which you pursue should be those in which you have a genuine interest, whether it be student government or something artistic such as music or drama, or some intellectual activity like debate or a branch of history, or an athletic activity, or service to animals, or a community program.

Why are extracurricular activities important in school?

Why are extracurricular activities important in school?2021-07-04 12:50:33Mr_褚

Colleges and companies want people who can communicate, collaborate and commiserate (the 5 C’s). Being a book warm is great for research but in a world of shared work, research and togetherness you need to show you a part of a group rather than be a number from that group.

These factors including leadership and activities are also key decision differentiators at almost every top college (accept the highly regarded Uc campuses system with the exceptions being UC Berkeley, UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz who also include them as a major factor in admission).

Book worms are really a dime a dozen, but if you want to “dig” yourself into a top spot at an elite or many college (or a job for that matter) please do make sure you have great tangibles like grades and SAT scores but also intangibles like the ability to lead, organize and communicate with others. These are really the skills you need to be successful in life and interpersonally as well…your ability to interact successfully with others (albeit from a distance of 6 feet away or remotely).

Like the Quora community, we are a collaborative and collected society. So I would recommend to always get involved and learn the art of working collaboratively and cohesively with others (think of the 5 “Cs” again).

doing so is an essential life skill allowing you to work at something that will help you for life. And you can’t read it in book- you have to experience it first hand.

What are the extracurricular activities of a person who gets into a top business school, straight out of high school?

What are the extracurricular activities of a person who gets into a top business school, straight out of high school?2021-08-21 13:38:19Mr_公冶

You can apply to a student club, volunteer at an organization, or work an entry-level job. It will introduce you to business in different capacities, where the employed work is going to be closest to paid income. That’s pretty much the goal you want after graduation, and experiences that instill the responsibilities and attitudes for that paid income, are the best to maintain that working life. It is commonly called adult employment, paid work, salary-based compensation, or basically paying for overhead. You really want to study the common and pre-requisite courses in business at the college level, to know beforehand if these courses are interesting to study further into areas or eventual departments of business. The principal subjects in business you need to understand are accounting, management, and finance, with more weight in accounting for textbook work and the other two for business in practice or administration. If you don’t like accounting, you can conclude that you basically don’t like business as a concept and transaction in goods and services. And that this exchange between people is not interesting to you as an academic study, but might be as a management or pay-check during business employment. The undergraduates that go onto business school are already working in a job, learning from management, and receiving recommendations in the work experience. The managers see them as management material, able to work in a business, and holding a certain maturity towards money and exchanges. That’s largely substantiated by accounting in the basic and principal studies, to know how to do business and talk about it with people. Whether you are working with partners, clients, suppliers, or into the business management and employees, it’s all about how to account using money.

What happens if I lie to my universities (top universities) about extracurricular activities?

What happens if I lie to my universities (top universities) about extracurricular activities?2021-07-03 18:39:08Mr_扶

You’ll only find out if you do it.

If you’re being admitted because your EC is so important (you claim to be a champion lacrosse player and the university needs one) then you can be sure that your claim will be verified by the college before they accept you. If they determine that you’ve lied, they will stop considering your application and they may share the information with other colleges (for example, a number of schools share lists of those admitted ED to prevent students from gaming that system).

If your EC is not that important to your application, but just adds some color to your description of yourself, then it might not be determined before a decision is made but it also likely doesn’t play much of a role in that decision. But for a perhaps small advantage, you’ve stuck your neck out and taken a huge risk. Colleges can rescind their offer. They can kick you out of school after you’ve started and spent money to attend (and make you repay financial aid they gave you to attend). They can rescind your diploma even after you have graduated. Why would they go back and determine that you applied under false pretenses? Because you’ve done something else wrong at college (like academic dishonesty) and this has triggered a complete audit of your entire file. Or perhaps you’ve committed academic dishonesty or fraud at another university (before or after) and the notice (an inquiry from the other school or a news item) has triggered a complete audit of your entire file. Liars don’t usually stop at one lie.

Most EC need to be verified (by your recommendation letters, or on your transcript) or verifiable. Those that don’t pass the “sniff test” are going to get checked out, or your application chucked into the reject pile without bothering.

What is the importance of extracurricular activities for graduate school admissions?

What is the importance of extracurricular activities for graduate school admissions?2021-07-04 12:50:09Mr_宰

I'm pretty sure that my extracurriculars were what got me into graduate school. In addition to my non-credit lab hours, pretty much my entire undergraduate experience revolved around 3 things, wrestling, Asian American activities, and rebooting our AIChE chapter.

The wrestling thing didn't really do much for me. The AIChE extracurricular was huge. For that group, we spend a lot of time trying to build up relationships with sister programs reestablishing the core to ensure long term longevity of the chapter. As a biochemical engineer, I did a lot of parallel work with our Biology and Biotechnology groups to ensure that the various scientific clubs interacted with each other and to leverage each other's abilities and interests.

Which gets me into the Asian American business. That definitely helped for graduate school. I was involved with leading logistics for a large 800 person Asian American Leadership conference ECAASU. One of the great challenges with Asian American politics is that it's extremely fragmented and trying to get Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Indians, Pakistanis, and Muslim groups (our Muslim group caucuses with the Asian Americans) all together to unify for a common cause is not an easy task. With that unified body, we were able to host this massive Pan Asian effort as well as leverage that communication network to interact with the other minority groups to host several events about being a minority in the workplace and equality. [1] [2] [3]

Pretty much my entire "broader impact" section was about the two experiences. I was this candidate that had average grades, a decent research background, but huge proven expertise about starting up programs from scratch, bridging gaps, building consensus, and synthesizing very disparate subjects to build a somewhat coherent progress out of nothing. Yes, this was what I argued in my personal statement.

That's what Stanford assumed that I would do and I more or less did it. I jumpstarted the iGEM program, bridged the chemical engineering and biological science programs, organized several scientific conferences, and brought together seemingly random skills to write a thesis that was a pseudo chemical engineering nano protein engineering RNA biochemistry diagnostic nonsense. I also did some scientific outreach on this small unknown Q&A website in my spare time.

Ok, maybe my graduate thesis was pretty useless. But I'm currently hired for my current job not because of what I did (no one is ever going to use my work, it's soooo useless, my thesis revolved around how bad of an idea it was) but because I had a proven track record of starting programs from scratch, bridging gaps between disparate divisions, building consensus, and piecing together random pieces of information to build a coherent scientific narrative out of nothing. Also that Q&A site seems to be really useful in teaching me the value of quality control and quality assurance and the role of policy writing.

Which pretty much is my job description now. I have my extracurriculars to thank for that.


[1] Christopher VanLang's answer to Is the uproar about the Asia-themed party at Duke an overreaction?
[2] Christopher VanLang's answer to Should Yale focus more on creating a space for free speech or a safe space for minority sensibilities?
[3] Christopher VanLang's answer to What do you think of the opposition offered by the Muslim Students Association at Yale to the invitation of Ayaan Ali to the Buckley Program at Yale, to address the students attending the program?

How do universities verify the extracurricular activities of an applicant?

How do universities verify the extracurricular activities of an applicant?2021-07-03 18:39:01Mr_张

First off, most colleges don’t care. You joined the yearbook staff in 11th grade. Whoopie. Only the top schools actually seriously care about extracurriculars and then only if you’re performing at a professional level for instance in music, in sport, or in the Olympics. But neither Ohio State nor Harvard cares whether or not you joined the yearbook staff, and they won’t bother to check. Lesser colleges don’t have the time or inclination to even look at your extracurriculars; if you can pay and have acceptable grades and scores, you’re in.

If you’ve done something really amazing that would actually sway a college that actually cares about extracurriculars, they will check. Suppose you say you flew to North Korea, started an orphanage, and brokered peace with Kim Jong Un. They’ll google this not merely because they think you’re lying, but to find out more because it sounds so amazing, so it had better come up in their searches. Your guidance counselor or others whom you’ve asked for recommendations had better be singing the praises of your daring trip to North Korea as well.

One of the ways that top colleges work to keep applicants honest is to periodically spot check applicants. They might pick out 20 applicants and do a more thorough check of their credentials, extracurriculars and social media activity. Students who are seriously into Judo will usually have pictures of judo events on their Facebook page, for instance.

If it turns out their claims were fraudulent, or if the top colleges find other problems such as offensive postings in social media, they then very publicly name and shame them, canceling their admission. Harvard was presumably doing this type of checking when they found “offensive content” on the social media pages of ten students and very publicly canceled their admission. It’s done publicly in order to send a message to future applicants.

Harvard Cancels Admissions To 10 Students For Offensive Facebook Messages

What extracurricular activities do medical schools look for?

What extracurricular activities do medical schools look for?2021-06-27 09:21:50Mr_关

Home » Prospective Path » Applying Next Year » How To Stand Out With Extracurricular Activities

Your GPA reflects your academic diligence and your MCAT demonstrates your performance on standardized testing. While those are the 1-2 punch that you lead with, “5 Parts of a Competitive Medical School Application” highlighted the importance of extracurricular activities. Your extracurriculars can set you apart from the other applicants the way numbers and scores cannot. Involvement in extracurricular activities rounds out your application and portrays qualities such as leadership, dedication, and collaboration. It is one thing to declare that you wish to help people as a doctor, but backing it up it through dedication of your time and energy does much more to reassure a medical school admissions committee.

An extracurricular activity can refer to any activity outside of the classroom and studying. It includes (but absolutely is not limited to) clinical experiences such as shadowing a physician and working in a hospital, research projects (clinical, transitional, and basic science), volunteering in the community, holding a job, pursuing a hobby, and joining student groups. There is an entire section on the AMCAS medical school application reserved solely for “Work and Activities”, where you can list and describe each extracurricular you invested time in during your undergraduate years. With so many possible opportunities to get involved and only so many precious hours in a week, the million-dollar question becomes…

What extracurricular activities will help me stand out to medical schools?

Though the question may be simple, the answer is complex and different for every applicant. I wish I could provide a list of 3 extracurricular activities, and all you had to do was dedicate the time and gain an automatic admission to medical school. The truth is that there is no magical extracurricular activity medical schools look for – not research, not global medical trips, not working as an EMT. Parents, advisors, and peers alike will declare that “in order to get into medical school, you must do X, because that is what admissions committees want in their students.” This is false. Think about it! Medical schools love to brag about the diversity of their students, so by definition of diverse, there is no formula for the perfect medical student resume.

||Read: How To Write About Extracurricular Activities|| The Importance of Hobbies on the Application ||

Extracurricular activities should be viewed as a means within themselves. Instead of asking “what extracurricular activities will help me stand out”, ask the question “what extracurricular activities will help me mature as an individual and develop a passion”. That passion and maturity is what will stand out to medical schools when you apply, not the activities themselves. Extracurricular activities provide opportunity to develop interpersonal skills that are vital to being a good doctor. Qualities such as public speaking, communication and empathy are not learned from textbooks, they are learned from interacting with real people in real situations. Medical schools are confident in their ability to educate their students about diseases and drugs, but what they haven’t quite figured out yet is how to teach their students to be effective communicators and leaders. This is why the MMI-style interview is becoming so popular – it allows those qualities to shine through.

|Read: What to know about MMI||

The biggest mistake that pre-meds make when it comes to extracurricular activities

A common mistake that many undergraduates make is getting involved in too many extra-curricular activities. There’s a myth that in order to be a competitive applicant, you must “check all the boxes”, or try to cover every category of activity. Bouncing around different activities during your first year is encouraged, but you should have a solid grasp on which activity you are passionate about by the time your second year is over. Committing to more than 3 regular extracurricular activities will only dilute your time and energy. Not only will you burn out faster, but medical schools will see you as just another applicant who has “stacked” their resume with nothing of real substance.

I recently met with a medical school admissions officer who passed on some very insightful advice. He told me that admissions committees look for those applicants who have found one extracurricular activity and made it their passion. He encourages future applicants to dedicate their free time one activity that they are truly passionate about, eventually serve as a leader, and help that program grow and expand. If you take his words to heart, you will see yourself grow as an individual throughout those 4 years as well. This also applies to hobbies, athletics, musical interests and artistic talents! An applicant who has dedicated years to one endeavor with true enthusiasm will catch the eye of admissions committees across the nation, much more so than an applicant who has only tried to follow a formula by becoming only marginally involved in multiple activities. Being passionate about one extracurricular activity demonstrates commitment and responsibility, which translate perfectly over into the field of medicine. That passion that you possess and express is how you will stand out on your application, during your interviews, and throughout medical school.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ProspectiveDoctor

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  1. 5 Ways Premeds Should Choose Extracurricular Activities
  2. But I Don’t Have 15 AMCAS Activities!
  3. How To Write About Extracurriculars
  4. Tips from a Medical School Admissions Officer

Home » Prospective Path » Applying Next Year » 5 Ways Premeds Should Choose Extracurricular Activities

It’s no secret that it takes more than a high GPA and MCAT to get into medical school. Medical school admissions committees carefully examine each prospective student’s application to see what kinds of extracurricular activities he or she was involved in. Why? Because these activities and applicant’s personal statement are really the only ways admissions committees can get to know their applicants personally before inviting them for an interview.

So what are admissions committees looking for when they read about your extracurricular activities? According to a previous article (What Are Medical Schools Looking For?), medical schools want the following types of students:

1. Students who will excel academically.
2. Students who know what they are getting themselves into.
3. Students who are motivated by the right reasons.
4. Students who will contribute positively to their school.

If you are a potential medical school applicant, your extracurricular activities are necessary to demonstrate that you are a student that fulfills criteria 2-4. With that being said, here are 5 ways premeds should choose extracurricular activities:

1. What is your story?
Your past experiences should be one of the primary factors that dictate what activities you engage in. Were you motivated to pursue medicine because taking care of your mother with breast cancer had a profound impact on your life? Perhaps you should consider doing breast cancer research or volunteering to raise breast cancer awareness. If you are proud and passionate about your cultural upbringing, maybe you can join a cultural club (whether or not they are medically related). The basic point is that your extracurricular activities should weave into the greater story of who you are. If you don’t have much of a background to build off of, you can create a new story that begins in college. Before you engage in any activity, think about your past and future, and evaluate how the prospective activity fits into both.

||Read: Weekly Weigh-in: Extracurriculars in Medical School||

2. What are you passionate about?
“Do I have to do research?” That’s a question I hear a lot. Honestly, there is very little you have to do in college. If research is something that you are not passionate about, then it may not be the right choice for you. Nevertheless, it’s hard to know what you are passionate about before you try different things. As a freshman in college, I told myself that I would never do lab research. It just seemed so boring. One year later, because of my classes and job as an assistant in clinical trials, I became very curious about basic science research, and ultimately joined a lab. Follow your passions but remember that your passions can change and therefore, keep an open mind.

||Read: Identity Outside of Medicine||

3. Will it build your character?
In my opinion, pursuing a career without building character is a futile exercise. As a patient, I would not want an arrogant, unethical, impatient physician who puts himself/herself first before patients. Would you? Almost any activity will help you build character as long as you have the right mindset. Does one of your club members annoy the hell out of you? Think of it as good training for learning how to deal with a future frustrating patient or teammate. Maybe you’ll have the club president scolding you because you forgot to reserve a room for the general meeting. Think of it as a humbling experience that you should learn from. Actively think about your character no matter what situation you are in.

4. Will it help confirm whether medicine is right for you?
Most people who live in Western cultures would not marry someone without, at the very least, going on a couple dates first. Why would you marry someone you barely know? The same principle applies for choosing your career. Why marry a career, especially medicine, a career that is grueling, long, and full of debt, without dating it first? Volunteering at the hospital, shadowing a physician, working at the homeless shelter, and doing clinical research are all ways you can date medicine. Don’t neglect these things because you might be headed for a nasty divorce later down the line.

||Read: How To Write an Undergraduate CV||

5. Is there a positive community?
Mentors and friends play crucial roles in helping you develop as a person and as a budding physician. Even if you may not be incredibly passionate about your lab research, if you have a great relationship with your principal investigator and she/he really invests in you, that is a very good reason to stay in your lab. You may meet some of your closest friends in a club that is not premed oriented. It is not easy to find great friends and mentors, so keep that factor in mind anytime you are considering extracurricular activities.

Related Posts:

  1. How To Stand Out With Extracurricular Activities
  2. But I Don’t Have 15 AMCAS Activities!
  3. Premeds – Life Can Actually Be Beautiful Right Now
  4. 4 Ways Greek Life Can Help Your Medical School Application

Home » Prospective Path » Applying Next Year » How To Write About Extracurriculars

As a new application cycle starts this spring, applicants around the nation are beginning to fill out the Work/Activities sections. This article provides some insight into how to best talk about volunteering experiences in both the local and global community.

In my most recent article I discussed the importance of extracurricular activities in the medical school application. However, the value of extracurricular activities extends far beyond the application – they provide opportunity to develop personal characteristics that will serve you for the rest of your medical practicing career. Traits such as leadership, communication, compassion, and understanding are not learned from lecture halls or textbooks, but are just as important as knowledge to patients and healthcare. A physician who has a wealth of knowledge about medicine is limited if he is unable to connect with his patients and share this information with them. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”

As a new application cycle starts this spring, applicants around the nation are beginning to fill out the Work/Activities sections. Many undergraduates spend time volunteering, and this commitment should be highlighted throughout the app. I thought it’d be fitting to provide some insight into how to best write about extracurriculars and talk about volunteering experiences in the community, both locally and globally.

||Read: Physician Shadowing – What To Expect and Gain||

Describe why, not what

The most common mistake that applicants make throughout the Work/Activities section is spending too much time describing the activity itself, rather than focusing on what they learned from the experience and how they grew from their experiences. Too much time describing what the experience is will have the section sounding like a newspaper ad for a job. The application allows 700 characters for each activity, and an extra 1325 for 3 “most meaningful” experiences. A majority of those characters should be dedicated to conveying why the activity was a significant experience. Did you learn to overcome your fear of public speaking or learn to lead a team? Did you realize something about the medical field that you hadn’t noticed before? Was there a valuable lesson that you took away from the experience that will carry on into medical school and beyond? These are the questions that medical schools want answered when they ask about your extracurricular activities in both the written app and in interviews.

||Read: Three Worst Extracurriculars For Medical School||

Avoid: “I spent 15 hours a week volunteering in the hospital, where my responsibilities included triaging patients in the waiting room and staying with them while the doctor performed the medical history and physical exam. I also helped escort patients out into the parking lot when they were discharged. The program provided many opportunities to see the daily routine of the hospital”

Instead, say: “My experience volunteering in the hospital proved invaluable to my understanding of the healthcare field. While triaging patients in the waiting room, I came to understand the common concerns of a wide array of patients. I also learned to quickly and accurately obtain information, sometimes under high-pressure situations. The experience came full circle when I had the opportunity to escort discharged patients and learn about their hospital stay.

||Read: Benefits of Undergraduate Medical Research||

Be specific

The more specific the description, the more convincing your writing will come across to medical schools. Don’t be afraid to be write about specific events or people – a personal anecdote will go farther than a general statement. For example, I was reviewing a personal statement over the weekend and the applicant had mentioned that when a player had sprained his ankle, he found that ” The evaluation process—in my opinion—is the most difficult and important part, and yet also the most exciting part.” Instead, I advised that he describe the entire experience, detailing every motion and emotion: “I passively stretched his ankle inward, to his voiced dismay, and found that with my own two hands, I could already begin to piece together which ligaments were torn. Swelling and redness appeared within seconds, confirming my suspicions of a severe ATF ligament tear. I realized, this was the intellectual motivation I was seeking.”

||Read: Why Should I Volunteer?||

Focus on your own growth, not theirs

This applies more towards underserved healthcare experiences. When describing experiences from a global health trip or a local health fair, many students will emphasize the difference that they think they are making in the patients’ lives. Try to avoid doing this. Unless you have longitudinal contact with them for longer than 6 months and actually witness their health improve, stay away from making claims that you are drastically making an impact on their health. You will have those opportunities time and again when you are a physician. Let’s be honest – We simply don’t have the medical education and training to diagnose infections, treat traumatic injuries, or manage high blood pressure. As undergraduates, our best qualities are our energy and compassion for others, which can still go along way in an underserved population. Rather than assert the impact you made on the population, describe the impact that they had on you and your perspective.

Avoid: “My 2 week trip abroad to Guatemala was rewarding because showed me that I could change lives of people who had limited resources with blood pressure checks and health education.”

Instead, say: “Assisting in the clinic in Guatemala showed me that cultures all over the world cope with illness in different ways and made me realize how much a patient’s background can influence their health and wellness. It was an eye-opening experience and I hope to continue to develop my passion for global health in medical school.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ProspectiveDoctor

Related Posts:

  1. How To Stand Out With Extracurricular Activities
  2. Write About Your Hobbies On The Medical School Application
  3. Three Worst Extracurriculars for Medical School
  4. How To Write An Undergraduate CV


Evan Shih is currently a second year medical student at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He also received a B.S. from UCLA in Physiological Science. If you have any questions about his work, are interested in contributing to Prospective Doctor - The premier resource for future doctors, or want to receive premedical counseling, please contact him at evanshih@prospectivedoctor.com. Follow ProspectiveDoctor on Twitter, @ProspectiveDr.

What are the extracurricular activities of a person who gets into a top business school, straight out of high school?

What are the extracurricular activities of a person who gets into a top business school, straight out of high school?2021-08-21 13:38:15Mr_房

Which extracurricular activities you should pursue depend on you and what you want to do and what you are passionate about. Their is no magic list of things you must do. Schools look for authenticity and not things done for the wrong reasons. An interview with questions based on this can easily draw out the essential points. If you love sports do sports; if you love helping others engage in community service. In essence the list of activities you can choose from is endless.