How to Decide on a Summer Program 2018

So, you’re a little bit of an over-achiever and you got into all of the summer programs to which you applied. Congrats! Not a bad problem to have. Now, how are you going to choose between them all? The bottom line is, you want to create a singular message to send to these schools, kind of like how companies align on a singular brand identity. Some might say that JetBlue is all about a fun and friendly in-flight experience. Tesla was the first eco-friendly, luxury vehicle, and Toms is all about comfort and community. So, take a moment to identify the brand identity you’ve been developing in yourself for the past three or so years.

Accentuate the under-Accentuated  

At this point, you should be well on your way to identifying and shaping your personal brand. Perhaps you are a student who is super-interested in math, science, and engineering with the goal of studying engineering in college. You’ve already become president of the engineering club and you aced AP Calculus. The summer is really about emphasizing that one area of interest you emphasized slightly less than the others elsewhere in your application. In other words, this summer, it might be time to focus on science.

A friend of one of our writers knew she wanted to matriculate to one of the best science/tech schools in the nation with hopes of becoming an engineer. She was a brilliant math student who had also logged hundreds of hours tutoring refugee children and was the president of the community service council. In the summer, she decided to take on an engineering internship. She was a triple threat: gifted mathematician committed to community service with real-world experience in engineering. She went on to attend one of the nation’s top engineering programs. 

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

While we do encourage you to bolster one area of your application that is less-developed than others, we do not advise picking up an entirely new area of interest. Summer is the time in which you must also expand upon a previously expressed interest. You’re clarifying and fortifying your brand identity, not developing an entirely new one. So again, you’ve established that you’re the science/math/engineering kid. Now dive deep into one of those focuses.

Be Aggressive

The other thing to remember is that these activities must take up time. Look, we know you worked hard this year. We recognized that you did a great job with engineering club and AP Calc, but now is not the time to rest on your laurels. Keep going. When narrowing down your activities, choose something that’s going to take up time and most of all, something that will be meaningful to you.