In the last entry, I told you about Mike who started his own peer-review club to help him finish his book, which he published on Amazon.com. Now I’ll share with you a list of other activities that admissions officers consider to be absolutely outstanding.

The important point here is that these activities have NOTHING to do with what’s available at your school. Even if you like your school clubs, trust me, these three things are much more impressive than most opportunities that are available for you at school:

Independent academic research
Outside of your papers for class, this is a research project that may or may not involve co-authorship or supervision by a professor at a university local to your community. Universities love providing opportunities for undergraduates to do research so they absolutely adore when they find out that a student already has experience and inclination toward research. Helpful hint: This activity is not only super impressive, it also can help you to choose a major or refine your academic interests.

Launch your own non-profit
Make no mistake, non-profits need commitment to a cause as well as business savvy to run well. You have to build a community of followers and supporters as well so that you can spread your organization’s message widely.

So what does starting a non-profit do for your competitiveness to college? It’s a great way for you to demonstrate
your leadership, team-building skills, fundraising skills, and contributions to a cause that you’re committed to.

Start a business
You have what it takes. The possibilities are wide; you can launch anything from a t-shirt business to a service enterprise focused on graphic design, social media, or film. There’s no right business idea – only the business idea that you really want to sink your teeth into.

What does starting a business do for your competitiveness to college? It shows your ability to think creatively, build a team (if you have one), generate a profit (if you’re able to!), work independently, and thrive under pressure.

So which of these three options appeal most to you? What is the first action you need to take to launch your idea to reality? Who do you need to get on board, what resources do you need to make your efforts succeed?

Not sure what to do? Let me give you some guidance:

Write some ideas to paper on how you’re going to stand out. No idea is a bad one.
Sleep on it. See which idea(s) stick. Pick only one to continue forward!

Next week, I’ll give you a framework for brainstorming your ideas, in case you get stuck. So what questions do
you have for me now?

Until next time…

– Dr. Aviva Legatt