Learn how Mike took a unique path to standing out standing out for his dream school
Before working with Ivy Insight, Mike did not have much going on outside of the classroom. Just a few hobbies: playing in a band, skateboarding, and occasional blog writing.
Mike was different than the student in the trap of the showy façade of packing extracurriculars into a schedule to impress the admissions counselors. But he needed more in order to stand out for his top-choice college, Pitzer. That is where Ivy Insight could assist.
Since Mike liked to write, we suggested a bold idea: had he ever considered writing a book?
There were a number of reasons that this suggestion was out of the norm. Mike had never written a book before and didn’t know the first thing about self-publishing. We were working with a quick timeline; it was February, and we decided that the book should be complete by September. Not to mention that the book would be written in English—Mike’s first language was Chinese!
Mike was up for the challenge. Together, we identifying achievable goals and set the plan in motion. The first step Mike took was assembling people to review and edit his work. To his surprise, a dozen of his peers jumped at the chance to be a part of Mike’s project. Mike selected two reviewers to get his work in tip-top shape. Mike set up a timeline with his reviewers and turned in each chapter at the agreed-upon date. In addition to helping Mike get his book ready for publication, the review group became a club that Mike launched all on his own. Rather than try to fit into an existing high school activity to round out his impressiveness for admissions counselors, Mike created an activity—and thus, stood out more than if he’d been a seat-filler in another group.
Over the summer, Mike navigated the world of Amazon self-publishing. This presented a unique set of challenges and headaches. Mike lived in China—he had to educate himself on the United States’ Amazon platform. But Mike didn’t let the country-to-country red tape stop him: he persevered with Ivy Insight’s support.
Mike’s drive and self-starter quality impressed the admissions team at Pitzer College. Mike chose Pitzer because he wanted a liberal arts education with a West Coast vibe where his creativity and free-spirited nature could be nurtured. Pitzer’s acceptance rate was 13.5% at the time–yet Mike earned a spot in the incoming freshman class. His willingness to stretch himself and try something out of the box had paid off.