#UniShorts: “Three Things I Tell Every Student”

My name’s Sunny Jain and I’m a university admissions consultant and the CEO at A&J Education. For 8 years I have helped students build their CVs and get into some of the best and most prestigious universities in the UK and America, including Oxford, Stanford, and Yale. No matter the student I’m working with, there are three things I tell every single one of them. 

These three things might just give you the edge over your competition when you apply to a top college or a particularly popular degree. 

Admissions teams at the best universities in the world will expect all candidates to have outstanding grades. For that reason, top exam results won’t make you stand out from the crowd.

It’s when you’re invited to interview that you get the opportunity to stand out and leave a lasting, positive impression.

Admissions staff and professors are looking for the full package:

  • The right exam results
  • The right attitude 
  • A track record of success.

The three things I tell every one of my students will help you to portray your passion for the university, the course, and to demonstrate a track record of success.

  • Take part in CV-building activities

Demonstrate you know more than your competitors about your chosen university’s research output, mission statement, and level of community engagement. 

Every 3 weeks I send out a newsletter to nearly 4,000 parents, students, and teachers around the world: this newsletter contains concise, actionable advice on how to build your CV and bolster your university application. 

It also includes a roundup of unique CV-building activities, seminars, and online lectures that are run by some of the most prestigious universities in the world. Taking part in (and really engaging with) these activities will give you extra things to add to your CV and application essays. It will also help you convince your teachers to give you great references

Sign up here to receive my newsletter in your inbox every 3 weeks: it’s completely free.

  • Organise a school event and invite relevant academics

Getting in touch with relevant professors and inviting them to events you’re hosting at your school can really demonstrate your passion for the course in question. 

If you can set up a school event like a debate or mini-conference on the subject area that the professor is particularly passionate about, you’re creating a personal bond and connection that most of your competitors won’t be creating. 

Inviting these types of people to your school also gives you a valuable chance to have a longer, in-depth conversion with them. Think of it as an excellent networking opportunity that will help you stand out as a candidate when your paperwork falls on their desk a few months (or years) down the line. 

Organising these events will help to prove to your school teachers that you’re an outstanding candidate for top universities, so they’ll be able to write a stronger reference for you. 

The best thing? You can now organise a Zoom event meaning that you can invite any academic from anywhere in the world. You will be surprised how keen some academics are to respond to passionate young students!

  • Start early 

When it comes to submitting a strong and successful university application, the largest fair advantage that anyone can give themselves is to start earlier than anyone else. At A&J Education, we work with some highly ambitious prospective students who begin working on their applications up to three years before the final deadline for submission. 

Obviously, you don’t have to think about writing your personal statement or gathering your references several years in advance. However, it’s useful to begin engaging with extracurricular activities, taking on leadership roles, and exploring different subject areas in your spare time so that you can build an idea of what you might want to study at university. 

The earlier that you start thinking about your application, the better, whether that involves visiting different colleges or reaching out to the university’s sports department to ask about athletics facilities.

In Summary

Whether you’re gearing up for an Oxbridge interview in the next couple of months or are just starting to think about which university you might like to go to, there are three things you can do straight away to stand out from the crowd:

  1. Take part in CV-building activities
  2. Organise events and invite professors along
  3. Begin the admissions process early.  

If you want to find out more information about how to choose your dream degree and strengthen your college application, get in touch with us at A&J Education to book a free consultation.

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