Here is the concluding part of the college admissions counselling feedback series by the Karani family. In the previous post, Naresh Karani shared his thoughts on why study abroad, why he opted for Stoodnt counsellors, undergraduate study in US vs Canada, and his feedback on the independent college admissions counselling services.
In this post, Yash and Shriya will be sharing their college application journey, feedback on their counselling processes, and advice for prospective applicants.
College Admissions and Study in Canada Experience
Q&A with Yash Karani (Admits at UT Austin, Washington, Indiana, Toronto & UBC)
Tanmoy: The whole admission counseling process was remote (Email, Skype, etc.). Did you face any problems with the remote/online counseling process?
Yash: There were no issues with remote/online counseling. Emails were responded to promptly, and calls were scheduled well in advance.
Tanmoy: What was the best thing about working with Marlis as your Counselor?
Yash: Marlis gave me honest feedback and was never holding my hand through the process. She guided me well and led me to creatively think about what I would write well. I was able to understand the requirements of each question better due to her expertise.
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Tanmoy: You had received offers from other top universities as well, both in Canada & USA. What made you accept the offer from Toronto Rotman?
Yash: The factors that led me to accept UofT Rotman its higher program rankings, rigid coursework, central location in downtown Toronto, and student culture.
The other US universities I was admitted into weren’t leading their subject rankings in terms of the brand name in their country.
UofT is highly renowned in Canada and internationally. Lastly, UofT’s program allowed me to take two focusses within my specialization, and separate minors, allowing me to gain a variety of knowledge from different academic fields.
Tanmoy: What would be your advice for prospective applicants looking for UG admissions in the US and Canada?
Yash: My advice to students seeking UG admissions in the US and Canada would be to really be to focus on growing as an individual and engage with your community.
Engaging with your community showcases what sort of an individual you are, giving an insight into your personality. This would directly mean extra-curricular, volunteering, and leadership roles at clubs, associations, etc.
Secondly, focus on growing as an individual really means to be aware of who you are as a person, this would definitely help you write good essays. Focusing on who you are as a person would also indicate understanding your own academic standing or realizing your ambitions.
These things are vital as they keep you conscious while understanding which school would be good for you, and how you can ace their essays. Writing skills are essential.
Tanmoy: There are School Counselors as well. Do you think it’s a good idea to work with an independent college admissions counselor (like Prof. Marlis in your case)?
Yash: Working with an independent counselor definitely helps more in terms of the attention that is given to you, as well as the quality provided during that time.
Of course, compared to school counselors it’s for a cost. If an individual is really good at writing impactful essays, then they may not need to work with an independent counselor.
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Tanmoy: How has been your Study in Canada experience as an international student? Would you like to share a few interesting stuff with our readers?
Yash: I have been in Canada for the past two years and studying here has been phenomenal. I have completed 4 semesters, and each semester, I am sure I have learned something new.
It’s not only about academic learnings, but living alone, meeting new people, and understanding cultures have really made me an open-minded individual.
Furthermore, life at university has given me a lot of insight into life in the real outside world. Being an international student, you really learn a lot after having to compare your home to this new place you’ve decided to spend your next 4 years in. It’s definitely been a positively impactful experience.
College Admissions in USA with Scholarships
Q&A with Shriya Karani (Admits at Indiana, Drexel, Northeastern & Warwick)
Tanmoy: You could have taken advice from Yash (who had gone through the college admissions process 2 years ago) and Parent for college applications.
Why did you agree to work with Stoodnt (and Debbie) for your college admissions process?
Shriya: My elder brother and my parents were both great guides for college applications, but I gained access to more personalized help through Stoodnt.
My brother could only speak to his unique experiences, whereas working with Debbie gave me a wider perspective on the process for multiple different universities. Additionally, Debbie was well-versed with the essay process and helped me refine all my essay supplements.
Tanmoy: You had admits with scholarships from Indiana ($11,000/year scholarship) and Drexel (4-Year Co-op with $23,400/year scholarship). However, you went ahead with Northeastern University (no scholarship). Why did you take that decision?
Shriya: I researched each university, the program at Northeastern appealed to me the most because of its focus on experiential learning and its combined major program.
At Northeastern, not only was I able to continue studying both Business and Psychology without the added heavy course load but also still have the opportunity to work and do research. Additionally, I preferred the environment and location of Northeastern.
Tanmoy: How was your personal experience of working with Debbie as a Counselee and applicant?
Shriya: I thoroughly enjoyed working on my essays with Debbie. I appreciate her method, she sat down with me initially to talk about my interests and experiences so that we could narrow down essay topics that would be most appropriate.
Her inputs allowed me to maintain focus and structure in all my essays, while still being able to tell each story how I wanted to.
All my meetings were over Skype and she was flexible with her timings. I looked forward to my essay discussions with her.
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Tanmoy: Would you like to share a few tips on extracurricular activities, college essays, and overall applications?
Shriya: Extracurricular activities – It is best to focus on and continue activities that you really enjoy because that passion will be well reflected in essays. Furthermore, I would suggest that every student try to take on a project (big or small) that will allow them to build leadership and organization skills.
I worked on an event throughout my junior year, which I really enjoyed. I found it was effective for supplement essays to pick out key moments and stories from that event that reflected different personality traits of mine or lessons I had learned.
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