It’s hard to believe how quickly a year can fly by. When I first started my RC year at Harvard Business School, I grossly underestimated the advice, "business school is a constant struggle to balance your social life, academics, and career search." Considering everything there is to do (and everyone there is to meet) it’s no wonder that HBS students can suffer from FOMO.
Here’s a little snapshot of what I got up to this year.
As I look back, some of the most meaningful lessons this year came from navigating the environment at HBS.
1. I Found My Own Voice
Our classes are all taught through case method, which means there are no lectures.Instead, professors facilitate a discussion on the case the class reads the night before. I initially found it challenging to speak up and speak out on topics where I had a different point of view or a different perspective than my classmates. As a black/Ghanaian/African American woman I always felt this unnerving pressure to make strong comments because I stood out, and I wanted to represent well!
During the second semester I felt more comfortable moving the discussion forward or in a different direction. "Finding my own voice" came full circle when I was nominated by a professor to speak in front of about 1,000 people (my entire HBS class & faculty) in mid-May during our FIELD Global Immersion capstone. I spoke about working in Sub-Saharan Africa, and key lessons I’d learned about conducting business in emerging markets based during my Tanzania consulting engagement (and broader personal experiences). It was well received by both my classmates and professors.
2. I Learned about Purpose Driven Leadership
During our leadership, marketing, strategy and finance courses we often discussed the tensions between optimizing shareholder value and the taking into account the wellbeing of employees and society. I struggle on a daily basis to think of how I can optimize my HBS experience and resources, not just for personal gain, but for broader societal impact. I’m grateful to HBS for helping me to think in this way.
3. I Followed My Passions
This summer I have been working on starting up Chaku Foods Limited , a consumer goods food brand from Ghana that creates delicious snacks using local agricultural products. The first product is "Nikki's" Plantain Chips. There will be a ripe and unripened version that I will be testing in South Africa. A Rock Summer Fellowship from HBS provided me with funding so I could pursue this venture.
I have already been applying what I have learned from marketing, finance and entrepreneurial management (three of the courses that took during my first year). It has been exciting to focus on entrepreneurship (specifically in manufacturing and processing) which is an interest I want to pursue in the long term.
It's hard to fully articulate my experience this year. I have learned so much, but more importantly it has challenged me in so many ways and has helped me grow and develop as a both a leader and a person in ways that I could not have imagined.
Written by: Nikki Okrah MBA Student
After almost a decade of helping high school students as well as post-grad applicants write their College Essays aka the infamous Personal Essay. I have compiled some gems from my experience. The Personal Essay is a unique genre that you will likely only have to write once or, at most, twice in your entire life. Use it as an opportunity to tell your story! Here are some of my best tips to get you started.The Personal Essay is NOT an Academic Essay.The Personal Essay is about WHO YOU ARE and HOW YOU THINK. It’s about expressing your values, your experiences (impact) and how you think (intellect). Your goal is to convey your insight into the world and your personal development so far as a human being. Most forget that a tone of intimacy is required when writing the Personal Essay. The majority of my students don’t consider this for their first draft. They get caught up in either trying to impress the reader or lean on statements that are too declarative and lack an emotional edge. This can turn your reader off. The Personal Essay must have the qualities of informality and honesty to initiate a straightforward conversation between you and your reader.Know Your Audience.In my experience, the best essays take on a very strong voice that talk to one specific person. I tell my students to identify a person, a confidant — someone you trust, you rely on for advice or mentorship, someone you can tell the truth to, someone you talk intimately with. Write to that person as if you are in a conversation with them. And for God’s sake…Identify Your Main Point.Just because it’s a personal essay, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have brainstormed a thesis statement. — whether that is a lesson / a theory of life you’ve picked up / an awareness that came to you through your experiences. Every part of your narrative — each anecdote and experience must link back to a main idea or main point you want to drive home.Write Short Sentences.This is a rule for writing that comes up again and again. I always edit my own writing for this as well. Ever read a long sentence only to get to the end and the point is utterly lost. The brain is more able to digest information when it comes in short, to the point, and, sometimes, even blunt sentences. It’s a powerful way to write. It imbibes the writer with authority and provokes interest. Your goal for the personal essay is to keep the reader’s attention for every sentence you write. Make sure every sentence is compelling or makes an important point— if not, edit or cut.What Do You Know Best?Ever heard that old-school writer advice: “Write what you know.” Well, it’s true. What area of your life have you developed most? It’s probably the area that you care about the most too. Let that shine through your essay.When In Doubt — WRITE or RAMBLE…If writing is something that doesn’t come naturally to you. That’s OK. The best place to start is by giving yourself a list of brainstorm questions — wide open questions that give you room to explore. I sometimes recommend that you use a recording device. Yes, allow yourself to ramble. Transcribe them — word for word. You just might find the seeds of your essay in those recordings. Plus, it’s a lot easier to edit something down than to start from scratch!Show Instead of Tell — Be Your Own Storyteller.Take your reader on your journey. One brilliant technique for staying away from “telling” the story is to challenge yourself to write only in the present tense. It keeps the focus on what’s happening in the moment. Therefore, it keeps your reader all the more engaged. You are in control of the narrative. The bumps, the curves, the aha moments along the way! Another great technique is to describe your own mental thought process for each anecdote/story you are sharing. This is essential to your essay. You want to show your reader HOW YOU THINK by inviting them into your specific thought process. *A good way to do this is to voice record it. I advise my students to think of the Personal Essay as an opportunity to reflect, gain perspective and see your life’s journey as a story. You are re-living your personal or professional experience in your essay. The Personal Essay is asking you to become your own storyteller. What kind of storyteller are you? Be vulnerable and curious. Sharing a difficult time or moment in your life doesn’t make you look weak. Show that you’ve come away with something valuable to give to yourself and others. Your reader wants to know you’ve found a way through any confusion and uncertainty by asking yourself the necessary questions.Open With An Anecdote.You’re opening must engage your reader from the very first sentence. Avoid gimmicks. Don’t be afraid to simplify. Remember- Steve Jobs said white space is as important as what you add to it. Let moments speak for themselves sometimes without explanation. This can be incredibly powerful. Also, let the moment you choose reveal your personality and character. How did it shape who you are today and who you will be tomorrow? Give us that in detail. Choose an inflection point of your life.Incorporate HumorInvite your humor in! Your readers are starved for some comedy. Just consider how many essays they have read just to get to yours. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Play with the telling of it. Allow yourself to see it from a few different perspectives. If you’re not sure about the appropriateness of a narrative — ask for input from people you respect and admire. It’s worth the risk. People are often more open-minded than we realize. Give your reader the benefit of the doubt.Ask More From Your Reader. Be Humble and Be CuriousThis can come in many different forms. However, if there are questions you still have about your own experience — it’s OK to get rhetorical in your essay. Don’t be afraid to engage your reader in the same questions you are asking yourself about life and your journey so far. Don’t just tell your reader what you are thinking, DISCOVER what you are thinking and be curious about it. Ask your reader to step into your shoes. Allow them to witness your discoveries too. And always remember a good tone to consider is going to walk the line between a combo of humility and curiosity. Allow yourself to explore your own story as you write. This shows your reader that you have an intellectual sensibility and an emotional awareness. If we are curious, it conveys an intellectual flexibility that colleges and universities are looking for. contact: email@example.com
Beginning your search for college is a very exciting yet a very hectic task and at one point it might seem like you will never see a single college which is absolutely perfect for you. However, be assured that you will find a college which is an ideal fit for you; only if you work systematically. Below are some of the steps you can take to have a smooth college search. Talking to your family is the best thing that you can do to start your college search. Preferably, have an open discussion with them; talk to them about their reservations about college, their experiences and your goals and expectations from a college. Also, talk about any hindrances that you might think you’d have later on; including any financial problems. Making a wish-list would actually help you narrow down your choices of a college. Make the list of the things you expect from a college; the majors you would like to choose, the extracurricular activities that you want to be a part of. There must be things that might not seem important at first but list them down anyways. To look for a college which suits you, you first need to have an insight into what college really is. The best insight you’ll get will be from the peers; teachers, parents, relatives, friends and everyone who have been to a college. Remember, everyone will have their own story to tell so by the end, you will have a fair idea of what’s coming up. So when you’re searching for a college, chances are that you will sign up on many websites and before you even know it, your email inbox will be flooded with emails of information, brochures and what not. While it might seem a bit tiring, you will have to go through the emails, deleting the unnecessary one but greatly benefitting from the useful and informative ones. Underestimating the informative ability of college fairs is the biggest mistake you will make while looking for colleges. You will get the chance to get into a one to one conversation with college representatives and have the opportunity to clear all your doubts and confusions. Also, college fairs are very good chance to network with people from different colleges. With latest technologies and the revolution of the internet, there is a lot of research which can be done just by a click. Websites have a plethora of information and virtual tours which is the closest you can get to see the university without physically being there. If nothing else, you can get a vibe of the college. If you can visit the campus, nothing like it. Visiting the campus will get you an insight, online virtual tours cannot. Plus, it will cover everything; from seeing what the place looks like to getting the feel of the university to see if it suits you and networking with the people from the college. So if you have decided to visit a university then do consider meeting their ambassadors. Click here to see the list of university ambassadors.
Since there are numerous ways you can waste your time, especially in college; below are some of the activities that you should be avoiding to use your time efficiently. Emailing is just another branch of the internet, Now if you’re attending college and are away from home, email is nothing less than a blessing for you. Email is a great medium to catch up with your family and friends especially when you’re far from them. Moreover, you can apply for jobs and get in touch with your professors for updates and queries. However, the benefits of email greatly die down when the email starts interrupting the everyday tasks and take the priority. Thus, all is good as long as you don’t check your emails every 2 minutes. Here comes the prime source of procrastination amongst students; as something most of the parents like believing. Considering all the features that a typical smartphone has is enough to keep a person engaged unnecessarily during the day; texting, taking selfies, games and social media. One should simply limit their hours on the cell phone if you know that you’ll be overwhelmed by it every time. However, cell phone is quite a help if you limit the use to the basics and use it to make necessary calls and messages and sorting out day to day matters. While we have talked about the internet and social media being the reasons for procrastination, YouTube deserves a mention due to being extremely useful to students and taking a massive part of their attention for nothing. It’s been ages since YouTube has helped students with documentaries, tutorials, and short films to enhance knowledge for their academics. However, lately, students get indulged in movies and seasons which take their attention away from their studies. Very popularly, 2 minutes on YouTube become 2 hours before you even realize it. We would actually recommend you to have some sort of a video game in your dorm or anywhere you spend your free time. There will be times when you would need some time off your academics and even socializing and would need some time alone. Video games are a very good way to unwind when such a situation occurs. However, if you skip on sleeping or doing your assignments because you have been playing games, then it’s time your pack up your game and hide it away. When it comes to the brighter side of missing your sleep, there isn’t really a productive side of being sleep deprived. However, it can be ‘sometimes’ justified; if you’re completing a paper, having an experience of a lifetime with your friends at college, filling up important deadlines or doing something which is going to take you a long way. However, despite these reasons, you’re still supposed to draw a line and have a strict threshold of being sleep deprived. If sleep deprivation is taking a toll on your mental, emotional and physical health and reducing your productivity, then you need to reset your priorities accordingly.
As you would know by all the research that you might have done, your years in college are not at all a smooth road. There are many ups and downs for students, thus, naturally, there will be times you’d want to quit and dropping out of college would seem like a very justified decision. Those are the times when your willpower will be put to a real test and you will have to stay strong. It becomes easier to withstand these moments when you know about them and you are mentally prepared for them. Below are 10 moments when you’ll just feel like dropping everything and walking out of college. Your financial aid report will be one of the scariest things you’ll ever lay your eyes on. It would just remind of the loans that you will be responsible for and would give you’re a quick run through the responsibilities and the urgency of a job that you are going to encounter in the future. There will come a point in your life when you’ll compare the time you spent studying and juggling tight budgets and that exact amount of time spent in earning and working. You’ll be surprised to add up and it would seem that you’ve forgone a fortune for nothing. However, at this point, it is important that you realize that all of this is for a brighter future. So college is not all about studying. A student also needs to social and indulge in other social activities other than just academics. There will come a time when you wouldn’t be able to balance right and might forget to prepare for a quiz or forget to do a very important assignment due the next day or just in a few hours. At this point, you’ll experience a last-minute panic or a severe emotional background and that’s when you’d feel like quitting college and run out of the campus. One of the things in college which will be very common to you is being a part of a group in projects and assignments where you’ll be the only person working and all the other members of the group will appear at the last moment to make sure that their name is written when it’s time for credits. You’ll feel like labeling the entire college experience as unfair and skipping right into the practical world where only you will get the fruit of your efforts. This is very typical in most colleges and even schools. Each professor will burden you with assignments and work like their subject is the only subject you’re enrolled in. By the end of the day, you’ll have heaps and heaps of work due just the next day and most of the work would be meaningless. Then you’d realize that attending college isn’t tough for nothing. Naturally, when you don’t understand something in college or you need an expert advice, you’d go to the adviser to put in a word of help for you. However, there is no guarantee that you’ll always get an adviser who’ll talk sense, solve your problems and be a superman to your college life. Chances are that you might end up with an adviser who might know less than you and under the burden of all the queries and problems that you might have, the end of the world (or your college life) would seem near. Having friends to talk to and hang around with is a very natural human need. However, you’ll realize that in college, making friends is much harder than making friends in school. Chances are that during all the time that you’re in college, you might not make any friends at all. Thus, during the bouts of loneliness, you’ll feel like quitting college. Since most students are so pressurized about scoring well in each and every exam, each paper seems to be the end of the world. There will be times when you will just mess up an exam of yours and when you come out thinking that it would have been tough for everyone, your friend declares that the questions were a piece of cake. At that time you might think that you’re too dumb to continue studies and dropping out of college is the correct option for you. College is all about independence, whether you ask for it or you don’t. However, not all students meet the responsibilities and might not have the same perspective towards them. Many students become homesick and it gets so much that they just want to quit college and all the independence to go back to a comparatively more secure life before they are ready to attend college again. This is a real reality check! Gradually as time passes, you keep on pushing memories into the background and barely notice the changes in you. However, looking back at old picture instantly brings back everything which might make you want to go back to your comparatively more stress-free life.So this is the time when you need guidance from some seniors of your colleges. College ambassadors can help you in this matter.
Before we talk about this, it is important for you to know that graduating early is not everyone’s cup of tea. While some students are able to muster up credit hours and fulfill the requirements before time, other might need full 4 years of education before they can go out in the market; being both ways is totally fine. However, if you are or plan to be the former, here are some of the benefits that you’ll be enjoying by getting out of college on time. As you all must have researched by now, college and housing costs are a great strain on any family and most families often have to give up on their assets to pay for the education of one college-going child. This makes graduating early a very convenient option for the students who aim to save the money and get done with college before time. Economic burden on the family is probably one of the biggest reasons for students to graduate early. Every May and June, there are heaps of students graduating from almost all universities and colleges. This creates a rush in the job market and the amount of students actually ending up with a job immediately drops considerably. Thus, if the student graduates early; preferably around January, the student will have greater chances of getting a job since there will be comparatively less competition. Apart from saving money, as mentioned earlier, graduating before time means that you will be up to be employed earlier, will get a job earlier and will start earning before time. This actually works well for the student and the student’s family who will have their family income increased instead of giving thousands of dollars to the college according to what they might have planned. Graduating early is also very beneficial for the students who want to do their post-graduation immediately. Graduating early would give the students ample time to execute their further plan; fulfilling the requirements of post-graduate, filling out forms and working on their admissions. The students will be saved from the rush that the last minute application process would otherwise cause them. Talking about post-graduation, there are students who want to take longer roads of education, for e.g. want to pursue a medical degree after the basic bachelors. For such students, graduation earlier is actually a good thing because this would just cut the extra time and get on to working for their goal before time.
If we would say that an admission consultant is supposed to be an emotional motivator then there is no doubt in it. Every individual has big dreams and these dreams start traveling towards subconsciousness because of improper guidance. When a student seeks for an advisor his expectation level is very high and his inner is dejected and he wants to be healed at the crunch time of his academic struggle. Apart from his credentials, affiliation by organization, highly recommended letters there is more a student wants to see in him that is being an “emotional motivator”. Success and happiness is something beyond materialistic measures admission consultant puts a 5 point plan of action before a student1. Dream big.2. Set goals.3. Pursue.4. Competent.5. Thrive and accomplish.Stated down are the characteristics of a person who is capable to be called out “admission consultant”
Dreaming big is the right of every individual, and it can be achieved by setting realistic goals and constant struggle while managing meanders of life in a positive way. Switching over to college from high school is a harried process for parents and students. Its intensity and sensitivity are observed by a parent when deadlines become difficult to meet and being a parent you are thinking to do something serious for your kid because your complete collaboration becomes insufficient. An admission consultant makes stressful process of college admission rather enjoyable by replacing parent’s fears to peace of mind.Stated down are the circumstances in which an admission consultant becomes parent’s investment.He is a person who can choose wisely by unleashing the student’s potential talent while keeping in view of affordability in means of transportation cost, housing and fee loads as well.
Finally, nonverbal battle among ethnic groups has been moved from offices, hospitals and subway stations to Harvard. On July,29th an Asian student didn’t get in the Harvard just because of its intrinsic attributes. He had scored 1600 on the SAT, a super perfect score. The code language used to convey hidden info by the staff appointed there tried to put a fence. The student was ranked first in 592 and his dream to get into his dream university went in dilemma. However, Harvard denies of being discriminated.
Almost all American students thrive to get admission in their desirable colleges, which obviously depends on their over all transcript being high school juniors. Their potential to get enrolled in high ranked colleges are based on the academic achievements and extracurricular activities they made in standardized test sessions throughout the semesters. Dream colleges likeAmerican educational policies are very encouraging for students in a sense that different platforms like vunova are emerged to connect students and their parents to their prospective colleges via alumnus or alumna, ambassadors and consultants. Vunova has become a blessing, a counselor, an adviser to guide step by step to the students to strive and strike the goal of their life. It is no doubt a pain full hammering on student minds to prepare themselves for a necessary evil SAT and ACT. Students you cannot get jump into Yale or Harvard until and unless you scored up to the mark of the admission criteria. As it is said “as you sow so shall you reap”, exactly the same you have to done, you have to invest your time in productive studying to reap the fruit in future. There are some guidelines which can guide you in the best way.
We have made a descriptive list of international scholarships for Indian students, divided by desired place of study and funding type. If you can’t find the best one, you can browse our list of international scholarships for more options. Good luck!Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation scholarships (for postgraduate and undergraduate studies)The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships are offered to outstanding Indians locating in India pursue a Master’s degree at U.S universities and colleges in the following areas.The fellowship will provide the following benefits:For successful Indian application for scholarships, here are a few things which you should run a check on: Keeping your mediators posted about all scholarships which you are applying for. Some Universities request you have more than one referee. In such circumstances, we force you on picking after careful consideration, as they must highlight your abilities and skills well. The British Council has announced instructive scholarships worth Rs 40 crore for Indian students who want to study in the USA. The scholarships will cover a range of different courses from engineering, law, art and design to Information technology across more than 50 institutions in the Notherland, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. These countries also provide job opportunities for their talented students to work after studies and get benefits for both the students and for their country.