A company aspires to be more than just a business. The goal is not to create and sell one item to one specific person, but to develop a unique collection of products and/or services in which to supply many people. This is how a company achieves the ranks of an Amazon or Apple which began selling one product (books and computers) to now offering a variety of products and services that people use daily.
A teenager should aspire to be more than just a student. Yes, of course grades and academic achievements are important to colleges, but more and more, we are starting to understand that proactive students or “game changers” are getting a lot of consideration.
Now more than ever, colleges want to evolve with the times and offer something to students that makes that college a unique institution. Mr. Johnson, Dean of Admission for the University of Tulsa, is asking the same in return; that a student bring something special to his school that the next student to be interviewed may not be able to.
The College Board suggests these 6 individual qualities that colleges are looking for:
A willingness to take risks
A sense of social responsibility
A commitment to service
Special talents or abilities
Below is an example of a College Achievement Table. It’s separated into 4 quadrants which will give you a better perspective on your level of activity and involvement both on-campus and off-campus. Fill out the table and review the outcome with a family member, teacher, or counselor. Remember, this exercise should be used as a starting point to help focus on what makes your brand unique. You may not be able to completely fill up your table just yet but you should learn what areas to focus on. For example, if you are low on extra-curricular activities at school but have many interests and passions, talk to a teacher or student representative about starting a club or organization for people who share your interests and goals.
It’s important to note that this exercise should be used early in your high school career. If you wait too long to start building your brand, college admission decision makers will think that you are loading up on extracurriculars and AP classes as a last ditch effort to show involvement or raise your GPA. I recommend starting this process as a high school freshman so that you have plenty of time to achieve everything you want in each of the 4 areas.
The College Achievement Table is just one of the exercises that can be found in the College Application Mastery Program (CAMP) but you can download this exercise for free right now.
Download Now: College Achievement Table
Written by: Chris Soden, MBA