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Discus: What Are My Chances?: January 2004 Archive: My FUTURE DEPENDS ON THIS!
By Pacman (Pacman) on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 11:47 am: Edit

Guys, please give me some advices or info.

I have an exceptional background in science and engineering, and I'm really interested in going into nanotechnology, which is supposed to be the next big thing. I feel it's something that I can use my talents to the fullest while also providing new challenges and explorations.

On the other hand, I also want to go into economics or get a MBA.

Next year, I will be transferring to either Harvard or MIT. I don't know what courses I should take. Do they allow double majors? Can I take both engineering courses and economics/management courses? What's the wisest thing for me to do?

Any comments will be appreciated.

By Stanfordrulez (Stanfordrulez) on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 11:54 am: Edit

The wisest thing you can do is apply to Stanford-- they have an amazing Economics and Engineering department.
That fixes everything.
I don't know about school policies towards such double majors.... Thats going to be one kick-butt workload!

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 04:18 pm: Edit

Before assuming that you'll be transferring next year to Harvard or MIT, take a good look at their web pages and find out the transfer odds. Seems I remember that something like 1,000 students apply to transfer to Harvard each year, and only 55 are accepted.

From what I have heard, in selecting who gets in as transfers, Harvard looks to fill in gaps in their class. Thus, having sky high stats won't necessarily raise one's odds of getting admission as a transfer. It's far harder to transfer to Harvard than it is to get in as a freshman (odds 1 in 10).

I also suggest that you take a close look at the web pages of colleges that interest you.,

By Pacman (Pacman) on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 11:10 am: Edit

Thanks for the truth, Northstarmom. But I realized all those before I made the assumption that I'll get in.

Reason being: 1) I have a breakthrough invention that I want to submit to the appropriate professor at their school to review. (it's a thing that can boost fuel efficiency in vehicles by 15% and already got international attention)

2) I placed 15th in the nation on Harvard organized physics competition. (extremely hard)

3) All my accomplishments are done on my own, my own incentives, my own effort, independently without help or advice from anyone.

4) My SATs are very high. 800s on math2C and physics.

5) My college GPA is good, but not great. But heck, people who are the most successful almost never have the highest grades

So, I'm basically counting on the "lopsided admission" to get me in.

Can you elaborate more as to how Harvard is trying to "fill in the gaps" and doesn't care much about grades? Because that will REALLY benefit me. :)

By Pacman (Pacman) on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 11:18 am: Edit

By the way, how much do you think it's going to help me if I submit my invention to a professor at Harvard or MIT and the professor gives a review like "this is a huge breakthrough in the field of mechanics engineering. It'll revolutionize machines forever by conserving fuel and boosting acceleration tremendously. I can't believe it's possible to be done. So many has failed in the last 70 years trying to create this...".

And also, since the transfer decisions are made relatively late (April, May...), do you think it's possible for me to submit a update of my current grades at the time (for courses not quite completed), since if Harvard really considers me, then that might prove useful since my first semester grade isn't really that high but I've been improving a lot.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 11:26 am: Edit

Of course, one needs grades, scores, curriculum to be considered at all. However, most people who apply to Harvard have those attributes in abundance.

In selecting transfer students, my understanding is that Harvard tries to fill the gaps in the class that exist because of who may have turned down admission. Thus, if Greek majors are needed, that's who'll have the advantage. If actors are needed or people from North Dakota are needed, that's who'll get the nod.

I imagine that room would be made for someone with truly exceptional achievements even if they weren't filling a gap. Given the odds, though on transfer admissions, and given the odds that Harvard may have some exceptionally good students in your particular field, I suggest keeping an open mind about your prospects of admission.

By Pacman (Pacman) on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 11:55 am: Edit

All I can say is...I hope Harvard realize that grades aren't a very good indicator of one's ability or future success. As long as one's grades ensures graduation, let's ALL CONCENTRATE ON SPECTACULAR ACHIEVEMENTS!

We all know this from...Bill Gates...Soichiro Honda...Einstein...Edison...practically all Fortune 500 CEOs.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 12:06 pm: Edit

Pacman, Unfortunately - as Northstarmom has already said - Harvard and MIT can pick and choose among people who have BOTH stellar grades AND spectacular achievements. I wish you luck but your grades WILL be a factor in your transfer admissions. Make sure you have other options besides Harvard and MIT.

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