Dr. Aviva Legatt is the founder of VivED, an education consulting company that provides guidance to help undergraduate and graduate students navigate the stressful admissions process.
Dr.Legatt attended NYU, where she was a music business major, but soon realized that she could make a career working with students. She then obtained her Master’s degree at Penn and pursued a doctoral program in higher education at Wharton, during which she was a part of the admissions committee. She later also became the Senior Director of Professional Programs at Wharton and overseer of the Leadership in the Business World program for underrepresented students.
Having worked as an admissions officer, but still remembering the anxiety of going through the application process herself, Dr. Legatt has mastered the ability to help high school students manage their time to propel them towards their goals.
Whether you are applying to college or graduate school, here are Dr. Legatt’s 6 tips to best prepare for the admissions process:
1) Reflect. Look at your own values and pick out things that you want to do.
2) Think outside of the box. Don’t do what your friends are doing. Find something you really like to do (inside or outside school). Find the motivation within you as a student. Don’t limit yourself to the clubs; you can even start something from scratch.
3) Gain life experience. In order to have a story to tell, do things that take you out of the comfort zone a little bit. Continually stretch yourself through school. If you’re not learning or failing a little bit, you won’t have a story to tell. This can be a little bit stressful, not as easy as watching Netflix, but not so much that you would crumble.
4) Make organization a priority. Plan ahead for test and applications. Use available tools such as Google Sheets to track schools and deadlines, campus tours, and contacts. Set calendar reminders and work backwards in the process.
5) Have an open mind. Keep your options open and figure, “What is it that I really liked about a particular school? Is that experience available at other schools?”
6) Over the summer, do something that you can’t replicate at school. Fill in any gaps in your academic experiences, do something creative: writing, music programs, or gain exposure to the academic program you are most interested in.
Contributor: Rebecca Zuo