In Pursuit of Intellectual Vitality and Taking Risks at Harvard!

– Parth Mehta, Harvard University

Academic vitality is important for Parth, who started his freshman year in Fall 2016 at Harvard University. It was important for him to take intellectual risks and devote himself deeply to learning. It was in that spirit that he enrolled in courses such as Math 25, an honors course in Abstract Linear Algebra, in which he spent the majority of each week catching up with students who had a background in proof-based math, and devoted himself with equal rigour to classes outside of his major like, Music I: 1000 years of listening and Econ 1057: Game theory and social behaviour.

Parth enjoys pursuing social opportunities with equal enthusiasm. He served as one of the chairpersons of Harvard US-India Initiative, inviting entrepreneurs, politicians, scientists, and actors to annual student conferences in India. He also serves on the diversity committee of the Harvard Applied Math Society, promoting equity and diversity in thought, ethnicity and gender as well as organising various speaker sessions and events at Harvard College as well as local Boston schools.

“I thoroughly enjoy being part of the campus experience,” said Parth, “Working for a semi-secret robotics start-up from my dorm, teaching Math21a as a Course Assistant, and having lunch with professors!” The Red Pen enjoyed helping Parth frame his dynamism and many interests into a cohesive whole.

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?