Student Stories - Data Science

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

Application Identity:

  • Gender and ethnicity? Male; Korean

  • Any particular "hooks"? (student athlete, legacy, etc.) N/A

  • What did your application focus on? Any academic subjects, extracurriculars, etc. in particular? My college application focused on various aspects of my education. Ranging from in-school accomplishments to applications thereof in extracurriculars, I really turned my knowledge into something that could help my community.

  • What are your plans for next year? If you’re planning on attending a college, what’s your school and intended area of study? I plan on being part of the 2024 CMU undergraduate program and studying data science.

What was the general composition of your college list? How many schools did you apply to? How many reaches, matches, and safeties were on your list? Did you feel like your list was balanced?

Initially, I chose to apply to my top pick schools for early (early decision and early action included) and some of my other school interests for my regulars. I had about 3 reaches, 5 targets, and 1 safety. I felt that my list was pretty well balanced and perfect for me.

What was your general application timeline? When did you start your applications? How did you manage your workload?

I initially started working on my application during the summer before my senior year. I only worked on my early decision school (Carnegie Mellon) at the time. I finished my other early action schools and submitted them, then took a few weeks break before beginning my regulars. However, before I began my regulars, my early decision for CMU came out and I ultimately ended up not writing any applications for my regulars.

Who helped you throughout the application process? Parents, school, private counselor? What resources did you find the most helpful?

My parents were a big part of my application process. Although English is their second language and they couldn’t really help me in terms of writing my application, they helped me build my profile to match certain schools.

What are your top tips for college applicants? What advice do you wish you’d known while you were going through the application process?

I wish I knew that my parents always supported me. Having been to 3 different high schools during my high school career (and different elementary and middle schools) because of my dad’s job relocation, I always thought that my parents were more interested in looking for opportunities rather than caring about me and how I was doing in school. I began caring less about academics and my grades during freshman year started to drop significantly. It wasn’t until the following year when my parents and I had an argument about my grades that I told them how I felt and we finally opened up to each other. I realized that it wasn’t ever my parents’ intention to do anything negative to me in any way and that I was just misinterpreting without clarifying with them. I thought that the only way I could really repay them was to try my best in school and that’s where I ended up today. Nowadays, I see alot of my friends and their younger siblings complaining about their “tiger” moms and how they are forced to always study. As someone who's been in those shoes, I can’t really tell them to just grow up, but I hope that they realize it’s in their best interest to follow along; at least until college, where you can do whatever you want :)

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