Alumni Speak: What makes studying at the Columbia Architecture School an unparalleled experience?

🌟 “At Columbia’s Architecture School, engagement isn’t just a concept; it’s a way of learning. As students, we didn’t just observe communities; we became active contributors, crafting solutions that resonate deeply with real-world needs.”
🌟 “Collaboration was at the heart of our education. Interacting not only within the architecture school but also bridging with other disciplines like the Climate School was integral. This connectedness, this interdisciplinary approach, created a tapestry of knowledge that’s directly applicable to real-world work post-graduation.”

Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation offers an environment where theory meets tangible impact, shaping architects equipped to address the world’s evolving challenges.

📚 If you’re thinking of applying to the architecture school? Have you thought about how your essays showcase your unique value and distinct experiences Given that the GSAPP application doesn’t involve interviews, the essay plays a vital role as a window for admission officers to understand you better.

Contact us for a quick review to ensure that your essay strategy effectively reflects your experiences.

Neuroplasticity and the Power of a Growth Mindset

Did you know that your brain can change and grow throughout your life? This is known as neuroplasticity. It means that the more you learn and challenge yourself, the better your brain will function. This goes hand in hand with the idea of a growth mindset.

A growth mindset is the belief that our abilities can change through hard work and determination. People with a growth mindset are more likely to take on challenges, learn from their mistakes, and persevere in the face of setbacks.

Unfortunately, much of our education system promotes fixed mindsets- the idea that the brain is fixed, and intelligence is innate. Psychologist Carl Dweck estimates that as many as 40% of students have a fixed mindset.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to understand if you have a growth mindset:

  • Do you believe that you can change your abilities through hard work?
  • Do you view people as those who put in the effort or those who are intelligent?
  • Do you avoid tasks if you anticipate failure?
  • Are you motivated by a need to prove your intelligence or to improve it?

Do you think you have a growth mindset? Tell us in the comments!

Carnegie Mellon vs. Georgia Tech: Navigating the Top 5 Engineering Grad Programs

US News tied Carnegie Mellon and Georgia Tech at #5 in the rankings of the best graduate engineering programs in 2023. Both schools are highly regarded for their engineering programs, but there are some key differences between the two, including:

  • Undergraduate enrolment and acceptance rate

Georgia Tech has a larger undergraduate enrolment than Carnegie Mellon, with 18,415 students compared to 7,509 students. Georgia Tech also has a higher acceptance rate, at 17% compared to 11%.

  • Class size and student-faculty ratio

Carnegie Mellon has smaller classes and a lower student-faculty ratio than Georgia Tech. At Carnegie Mellon, more than 65% of classes have less than 20 students, while at Georgia Tech, around 60% of the classes have more than 20 students. Around 30% of the classes at Georgia Tech have more than 50 students. The student-faculty ratio is 6:1 and 22:1 for Carnegie Mellon and Georgia Tech, respectively.

If you prefer smaller classes and more personalized faculty attention, Carnegie Mellon may be a better fit for you. If you are looking for a larger student body with more opportunities for peer engagement, Georgia Tech may be a better choice.

  • Fees:

Carnegie Mellon is a private university, while Georgia Tech is a public university. This means that tuition and fees are typically higher at Carnegie Mellon. However, Carnegie Mellon offers more financial aid to students than Georgia Tech.

Which school is right for you?

The best engineering grad school for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Contact us if you need help deciding which school is better suited to your needs and interests!

If you’re considering transferring to a different college, you may be wondering how the application process is different from applying as a freshman. Here are a few key things to keep in mind:

First off, transfer applicants need to provide additional information about their college history. You’ll list all the colleges or universities you’ve attended, enrolment dates, completed coursework, and your GPA.

Transferring to a New College: Navigating the Essay and Application Process

One crucial component of the transfer application is the essay!

When crafting your essay, admission officers expect a different approach. They’re looking for mature and reflective responses, delving into the reasons behind your desire to transfer. Your answers should show a deep thought process, painting a clear picture of your journey and decision-making.

So, remember, while the questions may appear similar to the freshman application, the expectations for transfer applications revolve around thoughtful introspection and a focus on your unique transfer story.

Some schools offer applicants multiple prompts to choose from, while others only offer a single prompt asking them to explain why they want to transfer to that particular institution.

We can help you tell your story and explain to admission officers why transferring is the best choice for your career and journey. Contact us to learn more.

From Mechanical Engineer to Computer Scientist: How Choosing the Right School Opened Doors

How important is it to make the right school list?

Very important.

Especially when you’re not entirely meeting the pre-requisites, its important to deep dive into the courses.

Here’s an example of our students who wanted to make a difficult switch.

He had a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and wanted to pursue a master’s degree in computer science. However, most computer science programs don’t accept students without a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

So, we began our school search and found that Columbia University might still allow him to pursue his chosen course. This was one of the few schools that would.

And so, we matched his skills to the prerequisites of the course to show how he was more than equipped to make the transition.

He got into Columbia and completed his master’s degree in computer science.

This example shows how important it is to make the right school list. If you choose schools that are a good fit for your academic interests, career goals, and financial situation, you’re more likely to get accepted and succeed.

From Stagnation to Success: Cultivating Growth Mindsets for High and Low Achievers

A fixed mindset leads people to think that they cannot grow or develop new abilities. However, neuroscience tells us that this isn’t true- our brain keeps growing and developing. Those with fixed mindsets tend to avoid challenges and have negative reactions to setbacks.

According to psychologist Carl Dweck, 60% of students have a fixed mindset. This manifests in different ways for different students.

How does a fixed mindset affect a high achiever?

  • They believe that they don’t need to put in as much effort because they believe they are innately good at academics.
  • This decreased effort becomes a problem as students proceed to higher classes and are faced with more challenging content. Often, such students experience a drop in grades and heightened anxiety.
  • They may start cheating to ensure good grades.

How does a fixed mindset affect a low achiever?

  • They don’t put in much effort if they believe that they aren’t good at something.
  • Instead, they justify the decreased effort by saying that its better allocated in an area that they have an aptitude for.

A simple reflective technique you can start incorporating in everyday is identifying and reframing limiting beliefs.

For example, rather than thinking that you’re just not good at something, think about what you’re missing. Rather than thinking that you’re amazing at a certain task, tell yourself that you’re on the right track and look forward to more growth!

Imperial Launches Biggest Ever Scholarship Program for Indian Scientists

The Future Leaders Scholarship program will support 30 of India’s most talented master’s students over the next three years, with equal numbers of men and women scholars. Each year, they will support 10 students by contributing £10,000 towards their tuition fees.

To be eligible for the India Future Leaders Scholarship, you must:

  • Be a domicile of India
  • Be available to commence your studies by the start of the UK academic year in September/October 2024
  • Have submitted an application to study at Imperial and have received an offer to study by 11 May 2024
  • Have been made an offer to study a one-year full time MSc or MRes in the Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Medicine or Imperial College Business School.

There is no separate application form for the Imperial College London Entrance Scholarships. Each faculty will nominate their top-ranked eligible candidates who have received an offer to study by 11th May 2024.

Do you need help developing a compelling application to study at Imperial College London? We can help you build a winning application as well as evaluate other scholarship opportunities.

How to Ace Your MBA Interviews

As MBA aspirants gear up for their upcoming interviews, I wanted to share a valuable tip to help you make a lasting impression on your interviewers. It’s all about crafting impactful responses to even the most general questions.

Introducing the STAR technique – Situation, Task, Action, Result. Let’s break it down using an example. Imagine you’re asked, “What makes great leadership?”

🌟 Situation: Begin by setting the stage, providing context around a significant situation or challenge you’ve encountered. For instance, recount a moment when your first boss displayed exceptional leadership during a tough scenario, serving as your inspiration.

🌟 Task: Describe your role and responsibilities within this challenging context. Share a time when you faced difficulties in a different team, highlighting your unique role in overcoming those obstacles.

🌟 Action: Explain how you navigated the situation and applied your learning in your own way. Describe how you implemented strategies you gleaned from your first boss’s leadership example to tackle your current challenges.

🌟 Result: Share the outcome of the situation and how the advice you received made a positive impact.

By structuring your answers in this manner, you not only address the question effectively but also showcase your strengths and experiences. Every response becomes an opportunity to reveal more about yourself.

At Futureworks, we conduct multiple rounds of mock interviews. This ensures they are well-prepared to handle interview situations using these valuable strategies and techniques.

Do you need help practising for your interview? We’d be happy to conduct mock interviews to ensure you can put your best foot forward.

How Can High School Students Best Utilize Their Breaks to Stand Out in the Admissions Cycle?

Here are two things students in grades 9-11 can do this winter to stand out in the admissions cycle:

  1. Start thinking about research.

Students who engage in research are 20% more likely to get into a top 10 college. Research shows colleges that you are an independent thinker who engages with your academic interests outside the classroom.

Research can be on any topic, and it doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. It can be something as simple as designing a new experiment for your chemistry class or writing a paper about a historical event you’re passionate about.

The important thing is to be proactive and to show colleges that you’re willing to go the extra mile to learn more about your chosen field.

  1. Create an interesting project around your passions.

Take your interests and see what you can do with them on a larger scale. Some students even envision social impact projects.

For example, if you’re passionate about the environment, you could start a club at your school to raise awareness about climate change. Or, if you’re interested in computer science, you could build a website or app that solves a real-world problem.

The key is to find a project that you’re passionate about and to put your own unique spin on it.

Use your winter break as an opportunity to take your interests to the next level! If you’re interested in research, we can pair you up with PhD mentors in your field of interest, who can guide you through the entire process.

Contact us to learn more about how you can get involved with research and build an interesting project!

Good Faculty Can Transform Your Educational Experience

Poets and Quants recently released their 40 under 40 list for MBA professors, based on student and faculty nominations. These professors are all under the age of 40 and have made a significant impact on their students and colleagues.

Here are three examples of these professors:

  • Anastassia Fedyk, assistant professor of finance, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business: Fedyk’s research focuses on the intersection of behavioural finance and innovation. She has published in top journals such as the Journal of Finance and Journal of Financial Economics, and her work has been awarded numerous awards.
  • Namrata Goyal, Assistant Professor of People Management, Esade Business School: Goyal is a social psychologist studying how cultural and moral norms affect decision-making in organizations. She is the Academic Director of the Decision Lab, Esade’s empirical research hub.
  • Franklin Shaddy, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Behavioral Decision Making, UCLA Anderson School of Management: Shaddy is interested in understanding how consumers form judgments and make decisions in the marketplace. His current research examines goals and motivation, the psychology of bundling, perceptions of fairness, and the causes and consequences of consumer impatience.

These are just a few examples of the many great faculty members who are transforming the educational experience for students around the world.

Want to know more about applying to study with these professors? Contact us!

How did good faculty transform your educational experience? Tell us in the comments!