Education Consulting

Boutique is an education consultancy that specializes in editing and enhancing the admissions application essay, as well as other education services. Founded by Juli Min, Harvard and Andover alumna.

Filtering by Category: summer

Fall Update - Personal

A quick update on what's been on my plate and what's coming up: 

  • The Shanghai Literary Review - As the Editor in Chief of this literature and art magazine, I've been busy reading submissions for our second issue coming out this winter, hosting open mic readings in Shanghai, and getting our journal placed into shops around the world. For now, we're selling in Shanghai, Beijing, London, and New York, as well as online. 
  • Jululu Independent Book Festival - This summer I worked with a friend to organize a zine and indie book festival in Shanghai. We sold books, held bookmaking and art workshops, and had a weekend of talks from book designers, printers, and authors. It was a blast, we had great publicity from the press, and we're hoping to make this an annual event!
  • Writing - I'm still writing freelance for magazines and papers. You can find some of my published pieces on my writing website. In addition to long form journalism work, I've been busy doing research and working on two books - one nonfiction and one fiction. In addition to these personal projects, I've also started a masters program in creative writing. :) 
  • Teaching - I've finished up my writing course at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and this fall I'll be the teaching assistant for two writing courses at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen campus.
  • Essay Boutique - Essay editing continues, as I've been working with students through video and in person, or through emailed document edits. It's a pleasure to get to know ambitious young people and help them achieve their goals, in the small ways that I can.

Summer Programs for Scientists

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science." 

-Albert Einstein

To continue the series on summer programs, below is a selection of extremely high quality and competitive summer programs for high school scientists. Research to figure out whether a program is good for you, and to learn more about deadlines, tuition, and application requirements. If these programs do not work out, you can always try contacting research institutions at nearby universities for internships. Let me know if you need assistance. 

  • Center for Excellence in Education Research Science Institute
  • Summer Science Program (SSP)
  • DEEP Summer Academy
  • MIT Summer Programs

Summer Programs for Techies

"Before you  become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all." 

- Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey 

This post is geared towards high school students interested in technology, coding, and startups. I'll have another post for mathematicians and scientists shortly. If you're in college or out of college, and looking for coding bootcamps, please skip to the last paragraph of this post. 

Because technology is so popular right now, there are endless opportunities for students who either know how to code, or are willing to learn. Below are a subset of summer programs and organizations; some are specifically for young women coders, or for certain minority groups. Research each one to determine what learning or working experience is best for you, and do let me know if I should add more to my list. 

Larger organizations may sometimes take the occasional star coder from high school. But that is the exception to the norm. If you're looking to gain work experience, try reaching out to volunteer or intern at a program that is also geared towards teens your age. How about offering to work for your coding tuition, or spearheading the coding program at your school? Otherwise, if a program or a work opportunity doesn't work out, you can always take classes online through Udacity, Coursera, Khan, Codecademy, etc. 

If you're planning to work on your own app or project, remember to structure your summer to prepare for success. 

  • Teens in Tech
  • Girls who Code
  • App Camp 4 Girls
  • Black Girls Code
  • Flatiron School Pre-College
  • Coder Dojo (and Dojocon)
  • iD Tech
  • Digital Media Academy
  • Code in the Schools
  • Code Now

If you are out of college and you'd like to enroll in a coding bootcamp to take your skills to the next level, check out Skilled Up's Ultimate Guide to Coding Bootcamps. And network, network, network to learn about startups in your area that may need coders or interns. 

Summer Programs for Writers

"Write the best story that you can and write it as straight as you can." 

- Ernest Hemingway

Are you the next Hemingway or JK Rowling? If your passion is writing (fiction, poetry, screenwriting, play-writing, etc.), consider some of these summer programs for young writers. I have chosen these for their prestige, competitiveness, rigor, quality, and reputation. Many of the programs listed below are hosted at universities that host the country's most prestigious MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) programs in writing, and many times the teachers at the programs are MFA faculty and candidates themselves. Talk about mentorship!

Meet other talented peers, workshop your pieces, and prepare to enter national writing competitions. I'll have another post shortly on writing contests and opportunities. Make sure to check deadlines, and mark them in your calendar for next year if this coming summer does not work out. 

  • University of Iowa Young Writers Studio
  • University of Iowa Between the Lines
  • Princeton University Summer Journalism Program
  • Stanford University High School Summer College
  • UVA Young Writers Workshop
  • Telluride Association
  • Interlochen
  • Juniper Institute for Young Writers
  • Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop
  • Walnut Hill School for the Arts
  • Sarah Lawrence Writers Workshop
  • California State Summer School for the Arts

As always, reach out if you have any questions, or need assistance with your application. 

Structure Your Summer

"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer." 

- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The summer is fast approaching, and many high schoolers will by now already know how they are spending their break. If you still do not have plans, think seriously about what you want to be doing, whether it is spending time with family, getting a job, volunteering, learning a new (coding) language, or attending a program. 

Programs are great because they provide structure and encourage productivity. They also give a glimpse into campus life. On the other hand, they can be costly, and some are money-making schemes that are best avoided. My general rule of thumb is that a student should think about attending a program if she has a special skill set she really wants to enhance, or if she can gain admission into a prestigious and competitive one (better yet, an all-expenses-paid one!). Otherwise, I am not a huge fan of general "college prep" programs, or other generic and wide ranging "humanities" or "leadership" programs. Make sure to inquire about the daily and weekly schedule - watch out for programs that are heavy on fun trips and socializing but light on the coursework. 

If you don't have a specific agenda, don't go to a program for the sake of going to a program or filling up your summer. In many ways, getting a job painting houses or volunteering at the local animal shelter might be a more valuable use of your time - not to mention probably will lead to a more interesting personal essay. 

If you choose not to attend a program (or for the weeks that you are not in a program), it is a good idea to structure your summer and breakdown your larger goals into deliverables (project management lingo from my days at the hedge fund!). For example, let's say you've decided to write a book. Be honest a tough with yourself: 

  • How much (exactly - in words/pages/etc.) will you complete?
  • How will you structure your day to stay energized, happy, and productive?
  • How will you manage other competing priorities?
  • How often will you check in and evaluate your progress?
  • What will you do if you can’t deliver?
  • What will you do with your product afterwards?
  • Who is going to hold you accountable?
  • What is your reward and “punishment” system?
  • Who will objectively measure of your success, and how?

Answer all these questions when setting any of your goals, so that you can give yourself the most realistic and challenging summer projects possible with the precious time you have. Whatever you choose to do this summer, even if it's as simple (and inexpensive) as reading a book every day, get the most out of it by creating structure, and then setting deliverables. If you're reading every day, why not keep a blog about the experience? :) Document everything. If not for your future self, at least for your future college essay. 

If you need help structuring your grand ideas, or ideas on how to best spend your summer, reach out through the Contact form. 

My next few blog posts will list the best summer programs for those interested in writing, art, science, math, and technology.