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 Tag: summer

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 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.