My name is Michael Gao, and I just went through the college admissions process. The process was hard: too hard. Now, I want to help others applying for selective colleges by giving them the best and most recent advice possible through this free podcast as well as a more personalized paid service at Gao Admissions. A lot of people have a lot of advice to give about college applications and test prep. Only a few have actually done it.
I’m an incoming freshman at Columbia University, but I was also accepted to many other top schools including Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University, Emory University, Duke University, and Rice University. I was admitted to and received full merit-based scholarships to the University of Southern California, Swarthmore College, University of Texas’ McCombs Business School, University of Texas at Dallas, Fordham University, and the University of Virginia.
In high school, I was a National Merit Scholar Finalist and the valedictorian of my class. I played viola in my school’s orchestra and was a nationally-ranked debater. I was the president of my school’s National Honor Society and City House’s Youth Advisory Board. My diverse extracurricular, volunteer, and academic experiences will let me advise any student on how to capitalize on their accomplishments and activities.
At Columbia, I hope to pursuit a degree in Economics and, potentially, go to law school.
I know this process is hard because I remember the long and frantic hours writing essays and finalizing my Common App. Now, I want to make it easier for you.
My name is Nhi Nguyen, and I am currently a high school senior at the School for the Talented and Gifted Magnet in Dallas, TX. This summer, I am tackling the difficult college admissions process, so I am seeking out help from other students who have just been through the process.
I am the co-founder of Empowering Young Minds, a tutoring organization that aims to help disadvantaged children with their studies. The organization partners with Promise House, a homeless shelter for children of all ages. Empowering Young Minds tutors on a weekly basis to fill any gaps these at-risk youth might have. On the weekends, I am also a Vietnamese teaching assistant at the Van Lang Dallas school, which is located at Richland College. Having lived in Vietnam for half my life, I am able to use my Vietnamese abilities to the help the students, who are mostly the children of immigrants, learn my language.
Additionally, I participate in many extracurricular activities at school. I am president of our environmental club, Youth for Global Improvement. I am also a member of major clubs such as Robotics, Pan American Student Forum and Destination Imagination. Outside of school, I have been practicing Taekwondo and Piano for about 12 years. I am able to bring a diverse perspective due to my engagement in many activities.
This summer I will be a intern at Parkland Hospital as a part of the Dallas Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program. I will be assisting in the North Texas Poison Control center. I look forward to continuing to pursue my activities while preparing for the college admissions process.
My name is Dominic Cischke, and I am currently a high school senior at the School for the Talented and Gifted Magnet in Dallas, TX. I am currently going through the college application process and I hope to share my experience with those who are looking for guidance through this difficult and confusing process.
I am heavily involved in the Boy Scouts of America where most of my extracurricular time is spent. I am an Eagle Scout and have earned all of the currently offered merit badges. Every summer I organize a merit badge camp for Boy Scouts, which attracts people across Texas, along with my father and about 20 other staff members. The program allows us to aid scouts in earning hundreds of merit badges each summer. My main involvement in Scouting is the Order of the Arrow. I am currently planning a trip to the National Order of the Arrow Conference for 100 Boy Scouts from Dallas in which I lead a committee of 20 youth and adults to plan everything from transportation to the theme parks we visit. I am also currently planning a winter camp for my Boy Scout Council where I will lead a staff of over 200 people to provide a 5 day camp for over 1000 participants. Through the Order of the Arrow I have been able to further my service to others, something I regard highly. The program has allowed me to participate in eye-opening service projects such as Hurricane relief to the Boy Scout camp in Puerto Rico during spring break of my Junior year, bike trail construction in the New River Gorge National Park Area, and reconstruction of Fort Jefferson of the Dry Tortugas National Park in the Gulf of Mexico to name a few. These amazing experiences provide the motivation to return to Dallas and give back to the program which has given me so much.
Outside of Scouting I am a businessman at heart where I work on my clothing line that my friend and I founded, operate my snow cone business of 2 years, and invest in and track cryptocurrency.
As of now, I would like to pursue my university education in either business, economics, or politics and I would love to have a career which combines elements of these fields.