Internships, Research and Camps
Internships: All seniors in Troy Tech are required to complete a 150-hour internship in the summer. By the time spring of junior year rolls around, you will be under great pressure to locate an appropriate internship site. If you have portrayed yourself as a science buff in your application, the admissions officer reading your application will probably expect you to have research experience of some sort. Many people take research internships in CalState Fullerton, UCI, and UCLA, among other locations (e.g. Caltech). Under which institution you do your internship should not matter, but it is important to find a mentor who will provide ample support for the research competitions described above.
Let me tell you, most internships end up as paper-pushing or doing nothing and playing video games. You want to not fall into these traps – you want to DO something and be able to prove to colleges “SEE THIS IS WHAT I’VE DONE AND IT’S IMPORTANT”. Don’t slack off – even if all your peers are. However, if you want to do well in good competitions, such as Siemens or Intel, you might want to locate your internship during your sophomore year, so that you have an extra year under your belt. It also improves the impact your internship gives in the application process because you are effectively doing twice the work.
Camps: COSMOS is good. Nice way to buff your resume-whoreness. Downside is that you have to pay a couple thousand dollars. Most other camps do the same thing – they show that you want to deepen your interests in a specific topic and they offer excellent courses to actually do so. I mean, if you have a summer to waste and money to burn, do them. There are also lots of camps popping up at Harvard, Stanford, Yale, etc., especially targeted to international students from China with money to burn. Here’s a list of a few:
Ever wondered how important the name of your high school is for college admissions?