“To be honest, my dad really didn’t support me going to Northeastern at first because it’s 15 hours away from home. But after I got in, he was actually very happy and supportive. And because I got almost a full ride,” said Mandy Jiang, a high school senior from Spartanburg, S.C. headed to Boston’s Northeastern University this fall.
What you’ll learn:
- How many applications she submitted to land 4 high school internships
- How does a student with Bs and a C get into a college that selects fewer than 20% of applicants?
- The time commitment required to apply for college
How she chose Northeastern
I actually started my college research process very early in high school, like the end of freshman year and early sophomore year. So when COVID hit, I had a lot of time. That was when I dug very deep into doing research. Northeastern has always been at the top of my list. One of the main reasons is because of their co-p. I love doing internships; I’ve done several internships since sophomore year. And the other thing was their combined majors program. I have an interdisciplinary interest in several fields, but the two main ones are business and computer science. Northeastern has that exact program for me, which was the ideal package. The other thing was location. I knew that I wanted to be in an urban setting. Northeastern is in the heart of Boston, but it has his own campus, which is great.
High school internships
One of them, I was an administrative assistant; another one I was an HR assistant manager, and then I was a marketing intern for one and then a social media marketing intern for another. It first started sophomore year during the peak of COVID. I was bored at home, so I just wanted to gain more experience in the field that I wanted to go into, which is e-commerce, business. I actually got a few offers. I got four and I accepted all four. The stress and the pressure were very high. I also applied to over 500, and I almost lost hope that I would get any. And all of them are unpaid, so I was working for free. I just wanted to gain experience; I didn’t really care about whether I was going to get paid or not. And it was a great time. I learned a lot from my peers and I learned a lot about the HR side of it, so it was great. And I also met a lot of new people and learned more about the legal side of business. It was great. I feel like I would do it again.
What got Mandy into Northeastern
Probably my essay and my extracurriculars. Northeastern doesn’t require any supplements, so I focused on the Common Application the most. I think the topic was, “Tell me something about you,” because I got to choose my own topic. So I chose the one about my background. I basically talked about my life growing up with immigrant parents who don’t speak English and always having to translate.
Coming up with a personal statement topic
I actually applied to over 12 summer programs my junior year, so I’d already written several essays in the past on a variety of different topics. So when it