Johns Hopkins University Panel
Want to learn more about what it takes to apply to and attend Johns Hopkins University? Join recent alums Alexander Forlenza and Michael Pham as they discuss their admissions, undergraduate, and graduate experiences. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2022-08-23 – Johns Hopkins University Panel
Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisors Johns Hopkins University Panel. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation, then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab.
Now let’s meet our panelists. Um, so I’m Alexander Forlenza, I just graduated a couple months ago. I majored in econ, applied math, and political science. And, uh, currently I’m working at Columbia as a research assistant in their economics department.
Hi everyone. My name’s Michael. I just recently graduated this past August with a masters in business administration from JHU Carey Business school and I reside in the bay area. In addition, I’m currently at Stanford medicine where I’m the business operational manager within the interventional platform.
Nice to have you all. Great. Very impressive. Congratulations to you both for, um, graduating recently. That’s great to hear. So now we’re gonna go into our first poll. We wanna get a sense of what grade you are in. So let us know so that we can, you know, definitely address our audience accordingly.
Okay. So the responses are coming in. We have about 42% of our attendees are in the 12th grade, followed by that 35% are in 11th grade, 19%, 10th grade. And then we have a few that are in the ninth grade and other. So I will turn it over to you all to share more about Johns Hopkins.
Uh, yeah, so for my actual college process, it, it was a little bit hectic for me, but, um, it started off with finding schools. As most people look at, um, taking the SAT a couple times and getting rec letters for my senior year. Um, I went on a couple college tours, bunch of local ones, and then Hopkins I went to, and it really sold me pretty easily.
It was a kind of really rainy day, terrible weather. And I still really loved the campus and everyone there, um, and, you know, filling out financial aid forms. And I ended up going to Hopkins for several reasons, namely academics in their curriculum. Um, cuz I was able to triple major, which is kind of nice when I’ve not been able to do that everywhere.
And don’t tell my mother this, but also the Baltimore Ravens are there and you know, little bit of incentive.
Uh, next slide. Yeah. So I couldn’t consider any other schools at the time cuz it was Early Decision school. And when you get in it’s binding. So I had to actually rescind all my other applications. Um, like I mentioned before, it was a really flexible curriculum. Initially when I started, I was looking at like five or six different majors cause I really didn’t know what I wanted to do in the end.
So the ability to work around and kind of figure out what I wanted to do was really helpful. Um, besides the Ravens, the city is really nice. I really liked it. And for me personally, it’s like two and a half, three hours from home on a train. So really helpful in that regard to be close to home for me. Um, and colliding these majors, cuz like I said, five or six majors when I started.
Um, but as it went on, these are the majors that I felt like I can have the most impact with my career and going forward and the topics I enjoy the most, which is also why I’m doing research and economics right now. Cuz. Kind of combines a lot of policy and there’s so much math and economics. So that’s really why Adrian and what I majored.
Oh, now we’re gonna go into our next poll, which we wanna know, where are you in the college application process? Um, and as the participants are, our attendees are, let us know. Alexander, you talked a little bit earlier about EDing. Um, can you share with everyone what that actually means? What does ED mean.? Um, so there’s a bunch of different ways you can apply to colleges.
Early Decision is a binding decision where you apply to a school early. Um, for me, it was November 1st, I believe. And that school, if you get in, you have to go to that school, regardless of if you get into other schools. Um, there are some like extreme circumstances, like if aid is like really, really different and it would be a real struggle for you to go to that school.
But generally if you get into your ED school, you have to go there. And usually the early decision schools, you have a little bit higher of an acceptance rate. Like I know Hopkins had like a 2 or 3% acceptance rate difference when I applied. Great, thank you for sharing. Okay. So now, as far as our poll, we got our responses in, so about 47% of our attendees are currently in the research phase.
They’re researching their schools followed by that we have 26% that are working currently on their essay. So I would assume probably working on Johns Hopkins University essays, uh, 15% are getting their application material together. And then about 12% haven’t started. I’ll turn it back over to you all.
All right. So this is my turn. So I’m a little bit different because I went on to graduate school. So I just wanna give you guys a little bit highlight in terms of the perspective, because Undergraduate/Graduate has two different application process. So similar to how undergraduate. Here in graduate school, you usually typically take a standardized test as well.
Similar, similar to SAT, but in our version, because we’re in the business school, we take the GMAT exam. So for me, I really spent the entire, uh, during the time when we were during the pandemic lockdown, I spent those past couple months really studying and really just making sure that I get the score that I wanted.
And. In addition while getting that ready, you gotta see the letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are very critical just as undergraduate, but also in graduate school too. This really highlights in terms of key qualities. Why are you a best fit for their school, but what makes you unique as well?
And what are some characteristic that we should know of? So this LOR that whoever you’re seeking, I always recommend you have one professor, a teacher that you definitely connect really well, but also, also too, your community, who can someone highlight in terms of your leadership involvement, your extracurricular, that’s gonna be very profound for you, but in the graduate school that usually consider that within the workforce.
So you’re working actively, you will want to go to your direct boss to get that letter of recommendation. In addition, where you already started to see an undergraduate, you have one main essay in terms of the comment app. And in addition to that, you have supplements. Similar to that process as well. At JHU Carey, we had to write multiple personal statements, one really describing why do you want to attend Carey Business school?
But two also really highlighting who are you? You know, what are, what is special about you? What makes you so unique? And that’s gonna be a way for them just to get to know you beyond what you already submit from the academic records, through all your extracurricular. This is really to get to know you on a personal level.
So really, really hone on those personal statements, because that is your really your time to brag about yourself. And then the other component is really updating and polishing resume. So a resume is very critical and you may have learned maybe a little bit in your high school, but in undergraduate, you’re gonna start putting things together.
What was your leadership experience? What was your work experience? Any clubs or organization that you participated in this is really gonna help them. Do you have a really overview in terms of what have you done during the past couple years and why are you applying in terms of our organization and how does that fit with their current role in terms of what you’re applying intending to apply for?
And then lastly, submitting your transcript. So it doesn’t matter what college you attend, either from a local community college, through a various different university that you attend, you have to submit it all. And that is tend to be the longest process. And that’s similar for undergraduate as well. So I highly recommend you to really submit, and there are some students that I know who had done dual enrollment.
So you already done dual enrollment where you went to a local community college. Get that ready because you have to submit those and you don’t wanna delay your process. So that was my overview in terms of what I did with my own college process. And I think having just a general outline in terms of like your key steps and your deadline, or when to meet is gonna help you keep on track.
So you don’t feel overwhelmed. So do it in chunks and pieces. In addition, Where, why was I considering any other school and why I made the decision to, to attend Johns Hopkins in specific their business school? One definitely look at the university mission value, the organizational culture and inclusiveness.
This is very, very critical. The reason why I say it’s because one, you might be spending your entire four years there, or two, if you go to your graduate school, you might be spending there two or more years there as well. So this is really gonna be your home. Your new home based might be temporarily or forever.
So you really wanna be able to make sure that you have that connection with the university, because the last thing, what you wanna do is like, I don’t feel like I’m connected to the school, or I do not like the weather or I do not like the community that I’m involved with and then just end up being miserable.
That’s not gonna be fun. You wanna make the best out of aware of you’re attending. So be very, very mindful of that. So really figure out where are some other organization that you could be participating in in addition. The reason why I chose carry business school because I was doing a administrative fellowship at Stanford medicine.
So I wanted to be able to have the flexibility of being able to school do school remotely, but also I ended up doing it full time because I was on the west coast as compared to the east coast. So I was already three hours behind you could say, and I was able to take full course, uh, full course load during the morning and then be able to work throughout the entire day.
So that was really fulfilling for me to know that Johns Hopkins does value that in terms of being able to make sure that you are still a working professional. And then lastly, the brand and reputation. JHU as you all know, we definitely are very well known in terms of research. And one thing that you guys probably have seen throughout the entire pandemic is the COVID response dashboard that was monumental.
So really Hopkins has a reputation in terms of healthcare medicine and whatever that may be in, in terms of, for you. But for me, I love that. And that’s something that is my core passion in terms of healthcare and how can we help those that may be unfortunate, the marginalized community. And I believe that what that reputation and that brand can help you get to the next level.
So why did I major in business administration specifically? So originally I was pre-med and I realized there was a, a calling after, when I graduated from UC Berkeley, that there was something more beyond than just becoming a physician for me. And I had to figure that out after just shadowing clinical, doing clinical clinical experiences with a lot of our clinician, and eventually what I learned.
And it’s like, well, I wanna be a leader, not just from the micro level, but, but from the macro level and a business administration will allow me to do that because you are making key strategy, executive decision. If you have that sort of background knowledge. The second part was really enhancing my critical thinking communication and constant adaptability.
As we already know, you have to constantly adapt through whatever your field is, but you wanna be also be challenged as well. And without the communication, how can you express what you want? And as a business administration, you have that opportunity to do that, and they teach you the fundamentals to really think about how do you make an action, or for example, within a business, if you’re running an organization, what are some tough calls that you have to make?
And this is why a business administration can be very beneficial of that as well. And then lastly, my goal was to become one of the first exec on wheels in healthcare, within the C-suite leadership. What does that mean? I am a person with a disability I’m in a wheelchair. We don’t see many people, one pursuing master’s degree and two being part of the decision making table at the very forefront.
I wanna change that. And I knew that in order for me to really do that, a business administration degree will allow me to get to where I need to be. And it has. And now we will move on to question and answers. Thank you. Thank you, Michael. Thank you, Alexander. Very impressive background. Um, I really enjoy just hearing more about your experiences at Johns Hopkins.
Now we’ll have the opportunity for our attendees to ask more questions of you all. Um, so again, I hope you all found the information that our panels were sharing helpful. And just a reminder, you can download the slides from the link and the handouts tab. So now we’re gonna move on to the live Q&A, how this is gonna work is I’m gonna read through the questions that you submit in the Q&A tab I’ll then paste them into the public chat so that you all can see them and read them out loud.
Before our panel list gives you an answer as a heads up, if your Q&A tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not the webinar landing page. Okay. So now to our first question, um, it reads, why did you choose to go into healthcare?
Why did you choose to go into healthcare? I think this is for, this is for Michael or, you know, the was the answer. Um, the reason why I went into healthcare because as a young child, when I was born, I had cerebral palsy and I knew after going through over six, multiple surgery, I wanted to be able to provide sort of a, uh, way of giving a service back to others.
However, when I went into sort of that path of my pre-med track, I would really ignite that like, oh, I really can’t wait to be, become a doctor, pay for all what my doctors and nurses did for me. But then you start to realize and think this is part of the journey. So that’s why I always tell people, never, ever rush your journey because when you rush it, then you might get lost all of a sudden it’s like, oh, why did I decide to do that?
All of a sudden, if that’s not my passion, healthcare is still my passion. It may not be directly medicine where I’m treating.
People, but I could feel like I still get, get to be a part of it where I’m helping them. And I knew that in that when I decided to pivot careers, that was the reason why I, because I knew that as an executive leader, you can make big changes on a macro level as compared to a micro level. It’s not saying that you cannot make it as a doctor or a clinician or such.
You still can, but the impact is different and there’s a lot of bureaucracy that goes involved. It. So in the end, as you all may know, you know, policy changes are big. They are the one that really comes down on the federal level and impact healthcare overall. So really, if you really wanna get into healthcare and make the difference, that’s where it is.
The policy changes. So that’s sort of my direction, but in order to really understand that I had to become a leader within myself. And that’s where I did the administrative fellowship, just expos. And that’s why I kept it ever since, because, and then I wanted to continue to help those who are less unfortunate and who doesn’t have it as much as we do so gotta gotta pay it.
Thank you. Thank you. Um, Alexander, the, the next question will, um, have you answer, what was your favorite part of Hopkins culture? Um, so there’s a lot, um, and it really shifted over the pandemic cuz you know, people can’t go out as much and stuff, but recently they’ve opened a well, they should open a student center, which is gonna be enormous in the middle of campus and going to be like the best place cuz where everyone walks through.
But culture wise, after your sophomore year, you end up living off campus. Generally speaking, there’s a few exceptions here and there. Like generally you’re gonna be off campus, which means those first two years are really where you make all your friends and all your friend groups. And so for me personally, I was in student gov my freshman year.
And the process to do that is you have to get like hundreds and hundreds of signatures. So I ended up meeting like half my grade, the first two weeks of school. And that really became the best part of the culture is just knowing everyone everywhere I went and just saying hi, cuz it’s really small school.
And even if you don’t end up in student government, you’ll probably know 90% of your grade by the time you graduate, which is really nice. And I really enjoy. And it’s firstly, my favorite part of the culture
a little bit about your favorite part of the Hopkins culture for me, I think one of my favorite part was I got to work with students all around the world and at the business school. And this is probably for undergraduate too, as well. You get to work with so many diversity people and you get to see the way that they think the way that, how they express their ideas.
Then you get to collaborate. I think that’s the beauty’s like, how do you foster collaboration with one another, but where you won’t be judged at all? So that’s why I love about a G2, because that culture is so important. It’s like, whatever ideas that you have, you have the ability to share it and people won’t be ashamed of that.
They want to embrace it. And although, also challenge you to think also critically cuz like how can you expand on what you already done? So that’s the cool thing about really the culture of what I have experienced so far. Thank you. Um, the questions are coming in, so definitely, um, attendees, continue to ask an, ask your questions and we’ll answer them accordingly.
What, um, next question is, what are the acceptance guidelines for Hopkins?
Could you repeat that? Yeah. What are, what are the acceptance guidelines? So kind of, what are, what do you need in order to get into Hopkins from your perspective, maybe Alexander, you wanna share from just like the undergrad experience? Like, what do you think are some of the things that you need our students need to know in order for them to maybe be accepted?
Um, well you get all the stats off of our website and just generally looking on there. So you should know where your GPA range and your standard test scores should be generally. Um, but I think personally Hopkins really appreciates being able to work in a group and being able to be both a leader and a follower in that when I applied my supplemental essay was on what’s something you did in a group in high school.
How did that impact you and what the importance of what that was? So if you have, if. Before junior year, if you’re a sophomore or something and you really have the time and ability to go join a group and go be part of something bigger than yourself, Hopkins will really appreciate that on an application, I think.
Okay. Thank you. Our next question. Um, and Michael, we’ll start with you first for this one. What attributes or qualities that you walk away with after attending? Um, JHU Ooh, that’s a very good one. It is. I think, uh, one specific attribute that I learned is to be authentic and to, and be vulnerable and to have the courage to lead.
What do I mean by that? Um, as you may all have known when, during the pandemic, we end up being in this little box in terms of zoom role. And for me, that was one of the most greatest experience that I have never, ever encountered in my life. One, because people didn’t know if I had a disability or not. So I used that opportunity to do myself as a test, to see if people would recognize or not.
And when I was in a group project, I asked my peer after completing it, after eight weeks said, you know, do you guys notice if I had a disability? They said, no. So I think one thing that I love about it is that I got to be authentic. I got to be myself. I got to really showcase in terms of my talent while people judging me immediately.
And that was the blessing just getting from JHU. So I think that was one key attribute that I learned is that no matter where you are in life, definitely be able to own your story because your story is valid and don’t be able, don’t be afraid to be able to share with one another as well. And don’t use that as a way where to hold you down, but use that ability to move you forward.
Yeah. Um, actually I’m gonna riff off of one of Michael’s earlier answers about diversity because there, especially in undergrad, in my experience, there’s just so many different people there. And there’s just so many different perspectives. You’ll see that you really learn who you are and who you aren’t at Hopkins, which is one of the best things is really finding who you are as your own identity, because you see so many different people, you kind of figure out, oh, I’m like this, or I’m not like this.
And that’s really the best part is there’s so many different perspectives you can see and figure out your own to add onto what Alexander just said. Embrace change. Y’all like embrace failure, try it all. That’s what undergraduate is about. Really figuring out what you like and what you don’t like. Just use that as a way to really figure out.
Are you good at science? Or are you interested in research or are you also interested in being able to create your own organization? Whatever it is definitely use as ability because this is a one time thing that you’re ever doing in undergrad. So make it mini as mistake as you can. No one will ever judge you for that.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Undergrad was one of my best experiences in life. I agree. Um, the next question, um, and this one, um, Alexander, I’ll let you answer this one. How are classes structured at JSU? Are they large and lectured based or small and discussion based? Um, yeah, so there’s a lot of both actually.
So it really depends on your major, what year you are a bunch of things. I had classes that were up to 400 people in a giant lecture hall till classes where I had eight people and we just talked in a room in a discussion. So it really depends on what your major is, how big the major is. So like generally, if you’re gonna be a pre-med in your freshman year, you’re gonna have a lot of 400 kid classes.
But if you end up being really refined in something really specific, like my later year, econ classes were just discussions on papers that were at most 12 kids and they got as small as eight. So it really depends. Um, you can actually look at a lot of this stuff. If you have like a specific major in mind on the website for the core schedules, you can see like class sizes and stuff.
Um, but generally, uh, after your sophomore year you will have smaller class sizes. Okay. And, oh, Michael, did you wanna add to that? Oh no. I say that’s phenomenal. I never experienced undergrad only graduate school, but. I can’t echo. That is what we do in grad school as well, where it’s very small little intimate group really depends.
And then they all do lectures in the beginning, but then you go in these little hubs of group discussion that you do break out. So it’s very, very similar. Thank you. Um, and then this question is still kind of talking about the environment. Um, so, um, I’m not sure if either one of you all, I think Michael, you said you attended during the pandemic, but how, how are the dorms and just the overall environment at Hopkins?
Oh, to Alexander. I never did dorms there. Yeah. Um, so freshman year dorms, you’re 99% of the time gonna have a roommate in the same room as you. Um, sometimes you have two. I had a triple room my freshman year, which is a lot, but it was also the cheapest option, which was saving me a couple hundred bucks every month, which was kind of nice.
Um, but after your sophomore year, you live off campus and there’s a bunch of apartment buildings around. So your first two years are gonna be on campus your second year. Usually you have a room to yourself. It’s a bit nicer housing. Uh, all of them are pretty close and really directly on campus. So not much of a walk.
And then after your junior and senior year, you’re gonna be right next to campus because there’s a lot of off campus house thing, cuz all the juniors are seniors are off. Um, usually you can find housing pretty easily on the website and all of that. So that’s generally housing lineup. Okay. Thank you. Um, next question and Michael, we’ll let you start this one off.
Do you think you make the right choice in going to Hopkins? a very good one. Um, I think I made the right choice because one, I got to experience the best of both world while being a fellow at Stanford medicine and being a student on the east coast of JHU. I got to create a new network then I never ever imagined before I have attended colleges all my life in the bay area.
and never really ex expect to really outreach to a different east coast. And I’m glad that I did because JHU opened my eyes and I never ever envisioned in terms of how big the world out there is, but envision the network opportunity. So now I have my west coast network, but I also have my east coast and JHU has definitely provided me more than I ever imagined.
The way that I say it’s because I had the ability to study abroad that was phenomenal and never got to do an undergrad, but I got to do that in graduate school. Really got to really work with key high level faculty, really relationship with them. I came from a public school where we had over 700 students in undergrad, and it was hard to make a relationship, but here at JHU, your faculty, your professor, they care about you.
And that’s why I really love. So I think I wholeheartedly said I was very happy about JHU and I would do it again. If I had to. Uh, yeah, so I’ve been a CollegeAdvisor for two years now and now for another couple, with a CollegeAdvisor and looking back on how I applied to colleges, I probably should not have gotten into Hopkins.
Like I did just looking at my process and looking at my list creation, but I got lucky and personally, I think it was the best option for me at the time and I wouldn’t regret it at all. Okay. Thank you. Okay. So next question. What do JSU students do outside of academics? So besides going to class, what else do you all do?
Or did you do? Uh, well, yeah, so for me personally, the last couple years, I’ve had a lot of jobs. Uh, last year I had four jobs outside of school, which was fun. And then I also had a couple clubs I was in, I was in, um, a healthcare volunteering club where we brought a bunch of medical supplies and hygienic supplies to, uh, housing units around the city.
And just, I was also on our newsletter and also student government. So it’s a lot, there’s a lot I did. And people can do a lot mostly because I know I had a lot of pre-med friends cuz of Hopkins and all of them have a billion internships and a billion research opportunities outside of school. So there’s always a lot to do.
And there’s, I, I forget the number, but it’s the highest amount of student clubs per like student it’s kind of ridiculous
from a grad perspective. Uh, it’s a little bit different. So yes, you still have your club and your organization on higher level. but here is where you get to really network. So the school was typically put on events and usually you have the ability to go outside of your class hour and do that. But most of the time people are also working professionals.
So they end up doing like an internship program. And that’s usually what happens in the summer and that’s what people do outside. But in the end, what they’re just trying to do is really how do we create a network network is so important. That’s what business is all about. So in, when you’re not doing your studies, that’s what you’re doing, or you’re hanging out with people and really just trying to build that relationship.
And then usually they end up being like a think tank. So usually if you have the idea and you wanna launch a product and such people do that as well. So it’s really fun, really, depending on the conversation, the people that you have with. Okay. So our next question, uh, so what advice do you have for someone who wants to major in the healthcare field?
I would say, definitely know, why are you doing it? It’s very cliche. When people said, I just wanna help people. What is it about? Is it about you wanna change the way that we view medicine? And we see it today where healthcare innovation technology has taken to a different level. Is it because you wanna do that, where you wanna be able to influence change or was it something very personal that you encountered, but you learned that there was a lot of in access to a lot of different parts and you wanna change that.
Really think about what is that, why? And then definitely show your growth. So what I mean by growth is showing that you’re demonstrating your progress of why you wanna go into healthcare. So if you’re starting off as a pre-med and you wanna become a doctor, show me that you have done clinical volunteer experiences, show me that you had done research, but also show me that you’re a leader and then advocate.
Those are really, uh, the core pillar in some areas because medicine is all about how do we help influence change within our own community, but also how do we get individual to be self aware of their own diagnosis and how can they be a champion so they can better their own life, but also other people as well.
And we’re gonna need people, people like you, who are true leaders to help us with that, because we know there are people who cannot speak for themselves, and that’s what they’re really looking for as well. So you gotta demonstrate those qualities. If you can. Great. Well said, well said, um, our next question and, uh, Michael, I know you just answered, but I’ll I, this one’s gonna be directed to you again.
Uh, if someone was looking to eventually go into graduate school at John Hopkins, would it be beneficial to attend as an undergrad at Hopkins first? Well, think about it this way. Say that you did went to undergrad at JSU at yourself. Can you live here for another four years? If you decided to pursue graduate school?
The reason why I say that is because some people want to reach out and ex explore other cities. You guys are young. There’s so much that the world has to offer. So really think about, can you really see yourself living here for the next couple? And then two, when you think about graduate school, you gotta think about this as a perspective.
Are there key faculty, are there key individuals that you feel like you could really resonate with? Someone who support your work and help you get to the next level? That’s where mentorship come along. And if you see a mentorship and you feel like someone that you can connect and who will guide you through your.
Then I will say, go for it. But if you cannot find that don’t pursue graduate school, that institution, because then it’s all about the fit. It’s all about making sure that the people that you surround yourself with is gonna help you to whatever your next chapter is. Um, yeah, on top of it, uh, Hopkins, I know for all of their engineering, undergrad majors, uh, they usually have a five year master’s program, so it’s kind of nice.
It transfers over, you end up getting grad classes in your senior year. Uh, we also have our public health school, which also has a master’s program attached to the undergrad. And then we also have seis, which is our international studies school in DC, where you have three years in Baltimore, then one year at DC and then one year abroad.
So there’s actually a lot of crossover for several majors. Interest napkin for grad school. Great. We love hearing all the options. Uh, so Alexander, maybe you can answer this question because you did apply early decision. And so this question reads, you know, did you apply early decision? Yes, you did. But, um, do you feel like you had to rush to get your application material together, or so maybe any advice for students who are applying to apply early decision?
Um, personally, I didn’t, because usually the way you’re applying to school is you try to get that main common app application done in all your letters are rec around the same time. Um, so like the college application itself, I didn’t feel too rush financial aid. On the other hand, it was a bit much for me, cuz there’s a back then you can upload FSFA without like going through and scanning every single document of your taxes.
But um, the actual college application wasn’t too rushed. Uh, as long as you get a jump on it as like you should start, if you’re a senior, start around now looking at all the applications. I know common app just opened recently. So this is around where you should start. If you’re trying to get early decision, especially like figuring out which school you’re gonna ed to.
Thank you. Next question. Um, did you have scholarships, um, getting into the school? Did you, did you all receive any scholarships
with Alexander? Um, so I, I got a lot of financial aid and then I also had a couple outside scholarships. Um, generally I know they don’t offer like merit scholarships cuz they’re like a hundred percent need based. And like anything that would be alone would basically be paid for by Hopkins. So just to help, uh, people clarify on the call, a need base is basically they take your FAFSA.
They look at your expected family contribution, the lower it is, the more support you may get from the institution. So that’s why it’s very important. Fill out your FAFSA. So that’s where need base come in. If they see that you meet this threshold, you know, you don’t make that much money in terms of family wise income, then they’ll give you more in terms of that.
And then other school, not just, just at JSU, you know, but other school they do merits. So that’s where also where they look at your stats, your score and such, they may award you as scholarship. That was for my case in my institution. So it really depends. So what I will encourage you all to really focus and really.
What merits base do they have at that Pacific school? And what is the need financial base? Because each needs financial base is different. Just to give you an example, Stanford, if you make less than at least one 20 around that cap around that area, you may end up getting a full ride because they recognize that this is a bay area, costly needs a little bit expensive.
We know that. So they’ll give you more of a, a need based financial aid. So really do your homework and do your research. And in addition, scholarship, just because a school may not offer you scholarship, there, there are plenty scholarship across the entire nation. And I encourage you all to really look, look into the PG E.
There was the gate scholarship, and then they’re in addition, there are also the Brian Cameron scholarship for any of those who might be a senior. These are scholarship that could also support you every little money counts. So regardless if it’s maybe a hundred dollars or it could be up to 5,000, apply as many as you can.
You never know where the road would take. You. Last thing that they will ever do is say, no, you just move on your life. Not no harm, no foul. So I encourage you to do that as well. Cool. Okay. So next question. What would you say that JSU looks for most when submitting an application? What are some things you should make sure you do in high school?
Um, I, I can speak for general colleges and JSU definitely fits in here, but do what you want to do. Um, something you’re passionate about, they really like to see someone who has like an idea of where they’re headed. What’s important to them. So really try, start figuring out who you are as a person and do something you’re passionate about.
Juju specifically, they might lean a little bit to more towards research, just cuz they like really like research at our school. They pride themselves on the amount of research undergrads do. So. If I was gonna say something, maybe research, but do it in something you’re interested in something you’re passionate about.
Something you really wanna learn more.
What I would say is this, as what Alexander just said, do things that yours you’re passionate about, but in the end, whatever institution who will admire and preach you, you for who you are, that’s the right institution. Why be fake, or why be someone else that you’re not, and not truthful to yourself or the authenticity that’s not gonna help.
So definitely just showcase yourself, show what you love, show what you want to do, show what you want to do in terms of how you wanna make the impact in the world. And if an institution sees that and they resonate with your own mission and your value along with theirs, then that would be the great fit for you right there.
So in the end, you will never know unless you apply. So just definitely give that a shot. Nice. Our next question reads. Oh, I think it disappeared. Oh, how helpful and accessible are the instructors slash teachers at JHU in your experience? Um, they’re, they’re wonderful. Uh, for me personally, I have a couple of their numbers on my phone.
Some of them, I still talk to one of them. I got a gift for his son. So like, once you get to those classes where you’re like really focused in, and there’s like eight people in them, you really learn who your professors are. You really learn if they like you or not. So it’s really nice to be able to like, have that relationship with professors, but they’re usually accessible.
Yeah. I agree. Wholeheartedly. These professor are amazing. The faculty, they really want you to succeed, but you have to put the time and effort in, so really get to know them while they get to know you. And you start to build that natural rapport. And just like what Alexander said, you’ll build strong relationship people that you’ll keep in contact probably even after you graduate.
And those are the people that you need to have in your corner, because those are the one that has all the wisdom and knowledge. So if you ever get stuck at any point, at least you could go to them immediately. It’s like, Hey, I’m considering graduate school. I’m don’t know what to do. At least you have that cuz you build that relationship.
So they are very accessible. They want you to succeed in life. So definitely don’t be afraid to chit chat with them. That’s really unique and special. I love hearing that. Um, this question is how connected are JHU students to Baltimore
it’s as connected as you want to be. So, um, Hopkins as a campus is part of the city, um, just geographically, but it’s kind of sectioned off in a way that like you can tell what’s Hopkins and what’s generally Baltimore city. Um, that being said. If you want to go explore Baltimore, you’re like really able to, there’s a bunch of free buses that run to, and from like the rest of the city.
And there’s plenty of volunteering opportunity in the city. That Hopkins is a part of. So if you want to be part of the city, it’s right there all of the time, anytime you want it to be. And if you don’t, it’s not gonna bother you during class time.
Okay. Our next question. Thank you for answering now, Alexander. Um, are you able to take classes in the grad school as an undergrad? I think Alexander definitely answer that you can, you know, you can definitely express your interest, but also make sure you work with your counselor because those are the one that’s gonna make sure you’re on the academic track, making sure you graduate, but if you start to peak interest, definitely go for it.
And as what Alexander mentioned, they do have those four plus one program. Where you’re able to pursue a master if you wish. And if you really wanna be able to knock it all in one setting, go for it. So there’s no, uh, you know, there’s no a right or wrong answer that you cannot, but definitely you gotta show initiative though.
Okay. So next question is in regards to triple major. Um, so I wanna ask, like, what’s the benefit of being a triple major and what is the biggest challenge of being a triple major? Um, biggest benefit is I get to learn things I like, which is always fun. Um, but really speaking for like, what I’m going to do eventually is I got the technical skills from a lot of my math to go for econ.
And then I got just a lot of like power and structure and all of that, like big philosophical stuff from political science. So kind of all melds together. So the benefit for me is, yeah, they’re three distinct majors, but they meld together in a way that I find it interesting. um, the biggest heartache is really having a bunch of different advisors for each one who don’t really know the other majors and trying to like figure out how it all works together.
And sometimes like classes that should count for certain things. Don’t, it’s really just the bureaucracy and kind of working through that. But if you email the right people, enough times, everything works out okay. So this question asks, what does work study look like at Hopkins?
Yeah, so there’s a lot of different jobs around campus. It really depends on what you wanna do. Um, you can end up doing research for work study. Uh, and my job was college advising for work study, a different one was just working on our sports teams. There’s a website for all the schools on campus and there’s a couple off campus.
So you can actually work at our like Chipotle for work study. So anywhere that really accepts government funding and is like, Cash job, not a cash job where you have like paperwork and taxes. You can work for work study at Hopkins. That’s really good to hear. That’s great to hear. So I’m gonna give you all just a second to pause, because I’m gonna share a little bit more about CollegeAdvisor for those in the room who aren’t already working with us.
We know that the college admission process is overwhelming for parents and students alike. Our team of over 300 former admission officers and admission experts are ready to help you and your family navigated all in a one on one advising session and last year’s admission cycle. Our students were accepted into Harvard at three times the national rate and accepted into Stanford at 4.4 times the national rate.
Sign up for a free consultation with us by registering for our free web platform at app.CollegeAdvisor.com. That’s app.CollegeAdvisor.com their students and their families can explore webinars, keep track of application deadlines, research schools, and more all on our website. So that is more, that is some information about CollegeAdvisor.
And then once you, we end the webinar, there’ll be another screen that pops up where you’re able to learn more about signing up for a free consultation with us. Okay. So now we’re gonna go back to our question and answer, um, continue, um, audience, continue to ask any questions that you may have because we have about 15 minutes left.
So next question. Can you declare your major and your application? or you apply undecided to the end of your sophomore year. So question anything more like maybe if you know anything about applying undecided? Um, I think that’s probably where the question is trying to, trying to go. Uh, yeah, so I actually applied undecided and, um, generally for options, you can only really apply if you wanna do one major and that’s their BME program, cuz their requirements make it so that you have to that major before you actually apply.
Um, but everything else you can’t technically do until your sophomore year, cuz they just don’t allow you to declare your major until you go through that first level of classes. You can obviously take the classes towards that major, but it’s not like official until after that freshman. Okay, thank you.
Thank you. Um, and maybe Michael, you wanna answer this question? What, um, I know you went to Hopkins for grad school, um, but you went to undergrad. Uh, so what extracurricular activities did you do in high school to help shape your intended major? In high school? I did a lot. So one thing that I wanted to show my admission officer that is I’m a leader regardless of my disability.
So I end up managing one of the largest club at my high school, which is called interact club. So it’s a service rotary club where you go out to your community and do service work. So I end up being president for that. I end up doing book clubs, so managing a club where we get to read to, uh, elementary students where it was right down for our high school.
So I got to lead that as a president, as. In addition, I was very involved with my leadership, so ASB, so, you know, the student body government, so got to participate as that and really be able to make sure in terms of schoolwide initiative, how did we work with that? Got to work with best studies. So best studies organization with people with developmental disability, how did we create friendship for amongst other people who are sort of not able, able to do it?
So I was president of that. So those were some like the key one. And then in addition outside that ended up volunteering at Kaiser as well, just to show my interest and my passion in terms of why I wanted to do healthcare. So I got to blend all that in, in terms of high school wise. So, and then in undergrad, I basically did a little bit of research where I used to work for the, um, uh, San Francisco general hospital.
And then I did a lot in terms of volunteering at the bay area hospital from Kaiser Sutter. so there was a lot involved with that children hospital. So I got to do a little bit of inpatient experience, but also really be able to create a program of my own as well, where I educated people on about people with disability.
So that’s how I got involved. And then I ended up doing a, uh, leadership role where I was part of the alumni association and became an executive director there. So in the end, you, it does not stop in high school. What I’m trying to say, you gotta continue to grow that passion and you’re interested in medicine.
You gotta do what you do in undergrad as well because medical school is gonna ask you, how did your passion, and you wanna create that little journey for them of how you started and that you’re still continuing that journey, but you end up figuring out this is why you end up deciding that medicine was your calling.
So continuing to show that as.
Alexander. Do you wanna add to that question about your extracurriculars that you did in high school? Um, yeah. I really only had two really, really major extracurriculars and they were also the ones I was most passionate about. So I, I was captain of my lacrosse team, which was just fun. I, I really miss it actually.
Cuz sports are just something you never really get to do again after you become like 23. Cause there’s just not really an outlet for it. Um, so there’s a lot of leadership, a lot of organization, the yada yada yada, with being a captain of lacrosse team. But the one that I can still do now is I volunteered at my, uh, boys and girls club for like six years.
And there’s a bunch of national conferences just go along with that. There’s a lot of, um, teen groups that were also volunteering across the country and learning from them was really nice experience. And really, I. The best way for me to show who I wanted to be for Hopkins is I was passionate about the people in my community.
I wanted to donate my time and I was also able to learn a lot from a bunch of different perspectives at national conferences and stuff. So, cool. Next question. How can high school students get involved in research?
So I, you can go ahead. Yeah, that’s all you. Um, what I would say is in, especially in California, in the bay area, we have a lot of programs, like for example, children, hospital, open research Institute. So if I, you look at any hubs within your area where there might be research Institute, and usually they do a summer program for high school student.
that is your way of being able to get in getting your footstep in the door, just to express interest. So here, I got to work with that where I got to get other students participating in that program and they learned a lot. They learned about how to do their background, how to put the methods together, how to put a whole research paper.
So I’m seeing like it’s possible, but you gotta figure out what it is within your area. So that is one. And then other one is just basically cold calling and there is a nearby college institution, definitely essence that, you know, I know I’m a high school student, uh, was hoping I could just connect, have a coffee chat and be able to see, you know, what is your research is all about?
And then continue to build that relationship there because you never know what door of opportunities may open when you have those little coffee. Yeah. Um, going off that second one. So my high school ended up having like internship opportunities that we had to do for our senior year. And, uh, a couple kids in my grade ended up going to, um, schools by me and Rutgers and Cooper union in the city where they worked in like physics labs, which was really cool, but they obviously couldn’t do much cuz their high schoolers working in a physics lab.
But if you cold call and just ask, sometimes people let you in. Great. Great. Um, this question is more about the, like the, why John Hopkins essay. Do you have any advice for students on how to approach the why John Hopkins.
Um, I was lucky that I didn’t actually have to write one of those, which was really nice. And, um, from the last couple admission cycles, I’m a good 90% sure. They’re not gonna ask that, which is just really nice for you. But if you really wanted to go through, take a tour, look at the school, figure out why you want to go there.
It’s um, a very individualized question. So my answer would be city close to home. Lots of flexibility, but it’s an answer you really have to figure out for yourself. So look into the college, see all the things they give out. It’s the most important thing.
The way I would go about it is I’m working with several students now is like, how do you answer the why question? Just not just for JSU, but for any institution. Um, definitely one thing is tie to your future. What is your future? What are you trying to do? What is your end? Then tie it back to the institution.
How can that institution help you get there? Is it joining that research lab? Is it that the community that the organization that they have in terms of this consulting club that you really wanna continue because you did consulting back in high school. So I think you really gotta show that where one it’s a two-way street.
So when you’re asking that why, because in the end, whatever institution choose you, they know that they’ll provide resources and tools, but they also expect for you to continue to pay that forward as well. So how are you planning to use that, to influence your community, your individual? And you’re able to tie that together in your why that would really demonstrate that you took the time and investment to not just really get the tour, really explore their courses, but you really got to understand their community and why you are a good fit for them as.
Okay, so next question. And Michael, I know you talked a little bit about your study abroad. Um, so someone asked, does JSU offer study abroad programs? If so, what do they offer? I’ll speak on my perspective and they Alexander could talk about undergrad, uh, in graduate school, they put you on through a different global immersion program.
So these are basically courses you’re taking, but you get to study abroad, uh, for me, Definitely you could do multiple one is where people were able to go on a really hiking trail where they go at one at the very top and be able to really explore about how do you build leadership. So they went on an expedition, so that’s their Norway trip.
So they could, they get to do that for a week long. I ended up going to Germany. Uh, I ended up working in terms of the financial area since I was my MBA. And I got to work with a startup, a consulting club, and really pulling all the skills that you have learned from, um, a graduate school. You get to apply it.
And there are other areas that you definitely could go to, but really look into it because each country is different. And that’s the beauty of it’s like, where do you see yourself? If you’ve never had travel before, this could be a great chance. Why not give that a shot? And in end you get course credit.
So it helps. Yeah. So for undergrad, it’s a very typical. Uh, study abroad experience, generally speaking. So most schools will have a couple partner schools across the globe where you’re gonna go work, live work, do all the things there for a while. So I know Hopkins had a bunch in Europe. There was a couple in the UK couple in Germany, there was one in Budapest, France, Spain.
Um, then there was a couple in Asia. Like I know there was one in China and there’s also one, I believe in Africa. I forget the specific nation. I believe it was Uganda, not positive. Um, but what’s nice for undergrad is during intercession where most schools are just out. We offer classes over that January month and some of those classes can be abroad.
So I had a couple friends who ended up in Spain for Christmas and new year’s, which was really fun, little bit jealous, but me personally, I couldn’t really do it cause I was there during most of the pandemic kind of sucked, but. Thank you. Okay. Our next question, um, someone asks a little bit about just like the living experience for someone who has a disability.
Is it easy to live on campus? I know Michael, if you have any experience, um, that you can offer. So what I always say is this GSU, they really support people regardless of your gender identity, whatever it is for those who have a disability, they usually have an office that will meet your needs. So what I would say is get on it early on, say it in a moment you get an acceptance letter for whatever institution start making that appointment, have it ready because it’s sort of the federal regulation that they have to provide accom.
and in terms of living, you know, that’s where you get the ability where one, do you wanna experience having a roommate? You should go for it. But do you feel like there might be things that, you know, block you from doing that where you can’t socialize, then you can put in a request as well to be able to get your own room.
So you’d get to still experience a dorm life, which is like everyone else, although make sure that they make the appropriate accommodation. For me specifically, when I went to UC Berkeley, uh, during, uh, summer, I ended up doing dorm, um, enjoyed it with two other roommates, but I knew that by the time fall came, I said, I’m getting my own room.
I said, I cannot do this. No more people on different schedule. And that was okay. But my, uh, accommodation specialist, they honored that. And they is like, you know, so definitely out what you like or what you don’t like, that’s gonna be very helpful. And they were able to install me ADA buttons, where I was able to get in and out of my dorms.
So that’s really very resourceful. So in the end, there is a accommodation service. But you gotta fight tooth and nail for it though. There are gonna be a lot of documentation. They’re gonna ask you this and this and this, but do not give up because you have the right, just like everyone else to be successful in your education, despite your impairment.
Um, yeah. Going off of that, I had a good friend, uh, freshman and sophomore year until we moved off campus and was in a much nicer apartment than me, which is very far away. But dorm wise, it was really easy for him to get around. Cuz what they end up doing in sophomore dorms is all of them have elevators and it’s really easy and accessible.
And then on campus, everything has to be accessible cause of federal regulations. Um, and then freshman year he got his own room and it was the biggest room I’ve seen because he got a double room and then it was just for him, which is fantastic. Small perks that don’t offset anything but small perks.
Great. Thank you all for offering that perspective. Um, and thank you for our attendee who asked that question as well? Um, next question is, do I need to apply for financial aid in order to be considered for a scholarship?
So for Hopkins, yes. So there’s a couple scholarships given through the institution where like there’s a Hoskin Hodson scholarship fellows, and there’s a couple other ones along those lines where they do give aid and scholarships through the institution. But those are restricted for people who do apply for financial aid.
Um, so if you’re going to get a scholarship through JSU, generally speaking, or to need aid, but there’s a bunch of outside scholarships that you can apply for and get it. So I’ll do my best. Just fill out that fast, but it’s free money from the federal. You just never know some states give out as well.
Just don’t lose yourself because if you get to submit an app, it doesn’t hurt. It’s free. That’s the reason why, and you get to make the decision at the end. If you, you do need to take out loans and they have a process for that. So definitely just definitely just go for it. Just don’t limit yourself just because you may not have the chance you just never known.
Okay. Well, this will be our final question. Um, and it reads, how are your fellow students? Um, some colleges are overly competitive environments. I hear, so maybe they’re speaking of like, are students competitive, competitive against one another in college? And I would love to hear the undergrad and the graduate experience
I will start. Hmm. So I will speak on my undergrad and I’ll explain how different it’s for graduate Berkeley, to be honest, it was a cutthroat. Everybody was really trying to get the best grade. And that’s why they have these reader classes. So say that you end up taking a science course at Berkeley and you’re in a class at 700, probably about three or 400 people may get out of the life.
Like as in like they’ll stick into pre, uh, premed. That’s how rigorous Berkeley was. But in end, they prepare you. Most people who graduate from Berkeley medical school is a piece of cake for them. And I got to say that in my way of graduate school, graduate school was a no brainer for me because I went through the rigor of Berkeley.
I knew how hard it was. They’re never, ever gonna hold my hand. But when I went to Hopkins, I was like, wow, this is so nice. This is, so I feel like I have the ability to breathe a little and don’t feel like I have this fierce competition amongst my other student. Just get a grade. But let me also tell you this in graduate school, they don’t care what GPA you get by the time you graduate.
There’s an end when you apply for a job, they don’t usually ever ask for that. So as long as you get your degree, that’s all it matters and you’ll be fine. So just, don’t be hard on yourself in the end. Your biggest critic is yourself, not others. Uh, yeah. So undergrad wise, it’s definitely Samuel Berkeley, uh, depends on your major though.
So, uh, if you’re gonna be on a premed track, it’s cutthroat, like that’s what it is. People always go study for 12 hours a day in the library. Syrian classes are skewed to be incredibly hard to get. As in, I, I know my freshman year there was a count class which is required for premeds where the curve was so hard that a 95 was a B plus, which is just insane.
And it’s designed to be super tough on the kids, especially those first couple years. But if you’re not gonna be pre-med no worries. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you both. Um, really great job at just providing additional insight into the JHU experience and really loved hearing your perspective as a recent undergrad and a recent graduate, um, student.
So thank you again, Alexander and Michael for your time and thank you to our attendees as well. Real one last thing I wanna share is that we do host a series of webinars on a weekly basis. Um, so we do have some upcoming webinars for this month, and then we’ll have a new list of webinars for September.
So please, if you are not already signed up, definitely go to our website app.CollegeAdvisor.com so that you can sign up for our additional webinars as you get ready to prepare for the college application season. Thank you everyone, and have a great evening. Thank you again, Alexander and Michael for your time.
Bye. Thank you. Take care. Bye bye.