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APR 27, 2020 • 5 min read
When it comes to applying overseas, your school career advisor will almost certainly play an important role. Working with your career advisor and involving them with the process from the very start is a great way to ease the pressure on yourself, as well as on your school – international university applications can be rare at schools, and your advisor may need some time to familiarise themselves with the requirements of this process.
Read on for our top tips for successfully working with your career advisor on the journey below.
As soon as you are confident that you want to study overseas, you should be looking to organise a meeting with your career advisor. It’s essential to come prepared for this meeting. Keep in mind that advisors know that applying overseas is a challenging and competitive process. If you go into that meeting having already done your research and can show that you are committed to the pathway and prepared to take the initiative to manage the process, they’re a lot more likely to support you. If you can have this first meeting before Year 12, this will help give them the heads up. If you’re already in Year 12, have the meeting as soon as possible. As a general guide, it’s a very challenging process to apply overseas if you leave it until Term 2 of your Year 12.
Where possible, it’s a good idea to check in with your career advisor every couple of months to make sure that you’re both on the same page with regard to your application. In your second meeting, discuss some of the more logistical aspects of the application process.
Career Advisors will often make sure you’re taking the best path for you. They might challenge your desire to study overseas, particularly if you’re already in Year 12. Here, it’s important that you aren’t afraid to display your conviction – you’re a lot more likely to receive their support and have success working with your career advisor if they can see that you’re ready to put in the effort it takes to see the process through.
Oftentimes, schools will introduce internal deadlines for the submission of applications that are usually within a week or two of the official deadline. This is, more often than not, a good thing. It not only ensures that you won’t be writing your application the night before it’s due, and gives the school plenty of time to submit any documentation required from their end, reducing the likelihood of stress-induced slip-ups. However, it is important that you are aware of any such deadlines well in advance, and are able to adjust your personal timeline to ensure that they are met.
When it comes to planning your application timeline, you should strive to factor in your school’s calendar where possible, strange as this may sound. Career advisors, for example, are notoriously stressed out in the weeks leading up local universities’ deadlines, usually around September; make sure you’ve met with them and finalised all arrangements pertaining to your application before this period.
For US college applications, Career Advisors have a fairly heavy workload. This often includes writing and uploading a school profile, uploading your transcripts, and potentially writing a letter of recommendation as well.
While your career advisor might not be an expert on the UK/US admissions process, they might just be able to put you in contact with someone who is. Make the most of their connections by requesting to be put in contact with former students who have undertaken the application process (even if they didn’t apply to the same universities you’re interested in), or even any members of staff who might have an insight into the process.
And finally, go for it! Working with your career advisor and building a strong support network can really ease the burden of applications, and the earlier you build this up the better. Don’t be afraid to share and reflect on your goals, and take active steps to put you on track to achieving them.
Sandhya is from Melbourne and started working with Crimson mentors in Year 11. She’s been admitted to her dream school, Oxford University, to study their renowned PPE program.