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Can a mentor help you gain admission to Harvard?

16 JAN 2020

Why having a mentor can support you through complex and stressful school admissions.

On the back of the 2019/ 2020 early admissions round, we spoke to Megan Summers; a Senior Strategy Consultant at Crimson Education for over 3 years. During her time with Crimson, Megan has worked with hundreds of students from around the globe, in helping them realise their greatest potential and securing admission to some of the best schools in the world.

No stranger to studying at these institutions herself, Megan completed her undergraduate education at Princeton and then went on to complete post-graduate studies at Columbia.

Below she shares some of the insights she has learnt, not only being a mentor to students with aspirations to study at Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and a magnitude of the top schools in the USA, but she also reflects on the benefits of having been mentored herself.

Megan Summers

I’ve spent more of my life than not, being both a mentor and a mentee.

As an educator, I’ve spent the past 14 years helping students grow by encouraging honest self-reflection, and helping them examine their goals and priorities as they walk the complicated path of high school. In some ways, mentorship is like a strange permutation of a friendship where as the mentee, you don’t have to give anything back, other than the work of listening and thinking. It can truly be a great gift when you find someone who sees what makes you tick, and can offer wisdom and advice that can be applied beyond your immediate circumstances. I encourage my students to seek mentorship in any new situation, or as they strive for new and challenging achievements. Everyone needs support along the way in life, and a mentor can be an invaluable resource to rely upon for perspective.

When I was a new teacher, the regular check-ins and conversations with a couple of key, experienced colleagues were vital to my survival and my ability to self-assess how to improve at my job. Now that I am old enough to have a little bit of wisdom of my own, I work with my students to help them frame their problems, worries, and goals all within a broader picture than how those issues may look or feel in real time. Sometimes students really struggle with making the decision about where to go to school, or to see which university in particular might actually be their best-fit school. I encourage the kind of conversation where they can examine their motivations for pursuing any given school, and to think about how their immediate goals fit into their plans for future accomplishments. Sometimes what you might think you want is not necessarily going to best serve your needs, and having that outside perspective can help you take a path that will allow you to get closer to your full potential.

For students in the midst of applying to college or preparing to do so, the drama can sometimes feel overwhelming, to say the least. Every little thing in your life can feel like it will be picked apart by admissions officers, and every decision can feel like it will be the end of the world if it doesn’t work out as planned. This is where having a mentor can be essential to getting through a tough period! They can make you see that things have a way of working themselves out, and that what feels insurmountable now might actually be an unexpected opportunity if approached with an open mind.

At Crimson, mentorship is what we do best. Each one of our mentors is experienced with the admissions process to universities such as Oxford and Harvard, and knows what it takes. Your tailored team will have your back throughout your entire application journey - helping you negotiate the deadlines and deal with the inevitable insecurities that accompany applying to some of the world’s best universities. Your team and entire Crimson family will also be there to celebrate with you on notification day - proud of your efforts and grateful for the part they were lucky enough to play in your #Accepted success.

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