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The World of University Admissions (and beyond!)

Hi everyone! My name is Keon Khodaei and I am a Grade 12 student at Prince of Wales Mini School. Today, I had the pleasure to attend Jodi Buckley’s Think Tank on “The World of University Admissions” as a part of the Associate National Lead program where I get to build and host my own conference! University application deadlines are right around the corner for grade 12 students such as myself. The pressure is on for a stressful time such as this, but what I learned through Jodi’s Think Tank session on “The World of University Admissions” helped alleviate some of this stress.

Applying to universities can be confusing and convoluted. Each university and province may have a different admission system; for example, Ontario universities require applicants to log into the OUAC website and choose the schools they want to apply to, whereas in BC, it’s a similar process but through another website called EducationPlannerBC. Jodi explained this process perfectly, and I wish I had known this prior to applying.

As an aspiring business student, most universities I apply to require a supplemental application. Prior to the Think Tank, I did not know that some degrees and universities don’t require this supplementary application. It’s imperative that one takes time to research the admission process of their chosen universities so that they will not be thrown off guard when the time comes to apply.

Another thing I learned was the different techniques for answering short/long answer questions, as well as video interview questions. Jodi introduced the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action, and Result. To put it simply, in your responses you should first set the scene, describe the challenge/task, explain the actions you took to complete the goal, and finally reflect on the positive outcomes of your efforts. This strategy will prove super useful for my university applications and beyond!

Afterwards, we were split into breakout rooms to give us a chance to implement the new techniques we learned. We took turns asking our group members mock interview questions, which turned out to be an extremely

beneficial activity! My group had lots of fun and came out of it feeling more prepared for the upcoming interviews.

However, my biggest takeaway from this Think Tank was to be yourself. Admission officers want to learn more about you, and the best way to do that is to be authentic. Don’t write about what you think the universities want to hear in your essays or interview questions; give your honest opinion on the topic and your response will shine!

Though this was a workshop on university admissions, a lot of the lessons we learned can be applied to jobs and other future endeavours. Jodi encouraged us to start our university applications early to allow enough time to complete them and not to submit them on the last day before they are due. This can also be interpreted as a general message to avoid procrastination. Time management is an essential skill for one to have, and pairing it with your self-discipline will propel you further in life.

I once again thank Jodi for this wonderful opportunity. I feel a lot more confident coming out of the Think Tank in my abilities and am excited to put my newfound knowledge to use!


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