Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Big Decision - Goals for College

One lesson I learned from high school is that you should always have goals to give you direction. In high school, I floundered. I didn't know what I wanted and I felt to burning desire to work hard and make my dreams come true. I don't blame myself for this lack of motivation. Being young, I needed time to develop and grow.

But now I have grown and I'm ready to take things seriously. When I listen or read about people who are successful, I never hear them say "Oh, I didn't know what I wanted to do... so I just kinda did everything half-baked and this ended up working out." I have never heard that. Successful people know what they want and they figure out how to get it.

Over the past few weeks, I developed a clear sense of what I want and a basic outline of how I will achieve my goals. These goals are not set in stone. I'm willing to change them. But I need to enter college with a sense of what I am working toward.

So here are my goals for college.

  1. Earn straight As.
  2. Do research.
  3. Be a leader, in community service projects and/or research.
  4. Earn a score in the upper 700s on the GMAT.
  5. Get into business school - Stanford's program is my dream school right now.
  6. Write and publish a book about my time in college.
I'll break these goals down.

Earn straight As.

This one is fairly obvious. My GPA burned me during the undergrad admissions process. This will not happen again.

Do research.

For the field I am interested in (cognitive science), research is a must. I already have a potential "in" with a professor at college. I plan on meeting her and introducing myself with the intention of working in her lab.

Be a leader.

I am always trying to lead and not follow. I would like to take this a step further, through community service projects and/or research. This is also key for getting into business school.

Earn a high GMAT score.

While I did relatively well on the standardized testing for undergrad, I want to do even better for grad school. I purchased a GMAT prep book and I'll be preparing for the next few years until I take the test. 

Get into a top business school.

My dream is to start my own company. Going to business school would help in my preparation. Right now, I want to go to Stanford's MBA program. They recently revised their curriculum to make it more international and it's a good program for entrepreneurs. Also, after being on the East Coast for undergrad, I would like to branch out and go to the West Coast for grad school.

I plan on appying as a graduating senior. Stanford's program includes the option of deffering for one to three years (as long as you work during that time). I may take some time off to work. This all depends on how things pan out during undergrad.

Write a book about my college experience.

This one will be tons of fun. The book will be about my experience in college. I keep a journal (and this blog, obviously) from which I will craft a coherent narrative. Hopefully I will publish the book as well!


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