Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Final Reflection on my Incredible 2015 ILC Experience

In the fall of 2013 I received a pass from my morning classes to attend an anonymous presentation. I walked into a crowded theater in which a man wearing an aloha shirt and khaki shorts was standing in front of the stage and telling everyone to settle down. That man was Don Gosney and he had come to introduce the Ivy League Connection and the phenomenal opportunities it offers.

I still remember how thrilled I was about the Ivy League Connection as a freshman. I watched my older friends share their experiences with the ILC. By the end of that presentation, I knew that I wanted to be an ILCer and I was determined to make that possible.

Since only sophomores and juniors could apply, I eagerly waited for my sophomore year. In the fall of 2014, Don came once again to give his grand presentation. When I saw my friends standing in the front and sharing their experiences, I knew that I wanted to be standing there next year.

After a few weeks, the prompts of the essays for some programs were given. My first choice was the Med School 101 program at Vanderbilt University. I spent my winter break writing the two pre-essays and the Vanderbilt essay.  A friend and two ILCers of the previous year, Jing and Chiamaka, helped me edit my essays. After a week or two, Don emailed the names of those that were selected for the interview. My name...wasn’t on the list. I was very dejected because I had worked very hard writing those essays.

The day I got the results, I realized that the essays for the DNA Based Biotechnology program at Brown University were due the very next day. With seconds left before the deadline, I submitted my essays. After a few weeks, I found out that I was invited for an interview. I was very, very happy!

After my nerve-wrecking interview
February 28, 2015 was the day of my interview. That day was very nerve-wrecking. When the names of those that were selected for the program were going to be announced, my heart was racing and my mind was telling me that I didn’t make it. Then I heard Don say my name.  My mind froze and I just kept on smiling without having the ability to understand what people were telling me at the moment. That moment was just beautiful as I had waited for this for two years.

From there on my ILC journey began with a series of events, including the tutorial, an elaborate dinner, the school board meeting, and the orientation. Finally, after months of waiting and preparing, on July 11, 2014, I board a plane from San Francisco to live the true ILC experience. I had such an awesome time at Brown and in the East Coast. I have learned so much and have grown as an individual throughout this experience. I will always cherish this journey. 
At an elaborate dinner in San Francisco with my cohort and Brown alumni and sponsors
The 2015 Ivy League Connection. Can you find me in this picture?
Now that I lived this experience, I can't wait to share it with my peers. I want to encourage students to take the challenge and apply to this program as it is very rewarding. Since I am a part of the Student Education Advisory Club of my school, which predominantly focuses on helping students to apply for programs in the Ivy League Connection, I can't wait to help students in the process of applying. I want to edit essays and do mock interviews for students. When my friends, who were ILCers, did this for me, I greatly benefited from it and now I want to help others. 

I also want to tell other students about the great institutions that exist outside of the Bay Area. I want to help them realize that there are many more options available for them outside of the Bay Area and California, which may be a better fit for them. These are only a few ways by which I want to give back to my community and the Ivy League Connection, who have given me so much.

I can't be thankful enough to the Ivy League Connection for making this dream come true. I really want to thank Don Gosney, who puts tremendous amounts of work and effort to make the ILC journey possible for every ILCer. I want to thank all the sponsors, who devotedly support the ILC every year. Without their support, the ILC experience wouldn’t be possible for any student. I am extremely grateful to every individual who has made this journey possible! Thank you so much ILC!
I also want to thank my readers, who have always read my blogs and supported me throughout my journey. I really appreciate your support. Thank you so much!
With my Brown family in front of the Van Wickle Gates.
My final feelings about my ILC experience.

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