“Seeam Bhai, How do I get into Harvard?” – The Resources You Need

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This article contains all the resources I found to be most useful to know everything there is about US undergraduate admissions and, for those curious, my personal journey to Harvard.

If you want more content like this, check out my dedicated YouTube playlist on admissions.

Why am I writing this

Ever since I got into Harvard on March 30th, 2017, I have been asked this question over thousands of times: from Facebook, YouTube to LinkedIn and emails. Truth is I don’t know the answer to that exact question. Another question I get is “If I do X and Y, will I get into Harvard?”. I don’t have the answer to that question either. Almost no one does to be honest. I can’t say I will get into Harvard if I ever applied again. But I do know the process of application thoroughly which a lot of Bangladeshi students don’t. Clearly there was an information gap that I felt I needed to bridge. At first, I tried doing just that.

I went to multiple schools across Dhaka to host information sessions on how to apply to US universities throughout my whole winter vacation.

Clip from my information session at Adamjee Cantonment College

I appeared in many interviews to talk about the process and negative myths surrounding it.

My interview clip from the 10 Minute Show

I wrote multiple blogs and I also organized workshop series to close the information gap between US undergraduate admissions and Bangladeshi students. But the questions kept on coming, sometimes in very inappropriate places as well, leaving me wondering if the questions will ever end and if there is a sustainable way to answer them.

A person asking me about the SAT on my Facebook post mourning the death of Sir Fazle Hasan Abid

I realized very soon, it is impossible to reply to every message with care and in detail that I had initially intended. It is also impossible to talk about my not-so-special personal journey over and over again. And thus, I write this to share all the resources I think can help to know everything there is to know about US undergraduate admissions.

Disclaimer:

From now on, I will just be sharing this article with anyone who will be asking me about US undergraduate admissions. Even after pointing people towards the right resources which answers the questions they are asking, they often ask the same questions again hoping I can spill some secret of a shortcut that might give them an edge. Well, there is no shortcut. It’s a mixture of hard work and luck. There is no secret sauce or at least one that I haven’t shared. Everything I know will be shared below.

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If you are not interested in their services, proceed to reading the article.

The Resources (Bangladeshi students will find them more useful):

Let’s start with the overall admission process. The best informational resource out there, in my opinon, is an YouTube Playlist by 10 Minute School, conducted by Bristy Sikder (MIT ’18). She got into every top university ranging from Harvard, MIT to Oxford and Cambridge. She knows her stuff and I also checked the entire playlist for Quality Assurance.

10 Minute School playlist on US admissions ft Bristy Sikder

If you want to a quicker glance, this article I wrote might help as well.

If you want to know when to apply and things you should consider while deciding, check out this article I wrote for 10 Minute School.

Now, if you want to get some advice on how to get into prestigious universities in general, this article by Tarik Adnan Moon, Harvard ’15, is an article which really hits the point.

If you want to know what a successful US student Harvard application looks like, check this article by PrepScholar where the founder shares his successful Harvard application. In general, PrepScholar has really useful college admission articles.

Click to get article

Successful Bangladeshi Harvard Application Profile

Isheka’s Complete Harvard Profile

Successful Bangladeshi Harvard Application from NCTB

Irtiza’s successful Harvard & Princeton Application

Successful Bangladeshi Oxford Application

Zaid’s successful Oxford Application

Standardized Exams: How I studied for the SAT

How I learned English: The Entire Journey

Essays: How to write successful essays

Click to get article

Essays: My successful Harvard Essay

Cost of Applying and Studying and how to minimize them:

My video on everything related to Finance during applications

Handling US applications and Bangladeshi admissions:

The communities:

There are communities which can be very useful during the whole process. Communities like Bangladeshis Beyond Borders, Nerd Community (more for English Medium students) and their file sections, are amazing resources for college admissions in general. CrossRoads Initiative is an useful page with a great community that offer amazing free and paid resources for as well.

My Workshops:

Some time back I hosted 5 workshops for 10 Minute School on specific topics relating to the US admission as well. You can find the workshops below:

1. Link to Seeam’s 1st session: Misconception about US Applications
2. Link to Seeam’s 2nd session: Exam Requirements for US Applications
3. Link to Seeam’s 3rd session: How to prepare for BD admissions + US applications together
4. Link to Seeam’s 4th session: Going abroad timeline for a PhD vs an MBA
5. Link to Seeam’s 5th session: How to write good scholarship essays

My Story (if you are curious):

I talked about my admission days and also provided some advice for high-school students in the interviews collected in the playlist below.

Interview for Radio Dhol

I also talked about it from a Cadet College perspective here.

Click to watch the interview

Graduate School Questions:

I get a lot of questions on Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School requirements. I will be honest, my advice will be only as good as what I can get from their admission pages. So, I suggest you visit the hyperlinks in the previous sentence. Higher Study Abroad is a great Facebook group for Bangladeshis looking to go abroad for higher studies. Furthermore, you can find the alumni of these institutions on LinkedIn or on Facebook or via email and ask for advice. Check out my website’s contact section to find articles on how to write great emails. You might find this video useful as well.

Interview for Graduate Schools (Harvard Kennedy School)

If you want more content like this, check out my dedicated YouTube playlist on admissions.

Finally:

This is your journey and you are your greatest resource. At the end of the day, you have to do it all by yourself. All we can do is help and provide guidance. I hope the resources above can do that for you. If you still have some questions, do me a favor and google it. Google has always been my greatest resource. I am not kidding.

Nas Daily on how he googled to Harvard

Special Offer for Bangladeshi Readers:

Titans Education is a college admissions company that offers paid/free services to guide and mentor you through your entire undergrad admission journey. Titans Education was formed by a group of Bangladesh students studying in top universities like Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale-NUS, Washington and Lee in the US and Oxford University in the UK. Use Code ‘SEEAMTE2020’ for priority registration since seats are limited.

Disclosure: This is an affiliate marketing placement and I will receive a small commission if you purchase Titans Education’s services.

Register Form – Titans Education

If you are here for the Bangladeshi Perspective, check it below. Thank you for reading this!

If you found this useful, please share it with your friends or at least leave a review for me to learn from.

Seeam Shahid Noor

I am Seeam Shahid Noor, a Bangladeshi student doing my Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics at Harvard University. Professionally, I am interested in Business Strategy and Development, especially in tech.

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