Tell us a bit about yourself!
I'm from the historic Pakistani city of Lahore, and while Lahore's where I grew up, I still maintain strong ties back to the local village where most of my family resides to this day. I came into college thinking of doing economics and a fair bit of soul-searching later finally settled on Computer Science last semester! Feel free to reach out to ask me about Academics, Harvard or anything in between!
What inspired you to study Computer Science?
There were a couple things that cemented my decision to study CS. CS is a very broad area applicable to a vast amount of disciplines and at the end of the day, I can still combine my CS knowledge with Economics and work in developmental economics (my academic interest). I also find CS very intellectually stimulating, which is something I value a lot.
What was the application process like? Do you have any advice for prospective applicants?
I personally found the application process pretty manageable once I understood the ins and outs of it. Generally speaking, it really helped to keep in mind that the goal was to accurately portray my true self as I am, rather than to 'tailor' my app according to what I think the admission officers are looking for, or worse, to modify aspects of it to better appeal to the committee. However, there's much more to be said on the topic and I'd be happy to go over my experience and the lessons I learned in detail!
What has your experience been like so far?
I've found Harvard to be a pretty welcoming place so far. While it has its ups and downs, overall the people are nice and encouraging, the professors are always available and the University genuinely listens to student concerns.
What is your top tip for other applicants?
Reach out to others and get your work critiqued! I know that sounds very intimidating but getting outside views on how I was coming across in my application really helped me figure out whether it was authentic to what I wanted to put across. This specifically applies to close friends/family members as they can read your application and tell you how it compares to your 'real life' self!