Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Amy Tan- Story of Me


UMRP Student Coordinator

I chose to become a student coordinator for the Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program during my sophomore fall (last semester). In this role, I answer emails from high school students applying or thinking about applying to Harvard, conduct tours, and run the admissions blog and Snapchat. I wanted to do this ever since I was a high school senior because the UMRP helped answer a lot of my questions while I was thinking about applying to Harvard. They helped assuage some of my fears and gave me helpful advice about the application process. Without this support, I wouldn't have the knowledge that I needed to successfully navigate the college application process, which is why I am so grateful to the UMRP and wanted to work for them once I was a student here.

 I worked as a Hometown Recruiter over the winter break of my freshman year for the UMRP, which consisted of going to high schools in my hometown that have historically sent few people to Harvard to talk about why they should consider Harvard. I loved this role because it was so rewarding to be able to help high school students navigate this complicated process and instill hope in them, encouraging to apply even though they think that Harvard is an impossible dream. I was able to share some of my personal story and relate to their initial impression of Harvard. I think that my testimonial, as someone who shared a similar background to them, helped them realize that Harvard was attainable. ‚Äč

This experience with the UMRP motivated me to work with them over the term as a student coordinator, helping answer emails from high school students, posting blog posts with advice, and guiding tours around Harvard for prospective students both in-person and through social media accounts, like Snapchat and Instagram Stories. I learned that I am passionate about bridging the gap between high school and higher education by providing more transparency about the application process and the College. I developed my public speaking skills significantly in this role and gained a newfound appreciation for the privilege of education. I am now interested in taking courses on education (such as this class) and pursuing careers related to education. Personally, I feel comfortable working at the UMRP and holding tough conversations about race and class inequalities at Harvard with my peer student coordinators. The office has become a second home for me at Harvard, and I am so grateful for this space.

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