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Advice for Sophomores

university fellowships committee

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You are eligible for some fellowships this year, and you need to start preparation of applications for other fellowships in your junior year. Review the opportunities listed on the Summary Chart of Fellowships for Undergraduates. Contact the Department Fellowships Sponsor in your major. Talk with a faculty member about a Boston College Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Start designing a summer project appropriate for an Advanced Study Grant.

As you are planning for study abroad in your junior year, investigate the Gilman, NSEP/
Boren
, Freeman-ASIA, and Rotary Scholarships to provide financial assistance.

This is the year you should assume more leadership roles in extracurricular activities. Give thought to new ventures that the organizations you belong to could be doing, and be the person to get them started.

Resist the temptation to double-major. There are some exceptions, but in general, meeting the requirements of two majors in addition to the University Core leaves little room for the imaginative projects and depth of academic preparation that lead to the best fellowships. If there is a field outside your major that intrigues you, by all means, take the few courses that mesh with your major. Or explore the variety of interdisciplinary Minors at BC, which can also augment your major. But a double major? Do it only after you have consulted with your faculty mentors and fully grasp the consequences.

Gather information and decide on a foreign study experience for next year. If you cannot do a whole year or regular semester, consider a summer program. Get faculty advice on which foreign study locations are strongest in your major and might provide a foundation for an unusual senior thesis or internship. Consult with the Departmental Fellowships Sponsor in your major about your foreign study plans, and maintain contact while you are away. Do the same with the BC Campus Coordinators for the fellowships that seem appropriate to your goals and interests.

You need to get faculty, supervisors, and employers to record your achievements while they are fresh on their minds. Open a file at the BC Career Office, and start accumulating general letters of recommendation in it.