Post 1 in Mindful Ramblings

National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) Summer Camp

Published May 27, 2019

Hi everyone, its Rhea. Knowing that summer is near and students are likely looking at options for summer camps and programs, I would love to share my experience with summer camps. This will be a 2-part blog. In this entry, I’ll describe the basics of my favorite program - NSLC - and the application process.

In the summer of 2018, I attended the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) in the Medicine and Health Care Program at Northwestern University. The program was 8 days long, and I found this to be just the right length to introduce me to the field of medicine.

The point of the program is to immerse students into a prospective career field - using hands-on experiences, listening to professionals, or visiting workplaces. NSLC also allocated time for learning leadership skills, using team-building and critical thinking activities. I have always known that I want to be a doctor. So naturally, I chose the medical program - and was able to use the program to confirm my interest.

How did I find out about NSLC? I received multiple emails and letters from them. Naturally, as I’m sure most people do, I disregarded the program and considered it mass advertising - which in some ways it was. However, when I found out that many of my senior friends had attended, I began considering NSLC. I finally opened my email and found that I had been “scouted” (likely through College Board’s distribution of student information). This meant that I only needed to upload a code during the application process, and was automatically accepted.

Alternately, after talking to those who manually found the NSLC website to apply, I learned that one needs to upload their transcripts, standardized test scores, and answer a few questions - NSLC does look for the best, after all. However, this is nothing to be be intimidated by! If you are applying manually, chances are that you will be accepted - the fact that you’re even searching for rigorous summer programs demonstrated interest.

Check out the NSLC website to learn more.

Why is NSLC a good option for a summer program. Like I said, to learn more.I used to consider almost every email in my inbox as junk. It wasn’t until I started talking to people that I learned the value of different programs. That being said, NSLC might not necessarily hold a ton of weight on applications. But the value lies in experience.

1. Colleges will be delighted by the fact that you’re seeking early immersion within a career, and

2. These experiences will either affirm or negate your interest within a field.

I can also guarantee that you’ll come out a stronger leader and will have made some of your closest friends - I know I did!

What about picking a program? Pick a program that reflects any kind of future career interest - especially if you’re feeling ambivalent about the field. I cannot stress this enough - NSLC does an amazing job of immersing you into the career field and not just telling, but showing you every single aspect of the field. For instance - Are you not sure whether you want to be an engineer? Check out the engineer program - you’ll know after 8 days whether you want to pursue it. Are you psyched about becoming an entrepreneur? Attend the business program anyways and confirm your interest. That’s what I did with the medical program at NSLC, and it definitely confirmed my passion. That being said, every University location that NSLC presents as an option offers different programs, as every University has unique specialities and facilities. So, pick the University with the most relevant program, and also pick a location you look forward to attending. I love Chicago and Evanston to death, so I had no qualms about picking Northwestern.

My parting pieces of advice:

1. Do your research. This goes for picking any summer program. Scams do exist - you can’t trust every program out there. But take it from me, NSLC isn’t one of those.

2. Be assertive. I find the process of career-readiness quite intimidating, and NSLC is one of the steps I needed to be assertive in this process.

3. Be open to new experiences. I wasn’t completely sure of what I was getting into with NSLC, but having an open mind led me to enjoy my surroundings and never be disappointed.

I hope this introduction to my experience with NSLC persuaded you to consider it. The second part to this blog entry will more closely describe my experience at the Medical Program at NSLC. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

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