104: How to Plan a Fulfilling and Productive Summer

HERE’S THE PRACTICAL GUIDE THAT THIS PODCAST INSPIRED:

Welcome to the podcast! This episode’s theme is SUUUUUMMMMER and I’ve got the nation’s #1 summer expert to school us on pre-college summers. Who is she, you ask? Check it out:

  • Jill Tipograph is a youth development expert who has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, Business Week, Inc., Bloomberg, NBC’s Today Show, ABC and NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, U.S. News & World Report and more.
  • Jill’s two children have been campers, camp counselors, and participated in a variety of pre-college summer programs. 20 somethings, they’ve made it through the college process (!!) and are navigating their careers now.
  • She’s an independent educational consultant,  20+ year industry veteran and the founder of Everything Summer & Beyond, through which she guides families worldwide through the complex and important summer planning and enrichment process.

In this episode of the College Essay Guy podcast, Jill and I discuss:

  • Great questions to ask when it comes to planning a summer
  • The 2014 National Pre-College Summer Survey, which Jill put co-authored with counselor Paul Kaser of the Bergen County Academies, and that involved asking 100 colleges: What summer opportunities matter most on a college application?
  • Are expensive summer programs “worth it”?
  • What students and parents should do but often don’t do when it comes to planning their summer
  • Plus a great Teen Program Evaluator Jill created that’s basically a scorecard students and parents can use to determine whether or not a summer program is a good fit

I even asked Jill, "Which program is definitely going to get my daughter into Harvard?" And she gave me an answer.

PLAY-BY-PLAY

Who is Jill Tipograph? [0:58]
What Jill does and why she does it [3:36]
Why the “meaningful or productive” distinction is important [5:26]
Great questions to ask when it comes to planning a summer [6:30]
Which program is definitely going to get my daughter into Harvard? [9:14]
Tips for students for making the most of their summer [10:43]
Are expensive summer programs “worth it”? [12:59]
What students should do but often don’t do when it comes to planning their summer [17:49]
What parents can do to help students plan their summer [19:40]
Why it’s important to be transparent with the summer program faculty and administration [20:30]
Jill’s Summer Guide and Planner: a 74-page guide to help families establish priorities and summer goals [21:00]
The Teen Program Evaluator Scorecard (Ethan’s favorite resource) [22:54]
Recommended summer planning timeline [24:57]
Are certain summers more important than others? [27:01]
3 words that summarize Jill's process for finding a summer program [28:42]
Advice to students who have no idea what they want to do over the summer [29:07]
Weird/interesting summer adventures [30:57]
One trend Jill is seeing with STEM students seeking to do research [31:58]
Ethan’s exercise for how to make your summer more fun AND more productive--in two minutes [32:23]
Show and Tell: Jill’s Teen Program Evaluator [37:25]
Ethan’s “Five-Step Guide to Planning a Fulfilling (or Productive) Pre-College Summer”  LIVE URL [39:28]

LINKS MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE