Perspective on Pomona by Miracle Olatunji

I attended Perspectives on Pomona (POP!)in October 2017. Pomona College flew myself and the 61 new friends I made this weekend out to Claremont, California for a weekend of laughter, learning, and exploration. I loved how the 62 of us ‘prospies’ (prospective college students) were not only from different ethnic backgrounds and states, but also we all have something about us that makes us unique. In this weekend, we came together and enjoyed not only Pomona and the a little bit of the other Claremont colleges, but also we came together to enjoy getting to know each other.

We participated in fun activities like a scavenger hunt, late nights eating and exploring in the beautiful town of Claremont, and just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company.

I was in company of students who I could relate to: they were diverse, intellectually curious, funny, passionate, and ambitious. I made friends with aspiring investment bankers, engineers, doctors, professors, authors, international lawyers, and more. I absolutely loved in.

We toured campus which is absolutely gorgeous. The weather: cold in the morning, very hot during the day, and super cold at night.

The workshops about college picking and the application process, student panels, and financial aid were very helpful, candid, and adequate.

One main topic that stuck out to me was the concept of “institutional priorities.” Every college has different priorities for their admitted student profile in regards to the students it needs in a given year. This is why acceptances and denials have nothing to do with your self worth or capabilities. It’s also why test scores and GPA aren’t sufficient indicators for whether a student gets admitted or not.

A little excerpt from the copious notes I took:
*HOLISTIC REVIEW (Context Matters when evaluating applicants; Helps to contextualize them)
-Transcript
-Test Scores
-Extracurricular/Activities
-Supplement Essays *Use ‘Additional Info’ section to help yourself out- be thorough!
-Common App Essay
-Letters of Recommendation
-Institutional Priorities

[*Would love to share the other notes if anyone wants to see them]

I also learned that POP! (9.4% acceptance rate) is only slightly more selective than Pomona College (8.4% acceptance rate) itself. Mind: blown.

This weekend, I learned the value of a liberal arts education. Such an education equips students with the ability to read, write, think critically, and empathize. Such skills are applicable to virtually any and every career and academic discipline.

Call me a nerd but I absolutely loved the opportunity of getting to sit in on two college classes on my favorite subject: economics. The first class was “ECON 156: Security Valuation and Portfolio Theory” which discussed the selection and valuation of financial assets, particularly corporate stocks. The professor, Gary Smith, even took time out of the class while his students were working on problem sets to give myself and the other prospies who were with me some valuable college, career, and finance advice. I even sent him a follow up email afterwards and he promptly responded!

The second class was ‘ECON101: Macroeconomic Theory” which discussed and analyzed concepts like net exports, government fiscal and monetary policies, net foreign investments, and other macro concepts. The classes were taught by Professor Gary Smith and Professor Michael D. Steinberger, two highly accomplished and intelligent professors. My favorite quality about the atmosphere of their classroom was how welcoming it was due to the fact that the professors knew the name of every single student in their classroom.

Since we’re still just on microeconomics in my AP Econ class at school, I was a little lost in the Macroeconomic theory class, but nevertheless, it was so engaging!

I learned about a program called ‘Girls Who Invest’ and one of the things Prof. Steinberger said that really stood out to me was: ‘Companies that have competitors tend to innovate more!’

Books to check out (per Professor Smith’s suggestion): Money Machine & Artificial Unintelligence.

POP! was a blast 🙂

-Miracle Olatunji, 12th grade