Chatting with Scholarship Winner Alexandra Szewc!

College Raptor scholarship winner AlexandraCongratulations to Alexandra Szewc, the $2,500 College Raptor scholarship winner! I recently got the chance to ask her about her college search journey and the challenges that came with it. This is what she had to say!

Tell us a little about yourself!

Hello! My name is Alexandra Szewc. I’m a senior at the Academy for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering. Which is a program that is a part of the Morris County Vocational School District in New Jersey.

I chose to attend this program because I was passionate about STEM, and wanted to expand my knowledge in a rigorous environment. I’ve been involved in numerous academic clubs, such as TSA, DECA, and my school’s Environmental Action Club. I’ve also become an avid fencer in high school. Transitioning from a complete beginner to an individual placing 3rd in the New Jersey State Championship. This fall, I will continue both my passion for STEM and for fencing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

What made you want to study Biomedical Engineering?

Since middle school, I had always been intrigued by the mystery of the human brain. I had also always been involved with and inspired by the development of technology throughout my lifetime, and love working with computers. The interdisciplinary nature of Biomedical Engineering as a major allows for the combination of all the STEM topics I love into a single major. I’m especially interested in Neuroengineering  because it would allow me to delve into research of the brain.

In your essay you mentioned wanting to make a well-rounded decision, what did you mean by that? 

To me, a well-rounded decision with regards to choosing a college is one that takes into account all the factors that are important. For me, these include cost, the availability of my major, the presence of a fencing team, and location. It is important to consider both factors of personal preference and long-term practicality in the college decision process.

How did College Raptor help you narrow down your list of potential schools?

College Raptor helped me narrow down my list of potential schools by assigning each school an ‘Academic Match’ score, which assessed how well each school fit the criteria I had input into my student profile. This was instrumental to my construction of a final application list because it provided me with an organized way to view which schools had what I was looking for, and which ones have some aspects but not all. In the end, this also helped me make my decision when I received all of my admission decisions.

Congrats on your acceptance into Johns Hopkins! What drew you to that school?

I was drawn to Johns Hopkins University primarily due to the reputation of its Biomedical Engineering program. However, I believe that the school is also a perfect match for me apart from this because of its urban location and the fact that it has a fencing team that I will be joining as a freshman.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to students going through the college search process?

I would advise students to look for schools that they can envision themselves attending. And to be organized in their search. By compiling a neat list of schools I was considering, I was able to find clarity of mind in deciding whether or not a school was a good match for me.

Congratulations again, Alexandra! Everyone at College Raptor wishes you good luck at Johns Hopkins!

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