Interview with the College Fairy (Cigus Vanni)

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It's finally summer and with that comes relaxation, the hot summer weather, and of course college and career preparation! Cigus Vanni or otherwise known as the "College Fairy" completed an interview with us to give our followers some helpful advice on college and career readiness.  You can read Cigus’s bio here!

1.   As the “College Fairy” what do you believe is the most important factor in choosing a college or university?
Genuineness--the classic case of being true to yourself..  The higher one's level of self-awareness, the more meaningful one's college search and selection will be.  Additionally, one who knows her/himself will not fear selecting colleges that are diverse, novel and outside the cluster of "prestigious" institution.

2.  How important are extracurricular activities for college readiness and career readiness?
Less important than people believe they are...  A stellar resume will not overcome classes that are not challenging, poor grades and (if necessary) lower test scores--UNLESS one is being recruited for a specific activity (typically, an athletic pursuit though some musicians are recruited).  Colleges are seeking depth and commitment--choose activities that are meaningful and/or productive to you, stick with them and try to rise to a position of leadership if possible. Perfectly OK to try new things and to back away from those that are no longer meaningful/productive.  Demonstrate to the colleges to which you apply the following: talent, initiative, passion and impact--regardless of the activities you choose, if you show those abiding qualities, you will help yourself. However, activities are "behind" rigor, grades, test scores, letters of recommendation and essays in your typical admissions mix.

3.   What would you say is the first step to preparing oneself to apply to colleges and universities?
Open your heart and your mind; seek self-awareness; limit the influence of your peers; and seek knowledgeable people to assist you along the way.

4.   You were the Jeopardy Champion in 1988 and 1989. What would you say was your strategy to prepare yourself for each round?
I deliberately didn't prepare, in a study-content sort of way.  I figured that if I began to modify my gestalt, I would begin to doubt my knowledge--so why start reviewing the order of the presidents when I know that I have this information in my mind?  My prep was more about confidence--I didn't need any prep for public speaking because that's never been an issue.

5.   If you could go back in time and give your 18-year-old self one piece of advice before they left for college what would it be?
Always smell the milk before you pour it (or, more broadly, you've come eighteen years so far honing and developing your instincts--don't abandon them now).

 

If you are interested in working with Cigus during the 2018-2019 school year we will open registration for our Instruments for Success program in August. Be sure to check our website for updates!