How to allocate time correctly when entering Harvard? (article with video)
How to allocate time correctly when entering Harvard? (article with video)




10 Must-Have Skills for a Harvard University Student

Skill #3: Time Management

As you already understood from the previous article, the academic life of a Harvard student is intense, and one cannot do without the ability to study independently. And this skill exists in close connection with the skill of time management. The ability to prioritize and effectively organize your time will allow you not only to cope with the academic part, but also to make the most of the unique resources of the university.

Of course, I still don’t know about all the possibilities myself, so I’ll tell you about those for which you just need to learn how to properly plan and allocate your time.

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What else does a Harvard student need to free up time for?

Well, of course, to work and internships! An employer as large as Harvard University, or any other university like it, lives off the labor of students. All students, including international students, can work on campus (for international students, the limit is 20 hours per week). Even if you work 10-12 hours a week, almost a third of your working week will be busy. The good news is that you can independently create a schedule grid that is convenient for you. However, is it worth spending time on it so that you can not sleep at night?

With an average salary of $12,5 an hour for undergraduate students and about $20 for graduate students, this is definitely a great opportunity to earn coffee and weekend entertainment, and sometimes even spring break in Mexico. In fact, work is a very important component of career development and resume building, especially for international students. It is within the framework of the work that students will be able to master the etiquette of professional communication and communications, which can largely differ from the usual home. In addition, at Harvard you can find really interesting work in any of the schools of your interests. Thus, you will receive an additional platform for acquiring practical skills, as well as developing a network of acquaintances and mentors.

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Screenshot of the job search page at Harvard University

Research students, especially international students, often work as unpaid jobs or internships. If you happen to be in a lab and help with research, it's likely to be an unpaid activity, since most of the research is funded by the federal budget and foundations. So, this semester, I started working as part of the Brain, Experience and Education Lab, and instead of paying, I get an additional “course” in transcript and a unique experience, and spend about 8 more hours of my time.

Harvard has such unique resources that you cannot pass by. For example, Harvard Innovation Lab. It should be noted that no matter where you go, no matter what topic you talk about, everything and everywhere is about the same thing - that “you need to study in order to innovate” (“learn to innovate”). And the university really does a lot to keep students innovative by providing practical tools, access to experts, and even funding opportunities. iLAB is a kind of incubator where a student of any course and any specialty can come with an unformed idea or a simple question, with a business plan or an existing startup. iLAB will not own your idea or claim a share in the company. For example, I am a frequent visitor here and actively use the opportunity to meet with experts and business leaders from various industries who help me bring a new business project to fruition. Of course, you remember that communication and networking are the most important assets that you acquire during your studies, so sometimes you just need to be here to communicate, get to know each other and exchange ideas. And of course, no matter where else in iLAB you can take courses in virtual and augmented reality, start-up trainings and take part in an investment challenge and, perhaps, win a Harvard Presidential grant in the amount of $100.

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Photo from Harvard Innovation Lab

You also need to leave time for participation in various student organizations. Of the hundreds of active organizations, everyone here will find something to their liking, and if they don’t find it, they can start a new club and cultivate a new culture within the university.

At the end of each week, the Student Affairs Department sends out a calendar of events for the next week - there are lectures with experts, practical workshops, recruiting events with companies, etc. You can analyze and plan ahead for the coming week.

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Photo from the meeting of the student organization

And of course, sports teams or just a visit to any Harvard gym for $150 a year!

I would like to note the overall high pace of life of students. And this is not an accident. The university cultivates and maintains just such an environment by accepting students of a certain profile. An assessment of the candidate's time management and multitasking skills occurs at the stage of consideration of the application. In addition to academic data, the admissions committee pays special attention to the study of your extracurricular activities. And here it is important to understand that not their quantity, but the quality, duration, depth of immersion, as well as the results of your participation will play a decisive role!

Students who have access to the same resources, even at Harvard, can have qualitatively different experiences. It is the skill of time management, in tandem with the already mentioned goal setting skill (see Skill 1: Goal Setting), that will probably allow you to achieve your goals faster than you planned. Or perhaps, because of the new experience, these goals will change altogether and you will suddenly find your calling ...

In the next story, we will return to one of the important academic skills. In the meantime, you can rate pass the testto evaluate how good your time management skill is and, if necessary, start working on it right now.


Author: Evgenia Efremova, Master's student at Harvard University  
and academic director Global Ambassador     

 ← Read or watch about 2 Habits of a Harvard Student                                                                                   Read about the 4 Habits of a Harvard Student 

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