Oh yes. Comp season. The part of the semester that wakes up most clubs and reminds us of all the mailing lists we’ve signed up for. Whether the Harvard club application process lasts the entire semester or just a few weeks, it can be a daunting task. Word model himself represents skill, and the purpose of the often tedious demands and tasks is to prove it. Yet often this is not really the case. Hear from members of Harvard’s most popular clubs to see how their songwriting processes have fared against widespread rumors about them.
Crimson Key Society (CKS)
Let’s start with Harvard’s first community service organization: Crimson Key. No less than 100 of the college’s student organizations are classified in the public service, including Phillips Brooks House, Project Access, Harvard College Social Enterprise Association. What separates Crimson Key from the rest of these groups is its specialization in organizing tours at Harvard and welcoming freshmen and their families to campus. Current member Daniyal Sachee ’23 explains that their extensive composition process selects their famous Harvard tour guides.
The first tour consists of a short written request, a group interview, and a memorized tour stop of about three minutes from any building on campus. The first round of the process “lacks a lot of direction and direction in terms of expectations,” says Sachee. One of the hardest parts of preparing for a Harvard visit is preparing for questions that you can’t actually prepare for. As part of the mock tour process, Crimson Key members will ask compers questions about the College, including its final clubs, the admissions process, and other low-key topics that may put the tour guide on the spot. In the second round of the application process, each CKS Fellow is assigned a current member to help create and remember a memorized one-hour visit stop.
Once a buddy is admitted, their club time peaks during the first year’s move-in week and whenever touring is required. Overall, Sachee doesn’t hesitate to express her satisfaction and pride in being a member of Crimson Key, and promises that being a member is worth it.
Harvard College Advisory Group (HCCG)
On a perhaps more extreme scale is the Harvard College Consulting Group, a student-run, nonprofit organization that works with real-world companies on real-world issues. They’re best known for solving strategic issues for clients like Snapchat, Reebok, Louis Vuitton, and American Cancer Society, and the requirements for joining such a prestigious program don’t fail to impress either.
“During the composition process, I spent a lot of my time and didn’t really sleep,” says a member of HCCG. “I worked, about six hours a day, making a deck to solve the problems described by the investigators. ”
HCCG is known for its competitive acceptance rate – less than 10% of applicants are admitted, which has both advantages and disadvantages. In a community like Harvard, where many students are used to being the best at their sport, class, or extracurricular activities, failure is new.
“Too many people have never seen failure, so I’m not sure the level of extreme competition is necessarily a bad thing,” said the HCCG member. “The beauty of a successful consulting group is that you want them to be qualified and cohesive.
Yet this member also recognizes the negative aspects of such competitiveness. “The competition is such that it makes the HCCG a club which is only accessible to students who have previous work experience or who come from preparatory schools which give them training in finance, which is not true”, they say.
Once a buddy is admitted, his weekly needs do not decrease as much as in Crimson Key. HCCG members are expected to spend approximately ten hours per week meeting with their case teams and calling clients. But for the social connections gained, the HCCG member admits joining the club was worth it.
Harvard’s only fashion magazine features a shorter, less time-consuming composition that gets aspiring members a go. The mockup consists of three weeks of one-hour meetings where contributors can come up with ideas for editorials, write short articles, and do photo ops. “The overall goal of the FIG composition process is to introduce journalists to what it can look like to make a magazine, write and think about fashion and dialogue with the industry,” said Sarah Lightbody ‘ 22, current FIG editor. “Compers immediately have the chance to contribute to the magazine and have a lasting impact on the organization.”
Harvard Undergraduate Law Review (HULR)
The Harvard Undergraduate Law Review offers an ever more concise composition process: those interested in enrolling just need to fill out a Google form with their legal interests and submit a writing sample. After the HULR Board of Directors reviews each candidate and approves qualified legislative review editors and advocates, new members are required to write two short articles and then can begin writing for the journal. Unlike other clubs, the time spent simply depends on the participation of each writer. HULR writer Lucas Gazianis ’24 expresses his appreciation for this approach of individualized contribution. “What I like most about HULR is that I can write on my own terms. Having the flexibility to resolve any urgent issue or issue that speaks to me is really important, ”he says.
The Harvard Investment Association (HIA)
At the Harvard Investment Association, the college’s oldest financial organization, comping is “designed to be very accessible to all students,” says co-chair Steve Cox ’23. The club guides students through a number of employer networking events, job postings, and a student mentoring program, with the goal of helping students navigate the world of finance.
Compers should attend hour-long meetings each week and present a pitch at the end of the process, usually around Thanksgiving Break. Cox hopes to promote HIA to more first-year students, seeing its reliability as an introduction to the world of finance. HIA’s entire board is made up of members who came to Harvard without investing any experience, revealing the club’s ability to turn students into financial experts.
At Harvard, it is generally accepted that admission to a club justifies the means to get there. Whether students are writing articles and pitches, managing meeting attendance, or selling advertisements, building a club can sometimes feel like you’re on a fifth class. This often eliminates the really committed cronies from those who were a little too excited at the club fair. But Harvard offers unlimited opportunities for students to find their ideal extracurricular opportunities. Whether you want to go beyond the demands of the class and test your talents against your peers, or just looking to learn a new skill and meet new people, there is a club and competition for everyone on the site. campus.
Marlo Marlo ’24 ([email protected]) is the editor-in-chief of Independent.