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A Harvard student's advice on getting into Harvard: The "why" is more important than the "what."

Updated: May 18


We had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Laura Sophie Wegner (Harvard '25) about how she got into Harvard.


"I am interested in entrepreneurship, music, and giving back. I founded two startups, one global technology club, and I worked with an Australian non-profit organization (AIME) that helps overcome the educational gap for underprivileged students in multiple countries. Furthermore, I play the piano as well as tenor saxophone and I am a blacklight photographer."

- Laura Wegner


Laura studied Economics at Harvard with a secondary in Psychology and French Citation. She was also a part of Harvard Ventures, Women in Business, and Club Sailing.


Laura shares some key words of advice:

  • "I now know that it is crucial for one’s happiness and professional success to put serious thought into what people and which actions are increasing or decreasing happiness and success."

  • "Our teenage years are pretty limited, so please put your time and energy in something that makes you proud of yourself."



What impact do you think you have made with your volunteering and startups and how did you apply that into your college applications?

A: I actually have to say that I barely talked about volunteering and startups in my essays. One.Education was briefly mentioned in both my longer essays, but I more used the essays to show my personality and how past experiences shaped the person that I am today. From reading my admissions notes I also found out that the admissions committee appreciated this approach.

My Common App essay was called "Cold Water." It started out with my time as a competitive swimmer, how hurting my knee changed my life, and how this drove me to dive into new challenges.

My optional essay was called “Bridges” where I talked about building bridges. I mainly talked about the relationship with my Bulgarian grandmother and building One.Education.



Based on your experience, would you say the impact you were able to make was more important to admissions officers or the unique motives your initiatives had?

A: I think that the motives were more important. Of course, the impacts have value, but for the application it seemed to be mostly important why I was doing certain projects. Especially because I did not have that “one” project that I was pursuing, a lot of people around me thought that I was just exploring different fields and did not really know where I was going. However, the real motive behind all my work in the education, tech, arts, music etc. spaces was and still is that I love forming connections between people, especially across continents. Diving into these different fields also let me explore my interests as an entrepreneur and I was able to gain experience in various industries.



How do you think studying economics will help you to continue to do what you are doing while at Harvard?

A: One of the first things that we as students were told in our economics class is that “economics” does not equal money. So far, this class has not only taught me about how producers and consumers make choices and how that affects markets, but doing cost-benefit analysis has taught me that it is important to consider in who and what I invest my time in. While I do not believe 100% in the saying that “time equals money”, I now know that it is crucial for one’s happiness and professional success to put serious thought into what people and which actions are increasing or decreasing happiness and success.




Q: Do you have anything else you would like to add? Any final words of wisdom?

A: I hope that everyone who is reading this is not pursuing a hobby that they are not passionate about. Our teenage years are pretty limited, so please put your time and energy in something that makes you proud of yourself.




Connect with Laura on LinkedIn.


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