Saturday 23 March 2019

'Harvard have made terrible mistake by allowing me in'

Limerick student John Collison who is heading to Boston later this month to take up a place at Harvard University.
Limerick student John Collison who is heading to Boston later this month to take up a place at Harvard University.
Jason O'Brien

Jason O'Brien

JOHN Collison got eight A1s in his Leaving Certificate, but it didn't matter. While others are fretting about whether they have enough points for their dream course, John has already been accepted to his.

Harvard came calling way back in April. "They don't take the Leaving Cert into account at all," the 19-year-old from Limerick said yesterday. "It's a very different system.

"Here we're so absolute, whereas they make you do the standardised tests, an aptitude version of the SATs, and I did physics and Spanish and maths.

"But they also asked for transcripts of your grades for Christmas and summer exams, all the way back to first year so they can see how you've developed.

"They also want to know about your hobbies and extracurricular activities. They want 'a more rounded individual' I suppose.

"They've made a terrible mistake with me," he joked.

Weird

Others -- safe in the knowledge that they were already assured of a place in one of the most-prestigious colleges in the world -- may have been tempted to coast through the Leaving Cert.

This Limerick teenager is a little different.

"It is a weird thing -- people are almost surprised that I'm going to college," he said. "There's absolutely no doubt that college is what I want to do.

"I'm a bit of a nerd in that one of the reasons I did so many subjects [for the Leaving Cert] is just that I enjoyed them all. So it's the same with college, I want to take it on to the next level."

Later this month he will head to college in Boston. He has already spent some time in the States working with the 'Auctomatic' company that he founded with elder brother Patrick.

The firm, which manages eBay accounts for high level users, was sold to a Canadian firm for €3.2m last year. So he should be able to aim higher than a bedsit in Boston.

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