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Extraordinary Minds

Story: Gillian Farrell ’13

Queens—Stuyvesant High School

A native New Yorker, I was born and raised on Long Island, where I completed my first nine years of schooling. For high school, I attended Marymount School in New York City, an independent all-girls secondary school, from which I graduated in June 2009 with my forty-three classmates. I realized Harvard would present a completely different environment than I had ever known, and even though I had no idea what to expect, I was beyond excited to get to campus. As a freshman, I lived in Weld Hall, a freshman dormitory right in Harvard Yard. I absolutely loved everything about living in Weld: hanging out with my roommates and neighbors, meeting students from all over the world, and even listening to occasional spontaneous a cappella concerts in the stairway. My favorite freshman-year memory was centered around Weld; the last night of the first semester, all of my friends from Weld who were still on campus and I stayed up late into the night, just talking and reliving good times from the previous few months.

Currently, I am a junior in Lowell House concentrating in Chemistry, with a potential Secondary Field in Government. While I have the opportunity to explore different areas of chemistry each semester, from quantum mechanics to organic chemistry research, I have also had the time to take extremely interesting elective classes, such as “Landmarks of World Architecture” and “From the Hebrew Bible to Judaism, From the Old Testament to Christianity.” Each class is challenging and fascinating on its own, and taken together, they make for a stimulating semester. This past summer, I was offered the phenomenal opportunity to work as a summer intern at the Harvard Club. During my internship at the Club, I was not only able to develop new analytical skills, but also to meet great people who could give me knowledgeable advice. It was an absolutely wonderful experience!

Outside of the classroom, I am very involved in the International Relations Council, with which I help to organize and staff Model United Nations conferences on the high school and collegiate level. I am currently acting as the Under-Secretary-General for the General Assembly at Harvard’s University conference in February. I am also a Chair for World Model United Nations and will be traveling to Vancouver over Spring Break to facilitate a conference for university students from across the world. Finally, I have two part-time jobs on campus: I am a research assistant at Harvard Business School and an admissions counselor at the Harvard College Admissions Office.

The Harvard Club of New York Foundation has been an invaluable part of my time at Harvard thus far. Each fall, the HCNY Foundation hosts a dinner for the Undergraduate Scholars so that they can learn more about the Foundation, meet some of its leaders, and get to know one another. These dinners have been a fantastic experience and a great chance to connect with alumni who are involved in the Harvard-New York community.

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