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For the first profile in our Student Voices series, we interviewed Megan, a senior at Gibson Ek High School who is preparing to use the MTC Mastery Transcript for college admissions this year. Megan is particularly excited about how it will showcase the strengths she can bring to a college program in music industry management. Gibson Ek is among the group of MTC member schools piloting the Mastery Transcript during 2019-2020. All of Gibson Ek’s 48 seniors will use the new transcript as they apply to college.
Age and Grade: 17, 12th Grade
High School: Gibson Ek, a public school open to any Issaquah School District student looking for a more independent, project-based approach to learning. The school follows an innovative model established by Big Picture Learning, an organization that promotes student-directed, real-world learning.
Interests: Music industry business and stage production
“I am a huge appreciator of music and also a people person; my high school experience has helped me to grow in both of those areas. Currently I also have a job as a barista, and I love it because it gives me an opportunity to interact with lots of different types of people … I feel confident using the Mastery Transcript as I apply to college, as it’s going to be wonderful to have something to show that is more than a simple set of numbers or GPA. This is really going to help explain who I really am and what I have accomplished.”
Mastery Transcript: Experience to Date
The Mastery Transcript offers a lot of opportunities for self exploration. I’ve had some early interactions with it so far, along with the principal and guidance counselor at my school. Compared to the transcript we used formerly, the Mastery Transcript is going to be so much easier for me to use and so much easier for admissions officers to use and read as well. I actually can’t even express how excited I am to showcase my work in a way that makes sense and actually shows off all the work that I’ve done. I am a very independent, self-directed student, but think my parents will also be very excited when they see my Mastery Transcript and understand it.
In particular the ability to attach evidence is a huge thing for me, as it will give me the ability to showcase how far I’ve made it on each of the competencies. This feature will make it really apparent where I have excelled. I can also showcase what I’ve chosen to do in school and outside of school related to my interests–and really demonstrate where and how I’ve done a good job in those choices.
Some of the work accomplishments I plan to highlight are my leadership experiences. I am very involved in our school leadership group, the Associated Student Body, where we create new opportunities for the student body, hold community-building events, and work to improve the working environment for all students. I have held the president position and the vice president position and have also served the group in no formal position at all. It has been a great experience in leadership for me–and also a great experience in taking a step back, collaborating, and supporting our leadership.This group work has provided me the opportunity to learn how to work and connect with a variety of personality types. On the transcript I am hoping it will be able to highlight the skills I have learned in management and an ability to connect.
Preparing for College, Career, and Life
I am a world traveler at heart, which is directly connected to my interest in touring music groups. Travel changes lives and has provided me with an opportunity to grow in the way I function. It has given me a new perspective on where I live and has helped me to deal with different situations and to problem solve. Difficult situations are easier to navigate when you have the ability to empathize with others.
About a year ago, I saved up enough money from work and shipped myself off to Europe with a friend. On one of the first days, we had a typical tourist plan to go see the Louvre and for a variety of reasons the plan didn’t end up working out. But it didn’t really matter. We ended up just walking around the city and experiencing the local culture and taking it all in, which was an even better learning experience for me. It was interesting to navigate the city, using our limited knowledge of the language and keeping interactions focused and to the point. I speak some French and am continuing to learn it better. I don’t take classes, but am doing a lot of self-teaching in this area. My friend and I learned to ask for what we need and say “thank you”– then move on!
As I get ready to apply to college, my main goal is to go to the United Kingdom for university and kick start my career over there. My first choice university is one that is particularly well-known for its program in music industry management. In an ideal world, I will have paid internships throughout college. I am thinking a lot about how I can make money from something I really want to do. My hope is to work for a record label and support them in planning and managing tours–with a lot of emphasis again on managing because I think it is a strength of mine.
I am also hoping to get more young people interested in the music industry and to help them find paid ways of getting involved, as right now many internships are unpaid. I believe that having a real work experience early really helps to kick start students into the real world. Being able to study abroad is also key–not just study but understand and immerse in another language. I hope to mentor others as well, as I have found a lot of great mentors in my own life–both within high school and with others outside of school. I am on the board of a local radio station, and their education director has been a huge influence on me, providing me with a lot of opportunities, feedback, and inspiration. I intend to pay experiences like that back.