The Original Piece: Advice from your Admission Counsellors

Applying to Quest is not your standard college/university application. We take a holistic approach to our admissions process, meaning that we are interested in learning more about you as an individual, not just your grade point average and test scores.  We are looking for interesting, passionate and diverse students who are willing to make meaningful contributions to both the academic and community life on campus.There are a number of supporting documents required in order for your application to be complete, including an official high school transcript, an essay written from one of our 5 Essay Topics, an original piece of work, as well as an interview with an Admission Counsellor.

The original piece requirement is undoubtedly one of the favorite components for Admission Counsellors to review, and is a great segue into the conversations we have with students during the interview stage of the application. As an Admission Counsellor, I get a lot of emails with questions from applicants asking for advice on what they should submit for their original piece, so this article is meant to enlighten prospective students and hopefully spark some ideas for your own creative pieces. Here are a few exceptional examples we’ve received this year from applicants:

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Treuheit, Maya
Maya Treuheit’s news article about her Giving Tree Project

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Bonnie Warburton Original Piece Tumblr

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Josh Tsang submitted photos of his ceramics work. To see the full collection visit: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Quest-Original-Piece/12290101
Josh Tsang submitted photos of his ceramics work. To see the full collection visit: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Quest-Original-Piece/12290101

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Hila Shooter submitted a copy of a book she wrote titled “Ticket to Ride – How Teens can Fundraise to Realize Our Dreams.” In her book, Hila explains how she raised $12,000 to fund a semester abroad trip in Ecuador with Kroka Expeditions. She also submitted samples of her artwork that were made into cards for her fundraising projects

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Dance video submitted by Aina Yasue:

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The original piece is meant to be an opportunity for you to highlight your passions, talents, and interests outside of your high school transcript, and how they will contribute to the ever-dynamic community we have here at Quest. The biggest thing to remember is that we intentionally leave the guidelines for the original piece ambiguous because we don’t want to constrain the scope of your creativity by having you follow step-by step instructions. Your submission can take a variety of forms – anything from physical art, photography, an academic research paper or an IB extended essay, dance videos, ski videos, a recording of a theater performance, music recordings, poetry, scrapbooks –  the list is infinite and limited only by your creative inspiration and the effort you are willing to put into your project. Some students create something specifically for their application to Quest, others send in projects they previously created. One thing to remember when sending in a visual arts piece is to accompany your work with an artist statement that gives context to your work, and explains why you’ve chosen to submit that work in particular, as well as how it represents you and your abilities/passions/talents, etc…

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We've had a number of awesome scrapbooks submitted by applicants this year (Left to Right:  ______,Ariana Sholinder, and Ella Johnston)
We’ve had a number of awesome scrapbooks submitted by applicants this year (Left to Right: Esther Wenger, Ariana Sholinder, and Ella Johnston)

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Video Submitted by Emily McBride:

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Dayne Sabo, Poetry
Poetry submitted by Dayne Sabo: http://prezi.com/dyjrklrfg2tk/who-am-i/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

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TEDxKids Talk by Sophia Vartanian:

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The Quest Admissions: Original Art and Photography Pieces
The Admissions Office features a “hallway collection,” displaying of a number of original art and photography pieces submitted  by students over the years.

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So there you have it, a few examples of original pieces we’ve received recently. I now encourage you to go forth, be creative, and show us what inspires you with your own original piece. Good luck with your application, and of course, don’t hesitate to contact your Admission Counsellor if you have any questions.

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