SANTA CLARA, CA - Today’s undergraduate students at elite institutions know all too well the wildly competitive world of pursuing summer internships, jobs, and research opportunities. The cutthroat nature of these opportunities makes it difficult for an individual student’s summertime achievements to truly stand out. That is why former Stanford swimmer, Brock Turner, was the subject of a passionate national outcry to recognize his achievements when he was accepted to the nation’s most selective summer program, held at Santa Clara County Correctional Facility.
“It’s rare to find a candidate so clearly qualified for the program,” said a spokesperson for the summer program, who declined to be named. This anonymous source described Turner as “brazen, confident. He takes risks and thinks outside the box. Most applicants reveal their character in subtle, undetectable ways that are difficult to prove. Turner was a rare obvious choice. He was honestly overqualified,” however, she continued, in a comment that speaks to the highly selective nature of the program, “[Turner] almost didn’t even make the cut.”
Turner, who was nominated for the program in January of 2015, received highly impressive letters of recommendation. "Coming by a recommendation is a strenuous process. While most people opt out of submitting nominations and letters of recommendation due to the extensive, exhausting process, others simply get lost in the bureaucratic labyrinth,” commented our source. “Most get nominated by outspoken close friends or family members. However, Turner had the unique experience of receiving profound and moving letters from total strangers. His resume and skill set were so apparent and compelling that the recommenders felt it would be an egregious mistake to reject him from our program.”
Applying is a strenuous process. During their time in college, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 33 men will submit a nomination. Out of every 1,000 applicants, only 334 applications will ever make it to the desks of recruiters. This means that 2 out of every 3 applications is deemed too unimpressive to even be read. Only 63 of these applications will lead to an interview; and of those interviewed, only 6 will ever spend any time in these kinds of elite institutions.
“People were shocked to find out that Turner spent such a short time-- just the length of his summer break-- with us,” commented the program’s director, Dean Warden, when we spoke to him by payphone this past Thursday. “But short stints are most common. If applicants get to spend any time in our program at all, it is usually just for a few months or even less. The candidates that stay for the longest time are usually a part of our minority outreach program.”
Turner spoke very highly of the program. He said it provided him with valuable real world lessons and experiences that helped him realize his true passions in life. Turner reported that the experience was so immersive and life-changing that he has elected to leave Stanford and its athletic program. As of press time, he has moved back to Ohio, where he hopes to pursue work in lucrative fields like the pharmaceutical industry, or the military, where his experience would make him an invaluable asset.