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Similing Team

Uncommon Applicant

An Online Video Course & Community for Students Building a Self-Directed Project


Have a cool idea for a project but just need some inspiration and tools to help you get it off the ground?

Or maybe you want to stay engaged, creative, and productive this year but just don't know where to start.


Uncommon Applicant:

A mini-course for helping students develop their leadership capacities, then brainstorm and potentially launch a self-directed project.



Receive access to an OnDemand video curriculum with all the tools you need to create a self-directed project.



What are my core values?
What am I really good at?
What do I love to do?



Your Creativity + A Problem in Our World = Opportunity to Make a Difference



Collaborate with a community of motivated peers via a private Discord community. Make personal connections, find accountability buddies, and work in teams.



Watch past workshop sessions with me (Bonnie), where we brainstorm ideas, give and receive feedback, and troubleshoot problems.



Whether you decide to launch your project, or just explore a new interest, you’ll have the tools and resources to make it happen.

"I signed up for this course so that I didn’t spend my summer doing nothing because of quarantine, but instead I was able to start my podcast like I always dreamed of doing!"

-Linda, Uncommon Summer Student

In this virtual course, we'll cover:

  • How to identify your core values and how they manifest in your life

  • How do you lead? Are you more comfortable out front (envisioning big ideas) or in a supporting role (helping others get things done)?

  • Receive access to an OnDemand video curriculum with all the tools you need to create, launch, and level-up your self-directed project

  • Receive access to our recorded workshop sessions with me (Bonnie), where we brainstorm ideas, give and receive feedback on each other’s projects, and troubleshoot problems and roadblocks as a group

  • Read and watch a curated selection of great articles & videos about how to grow as a self-directed learner and generally become a more thoughtful and productive person

  • You'll join a community of your peers where you'll connect, collaborate, and share ideas

You’ll also learn practical skills, such as how to:

  • Remain calm in the face of adversity

  • Identify problems in your community that matter to you and how to brainstorm potential solutions

  • Avoid the pitfalls of perfectionism

  • Scope a project (to avoid potential overwhelm)

  • Use the internet (better) to research your project

  • Write an effective vision and mission statement

  • Create a to-do list and schedule that works

  • And yes, we realize many students are balancing other priorities. That’s why all the homework for this course is optional.

This program is for students who:

  • Want to brainstorm a cool project idea to keep them busy

  • Have a lot of creative ideas, but need some structure in order to put them into practice

  • Are already working on a project and looking for more ideas/tools/inspiration

  • Want to make a tangible contribution to their community or the larger world

  • Don't have an idea for a project, but simply want to learn more about who they are and how they work


Here's a quick preview:

Course Overview

Video Modules

Module One: Building Capacity and Getting to Know Yourself
Module Two: Selecting and Scoping Your Project
Module Three: Tools for Getting Stuff Done
Module Four: Recruiting Mentors & Building a Team

The OnDemand curriculum is made up of 19 exercises that give you all the tools you'll need to undertake a self-directed project, from start to finish.

We start with building capacity as a self-directed learner and leader, and finish with tools for marketing and reaching a wider audience.


You’ll have the guidance of the OnDemand videos, the Uncommon Workbook to hold all your work in one place, and the Uncommon Discord Community to workshop and share ideas.

What exactly is a self-directed project?

Here are some examples from previous students:

  • Designing a line of up-cycled clothing and selling it on Depop Publishing a photography website

  • Producing a podcast about space flight

  • Creating a virtual speaker series at your school

  • Renovating a bedroom

  • Launching a food or clothing drive

  • Constructing native bee boxes in a local county park

  • Designing and creating a garden

  • Designing an online course to teach people how to build their own computers

  • Hand printing t-shirts and donating the proceeds to racial equity organizations

  • Launching an online custom illustration business on Etsy

  • Finding interesting ways to help homeschool your younger siblings

  • Building or renovating a bedroom, treehouse, or car

  • Writing or producing a book, podcast, album, film, app, video game

  • Organizing a virtual talent show, hackathon, poetry slam, storytelling night, concert, art show

  • Creating a virtual career day panel to speak to students about their paths

"I start a lot of projects, but I usually get stuck figuring out how to execute my ideas. This course provided a lot of awesome resources to help me reach my goal of continuing and staying motivated. Plus, so many of the resources were so practical."

- -Brittney, Uncommon Summer Student

Meet Your Guide

About Tiffany Phu

Owner of College & Career Champion

Hi there! I am a college and career coach of nearly a decade. I am a certified career service provider (CCSP), published in the National Career Development Association, and have a certificate from College Counseling. I'm quite proud that my YouTube channel is one of the fastest growing focused on college and career.

Gratitude and inspiration led me to enter the career services space to advocate, guide, and empower individuals who are looking to improve their future either pursuing a new career path, applying to a four year college, vocational training programs, or even a gap year(s). Here is a high level of my background:

1) College Consultant: Help clients save time and money by finding the right career with a targeted approach to first identify skillsets and interests then tailoring qualifications to attract possible employers and colleges. Provide in-depth essay & resume development, proofreading, mentoring for the University of California, Common Application schools, Liberal Arts schools, and more.

About Tiffany (1).png

2) Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP): Multi-purpose credential includes demonstration of the essential skills needed to provide career related assistance in any setting for all levels and roles.

3) Talent Recruitment Professional: I have 9+ years of talent recruitment experience at Google, one of the world's most valuable companies, hiring 500+ talent for intern programs to leadership level for roles across technology to business functions. I am aware of what top companies are interested in to help students and professionals prepare their resume, application, and interviews.

4) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Expert: 9+ years of extensive experience building hiring programs across the United States and Asia to attract diverse talent. First generation college graduate advocate.

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