Each Thursday this summer, we are introducing students and families to a different member of the particular University Coach admissions team . Drop in to see what we’re reading, where we went to school, and our strategies for starting the college essay. As you work with all of us to find an educational consultant which best fits your needs or the needs of your child, we will help you consider the personality and working styles which will bring out the best in you or even your student. Today we bring in Becky Leichtling , who works with students both in our Palo Elevado office and remotely.
Where are you from?
Becky: Milwaukee, wisconsin, WI. A Great City on a Excellent Lake!
Where did you go to school?
Becky: Carleton College and Stanford Graduate School of Education.
What did you study?
Becky: American Studies and Educational Studies in undergrad, after that Policy, Organization & Leadership Studies in grad school.
Where did you work?
Becky: As a student in the admissions office at Carleton, after that at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
What are you reading through right now for fun?
Becky: Just completed A Creature associated with Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn, a recent Carleton grad. Now reading The Bondwoman’s Narrative , possibly the first novel ever written by an African-American female.
You do have a free weekend and carte blanche to go anywhere and do anything. What should you do?
Becky: Hang out outside the entire period. Hike, go for a bike ride or to the beach, play ultimate, or simply take a picnic to the park.
What was your preferred thing about college?
Becky: Constructing relationships with people – students and faculty – who challenged me personally to be a better person. Also going out on the Bald Spot on sunny afternoons.
What about your college experience was totally different from what you expected?
Becky: I didn’t main in what I planned to main in, nor did I continue any of the activities I was so dedicated to in high school. I began college with a totally different sense associated with my strengths and interests compared to I left with, and I am grateful I went to a college that encouraged me to challenge my comfort zone in that way.
What’s your philosophy on university admission?
Becky: There’s no perfect fit and no single approach to success. Each student’s priorities, goals, and realistic advantages dictate how we approach our period together – specifically, what happens and when.
What aspect of the college admissions process do you most enjoy working on?
Becky: Essays! Love them. This is when an application halts being a collection of data and turns into a representation of an actual person. We loved reading them when I was an admissions officer, and I really like helping students write them today.
What is the most common mistake you see from students that can easily be fixed?
Becky: The decisions you make in the fall about your college list determine the options you will have in the spring. A listing that is too top- or bottom-heavy often leads to frustrations and disenchantment in April that could have been avoided with a bit more balance in December.
How do you encourage students to look beyond the colleges they know to find hidden gems?
Becky: I challenge students to identify the core attributes of a particular college that stand out to them. Once we move beyond ranking or title recognition to the actual college experience, it’s easier to suggest great alternatives that provide a similar approach to learning and community.
What in your mind makes a good university essay?
Becky: I love essays that sound like a real person is talking right to me about something he or she is proud of. Plain speak, personal, and specific. I don’t care whether the topic is an eye-opening experience or a really like of cheese, as long as I can connect with what matters to the writer.
What are some important things you’ve learned during your period as a College Coach educator?
Becky: Jesuit schools are awesome. There weren’t any on my radar when I was in high school but wow, they do a great job of establishing a welcoming and challenging campus community! I’ve also learned that most kids think they’re fairly normal, even the ones I’m extremely impressed by. I hope you men all can take advantage of this application process to recognize what’s really cool regarding yourselves.
What would you say to your senior high school self if you could coach them through the process?
Becky: 1) You might have no idea what you’re talking about. 2) Consider schools in the 45 claims you’re completely forgetting about. 3) Go to Carleton.
Becky Leichtling is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts . Becky is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School associated with Education; prior to joining College Trainer, Becky was a senior admissions officer at Tufts University and Carleton College.