Every Thursday this summer, we are presenting students and families to a different member of the College Coach admissions team . Drop in to discover what we’re reading, where we all went to school, and our techniques for beginning the college essay. As you work with us to find an educational consultant who best fits your needs or maybe the needs of your child, we will help you consider the personality and working designs that will bring out the best in a person or your student. Today we introduce Mary Sue Youn , who also works with students in our Ridgewood, NJ office.
Where are you from?
Jane Sue: I actually grew up in South Jersey, and also have lived in New York and Southern California. I have lived within Montclair, NJ since 2000.
Where did you go to school?
Jane Sue: Cornell University. I also did graduate work in Psychology at the Claremont Graduate student University.
What did you study?
Mary Sue: Psychology, with minors within Statistics and Music
Where did a person work?
Mary Prosecute: Whittier College, CA and Barnard College, NY.
What are you reading through right now for fun?
Jane Sue: JK Rowling’s adult novel – A Casual Vacancy.
You have a free of charge weekend and carte blanche to look anywhere and do anything. What do you do?
Mary Sue: For just a weekend, I might likely head to my mom’s beach house at the Jersey shore. I love to ride my bike, therefore a weekend filled with biking, swimming, my family and good food at the beach sounds like heaven to me. Also i love to travel further away – but then I’d want to take my time to explore.
What was your favorite thing about college?
Mary Sue: I love the buddies I made – and I nevertheless keep in touch with them to this day. I actually loved sitting up late during the night and talking to friends about the most random topics. I think that Cornell is unique in that I had friends learning a wide array of subjects – from Resort Administration to Agriculture to Pre-med – and I found it interesting to bring together such disparate viewpoints into one place.
What about your college experience was different from what you expected?
Mary Sue: College was definitely an academic adjustment for me. I had been a top student in high school, plus my first semester of college was rough as I got used to the greater academic demands and extremely talented peers. But I once I found my niche and settled within, I loved the freedom to academically explore that college allowed.
What’s your philosophy on college admission?
Mary Sue: I believe that there are great colleges around for every student. Choosing a college is a process – and occasionally the student that starts the process is not the same as the student at the end of the process. From the bird’s eyes view, it can seem like an overwhelmingly stressful experience. However , when broken down into manageable tasks, it could be rewarding and exciting to figure out your next goals in life.
What aspect of the college admissions process do you most enjoy focusing on?
Mary Sue: Honestly, I think I actually most enjoy witnessing the student’s growth throughout their process. Several students I have worked with for years just before they go off to college, and some only a few months, but I have found that many learners find their own voice while looking for a college.
What is the most common mistake you see from students that can very easily be fixed?
Jane Sue: The simplest fixes are simple mistakes in the essays – typos, grammatical errors, bad word choice. When I was at Barnard, I was so let down when a fantastic student did a sloppy application. An essay isn’t the sole reason that a student is ever admitted, but it Could possibly be the reason a great student is denied!
How do you encourage students to look beyond the schools they know to find hidden gems?
Mary Prosecute: Colleges modify, and it is likely that a particular college will have a different academic profile compared to it did when your parents went to college. I encourage families to look beyond the norm and think about what is the best personal and academic fit for the student. Numerous students in my North Jersey office only initially consider Northeast schools between Boston and DC. There are so many great schools beyond that will parameter that I always push learners to think outside the norm of what everyone else in their school is taking into consideration.
Why is a good college essay?
Mary Sue: In my mind, great college essays have two distinguishing features. First, draw the attention of the tired and overworked admissions officer from the first line. When I was in admissions, boring opening paragraphs produced me not want to read more and often recommend for the student. Second, excellent essays truly reflect the student’s voice and their own personal tale. When a student is done together with his essay and has others read this, it should be clear who the writer is. If an essay doesn’t sound like the student within tone, writing style and content, it is missing an opportunity to let the admissions officer know more about the student’s character.
Exactly what are some important things you’ve learned in your time as a College Coach instructor?
Mary Sue: I think the most important thing I actually learned is that EVERY student includes a story to tell. I can not tell you how many times I’ve had students come in and bemoan they have nothing to write their essays about and that there is nothing “special” about them. There is something unique about every single student and family I work with – and my job is to help them discover that story to place into their applications.
What would you say to your own high school self if you could trainer her through the process?
Mary Sue: I am the youngest of five kids in my family. Even though he worked full time in regulation, my dad spent many nights performing as my college counselor by helping me choose colleges plus organize my essays. I had been devastated at the time by a couple of college rejections, but in the end, Dad encouraged me to dive fully straight into my college experience and get pumped up about the colleges that wanted me personally on their campus. He was right, and I absolutely ended up on the best college for me. Looking back, I truly believe that the college choice helped shape who also I am today, and I think I would tell my younger self that almost everything works out for the best.
Mary Sue Youn is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts . Prior to joining College Coach, Mary Sue was obviously a senior admissions officer at Barnard College and Whittier College.