This summer we are introducing students and households to a different member of the College Coach admissions team . Drop in to see what we’re reading, where we went to school, and our strategies for beginning the college article. As you work with us to find an educational consultant who best suits your needs or the needs of your kid, we will help you consider the personality and working styles that will bring out the best in you or your student. Today all of us introduce Steve Brennan , who also works with students both in our Laguna Hills, CA office and remotely.
Where are you through?
Steve: Fowler, Indiana.
Where did you go to school?
Steve: Undergrad: Marquette University or college; German classes: Loyola Chicago; Grad school, University of Hawai`i – Mānoa.
What did you study?
Steve: Majors? English and history. Small? French. Grad Degree? Urban and Regional Planning. Studied? Philosophy, theology, statistical modeling, East Asia politics structures, community planning, and lots of data on the variables of seatbelt use in Hawai`i.
Where did you work?
Steve: Marquette, Regis College (CO), Loyola Chicago, Occidental College, College Connections Hawai`i, Banana Republic, Kinko’s, so that as a house painter, a seat belt keep track of, an editor for Master’s Theses, a detassler and a roguer (weed walker) in soybean fields.
What are you reading today for fun? Steve: Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima.
You do have a free weekend and carte blanche to go anywhere and do anything. What do you do?
Steve: I’m going to say that it’s a long weekend, and I’d take a trip. Cambodia is at the top of the listing, followed by Greece and then Colombia
What was your preferred thing about college?
Steve: Finding the interplay and interconnectedness of seemingly disparate topics. Learning how to learn.
What about your college experience was distinctive from what you expected?
Dorrie: I did not expect to love an urban experience as much as I did – it was awesome going to school in a fun, accessible city like Milwaukee.
What’s your philosophy on college admission?
Steve: Do your research, be since candid with yourself as you can be, and do whatever you can to make sure – make sure – you’ll have options in April. And relax. It issues less and in different ways where you go to college.
What aspect of the college admissions process do you most enjoy working on?
Steve: Helping students develop their creating skills through their essays.
What is the most common mistake you see from students that can easily be fixed?
Steve: Waiting too long and then using the application stage as the research stage.
How do you encourage learners to look beyond the schools they will know to find hidden gems?
Steve: For students in SoCal it’s often the case that location is the greatest challenge. To help, I have an atlas in my office and we find locations on the map, we look at what’s around the area, we’ll look at Google-maps so they can visualize the neighborhood, and we demystify that piece of the process.
What are some universities that you think are great fits for various kinds of students?
Dorrie: Lawrence University or college for a curious musician who does not necessarily want to major in songs but who does want change the world; Westminster (Salt Lake City) intended for potential Olympic-level athletes who want to teach at a high altitude; University of South Carolina for someone interested in International company, particularly in Asia through their Hong Kong program, and who wants the surprisingly diverse campus and all of the particular rah-rah atmosphere they could ask for.
What in your mind makes a good college essay?
Steve: One that answers “So…what? ” very easily; that shows the reader why what’s been written has been impactful within the author’s life.
What are some important things you’ve learned during your time as a College Coach educator?
Dorrie: Seriously? About a bazillion things. That every kid is a better writer than he or she thinks he is.
What would you say to your high school self if you could coach him/her through the process?
- Well… I did everything wrong but I ended up someplace that was perfect for me, so I’d ask him, “Why mess with achievement? You got lucky! ”
- I’d tell him, “Look, you’re going to be coming out in a few years, so choose someplace that has a healthy environment intended for gay students. ”
- I’d tell him, “You don’t want to be so saddled with student loan debt that you have to be broke – really, really broke, like only getting a five out of the ATM broke, like searching dryer sheets out of the garbage can at the laundromat broke – for the next decade of your life, so do not entirely discount affordability in your college search. ”
- I’d tell him, “Don’t prioritize your search based on how challenging you find the essay prompt. ”
Steve Brennan is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions professionals . Prior to joining College Trainer, Steve was a senior admissions official at Occidental College, Marquette University or college, Loyola University Chicago, and Regis University (CO).