November News for Friends and Family

Suite_240_3 The New-and-Improved Collegewise Los Angeles is Open for Business

In spite of a lack of significant photographic evidence to substantiate this claim, we really do have a new office space in Los Angeles. It’s big and beautiful with windows and offices and we can’t wait to show it off on our blog and in person.

space

We’re still working on more photographs.  Arun has spent quite a bit of time agonizing over where to hang each individual college pennant and poster, if they should be arranged by color or college conference, and whether or not posters should be framed (and if so, with or without backing?–so many decisions!). In the interim, he didn’t want us taking pictures until those decorations are hung in the office with care.

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October News for Friends and Family

Parke Back from NACAC

Kevin, Arun and Alex enjoyed our stay at the annual NACAC (National Association for College Admissions Counseling Conference).  Some people get excited about seeing Angelina Jolie or Leonardo DiCaprio on the street, but NACAC lets us meet and learn from people like Parke Muth (at left), an admissions officer from University of Virginia and the inventor of the McEssay analogy we’ve cited hundreds of times in our Collegewise essay seminars.  His session for counselors about writing letters of recommendation was standing room only.  We caught up with Lloyd Thacker from the Education Conservancy (at right) whom we’ve really come to like and admire for his organization’s efforts to remove Lloyd_5 commercial interference in college admissions.  And most importantly, we were able to spend time with admissions officers and counselors who over the years have become friends as well as colleagues.

spaxce

The best part about NACAC is that we’re annually reminded just how many smart, good people there are  working in the world of college admissions, and how sincerely they all want to do the right thing for kids.

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September News for Friends and Family

Erikscake20032 Happy Birthday to Us

Collegewise celebrated our 8th birthday on August 16, as it was exactly eight years ago that Kevin officially submitted the "Doing Business As" paperwork to County Clerk’s office in Orange County.  Since that day back in 1999, we’ve helped over 2,000 kids apply to college, and Collegewise students have attended over 500 colleges in nearly 40 states.      

We celebrated with a dinner out together and were joined by Arun and Jessica from the LA office.  We know that might seem like a fairly reserved celebration, but the birthday event took place on a Thursday night.  And when you work with high school kids, Thursdsay nights are school nights, no matter how old we get. 

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News for Friends and Family…

Img_0191
New faces in the Collegewise crowd

There was a time not that long ago when we used to imagine what it would be like to have admissions officers leave their posts and come to work with us.  Then Arun joined us in 2004 from Caltech and Christina from the SUNY system in 2005.  And this week, we were lucky enough to add the most recent additions to our Southern California offices–college counselors Allison Cummings from the University of Redlands and Jessica Schattgen from Whittier College.

Allison will join Collegewise – Irvine while Jessica will work with Arun in our Los Angeles office.   

And Collegewise – NY’s Alex Weiner has added a few more desks to his offices to accommodate his most recent additions–college counselors Carly Amodio and Breda Malfesi.

They’re all smart, funny, and frankly, quite pleasant to be around.  We’re really excited to have them with us.

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August News for Friends and Family…

Img_0210 Happy Graduation
Collegewise counselors Jessica Schattgen (Los Angeles) and Allison Cummings (Irvine) recently completed our five-week college counselor training that culminates in a two-day final exam, an exam on which they both earned the highest scores ever recorded since we began our training program in nearly five years ago.   

To celebrate, the Irvine crew traveled north to Los Angeles for a congratulatory dinner. We’re looking forward to seeing them put their admissions experience (and their curve setting final performance) to work helping kids get into college.

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Standing Room(s) Only

Img_0189_2We’re in day #2 of our visit to the annual WACAC (Western Association for College Admissions Counseling) conference being held at the University of San Diego this year.  As of the penning of this blog, Arun and Kevin have finished their presentations ("College Admissions 101 for New High School Counselors" and "Solutions for the College Counseling Workplace") and did so to standing room only crowds.  Whether or not those standing room only crowds enjoyed the sessions remains to be seen for sure until the conference evaluations are submitted, but Kevin and Arun are telling themselves that they were funny, charming, and even informative.  Arun actually had an admissions officer from USC tell him after his session that his information was "right on point," so that was a nice piece of feedback.   

This picture at the left is Arun commanding the room during his session.  Kevin will be asking the rest of the Collegewisers why nobody bothered to photograph him and will reveal their answer in a blog entry to come.   

June News for Friends and Family…

Elisabeth_awardOur new little “Collegewise News for Friends and Family” section of
our blog is for those readers who really want to know what we’ve been up to
around our offices. Yes, the section
could probably be more aptly named, “For our Mothers” as they’re likely the
only ones who will read it regularly. But as we all want to make our mothers proud, we thank the rest of our readers in advance for allowing us to update our moms here.

150 kids and counting

Collegewise essay specialist Elisabeth Abbott is beginning
her fourth senior season with us this year.   And we figured that
anyone who’s helped over 150 kids with college essays, and done it so amazing
well, deserves a little extra appreciation.  So we declared May 19,
2007 "Elisabeth Appreciation Night" and enjoyed a great meal together
in Los Angeles.

The plaque Elisabeth is holding in the photo has the names of the more than 150 kids with whom she’s worked, kids who are now enrolled in over 70 different colleges across the country.

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