PR Executive + Writer = College Essay Coach

Elizabeth England, College Essay CoachFor over 25 years, I’ve juggled two careers: one as a writer, teacher and editor and the other as a marketing, branding and public relations executive. Both comprise the toolset I employ as a college essay coach when working with high school juniors and seniors on their college search and application process.

While there’s the nuts-and-bolts aspect of the job — drafting the Common Application Essay and college supplements, creating a realistic college list of “Reaches, Targets and Likelies,” negotiating sports recruitment offers, preparing for interviews, practicing on-the-spot writing drills, establishing a calendar of deadlines – there’s also the less tangible, but equally challenging facet which is the emotional component of working with teenagers on the brink of adulthood.

As a mother of college students, I’ve experienced the application process through the lens of two very different learners. Combined, I toured nearly 50 colleges, oversaw the application process both in the public and private school sector, acted as resident college essay coach and navigated the EA, ED, ED2 and RD options. Helping my own children has helped me with a third skill set which I bring into the mix when working with students: time management and active listening.

I use the same approach when coaching high school applicants on their public school, private day school and bordering school applications. To help students shape a narrative that communicates an aspect of who they are and what’s important to them is my always goal.

Elizabeth is a member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling.