New/Old Testimonials: How I Coach Personal Statements for College & Medical School Applications

I can help you fill out the portrait of who you are

Reading a new testimonial and one sent to me five years ago that I somehow forgot to post (how did that happen?!), I have been thinking about what it is I do when I work with people.

Students come to me with their talents, their accomplishments, and their stories. They know what their accomplishments are — grades, scores, interesting extra curriculars, jobs, and internships — but they often aren’t sure what their stories are. They’ve had experiences, but they may not know how to translate them into narratives with meaning and punch. And they may not realize that these narratives can become stories of the kind that reveal important features of who they are to an admissions officer.

In other cases — as in both cases below — students come to me who have written and submitted essays that haven’t “closed the deal.” They’ve either been deferred or rejected, and they’re looking for a fresh pair of eyes. Other times, a parent contacts me and says, “My daughter wrote an essay, and I know there’s something wrong with it, but I’m not sure what it is.” And it’s fairly common that parents ask me to work with their kids because English isn’t their native language, and they feel ill-equipped to help them.

When students I work with get into one of their dream colleges, it’s because they’ve done the hard work in the classroom, the laboratory, and the summer jobs that have earned them good grades and their teachers’ respect. I’m there to help them find the persuasive stories in their backgrounds and learn to describe those stories in ways that get noticed. They learn, not just how to write college or medical school statements but lifetime lessons in writing about their accomplishments, talents, and ambitions — without bragging.

Please email or call me for a consultation. Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com 1-855-99-ESSAY

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“Liz is awesome and she was able to liven up our son’s application essays.  The college application process is stressful for the students and the parents. Working with Liz made the experience much better. She was very prompt and very detailed in her interactions. Her creative and thoughtful suggestions and guidance on the essays made a huge improvement. More than anything else, Liz approached the essay writing process from the top-down. Rather than just suggesting minor edits, her discussions with our son drew out the highlights that he was then able to synthesize into one coherent and compelling message. She was great to work with because she accommodated our time slots and even worked with us through the Christmas holiday. Our son loved the whole experience! “~ Princeton, Class of 2020, Northern California.

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“Last May, I began reapplying to medical school after being waitlisted or rejected everywhere I had applied. I knew my MCAT scores would not be considered at many schools after this application cycle, and so I took counsel from the famous saying, “Go big or go home.” I didn’t want to go home. 

“I started with my personal statement and sent it to a close confidant. She gave it to me straight. It was disjointed and not compelling, despite the stories within it. I wasn’t jazzed about starting from scratch, but I remembered you from a conversation I had with a friend. She credited your help with her essays as a major reason she was accepted into vet school. 

 “Liz, you taught me how to present myself eloquently. Storytelling takes skill, and you helped me develop that skill. Going big certainly paid off. I was accepted to Johns Hopkins Medical School, Tufts School of Medicine, University of Central Florida Medical School, and the University of Cincinnati. Admitted spring 2020.”

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