Harvard: A College Counseling Success Story

It’s the season for college applications! With deadlines just around the corner, many Zinkerz seniors are in the midst of hitting “SUBMIT” to their futures as they now await the fate of where they will call home for the next four years.

It goes without saying that the college application process is endless. The Common Application itself is extremely daunting! Students often find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of colleges and universities out there in the United States. What’s more, they have to sell themselves and pursue many extracurriculars and rigorous courses in addition to securing respectable scores on the SAT, ACT, and/or TOEFL. Then, there is the cherry on top — the dreaded essay. Where is the best place to even start?

Zinkerz College Counseling services provides students with an individualized step-by-step plan that helps manage all the moving parts of this intensive process. With thousands of applications sent, 94% of Zinkerz students have been admitted to at least one of their top 3 schools, with over 250 schools represented. 

To begin your own college counseling experience with Zinkerz, first set up a free initial consultation where you will discuss your goals and next steps with our college counselor. This is your time to shine and really connect with our counselor so that they can learn more about your interests, academic record, and admission goals. You will be asked about all aspects of your academic and personal journey — all the important parts of your life that led you to the moment of thinking about your undergraduate experience! In the past, students have been asked about anything and everything ranging from “How did you exercise leadership in high school?” to “What is the funniest anecdote you can think of growing up?” to even “You sniff books? I love it, tell me more!” At Zinkerz, we ensure that we not only capture the typical questions asked on the Common Application but strings of unique moments that encapsulate your unique personality. 

Once you accept your personalized College Counseling Proposal, your Zinkerz Counselor will help you organize a curriculum and advise you about which extracurriculars, supplementary test preparations, and recommenders best match your academic interests and abilities. Students are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and pursue a wide range of clubs such as the Student Council, Robotics, student newspapers, and even culinary clubs! All interests and personal pursuits are discussed — so don’t be shy and share what would make your year the most enjoyable and rewarding. 

Next, you will work intensively with our counselor to complete an award-winning application package. Together, you will brainstorm and develop essays that answer the required prompts in such a way that captures your unique voice and personal stories. Our editors then come in and perfect the grammar and ensure that your work is at the best possible place before submission. By the end of the process, you will surely feel as though your personal story has not only been heard and supported but also vibrantly expressed throughout the entirety of the Common Application. And, before you hit that victorious “SUBMIT” button, we ensure that the moment feels special and momentous — months of hard work and determination have gone into this “SUBMIT” and you will embrace the rewards as we enthusiastically send off the application together. 

 All application deadlines are handled and organized by Zinkerz — the counselors and editors will ensure that your application package has been thoroughly reviewed and that all the necessary documents and interviews have been completed. The counseling doesn’t stop there! Once you hear back from the schools, Zinkerz will help you make the most informed decision about where you will thrive as an undergraduate. 

Zinkerz students speak very highly of this individualized and hands-on approach to the application process. Most importantly, they feel well supported as our counselors ensure that every aspect of the application process has been completed with their interests and goals in mind. One student, Valentina Doerre Torres, successfully worked with our team and was ultimately admitted into her top choice school — Harvard University! She gracefully decided to share with us some kind words about her Zinkerz experience:

I’m Valentina, a junior at Harvard University studying applied math. Going into the college application process, I was a good student with a fairly high GPA and SAT score. However, I knew that when thrown in an applicant pool of thousands with those same numbers, I’d have to be really lucky to be accepted into the more competitive schools on my list. 

I knew that I needed to write a really good college essay, showing my full, true self in my application, but I was unsure what college admissions counselors were looking for or how to meet their expectations.

My guidance counselor at school thought my essay was great and ready to go, without giving any input on how to make it better. My parents had suggestions for improvement, but I was worried they would change my essay into something that didn’t really represent me. 

When discussing this dilemma with a relative, she mentioned her daughter had a good experience with Modi. So I decided to try it out. During five sessions with Modi I completely changed my college essay for the better. With his help, I learned how to strategize and emphasize the parts of me that were unique and interesting. My college essay went from a boring story about being on my high school track team to a piece of writing that combined and highlighted not only what I had accomplished in my life, but also the qualities that were most definitely me and made me who I am. 

Modi provided crucial feedback as to what parts of my story I needed to tell, and how I should structure my story to sound more interesting and natural (which is unsurprisingly difficult when cramming yourself into a few hundred words). Most importantly, I was very comfortable accepting his input. It always made a lot of sense to me and made me look at myself in a different light. He clearly brought out the best in me. 

I ended up writing a story about my hair. This was an initial idea I had had, but tossed it out because it sounded so weird to me. Modi, however, recognized the possibility that this story held to uniquely show who I was. In the end, my essay combined my time on the track team, my love for science, my identity as a Hispanic woman, and my personality, all with a natural flow that is so important for an essay to have. 

A few years later I still am amazed about how I was able to accomplish this. I will be forever grateful to Modi, and can thank him for where I am today.

Photo Credit: Valentina Doerre Torres  

Words that stand out from Valentina’s testimonial are ones revolving around the sheer level of empathy and creativity involved in the college writing process. With Zinkerz, her essay transformed from a piece about her running career to an engaging story revolving around her hair! That’s what Zinkerz is all about — getting to know each student in such a way that they feel as though their stories are effectively heard. The application then writes itself! 

Does this process sound like it will help you feel more at ease about the infamous college application season? Sign up for a free consultation today and begin your journey toward what you deem to be your perfect, rightfully earned, undergraduate experience!  

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