How Did I Get Into College Consulting and What Kinds Of Students Do I Work With

Feb 22, 2021 | podcast

In today’s episode of “College Admissions Real Talk”, Dr. Legatt talks about how she got to where she is today and the kinds of clients that she sees.

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VO: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk with Dr. Aviva Legatt, a podcast for students seeking to get admitted to top-tier colleges. Each episode will feature an important tip for your college admission success, delivered with candor and love. If you’ve ever wanted to take a peek inside the mind of a college admissions officer, this is your chance. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. So, what’s your dream school? 

AL: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk. This is Dr. Aviva Legatt, founder and Elite Admissions Expert at Ivy Insight and author of “Get Real and Get In”. Today we’re going to talk about how I got into college consulting and what kind of students I work with. So if you’ve listened to my awkward college story, you can hear a little bit more about the challenges and opportunities that I took in my college process. So the reason I got into college consulting is a lot due to my upbringing. I grew up in Princeton, New Jersey. You know that place with that university that is by the same name. It’s a very cute college town. It’s kind of an idyllic place, many educated people. I went to high school with professors, kids, people who were traveling from abroad to come to Princeton for a visitation or a stay for a couple of years. There really were a lot of amazing exceptional people who I had the chance to study with. But the downside of that is that it’s easy to feel not so exceptional and not so outstanding. So, I was a super stressed out kid. I had grown up and gone to school in other places and by the time I reached high school, I just was figuring out life in Princeton and life in Princeton meant focusing on college a lot. In my sophomore year, I figured out that I wanted to go to New York University I got actually very obsessed with NYU and I ended up getting so stressed out that I got pneumonia the month before my applications were due. Which is not surprising, in hindsight, because I’m seeing it from the other side. There’s so much pressure put on this college process. The stakes are so high. It’s hard to navigate the process if you don’t have a lot of guidance which, at the time, I didn’t. My memories of the stressful and high pressure college process really stuck with me all the way through my career. And, while I got into NYU, was really the process of going through the steps to get into NYU that inspired me to ultimately pursue this as my career. So I get to NYU, I ended up majoring in music business but the whole time I was there, I felt myself gravitating towards other things like launching new initiatives for the curriculum for the music business program. I organized concerts for other NYU students and just got involved on campus in general and really enjoyed life there. After a while, I realized that the music business wasn’t really for me and I felt compelled to go into this new field that I learned about called higher education. The inspiration I got from NYU and my time getting involved there is ultimately what inspired me to pursue formal education in the field of higher education. So I came down to Philadelphia after college and I went to Penn for my masters and my doctorate. Penn is also called University of Pennsylvania, UPenn; you know the Ivy League school. I also began working full-time at the Wharton School serving on the freshmen and transfer admissions committee and overseeing precollege programs like the leadership in the business world precollege program. While working at Penn, I got insight into how admissions decisions are made and the most important admissions factors that institutions care about. I also developed a general expertise in higher education. I look at trends and forces and now I love writing about those kinds of things in Forbes, talking about them to you on this podcast and occasionally I do still teach at Penn. I teach about issues of organizational dynamics, teamwork, collaboration and diversity. You can even find me on Coursera if you do a little Googling. So I really appreciated the opportunity to develop a broad perspective to help students. And to share my personal story and challenges during the process. I also love helping families and students figure this all out because it is really complicated in some ways needlessly slow and, in other ways, necessarily so. Why is this a complicated process? Well, the process of figuring out where you want to go and why you want to go there is not a simple answer. It’s a very nuanced answer based on what you’ve managed to accomplish, what you’ve found yourself drawn, and what opportunities may be available to you given how you’ve performed in high school and what extracurricular opportunities you’ve chosen to pursue. So what kinds of students do I generally work with? My company Ivy Insight serves achievement-oriented families who believe in their child’s infinite potential as a college applicant and leader. And as a student, you have to believe in yourself as a leader as well. Part of getting to where you want to go is becoming who you are and becoming who you are is not a smooth and easy journey all the time. With most of my clients targeting top-tier colleges, the stakes of time management priority management are really high. And so we work with you almost to train you as a competitive or even Olympic athlete Because the reality is if you want to get to one of these top tier colleges, you have to be really intentional about how you spend your time, where you dedicate your priorities, and what you’re ultimately seeking out of this process. Also, I work remotely and have worked remotely since even before the pandemic. My students and families come from all over the United States and from all over the world. My company also partners closely with parents because this process is really a whole family experience. Both students and parents can access us at any time through group chat. My practice is founded on many of the principles in my forthcoming book, “Get Real and Get In” In this book I talk about what I learned from my college process, as well as my professional experience on the broad pathways for getting in. My goal is to inspire students to live authentically. I pursue activities which are meaningful to them personally and not just those that look good. It’s also my purpose to support families who are navigating the challenges of sending their children to college during this unprecedented period. If you’re looking for 1 to 1 support to maximize your probabilities for acceptance to top colleges, I encourage you to book an admissions inside session with our teams to see if you qualify to work with us 1 on 1.

VO: College Admissions Real Talk is hosted by Aviva Legatt, edited by Stephanie Carlin, and produced by Incontrera Consulting. I’m Caroline Stokes and this has been your daily boost of college admissions insight. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. For more information on Dr. Legatt and Ivy Insight visit www.ivyinsight.com. And you can pick up Dr. Legatt’s book, “Get Real and Get In”, at major retail outlets across the world. Insight out.