“So much more than just reading your essays,” says Priya.
Curious about college counseling? Looking for a first-hand account of what it’s like to work with our Empowerly community, from a real student? To get the facts, we interviewed Empowerly student Priya K.* about her experience. We asked about the whole process from start to finish. Read on for the interview.
Empowerly Team: How did you first find out about Empowerly?
Priya K.: “My mom was searching for a college admission counselor to help me with my college applications. She heard about this company by word-of-mouth from some of her friends, so we searched it online.”
ET: Why did you decide to sign up for Empowerly?
PK: “I really liked how personable my college counselor was in getting to know me and helping me figure out what I wanted to do with my life, instead of just telling me what to write in my essay.”
ET: Tell us about your experience using Empowerly (ex: how long you used it, how it helped you get accepted to college, etc).
PK: “I started around the end of junior year. At the time, I wanted to go into physics or astronomy. So my college counselor told me to try applying to programs and emailing professors to test out if I actually liked that career path.
I was pretty shy and extremely nervous about communicating with professors and applying to programs for “elite” students. I guess I was humble to a fault where I didn’t believe in my capability in the real world.
That summer, I ended up working in an observatory where I studied supernovae and even made a research poster. Concurrently, I was working in a neurophysics research lab. As much as I liked physics and astronomy, I found myself leaning more and more towards the bio portion of the neurophysics lab.
I suddenly found neuroscience to be my passion, which I never would have realized if I’d stayed as shy as I was. This realization became the theme of my college essay.
I was so surprised to have gotten into so many schools and special programs within those schools. It was definitely a process of self-realization. Also, the skills I learned through my research experience really helped me get into research labs later on in my college career.”
ET: What were your most and least favorite parts of Empowerly’s college counseling program?
PK: “My favorite part of counseling was when my college counselor would read my essay and tell me what kind of person I sound like through that essay. It’s nice to know how I sound to others through my writing, especially since that’s all admissions officers have to try to gauge whether or not I’d be a good fit for that school.
My least favorite part [of the process] was that once I started a “thread,” it was difficult to change it. If I suddenly changed my mind to go into architecture, I probably would’ve been advised against applying into that field. That’s because I had nothing in my thread to support that career choice. It’s understandable, because my likelihood of getting in with a program that was wildly different from what I’d been doing with my life wouldn’t have fit well. But I also don’t like the idea of not being able to turn back.”
ET: Understandable! What advice would you give students and parents who are uncertain whether or not to sign up for college counseling?
PK: :Whether it’s with Empowerly or somebody else, I’d definitely say to sign up for college counseling. Getting another perspective (especially from somebody who has seen many college essays before) is really important. So at the very least, find someone who will read your essays.
I’m biased towards Empowerly because they do much more than just read your essays. They help you find activities that will help to guide you towards where you will be the happiest, which may not necessarily be the highest ranking school. There are all sorts of fantastic programs out there that neither the student nor the parent may know about. So companies like Empowerly can provide the guidance needed to get you to where you will flourish the most.”
ET: Now that you are a college student, you now work part-time for Empowerly. What made you decide to join Empowerly on the other side?
PK: “The obvious reason is that I needed to make at least a little bit of income to help pay for college as much as I possibly could. But there were other jobs that I was thinking about. In the end, I chose to work for Empowerly because I really think a college education is important. And I’d really like to share that importance with other people. I might not be a fairy godmother, but I’ll definitely try my best to help other students achieve their dreams.”
The Empowerly team is here to support you. If you want to sign up to work with a counselor and become an Empowerly student like Priya did, be sure to book a free consultation below. This connects you with one of Empowerly’s enrollment experts and get started. Our community would love to help. In that first call, we talk to students about their needs and journey. Doing this, our counselors adapt their methodology to help you the most.
* Names have been changed to protect student anonymity and privacy.