This is my first time to introduce a great mentor to those who wish to study abroad. Last summer (2012), I was an applicant and started to prepare my application materials which are required by law schools.
At first, I did not get to know Sally and her team. Since I intended to apply for top ones, I must make sure that my personal statement and other essays were highly competitive. So I hired an agent in Shanghai who could provide suggestions on them. However, the agent had to work with hundreds of clients. Therefore, my application process had to slow down and my materials were not taken good care of. Realizing deadlines were approaching and chances of admission were getting lower, I was anxious and desperate. Luckily, I contacted a friend of mine who then referred Sally and her company to me. Soon afterwards, we began to work through Skype and emails.
Sally commented on my essays from an experienced and professional perspective. Decent, well-organized, and always to-the- point, her English writing is the best I have ever seen. To be frank my English skills are largely improved because of her. Before I discussed my personal statement with her, I used to think that it was clearly delivered. Nonetheless, Sally pointed out that there were still a lot we could modify. Under her guidance, I rewrote sentences which were too long or unclear, and picked up better words in order to hit the point. Together we double checked grammar and spelling.
Besides offering comments on my application materials, Sally was also a wonderful helper whenever I was faced with application problems. She assisted me to select law schools, gave advice on how to communicate with admissions committees, and inspired me to bring out my best. Her professional ethics and profound experience was an intangible asset which gave me a strong sense of safety. I counted on her and I was fully confident that by working with her, I would have a better result. Moreover, I shall never forget that Sally and I stayed up late in order to make it to the deadlines of Cambridge and Harvard. With the help of her, I was eventually admitted to the University of Cambridge. Through months of communication, we gradually became friends. We talked about movies, travel, life experience and etc. on Skype. Sometimes we even forgot about time and when we noticed, we had already chatted for more than two hours. All in all, I really feel so lucky to have her.
If every applicant is a dreamer and each has one or more than one dream schools, then Sally and her company are the ones who can guide you to achieve your dreams. For a brighter future, you deserve a better mentor. Thus, I would like to recommend them to all of you who dream to go to ideal schools as I did with my best wishes.
“How did you respond to the most important challenge in your life and what did you learn in the process?” You might think this kind of question is too hard for a high school student, but actually it is a very common essay question in the application. Only a few months ago, I was still a high school girl who was struggling in the complex application process and those infinite essays. But now I am the happiest girl who just received the offer from my dream school—The George Washington University. Working with Sally made my dreams become reality.
When I was not quite familiar with most of the colleges, Sally introduced many good matches for me. We talked very often and discussed the pros and cons of each college to make the final college list. She was undoubtedly the most experienced and patient counselor I have ever known. At the beginning of the application, I felt lost and frustrated for finding some new inspiration for my essays. But Sally’s patient guide has always been with me and has inspired me to think in a different way. Not like those typical Chinese agencies, who directly fix or even write essays for students, Sally always encouraged me to think independently because independent thinking is the essential skill for us to succeed in the college.
Working for Harvard University’s admission office for years, Sally explained to me what the application process is like and what kind of students colleges are looking for. Every time I sent my essay drafts to her, she gave me feedback quickly and gave me her comments in the view of an admission officer. During the busiest time in the application process, I wrote tons of essays and fixed each essay to up to 10 drafts, but Sally never rush; she always gave me the most comprehensive comments until my essays look perfect.
I’m feeling like Sally is not only my counselor, but also my friend. I’m very sure you will love to work with her! Now if you ask me what is the most important challenge in my life, I would definitely answer, “It’s the application.” Only when you experience, will you understand the meaning of this challenge, because I have learned way more than just the language skill.
Sally’s energy and inside knowledge changed a successful application to my first choice from an impossible dream to a reality. Her guidance helped me to solve everything from difficult essay questions to eleventh-hour logistical problems. And all of this she did from seven thousand miles away.
Time and distance presented no barrier. Sally was always available either by Skype or e-mail. Whenever I needed help, we could schedule a meeting in the morning or the evening, and when the circumstances required, she was always incredibly flexible in making time to help me. In a way, the time difference was to my advantage, since it provided a rhythm to the process: when I awoke in the morning, Sally’s latest comments would be in my inbox, and I would send off a new draft before bed. It helped me to stay focused and consistent in my writing and on top of the application process in general.
She was a pleasure to work with, and I could not have – would not have – succeeded without Ms. Champagne’s help.
Applying to foreign colleges is by itself a novel idea in the small city where I am from, so it was hard for most people around me to understand my aspiration for what seems as so far in the distance and so impossible to reach. And because of that, I had been faring through the application process all on my own, with great passion but with little guidance before I met Sally. And working with Sally throughout my application process truly changed it all.
She is always extremely generous of her time and efforts. I remember sending my newly revised drafts to Sally repeatedly, and she would come back to me over and over again with her new comments and suggestions. And she was doing so with such great passion, patience, professionalism and brilliance. She would help me examine my own ideas, structures, syntax and even grammar. She would provide her opinions, but instead of telling me what she thinks I should do, she inspires and guides me to engage critically with the topic I’m writing about and revise and improve the work on my own. She is also very attentive to details and caring. I remember that time after I had an interview with a college alumnus, she sent me emails asking about details of the interview and reminding me to write a thank you note to the interviewer. And since I’ve never written a thank you note before, she guided me to write and helped me revise in great details with great patience, staying up late until midnight. It was a wonderful year for me, filled with exploration, reflection and the joy of working with Sally.
Imagine my excitement when I opened a letter starting with “Congratulations” from the college that I dreamed to be studying at. And imagine my amazement at a line singing “Beacon-star to cheer and guide” when I am listening to the university’s alma mater. I told Sally this immediately, and we laughed at this amazing and almost magical coincidence. While the choice of word with “beacon-star” is perhaps a mere coincidence, this line elegantly summaries the past year filled with wonderful experience for me: Sally has been like the beacon star in the night, cheering me up when I am down, guiding me when I am lost. She sometimes says, with great modesty, that I did a lot of work on my own too. But I always know that without her guiding my way through with such great patience, there is no chance I would be where I am now.
Her guidance and caring changed my college application process and subsequently my life so much. And it is no exaggeration that I can’t imagine my life in any other way while sitting here on Thanksgiving Day in my dorm writing about this experience. So yes, I testify, wholeheartedly, that she is an excellent mentor and a great friend. I am honored, privileged and more than grateful to know her. So, if you have a passion to chase your dream in college education, I am sure that Sally’s guidance will help you sail through any difficulties you will encounter and eventually realize your passion.