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Meet an IvyWise Counselor: Christine

A Premier College Admissions Counselor at IvyWise, Christine relishes the opportunity to work with students and their families. She previously served as an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University and at Georgetown University. Christine has an undergraduate degree in history from Yale University and a Master’s Degree in public policy from Georgetown, where she is currently a PhD candidate in political science. We asked Christine some questions about her education and admissions history, and we put her on the spot with some of last year’s college application questions.

What was the subject of your college application essay and why did you choose that topic?
For my first essay, I wrote about my grandfather, who was hugely influential on my life. He was a man of utter integrity and suffered much for his beliefs. But to me, he was yei yei, always loving and indulgent; he also taught me math and passed to me his love of Chinese history. My essay was a tribute to his life. For my second essay, I wrote about my love of history.

When you were a senior in high school, what did you see yourself being when you “grew up”?
I wanted to be a college professor and teach history.

What is the most valuable thing you learned about the college admissions process while working as an Assistant Director of Admission at Yale University and Georgetown University?
I learned that an enormous amount of thoughtfulness, dedication, and personal care went into the process. The admission officers and committees had tough decisions to make, but they cared deeply about the applicants and the process.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? What’s the best advice that you could give to someone?
The best advice I received about the college admissions process was from my high school counselor, who insisted that we research every college on our lists to make sure that each was a good fit, be it a reach, target, or likely school. I share this piece of advice with all my students.

What do you like to do during your free time?
I love to run, swim, and hike. I also do a lot of baking and strive to master a recipe before moving on to the next challenge. In the evening or on rainy day, I like to curl up in my reading corner with a good book about food, a biography, or a stack of the latest political science articles.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be?
This sounds trite, but to be perfectly honest, as a long-time anglophile, I’d love to be Queen Elizabeth II or Jane Austen for a week.

Taking a cue from some of this year’s college applications:

Quick Takes:

  • My favorite place I have visited is… (asked by University of Maryland)
    A medieval abbey in Vézelay, France.
  • If I could do something with no risk of failing, I would…(asked by Brown University)
    Write a book about my family’s history, the lives of my parents, my grandparents, and their parents.
  • The best movie of all time is… (asked by George Washington University)
    The Sound of Music.
  • Favorite place to be or thing to do… (asked by University of North Carolina)
    My favorite place to be is with my family, and my favorite thing to do is to play with my daughters.
  • My favorite thing about last Tuesday was… (asked byUniversity of Maryland)
    Watching my daughters happily play with each other in their cozy coupe; sadly, the precious moment was soon punctured by some pushing and shoving, followed by a lot of crying.
  • Gadget that needs inventing… (asked by University of North Carolina)
    A can opener that really works and will not break.

If you had a theme song – a piece of music that describes you best – what would it be? Please include the name of the song and the artist. (asked by Smith College)
Mozart’s Piano Sonata in C Major

Identify and describe a personal habit or idiosyncrasy – of any nature – that helps define you. (asked by Occidental College)
I love to make lists, especially in MS Excel with its sorting, summing, and formula functions.

To learn more about Christine, read her full biography.

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