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Meet an IvyWise Counselor: Nat

As a Master College Admissions Counselor at IvyWise, Nat is excited to help students reach their goals and get into their best-fit schools. He previously served as an Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions at his alma mater, Skidmore College, and was the Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at New York University and, most recently, at the hyper-selective NYU Abu Dhabi.

We asked Nat some questions about his education and admissions history, and we put him 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?
I wrote about skateboarding because it was something that an admissions reader wouldn’t know about me from the rest of my application. It was a big part of my identity, and probably a big surprise to the admissions committee considering I was a recruited tennis player.

When you were a senior in high school, what did you see yourself being when you “grew up”?
I wanted to be a sport psychologist and help athletes perform at their highest possible level. I can check this box on my bucket list. I spent a few years after graduating from undergrad pursuing a MA in Sport Psychology, and worked with elite tennis players, including a former French Open winner.

What is the most valuable thing that you learned about the college admissions process while working as an Associate Director of Admission at Skidmore and as a Senior Assistant Director of Admission at NYU?
Highly-selective colleges don’t take the “best and the brightest.” They take whom they need to make a well-rounded class.

Tell us about working with students as part of NYU Abu Dhabi.
NYU Abu Dhabi students are absolutely amazing! Each class of 150 students typically is comprised from over 70 different countries, and it really made me rethink the definition of diversity in the American university system. Working with the students reaffirmed my belief that we all have so much more in common with each other than at the surface, regardless of religious, political and geographical differences. I’m going to miss working with NYUAD students, many of whom I keep in touch with regularly.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? What’s the best advice that you could give to someone?
Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life! I’d pass this piece of advice on to anyone.

What do you like to do during your free time?
I love being active. I swim, bike, and run quite a bit. I also love playing tennis with my wife, who was a member of the Skidmore Women’s team that won the National Championship. We trained one of our pugs to fetch tennis balls and he acted as our personal ball boy when he was younger. I also love working on cars. I’ll do anything quick, like oil changes or brake pads, to something more time-consuming like replacing the entire suspension system. You learn so much about how things work by taking things apart!

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

Quick Takes:

  • Favorite fictional character… (asked by University of Southern California)
    Walter Mitty, from James Thurber’s short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Walter had such a vivid imagination! We named one of our pugs Walter because he always seemed to be daydreaming- much like Walter Mitty.
  • If I could trade jobs with anyone in the world, that person would be…(asked by Claremont McKenna College)
    Chrissie Wellington. She is a four-time world-champion triathlete and probably the most dominant athlete in any sport. She has never been beaten at the Ironman distance and she makes all of her competitors better! Most importantly, she uses sport to affect change in a variety of causes that are important to her.
  • If I could do something with no risk of failing, I would…(asked by Brown University)
    I would try to swim around Manhattan. You have to time the currents perfectly or it will be exponentially more difficult.
  • One question to which I wish I had the answer is…(asked by Claremont McKenna College)
    Why do we drive on parkways, and park on driveways?
  • So where is Waldo, really? (asked by University of Chicago)
    Waldo lives somewhere in Los Angeles. He changed his name to John Krasinski and is most known for his role as Jim Halpert on “The Office.”
  • You just put a message in a bottle and threw the bottle out to sea. What is the message? (asked by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
    Please place me in the appropriate recycle bin!

To learn more about Nat, read his full biography.

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