Follow us

Pat Berry

Episode 16: Tackling the Essay and Alumni Interviews



Listen Now: 



Pat Berry will join us today to discuss How to Tackle Alumni Interviews and the Essay. Pat offers one-on-one essay and interview coaching to undergraduate, transfer, and grad school applicants. How can students prep for alumni interviews? What are the tips and tricks from an alumni interviewer for students as they take advantage of the interview opportunities? Pat also provides excellent advice and strategies for tackling the essays.



Key Takeaways:

  • How to get started on the college essay: looking at and analyzing the prompts
  • Brainstorming techniques to generate superb college essays
  • All you need to bring with you to an essay consultant is an open mind
  • How to transform the essay topics you’re not “supposed to write about” into a great essay that showcases your voice
  • Writing in the first person as a lifelong skill
  • Building an essay from start to finish
  • How to come up with essay ideas from your surroundings, experiences, and personal reading
  • Alumni interview tips


Important Resources and Links:

College Application Camp, IG

Montclair Local

Meet Pat Berry

Pat Berry


Pat is a graduate of Dartmouth, an alumni interviewer for Dartmouth, parent of 3 college graduates, a writer, editor, and college application essay coach. Before graduate school, Pat was a founding editor of Time Inc.'s Sports Illustrated for Kids Magazine. She was also an editor at Sesame Workshop. Lately, when not coaching, she edits private and trade memoirs, like The Confluence (2016, Peter E. Randall Publisher), and supports college professors by editing their journal papers. She also has a blog and has contributed to several personal essay anthologies. Her column “College Bound” appears monthly in Montclair Local. 


An active volunteer for Dartmouth College, Pat served as Essex County District Enrollment Director from 2009 to 2015 and as an alumni interviewer for more than three decades. In 2015, She won the Dartmouth Alumni Award for “extraordinary service” to the College. Pat holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Dartmouth. 


Become a College Scoops Supporter



We hope you found our show helpful and you and your student are more informed on how to apply for scholarships. Applying for scholarships is a partnership between you and your son or daughter and a great way to work together to gather funds for your college education. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on our show, please send us an email


Please take a moment to review or leave a comment for us and help us share the news of College Scoops with a friend, colleague, or family member.


Sign up for our monthly newsletter and follow us on our social media.






Episode 16 Full Transcript



Add Us!

More Info