Pat Berry

The College Scoops Podcast

Episode 16: Tackling the Essay and Alumni Interviews with Pat Berry

July 28, 2020

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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

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. 

Thank you Pat for joining us and sharing your knowledge and insight. Start writing your college essay with a blank page. Take time to look at prompts and highlight the ones you really like. Delve deeper into those prompts to ask yourself why you like those particular prompts or questions.  brainstorm ideas and Don’t get discouraged as everyone can learn to write – it just takes practice. In regards to alumni interviews, bring your resume or cv, dress the part, and come prepared with a list of questions you would like answered to learn more about the college.

Episode 16 Full Transcript

If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on The College Scoops Podcast, just send an email to podcast@collegescoops.com.

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College Scoops has a team of college interns who share their insights and expertise with our community. Our team consists of editors, writers, videographers, social media experts, and storytellers who work hard to produce relevant and interesting content for students (and parents) whether they are applying to, attending or graduating from college.

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