Eleanora Ferrante

The College Scoops Podcast

Episode 97: 5 Minutes to Tell Your Story

November 9, 2021

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The average amount of time an admissions officer has to read your entire application is five minutes. How can students capture and keep the attention of an admissions officer (or interviewer) in such a short amount of time? How do you tell your story without ever meeting the person who’s deciding whether or not to admit you? What’s the story you want to tell? Students have spent three-four years working hard to compile an impressive resume that will stand out to a college admissions team but five minutes is all you’ve got before you lose the reader/interviewer. It sounds like an impossible task but Eleanora Ferrante joins us to share how students can break this task down and accomplish what seems like the impossible. 

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Key Takeaways:

  • Interviews are about asking questions. It is an opportunity to shed light on the things that you are curious about. 
  • Fit is important especially social fit. Is this a place where you will thrive not only in the classroom but outside of the classroom as well.
  • Don’t lie during interviews. 
  • You have to be yourself. The college wants you for who you are and if you can’t get into a school because of who you are, do you even want to go to that school in the first place?
  • You application is a marketing tool – Leave no white spaces in the application!
  • It is better to be well-developed versus well-rounded. Follow your passions and develop those skills in classes or in the activities you participate in outside of class. 
  • The essays are an opportunity to show the admissions council a different part of yourself. This is especially true with supplemental essays.
  • Submit a portfolio if it is applicable to your intended major. Not all school accept portfolios. 
  • Think carefully about who to ask for a letter of recommendation. The classes you struggle in can show what type of student you are and how you overcome challenges.
  • Parents – your student should be leading the college search process. Remember, they are applying to college, not you. Your student may choose a school that you may not expect and that is okay. What is more important is that they flourish in their environment. 

Important Resources and Links:

Square Peg Square Hole Coaching

Meet Eleanora Ferrante

Eleanora Ferrante

Eleanora Ferrante has a modest goal: she wants to help you find your path in life. In her work as a college admissions coach she is driven by “guiding clients to that ‘aha’ moment – the one in which they find their passion, get into a college they love, or land their dream job.” Eleanora’s volunteer experience as an admissions liaison for Cornell University, her alma mater, gave her initial exposure to the college admissions process and began building her credibility as a well-informed resource. By the time Eleanora successfully shepherded her own children and many of the children of friends and acquaintances through the admissions process to brilliant results, her reputation as a subject matter expert was solidified.

Square Peg Square Hole Coaching is the culmination of Eleanora’s many years of professional work experience in consumer-oriented roles, and decades of volunteer work in civic and cultural organizations. A natural networker, Eleanora’s many professional relationships among college administrators and within various industry sectors across the region are a boon to both her college coaching services and the career coaching she offers for taking that next step post-college.

Through her work as a college admissions counselor, Eleanora balances big-picture vision with a near-obsessive grasp of the small details. She consistently delivers winning results with a lot of heart, and a commitment to guiding each student’s journey with a personalized approach. To the many students she’s helped gain admittance to their “perfect fit” college, Eleanora is a calming presence in an unsettled time.

`Thank you to Eleanora for joining us today to share how students can tell their story in a way that will stand out with an admissions reader. Being vulnerable is key. Being able to convey Why you’re a good fit for that school and Why that school is a good fit for you will set you apart from other applicants. Being thoughtful about your recommenders and asking your college counselor to share any backstory will again provide a complete picture of who you and how you will excel in a particular environment. If you do have any opportunity to interview – Do it! But do not embellish or lie about who you are and what you do – You never know who is on the other side of the table. 

Episode 97 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 Staff, Author

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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