Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Jessica Pishko.
Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where do you currently live?
Jessica: I went to Rice University in Houston, Texas for undergrad where I majored in English and French. I currently live in San Francisco with my family.
Accepted: Can you share 3 fun facts about yourself?
1. I used to be a yoga teacher (but haven’t taught in a few years).
2. I worked in the French department in college where one of my primary jobs was to open bottles of wine for faculty parties. So, I got very good at it and used to work at a few faculty parties as a bartender for extra money.
3. I have a two-year old daughter and a Chihuahua named Sammy.
Accepted: Do you hold any graduate degrees?
Jessica: Yes, I have a JD from Harvard Law School and an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University.
Accepted: Can you walk us through the jobs and experiences you had that led you to become an admissions consultant for Accepted?
Jessica: Before I went back to school for my MFA, I worked as a recruiter – this was 2008, which was a terrible time to be recruiting. But, I did learn a lot about the legal job market and found that I enjoyed working with people. As an MFA student, I had the opportunity to work in Columbia’s writing center, where I helped all sorts of students with their writing, from admissions essays to final papers. Based on my work there, I was asked to become a writing consultant for Columbia’s Postbac Program and worked with students applying to medical school. I really enjoyed helping people achieve their dreams, as cheesy as that sounds, and am thrilled to be on the team at Accepted.
Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?
Jessica: As someone who switched careers herself, I’m very sympathetic to the challenges of applying to school and getting accepted into the right program. I really like to help people who are working hard to achieve their goals and make their dream careers happen. That’s very satisfying for me, and I hope it’s equally satisfying for my clients!
Accepted: What sorts of applicants do you mostly work with?
Jessica: Law school, medical school and graduate school.
Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?
1. Try to see the application – including the personal statement and interview, if applicable – as an opportunity rather than a hurdle to overcome. I think that changing your attitude about the process helps to reduce anxiety.
2. Be flexible and willing to change. It can be hard to take criticism or encounter a set-back, but if you are able to let go of your preset notions, it’s a lot easier to revise and improve your application and admissions strategy.
3. Be yourself. Too often, I think applicants worry about what admissions committees want or try to “stand out” rather than write something that actually reflects who they are.
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