Podcast: Joy Meserve: Leading with Joy

In today’s episode, join me as I sit down with Joy Meserve, CEO and founder of Leading with Joy. We delve into her transformative journey from corporate PR to pioneering STEM education, exploring insights on joyful leadership and navigating career shifts. From parenting parallels to practical college prep tips, Joy shares candid wisdom and actionable […]

Join me in today’s episode as I delve into the intricacies of college waitlists. I’ll discuss the purpose behind waitlists and offer actionable advice for waitlisted students on navigating their current acceptances while strategically positioning themselves for potential waitlist admissions. Tune in! TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: 0:00 They had the raw talent and stats to probably get […]

Podcast: Joanna Graham: Expertise, Authenticity, and Purpose

In today’s episode, I chat with Joanna Graham, one of Signet’s Senior Admissions Consultants, to discuss the significance of expertise, authenticity, and purpose in shaping students’ paths, highlighting the transformative power of education. Join us for insights into career navigation and the impact of self-discovery on students’ aspirations. TRANSCRIPT Joanna Graham: 0:00 I love this work. […]

Podcast: Shereem Herndon-Brown: The Black Family’s Guide to College Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with Shereen Herndon-Brown, founder of Strategic Admissions Advice, about the evolving college admissions process. We dive into the significance of redefining success, the value of authenticity, and the importance of embracing one’s unique identity in college applications. Tune in for insights on storytelling and diversity in higher education. TRANSCRIPT […]

Podcast: Van Tran: Embracing the Pivot

In today’s episode, I sit down with Van Tran, co-founder of API Rising, and delve into the intersection of art and technology, her pivotal career transitions in corporations, and the importance of trusting oneself in navigating diverse career paths. Join us for a conversation that inspires embracing purpose-driven career pivots and making a meaningful impact. […]

Podcast: Emmaline Cook: Learning for the Sake of Learning

In today’s episode, Signet’s Account Manager Emmaline shares her remarkable journey—from unconventional high school experiences and the complexities of college admissions to a surprising detour into dance during a transformative gap year. Her story is a testament to self-discovery, resilience, and the pursuit of authentic fulfillment. Tune in! Access Signet’s Ultimate Guide to Summer Planning […]

Podcast: Ned Johnson: The Self-Driven Child

In today’s episode, join me in a thought-provoking conversation with Ned Johnson, author of several books and founder of PrepMatters. We delve into crucial parenting topics, sharing insights from his book, “The Self-Driven Child.” Your journey to understanding and empowering your child begins here, tune in! TRANSCRIPT Ned Johnson: 0:00 Few things can be more empowering […]

Podcast: Dr. Neha Pathak and Dr. Joyce Varughese: Education and the Children of Immigrants

In today’s episode, I engage in a compelling conversation with two dear friends and accomplished professionals, Dr. Neha Pathak and Dr. Joyce Varughese, on navigating the pressures of college and societal expectations. They offer insightful advice for the next generation, urging a pursuit of passion over predefined paths. Join us as they candidly discuss the […]

[Podcast] Andy Friedman: Word Nerd

In today’s episode, join us as we dive into Andy’s unique journey on exploring the art of writing, the musicality of language, and how he guides students to craft compelling narratives. Get ready for an engaging and insightful discussion! TRANSCRIPT Andy Friedman: 0:00 And what what always fascinated me was how something can feel so clear […]

Podcast: Let’s get tactical: How to Plan your Summer

Welcome back to the podcast! After a refreshing holiday break, join me as I share valuable insights on making your student’s summer meaningful. Let’s kick off the year together! Access Signet’s Guide to Summer Planning here. Explore various summer programs and exciting opportunities from Pathways to Science, Teenlife, and College Match Point. TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: Hello, and welcome back […]

Podcast: Samara Bay: Permission to Speak

In today’s episode, I dive into a captivating conversation with Samara Bay, an advocate for embracing individuality and finding power in our unique voices. We explore the transformative impact of authenticity and self-acceptance while uncovering Samara’s upcoming newsletter series, ‘How to Show Up,’ aimed at reshaping power dynamics. Join us for an inspiring discussion! TRANSCRIPT […]

Podcast: Let’s Get Tactical: Early Results Are Coming Out

Early results are here! Dive into my latest episode to understand how to decode acceptances, denials, and deferrals, and learn why these decisions don’t define your journey. Join me as we navigate the highs and lows of early applications, helping you support your child through this pivotal moment! TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: We want to remember, […]

Podcast: McKenzie Carver: What is a Co-Op program?

In today’s episode, I sit down with McKenzie, Signet Education’s exceptional Community and Operations Manager. Our conversation delves into the impact of her Co-Op program at Northeastern on her college experience and her career journey. TRANSCRIPT McKenzie – Signet Education: 0:00 But I gained so much experience from little things such as how to dress in […]

Podcast: Elaine Taylor-Klaus and Diane Dempster: Supporting Parents of Complex Kids

In today’s episode, I sit down with Elaine Taylor-Klaus and Diane Dempster from Impact Parents to discuss the intricacies of modern parenting. We delve into the challenges of setting expectations, raising ‘complex kids,’ and the evolving roles parents play in their children’s lives. Join us as we uncover the secrets to a more fulfilling and […]

Podcast: Jay Rosner: Bias in Testing and College Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with Jay Rosner to explore the realm of standardized testing, discuss fairness in education, and dissect the recent legal battles over affirmative action in college admissions. TRANSCRIPT Jay Rosner: 0:00 It just so happens that the SAT on the math side particularly has a disparity consistent disparity over decades against […]

Podcast: Sheila Tactical: Now That Early Apps Are Done

In this episode, I talk about what to do now that early college applications are behind us. Uncover essential post-early-admission steps and strategic insights to navigate your next move. Don’t miss this expert advice on the college admissions journey! TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: 0:00 Once you have a clearer idea of what are the things you need […]

Podcast: Chris LaTempa: Recruited Athletes & College Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with Chris LaTempa, a seasoned college counseling expert with a wealth of knowledge in the intricate world of college athletic recruiting. If you have a child considering college athletics, this episode is a MUST LISTEN! TRANSCRIPT Chris LaTempa: 0:00 It is a common error for student athletes to sit back […]

Podcast: Jaime Smith: Transfer & Homeschool Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with educational consultant Jamie Smith to explore transfer admissions. Join us as we unravel the opportunities and challenges for non-traditional students, from transfers to homeschoolers. Get ready for insights into the evolving higher education landscape and its impact on admissions. Don’t miss this conversation about fostering diversity on campuses […]

Podcast: Annie Tulkin: Accessible College

In this episode, Annie Tulkin, the founder of Accessible College, and I discuss the world of college transition support for students with disabilities. Don’t miss this insightful conversation that sheds light on the path to college success for all students. Follow Annie Tulkin on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram, and visit her website here. Connect with me on LinkedIn and become a […]

Podcast: Don’t Force It: An Intentional Approach to College Admissions

Join me as we dive deep into the college admissions process and explore the three essential phases that set students up for success. We’ll uncover the importance of building a solid foundation, strategic preparation, and crafting a compelling narrative. Discover how an intentional approach can transform the college journey into a rewarding experience. TRANSCRIPT Sheila […]

Podcast: Hanna Stotland: Educational Crisis Management & Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with Educational Crisis Manager, Hannah Stotland. She works with students to recover their academic records and reapply to programs after major incidents, like medical leaves, ethics code violations, or family emergencies. Her message is clear: there is hope, but it will take your hard work. Bio Hanna Stotland flunked […]

Podcast: Tag team: Holly and Sheila discuss applying to graduate school

applying to graduate school

In today’s episode, Holly and I dive deep into the world of applying to graduate school. Whether you’re contemplating a Ph.D. or an academic-focused master’s program, these essential insights will empower you to craft a compelling application and embark on an enriching academic journey. How to Get Into College (Circle Community): https://how-to-get-into-college.circle.so/home Access free resources and […]

Podcast: Sharon Genicoff: Personal Branding in College Admissions

In this episode, I sit down with high school college counselor Sharon Genicoff to explore the art of crafting an authentic personal brand for your college applications. Our conversation empowers students to present their unique qualities in a meaningful way, ensuring their college applications stand out and reflect their genuine selves. Tune in for invaluable […]

Podcast: Alberto Naviera: STEM tutoring

In today’s episode, I speak with one of Signet’s Principal Tutors, Alberto Naviera. We discuss Alberto’s unique approach to STEM tutoring, his empathetic connections with students, and how he empowers them to conquer the challenges of learning science. Tune in to learn more about how we meet students where they are at Signet! TRANSCRIPT Sheila […]

Podcast: Bob Schaeffer: Fairtest.org

Today I sit down with longtime friend, Bob Schaeffer. Bob is an incredible source of knowledge around how the testing landscape has changed in the last several decades and the work that he and his team at FairTest do is invaluable. Tune in to hear about the test optional movement in college admissions and more!   TRANSCRIPT […]

Podcast: Dr. Arundhati Ghosh: Medicine as a Career Path

Dr. Arundhati Ghosh currently works at the Cambridge Health Alliance, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, and is the surgery curriculum director for the Harvard Medical School Cambridge Integrated Clerkship. She does innovative work in curriculum development and teaching methods. Her most recent publication is ‘Structuring Medical Education for Workforce Transformation: Continuity, Symbiosis, and Longitudinal […]

Podcast: Holly Schrieber: Relating to Teens with ADHD as an Educator

Welcome back everyone! Today, I kick off back to school season with an interview with my dear friend and colleague, Holly Schrieber. Holly is one of the few people at Signet who does “all the things” – and this makes her an incredible insightful advisor and supporter for parents and students alike. Tune in to […]

Podcast: Thoughts on the SCOTUS Decision

We’re on a break for all of July, but I just had to pop in to share some brief thoughts on the affirmative action ban’s impact on college admissions. We’ll be back in August – enjoy your summer! TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: 0:14 Hi, everybody,just popping in to let you know we’re on break in July. And […]

Podcast: Urvashi Bhatnagar: Why Cross-Functional Learning is Essential for Success

This week, I sit down with scholar, author, leader, and mom Urvashi Bhatnagar to talk about her educational journey and the importance of learning skills and knowledge from outside your career silo. TRANSCRIPT Urvashi Bhatnagar: 0:00 I think we need to recognize that careers are a journey. And they will most likely not retire in the […]

Podcast: Andrea West: The Power of Reflection in College Admissions

Today, I talk with Signet’s Director of Operations and senior academic coach, Andrea West about the benefits of combining traditional college admissions consulting with coaching. Coaching can not only improve a student’s academic performance, but it can also shift them into more of a growth mindset and self-knowledge, two things which are vitally important in […]

Podcast: Marie Bigham: Equity and Access in College Admissions

Marie Bigham, Founder & Executive Director of ACCEPT, joins to talk with us about issues of equity and access in college admissions, and the work that her non-profit has undertaken to make the system work better for everyone. TRANSCRIPT Marie Bigham: 0:00 So we’ve built this entire mythology, including put up these false barriers that create […]

Podcast: Ellen Braaten: Bright Kids Who Couldn’t Care Less

“He’s so smart, but he’s no longer interested in school—or any ‘offline’ activities.” “She used to love sports, but now she just mopes around.” “My kid has turned into such a slacker!” If this sounds like your child, you need to listen to this episode! This week, my friend @Dr. Ellen Braaten shares insights from […]

Podcast Bonus Episode: Tools for Academic Skill-Building and Accountability

Jay Bacrania: Skills for High School Success

Towards the end of my conversation with Jay, our CEO, last week, we started getting really tactical around various tools that can help build students’ awareness of their challenges and move them towards solutions. In this episode, we talk through calendars, digital distractions, time management, and a tool for examining how non-academic factors impact academic […]

Podcast: Skills for High School Success

Jay Bacrania: Skills for High School Success

Today, I welcome Jay Bacrania, CEO and co-founder of Signet Education, onto the podcast. Jay’s passion is enabling and supporting personal growth – in himself, his colleagues, and his students. We discuss the foundations of Signet’s academic coaching program, through which we help students develop and pursue an inspiring vision for their lives. Our Five […]

Podcast: The Counselor’s Role in College Admissions

Blair Munhofen: The Counselor’s Role in College Admissions

How does your high school college counselor support your application to college? And what can a private college consultant do that your college counselor might not be able to? Today, I sit down with an old friend and former Signet admissions consultant, Blair Munhofen, to discuss how high school counselors and private consultants strive to […]

Podcast: How to Navigate the Waitlist

With all the college decisions that came out in the last week of March, I’m getting so many questions about how to navigate the waitlist. In this episode, I talk about what the waitlist is used for, how waitlist use has increased recently, and what students who are waitlisted should do to both move forward […]

Podcast: How to Achieve an Academic Turnaround

How to Achieve an Academic Turnaround

Meet Liz – one of Signet’s rockstar academic coaches. In today’s episode, Liz shares her approach to coaching, what kinds of challenges coaching can help with, and how to tell if your child is ready for coaching or not. Learn about how a coach puts students at the center of identifying and solving their own […]

[Podcast Trailer] Don’t Force It: How to Get Into College Without Losing Yourself In The Process

For all the stressed-out parents trying to help their teenagers navigate the complicated world of college admissions. Each episode offers insightful and in-depth conversations with admissions experts and professional educators with practical advice for getting through the process without losing sight of yourself, your kid, or your sanity. From building a strong academic and extracurricular […]