David Twersky is a college consultant and the founder of College Link Consulting. He is new to the consulting profession and is a member of IECA, NACAC, and HECA. He attended UCLA, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Rutgers University.
Insights and advice
What inspired you to become a college consultant?
Desire to help people, do something on my own, and have an impact outside of corporate life.
What do you enjoy most about your position?
Independence and feeling that my work is meaningful.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your position, and how do you tackle it?
Attracting new students. I market myself via free lectures and workshops.
What are your top goals for the students you work with?
Getting into a college that is the right fit.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to college consultants who are new to the profession?
It takes dedication and perseverance.
What is a common misconception that students have going into the college admission process?
The amount of organization and work required during the selection and application process.
What is your advice for helping students and their parents work together?
Communicate up front and discuss all their goals and the reasons behind them.
How do you advise students to edit their online presence?
They should not delete their presence entirely (raises red flags). Clean up objectionable language and pictures and have their friends do the same. Have an appropriate e-mail address.
What can/should a college consultant do to help students prepare for the SAT or ACT?
Assess strengths and weaknesses, determine (if possible) which test is a better choice, and, if needed, point them in the direction of a qualified test prep person/organization.
What is your strategy for helping students find financial aid?
Fill out the FAFSA and CSS, speak to college financial aid advisors, and research scholarship availability.
In your experience, what makes a counselor/consultant successful in his or her role as an editor of college application essays?
Experience. The more you do, the better you get.
What is your process for helping students narrow down the list of schools to which they will apply?
Start broadly and then narrow it down based on geography, cost, desire to attend, and likelihood of admission, all while keeping their list diversified among stretch, target, and safe schools.
In your opinion, what are some of the best ways that students can make themselves stand out beyond their applications?
College visits, college interviews, meeting with regional college reps—essentially showing as strong an interest as possible in a particular college.
Finish this sentence: On my first day of work as a consultant, I wish I had known . . .
. . . how the needs of each student are so different.
What would you consider your biggest accomplishment or your proudest moment as a college consultant?
After a lifetime in corporate life, my proudest moment was taking the plunge and entering the independent educational consultant field.
Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird.
Favorite band or musician: The Beatles.
Favorite hero of fiction: Atticus Finch.
Favorite movie: Either To Kill a Mockingbird or The Shawshank Redemption
Favorite quote: There are so many, but here goes: "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading." — Lao Tzu
Favorite place you've traveled to: Prague.
Favorite meal: Breaded veal chops.
One super power you wish you had: To fly.
Favorite college memory: What happens in college, stays in college . . .
Five people you would invite to a dinner party: Moses, Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, Jackie Robinson, and Mick Jagger.
Your personal motto: Be a realist. Adjust your sails.