Advice I gave our private clients this morning

Today I shared with our clients some advice and thoughts that I needed to get off my chest, for their sake as much as mine.

I’ve been hearing almost daily from 2021 students that they’re stuck.

They don’t know what to do, the rug has been pulled out from under them.

It’s almost like they have to think for themselves (gasp!).

I’m getting questions like:

What should I do about my canceled internship?

What should I do about my canceled summer program?

What should I do about_______________ [fill in the blank.]

My answer varied, but the common theme is that that each of these “problems” is actually an OPPORTUNITY.

It’s a level playing field for all kids applying to college, so if you can distinguish yourself from the masses, you’ll stand out for the right reasons.

Even if you have no interest in going into business for yourself as an adult, I’ve got news for you:

You already are in business for yourself.

Colleges are businesses, even though they are “non-profit” (HAH).

You, pal, are in the business of promoting yourself.  Of thinking like an entrepreneur, whose primary concern is to create VALUE.

What value am I talking about, you ask?

College-bound teens need to think about the value they will bring to campus, to the college community.

Their character. Their community-mindedness.  And, although I HATE the word, their “passions.”

That’s what admissions officers want to know from your college applications.  Ironically, you’ll never find this question on the actual Common App or any other application.

Yet, there it is:

Why should we admit YOU compared to these other 10,000/30,000/90.000 other applicants who look the same on paper?

(Don’t be offended, I’m sure your kiddo is above average and very, very special.  But to colleges, your child is a COMMODITY.)

How do you get out of the commodity pile, and into the “Incomparable Applicant” pile?

Truth is, that work starts in 9th grade.  Perhaps earlier.  ALL of your courses, clubs, in-school extracurricular activities, out-of-school activities, awards, SAT and ACT, SAT subject tests, everything — your entire body of work — is on the record when you craft your “closing argument” and submit your college applications.

Here’s how to put your best self forward, if you’re a 2021 student:

We’re gearing up our annual “Incomparable Applicant College Essays and Applications Boot Camps” earlier than usual, thanks to all the newfound free time our 2021 guys and gals have.

Good news:

Because you’re smart and fortunate enough to be on my email list,  you’re entitled to the biggest discount we offer to non-clients:

Use the coupon code 2020BOOTCAMP when you go to the sign up page (make sure you see the price change before you complete checkout):

We’re set up to deliver the bootcamp virtually, so that’s the plan at present.  Here’s the agenda:

Brainstorming and Strategizing

College essays are more than a grammatically correct A paper.  They’re different than any form of writing your child has ever attempted.  Get expert instruction at what should go into each and every essay that “Sells,” and what to leave out!  (Hint:  think twice about that Coronavirus essay!)


Over the course of the bootcamp session, your child will produce a polished and effective Common Application essay draft, a completed Common Application and Activity Sheet that “sells,” not “bores…”and up to three supplemental essays!


WE are the drill sergeant. Not you.  Your child will leave the bootcamp with a schedule of what needs to be done, when.  (As we went to press, there was a rumor circulating about surprise accountability follow-up calls to your child post-event.)

All details about date, time are on that page.  You choose one session, and, as a bonus, are allowed to attend our early, “Fast Start” training class this month, date/time TBD (and recorded if you miss it).

You won’t want to miss that session, because I’m hauling in an ACTUAL admissions officer from an ultra-competitive, “Ivy Plus” college who has reviewed thousands of essays submitted to that college.  Unlike your English teacher, or guidance counselor who is basically guessing what should be in a college essay…

…and what should NOT be…

…our special guest has been “in the room where it happens” and will reveal EXACTLY what to write and what not to write. (Repeat hint:  every essay should probably NOT be about Coronavirus.)

If you have a younger child and are interested in 1:1 advising, just reply to this email and we can get on the phone or Zoom (all the kids are doing it these days).

Speak soon,

-Andy “Drill Sergeant So You Don’t Have to Be” Lockwood

P.S. Here’s the sign up page and coupon code again:

Coupon code: 2020BOOTCAMP

Leave a Comment