Case Study #1: I Need Help Applying to Colleges!

Though every Smarter Consult is unique, they all follow a basic format. Visit our public Google Drive folder for examples of the documents listed below. 

Intake: An initial survey to assess the student's needs, the scope of work, and whether or not we're a good fit. 

  1.  What is the Student's Mission? "I want to make sure I'm on track to do everything I need to do in preparation for college applications."
  2. What is the due date? "Approximately Winter 2016."
  3. What is the biggest concern regarding this mission? "My biggest concern is that I'll forget a major deadline and miss out on a great school because of something simple. I'm really worried I'll run out of time!"
  4. What It All Involves: "I'm hoping to apply to 10-15 schools. I know 9 of them already, and I want to find a few more. They each have their own application due dates, essay requirements, etc. I haven't talked to my teachers yet about recommending me. I also need to prepare for the SAT and make sure I have enough time to study before my test date." 
  5. The Current Schedule Outlook: "I'm working part time this summer. Besides that, I'm pretty much free. But once the school year starts in August, I have team practice three times a week, Drama club on Tuesday nights, and I'll still be working one night a week." 

Proposed Solutions: Picked from our service offerings to best fit the mission at hand.  Clients can pick any combination of services, or opt for something different that they've seen in our service offerings if they think that would work best. Here's a sample of my offerings for this student: 

  • A monthly calendar: listing all official and "soft" due dates from now until the very last deadline. Never miss a school cut off and make sure you're on track with things like drafting your essay, studying for each section of the SAT, and informing your recommenders. Available as a PDF or shareable Google Calendar. 
  • Mini Check-Ins: Short monthly sessions to shake out the cobwebs, address any bumps in the road, track progress, and motivate the client for continued effort. 
  • Personal Strategy Consultation: We closely examine the student's concerns regarding their performance and the demands of the mission. In this student's case, the Strategy Consultation revolves around: how to stay motivated when you feel like you have a lot of time, and how they can optimize their current free time to incorporate app prep as a weekly activity.  

Implementing Change: The student selected the monthly calendar in a Google Calendar format, as well as a personal strategy consultation. Over the next 24 hours I put together a scope of work specifying exactly what will be provided and approximate time of completion. The student (or parent/guardian if they are under 18) signs off on the goals and delivery timeline. 

Follow-Up: One month in, I drop the client a line for a quick exit survey of their experience and how things are going. The client has a quick question about something we talked about in the Strategy consultation that I'm happy to answer.

Follow-Through (optional, but welcome): Once the school year begins, the client reaches out again: they'd now like to go over the application calendar because they have added some schools. The student is also joining another club and would like some advice on re-working their schedule. At this point, we repeat from the second step: Proposed Solutions


What's Your Mission? We Can Help.