Every Thursday this summer, we are introducing students and families to a different member of the College Coach admissions team. Drop in to see what we’re reading, where we went to school, and our strategies for beginning the college essay. As you work with us to find an educational consultant that best fits your needs or the needs of your child, we will help you consider the personality and working styles that will bring out the best in you or your student. Today we introduce Kyra Tyler, who works with students both in the Chicago area and remotely.
Where are you from?
Kyra: Matteson, IL (30 min. south of Chicago)
Where did you go to school?
Kyra: Northwestern & Harvard
What did you study?
Kyra: Flute Performance then Higher Education Administration
Where did you work?
Kyra: College: Danz’ Cookies, Starbucks; Professional: Sapient Corp., Brandeis, Harvard College Fund
What are you reading right now for fun?
Kyra: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
You have a free weekend and carte blanche to go anywhere and do anything. What do you do?
Kyra: I’d go somewhere warm with my husband, take an outdoor pilates class, hang out at the beach, and eat awesome food.
What was your favorite thing about college?
Kyra: Seriously, all of it!!
What about your college experience was different from what you expected?
Kyra: Going to school so close to home, I thought I’d be home or see my parents a lot. Neither happened. I only went home when my roommate, who was from California, did (so almost never). I saw my parents a good bit, but only for really good things like taking my friends and me to dinner or seeing my musical performances.
What’s your philosophy on college admission?
Kyra: Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to find THE SCHOOL for you. There are likely many places where a student will be happy and successful. Put the time into finding those options by being open to suggestions, researching places thoroughly (especially the ones that are unfamiliar), visiting schools, and having an open mind. Worry about where you’re going to be happiest, not what’s popular, what has a “great reputation,” etc.
What aspect of the college admissions process do you most enjoy working on?
Kyra: Putting together the college list
What is the most common mistake you see from students that can easily be fixed?
Kyra: Basing their decisions on other people’s opinions about schools rather than forming their own.
How do you encourage students to look beyond the schools they know to find hidden gems?
Kyra: You have to be willing to step outside of what everyone else is doing. Generally, though, if students are willing to give a hidden gem a chance, they wind up envisioning it as a viable option. . . which is really exciting!
What in your mind makes a good college essay?
Kyra: A good essay is well-written, answers the question, and is genuine. There’s nothing worse than reading an essay that’s either been too edited and is beyond the capacity of the student or is trying so hard to impress that it’s hard to get through.
What are some important things you’ve learned during your time as a College Coach educator?
Kyra: This is legitimately a stressful and sometimes overwhelming process. Laughter and the belief that it will all work out in the end are two things that can really get a family through some of the rough times.
What would you say to your high school self if you could coach him/her through the process?
Kyra: It’s going to be even better than you can imagine.