Consultant Profile: Jessica Pishko

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If there’s one thing I understand, it’s that it’s difficult to make a change. But embarking on the path to higher education will introduce new opportunities and allow you to pursue your dreams. As I guide you through the admissions process, my goal is to help you present the best version of yourself for admissions committees.

I want to work with Jessica!

I bring to my role at Accepted my own journey through different educational paths. After receiving my B.A. in English and French from Rice University, I went to Harvard Law School. There, I mentored women applying and entering law school, providing emotional support for those enduring the transition to law school and beyond. As I embarked on my legal career in New York, I continued to mentor younger lawyers, guiding them in both fulfilling their work assignments and navigating the corporate world.

Eventually, I decided to leave the practice of law to work as a legal recruiter, where I helped my applicants through the hiring process, coaching them through interviews and revising resumes. Similarly, I focused on individuals going through a transition, moving to other practice areas or trying to transfer their legal skills to a different environment. During this time, I also trained to become a yoga teacher and applied some of the same techniques – relaxation, deep breathing, and the practice of “letting go” of stress – as I worked with my recruiting clients.

Because I wanted to refocus my own career, I entered Columbia University’s M.F.A. program in fiction writing. While there, I taught composition to Columbia undergraduates and worked in the Writing Center, assisting undergraduate and graduate students write and refine essays. It was as a writing center tutor that I learned how to listen to my students and provide useful feedback that helped them convey their own unique message. Not only did I help students with essays for coursework, I also read and provided assistance on essays for law, business and medical school.

After completing my coursework, I became the writing advisor for Columbia University’s Postbaccalaureate Program. Many of my students came from other careers as diverse as the military, law, business and the arts. Through one-on-one sessions, I guided them through the application process and the writing of personal statements and secondary application essays. My process involved a thorough evaluation of the criteria for medical school admissions based on discussions with medical school admissions committee members and advisors. And, because the process of applying to medical school can be challenging, I bring my own lighthearted touch to the discussions, encouraging applicants to highlight their unique skills and qualifications in their application materials. My students were accepted into top-ranked medical schools like Columbia University, Weil Cornell, and Brown University.

Currently when I’m not helping my clients get accepted to top graduate programs, I write for national publications with a focus on issues related to crime and incarceration. I am also working on a novel based on a true crime in Texas. I’m drawn to individual’s particular stories, especially those of people who have overcome odds in some way.

As a consultant for Accepted, I combine my writing skills with my knowledge about the application process to mentor people and help them succeed. I write both narrative non-fiction for national publications and fiction, and I use my eye for narrative flow, detail, and precision to help applicants write essays that truly represent all they have to offer. As a writer, I focus on telling other people’s stories, and I bring the same skills to mentor and assist applicants through the admissions process. When I work with applicants, my focus is on bringing their wonderful qualities to the surface for admissions committees to see. I particularly appreciate those who are returning to school or following a track that may be off the beaten path. While applying to schools is certainly challenging, my students emerge from the process with more confidence and a better understanding of their goals.