Consultant Profile: Sam Johnson
Sam Johnson is a Harvard University (BA, Russian Literature) and University of Southern California (MFA, Peter Stark Producing Program) graduate who recently returned to his hometown of New York. For the last six years he has lived in Beijing and Shanghai, working as an Education Consultant and guiding well over 100 students from China, the US and India to acceptance at top schools in the United States, Canada, the UK and Italy. He has worked with students applying to everything from boarding school to college to grad and MBA programs. As a former writer for the Huffington Post, the Harvard Lampoon and Cartoon Network, he prides himself on his ability to help students tell their story and craft the perfect essay.
Having advised well over 100 students to acceptance over the years, I have one major takeaway: there is no one-size-fits-all blueprint for helping students achieve their goals. Whether applying for boarding school, an undergrad degree, an MBA, or any other graduate program, everyone has their own compelling story to tell. As your guide, I just need to help you figure out what it is! Consequently, my first and perhaps most important job is to get to know each student’s unique background and personal goals.
As a USC School of Cinematic Arts-trained writer, I view the application process a lot like crafting a film. You need a fun opening hook that grabs your audience and then a relatable hero—you!—whom the audience—the admissions committee—can root for. Most importantly, your essays and your entire application package need to be sincere because if your story comes off as contrived, forced or padded, it’s not going to be very effective!
I view my job as helping students not just to write about themselves or their goals, but to really sit down from our very first meeting and figure out what their goals are. Knowing the right school or program to apply to in the first place requires this kind of deep thinking, and the process of applying to schools is about more than getting in; it’s about finding the place where you will thrive.
• Graduated Harvard Cum Laude in Slavic Languages and Literature
• Writer whose work has been selected by over a dozen film festivals.
• Speaks French and Mandarin at an advanced level and Russian and German at an Intermediate level
Some of my student successes have included: University of Chicago, Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, UNC, Claremont McKenna, NYU Tisch, University of Michigan Business School, Milton, Bocconi, University College London.