Christine Koubek essays and stories


Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.
― Maya Angelou

In the spirit of that quote, we begin with a questionnaire I send students prior to our first meeting. Your answers help us brainstorm a list of experiences you can draw from when crafting your essays along with how to infuse them with meaning that is uniquely your own. Those ingredients help make an essay sing, and a college admissions officer keep reading.

Better still, through the process you’ll add tools to your writing tool box that will serve you well in college and beyond. Unlike the five-paragraph form you are perhaps most familiar with (where an essay’s meaning is often drawn from external researched sources) a good college admission essay, or any personal essay, is a story drawn from experience sourced from inside you. Or, as we’ll discuss through examples, a story not so much about what happened as it is the meaning you made from what happened.


My coaching process includes an initial ninety-minute meeting via Zoom. An in-person meeting option is available for those in the greater Washington, DC area. During that time we will:

  • Discuss preliminary ideas based on the Common App questions and your completed questionnaire.
  • Talk through ten elements that make a college essay compelling.
  • Look at several sample “essays that worked” along with examples of those that did not and discuss the elements that made them work.
  • Review strategies for an essay’s flow and organization.
  • Discuss tips for supplemental essays and what to pay special attention to as you visit colleges.

By the end of our meeting, we’ll have brainstormed ideas for you to begin drafting your essay’s opening paragraphs. From there we make a timeline for you to develop your main essay, plus supplemental essays, taking into account early decision/action deadlines as well as regular admission ones. My coaching package includes supplemental essays for up to six colleges. Additional schools and added honors essays, if needed, are billed at an hourly rate.


Please contact me at for additional details and pricing.

Also, this Washington Post Magazine story grew out of my desire to help my sons navigate their senior year stress. In it, high school seniors, college counselors and therapists weighed in with great suggestions on that along with what the Post titled:

Tired of people asking where you’re going to college? Here’s what to say.

If you’d like more information on coaching, please contact me at:

I look forward to learning more about you and your college goals,