Why hire me to help you with scholarships?
DIY (Do It Yourself) is a multi-million dollar business. While I love a little DIY décor project on the weekend, I wouldn’t DIY an entire home renovation. Even though it might save me money to do it myself, I'm no Sarah Richardson. I don’t have the expertise, time, or interest to do it.
We pay for someone to do something for us for 3 main reasons:
1. They have expertise we don’t. Sure, you can read articles online, or spend hours watching YouTube videos, but there are some things that require a person who has experience, skill, and in-depth knowledge that’s been built up over years.
2. We just don’t have the time. It would take you 2, 3, or 5 times longer to do it than to just hire someone to do it for you. Sometimes it’s best to just pay someone else to do it -- "Done and done." are three of my favourite words!
3. They can get a result that we simply can’t. You may know what needs to be done, but sometimes it takes someone with an objective view/opinion to bring about the change needed.
For example, you may know how to write a resume, and you can research a lot about it online, but when it comes to knowing what employers want, and how your skills match it, you can often hit a wall. It’s great to get general information online, but it’s often difficult to apply it to our specific situation.
And sometimes we’re too close to the information. We can’t see what others see; we need an objective opinion. An outside person, someone with current knowledge and expertise of the market. We need someone who knows how to ask the right questions to get at the right kind of information, and then show us how to apply it to our specific situation.
These are also some of the same reasons why people hire me to help their child with scholarships.
Here are the main reasons why people hire me:
1. They get stuck. They get so far in the process using their own research, then they need someone with expertise to help them apply it to their specific situation.
2. They recognize my expertise. I've worked in universities for fifteen years, first as an admissions officer, and then as a scholarship program coordinator. I've been a scholarship consultant for four years and worked one-to-one with hundreds of students. I've done a lot of research, and I've helped many students win hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships.
My clients have placed and won major entrance awards at the top universities in Canada including University of Toronto, McGill, and Queen's, and they've placed and won in externals like the Loran. I give you insight into the awards, and help your student craft the kinds of essays the committee wants to read. This is the kind of information you simply can’t find online.
3. Parental help is often limited. If you follow me, you know I’m a big proponent of parents helping their children with the scholarship process, but often that help can—and should—only go so far.
I can draw out the kind of information the scholarship committee is looking for much better than a parent. I know what kind of information the committee is looking for, and I know the right questions to ask your child to get at that information.
4. You need a different messenger. Perhaps most importantly, your child is often more willing to listen to me, and follow my advice, than they will listen to you. Sorry, but it's true.
It’s no secret that our kids sometimes don’t listen to us (or confide in us) the same way they do with someone else, such as a friend’s parent, an aunt or uncle, or a teacher. This does not make us bad parents! It happens to most of us at some point. It happens sometimes with me and my son. In fact, I have a friend who is an executive career coach who has a daughter the same age as my son, and we (half) joke that we’ll trade kids when it comes time to help them with career exploration. Her daughter is more likely to listen to me, and my son is more likely to listen to her. We’ll both say the same things, but that doesn’t matter. When it comes to advice, sometimes kids are simply more likely to take it if it’s delivered by someone else.
As the teen expert Josh Shipp says, “You don’t need a different message; you need a different messenger.”
Some people are perfectly fine to DIY the scholarship process, while others want help. If you want expert advice, or if you simply need a different messenger, please see my services page or contact me to discuss your specific situation.
About the author
Janet MacDonald is a Scholarship Coach with mycampusGPS Education Consulting. She is a former Canadian university admissions officer. For seven years, she was the coordinator of a scholarship program at a major Canadian university. Janet has helped her student clients win hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships.