I love meeting and talking with high school students, really finding out what’s on their minds… So, in my effort to stimulate thoughtful conversation and to get at what’s important in the college search process -> YOU! – my husband and I developed this Keynote presentation.

What do you think of it?
 Which of these questions do you have answers for -> right now?
 What do you need to be working on?

Let me know if I can be of help!


Oh man! Have you ever done something really stupid? I have to say, that I don’t often find myself in the position of having to slap my forehead and just laugh at my own mistake… but I got something WRONG and then couldn’t just ignore it…

So here’s the situation: I’m was supposed to call my daughter in India, so I called at 8 pm Eastern Time last night… which, if you know that whole time/space continuum thing, is 6:30 AM in India. Yikes! So I woke up the mom in her host family… and I was mortified! If that wasn’t bad enough, I didn’t talk with my daughter and had to call her back just a few minutes ago (8 am ET)… facing further EMBARRASSMENT when the mom picked up the phone again. I have to say, I would love to have just skipped that second call… I’m not used to making such mistakes and then having to re-live them was, well, adding insult to injury!

And so why do I tell you this tale of woe… it’s to chat, mercifully briefly, about making mistakes and owning them…

Is there anything in high school you wish you had done differently: Perhaps devoting more time and/or effort to a class or getting along with a teacher, working with a group on a project, quitting a team or activity in haste? During the college admissions process you have the opportunity to become reflective about your work and life in your high school years. So here are some questions for you…

☞ What have you done well?
☞ What might you have done better?
☞ What have you learned about your personal values and strengths – through what you have done well and the challenging times, both inside and outside of school?
☞ How have you changed as a result of what you have learned abut yourself and others?

So, how will you speak about yourself in your application and interviews? Be honest, share the good and the lessons learned.

Remember, everyone makes mistakes – little, big, silly, stupid, serious – they run the gamut; fewer people “own” them and learn from them. Be one of the insightful, and humble ones.


June ’09 in Anaheim – What a great FBLA* conference!

talking jill

It was just too much fun working with over 300 students in one room for 45 minutes (!) tackling the really important first steps of the college search process. In our session we divided our time between large group discussion, small group work and report out, and a Q & A session. We developed some great answers to:

  1. What do you know about the college search and selection process?
  2. What do you have yet to learn?
  3. What are you worries?
  4. What is your plan?

If you are beginning your college search – or you have started but haven’t taken the time to answer these questions – set aside a half hour. You will be amazed by your results when you think through

  • what you know/have learned about the college search process -> without being conscious of it…
  • that will lead you to creating a list or mindmap of those areas you need to learn more about…
  • which might point to some of your worries…
  • that can be ameliorated/handled at least in part by developing a plan for what you need and want to do.

Making the time to answer these questions will start you on the path to finding the colleges that are right for you… I’ve done this process with over a thousand teens – and they leave the sessions feeling more confident and in control of their lives. This is an opportunity to do the same for yourself! Be sure to let me know how this works for you – it’s simple, yet not simplistic. It’s a great beginning!

* Future Business Leaders of America

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