Intensive Application Preparation Workshops

What's My Story?

What's My Story? A key to success in the selective college admission process rests in one's ability to use all parts of the application to make a cohesive, compelling case for acceptance. This hands-on, interactive workshop for juniors/rising high school seniors establishes the context of the selective admission process and then focuses on identifying the defining, and often nuanced, aspects of the participants' life experiences that won't be apparent anywhere else in their applications. Participants will engage in role-play activities, essay reviews, mock interviews, reflective and interactive exercises designed to produce practical strategies for revealing their stories. At the conclusion of the workshop, each participant will be prepared to:

  • Develop an action plan for telling her story
  • Identify his "hooks" and find opportunities to reveal them
  • Establish an overall theme for her applications
  • Develop concepts for "lead" essays
  • Get the most from letters of recommendations
  • Relax and convey important messages in personal interviews

(N.B. WMS workshops can be modified to time/audience specifications as well as funding sources. Contact Peter to adapt a WMS workshop for your school.). Target audience: Students. Audience size: 6-25

Tips & Tricks for Developing a Winning Essay

Writing A Winning EssayFor many students, the college essay is the most challenging aspect of the application process. Regrettably, very few actually use the space well to advance their causes. This interactive workshop for juniors/rising high school seniors identifies key factors considered in the candidate review process and reveals the manner in which admission officers approach the essay/personal statement.

Participants will engage in a series of reflective, creative and editorial activities designed to help them develop compelling college essays. They will:

  • Develop a greater awareness of, and confidence in, their "voices"
  • Discuss essay prompts from the Common Application
  • Review selected short and long answer essay prompts taken from the application "supplements" of highly selective institutions
  • Explore elements of their life experiences that reveal depth of character and breadth of perspective
  • Engage in exercises designed to help them identify key messages and themes to be highlighted in their own essays

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be prepared to write their college application essays. Students will learn:

  • How to unlock the power of their unique messages
  • Strategies for effective risk-taking that sets them apart
  • Topics, phrases, and words to avoid
  • Editorial tips for making a good essay great
  • Strategies for addressing "irregularities" in their applications

Two hours. Target audience: Students. Audience size: Max. 100

To learn more about these opportunities or find out how you can collaborate with Peter to create programming to meet your constituent needs, contact him at

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I book an event?

A. Contact Peter at 717-808-5462 or

Q. Does Peter conduct professional development workshops?

A. Yes. Peter offers customizable, interactive professional development in half-day increments for up to 100 people. Elements of this program continue to be popular preconference workshops at the annual National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Conference.

Q. What do people have to say about Peter's programs?

A. Here is a sampling of testimonials. Please see Present/Past Clients and Testimonials for more.

"No one from my family has ever attended a four-year university before, so we are appreciative for your advice regarding this complicated process. I know so many other kids are going through the same turmoil as I am with regard to this whole "admissions game" and would benefit from your advice. I am so glad I attended your seminar, and thank you again for taking the time to set me on the right path."
-Student, Vineland, NJ

"I truly consider you a leader in the field, someone who tells it like it is. That is what sets you apart... I defer to you anytime!"
-Counselor, Bedford, NY

"Brilliant, passionate, fantastic! Thanks for breaking the code and sharing with us."
-Parent, Philadelphia, PA

Q. Is Peter available for keynote speeches?

A. Yes. Peter presents a number of 35-45 minute provocative and/or motivational programs that focus on themes of personal responsibility, effective decision-making, investing in one's self and taking ownership of the future.

Q. Does Peter ever present multiple sessions during the same day?

A. Yes. At a number of schools Peter presents programs/workshops for students during the day and programs for students and parents in the evening. Peter also presents professional development programs during the day followed by events for families in the evening at a discounted package rate.

Q. How much does Peter's programming cost?

A. Fees depend on the nature of the event and length of the program.

Q. Are discounts available for multiple bookings?

A. Yes. Book multiple programs and/or workshops together to receive a reduced rate.

Q. Our budget is tight. How might we fund a program?

A. Good question! Schools have done the following to make the programming possible financially:

  • Collaborated with neighboring schools to share fees.
  • Promoted the event as a fundraiser and sold tickets.
  • Applied grant funds designated to promote college awareness.

Q. Does Peter provide other resources that complement his programming?

A. Yes! Check out the information and advice in Resources for Students & Parents.