When I decided to apply to Columbia University, I was not familiar with American university programs and was uncertain as to what a school in the United States would expect from an applicant. Debra’s explanation of what the Admissions committee was looking for oriented my focus, and I turned my experiences, ideas, and personal characteristics into a concise personal essay. As a candidate living in Brazil, I thought it would be difficult, if not impossible, to work long-distance. However, working online and through Skype was very effective and exciting. I was inspired as a future professional by the pleasure Debra’s takes in working with words and people. She is very upbeat and proved to be very patient with my rusty English and efficient in the process of drafting and grammar editing. Columbia University was my dream school, and getting in was fantastic. I feel that the personal statement made all the difference.–Columbia University Teachers College, Masters in Psychology Class of ‘13

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