I have provided assistance to students with revising and editing personal statements to strengthen the overall argument, organization and style, and grammar and vocabulary. My strong writing and editing background combined makes me well-suited for assisting students with application essays. I have also worked with recent high school graduates on college study skills preparation. Furthermore, my cross-cultural and bilingual background qualifies me to work with both domestic and international students.
My Master's degree in International Development required graduate level economics coursework and as an undergraduate student, I earned A's in several econ courses that covered micro and macroeconomics, as well as development economics in low-income countries. More recently (Summer 2014) I took a review course of macroeconomic principles to refresh my knowledge. I do ongoing tutoring in this subject (not last minute test prep).
As an English minor in college, I earned excellent grades in six English courses. I am also a professional writer who worked as a Teacher's Assistant in grad school, which involved helping students to improve their writing skills. I have experience assisting writers at a wide range of skill levels, including immigrants and other individuals with limited English proficiency.
Government & Politics
I hold a Bachelor's degree in Politics and a Master's degree from American University's School of International Service (in the top ten for International Relations). As a graduate student I worked as a Teacher's Assistant for courses including a World Politics freshman seminar, which involved grading papers and exams and meeting with students on their research projects. I have also worked for various nonprofits that focus on advocacy for government policy change. Finally, I am currently taking government and policy-related coursework at the graduate level.
I earned impressive scores on the GRE: in the high 700s on the Verbal section and mid 600s on the Math (using the pre-2011 scoring system). I am able to offer both subject matter reviews on reading comprehension, timed essay writing, vocabulary in context, and mathematical operations as well as instruction on techniques to maximize your score on each question type. Test-taking methods I can cover include process of elimination, coming up with your own answer first, skimming reading passages and summarizing the main idea, "plugging in," estimating or rounding on math questions, and other techniques that are recommended by test-prep companies and ETS, the test makers.
I minored in English as an undergraduate, which gave me a strong base of knowledge in English literature. The types of literature I know best include Renaissance literature (especially 17th century poetry), 19th century American writers (especially transcendentalists like Emerson and Thoreau) and Victorian novels (especially social commentary).
I have nearly a decade of experience using Microsoft Excel professionally, ranging from basic information storage to the use of more advanced formulas. For example, I streamlined fundraising activities for several nonprofits by using Excel spreadsheets to track internal project calendars and donor deadlines and requirements, and also to aggregate client demographic statistics and measure program outcomes more efficiently.
I have used Microsoft Word regularly throughout my career and as a college and graduate student. My background as a nonprofit fundraiser required me to write grant proposals and reports with Word, using features such as mail merge, collaborative editing with track changes, inserting tables and graphs, and converting to PDF files, among others. My Master's program also exposed me to advanced features such as managing references for research papers (including integration with external software). I can assist both beginning and intermediate users of the software.
As a Teacher's Assistant in graduate school, I graded papers and exams for a freshman seminar course, which involved correcting errors and suggesting changes to make to improve the quality of writing. For the majority of my career I have written, edited and proofread grant proposals and reports for nonprofit organizations. I have a keen eye for detail and I enjoy trimming out the fat in sentences!
I have experience improving students' reading comprehension skills by focusing on techniques to pick out the main idea and determine the tone - the author's attitude towards his or her topic - of short passages. My qualifications to tutor in Reading include an undergraduate English minor, strong knowledge of English literature, a background as a professional writer and proofreader, and experience grading reading reflection assignments as a Teacher's Assistant for freshman college students.
I scored a 720 out of 800 on the Verbal section of the SAT, before the Writing section was separated from Critical Reading (the combined "Verbal" section used to encompass all reading and writing questions and used a different scoring system). I can substantially improve students' reading comprehension, proofreading and timed essay writing skills using techniques recommended by the College Board, the makers of the SAT Test, combined with techniques I have developed through my own experience as a tutor and a Teacher's Assistant for college freshman courses.
I am a professional writer who also has experience helping students to improve their writing skills as a Teacher's Assistant (while in graduate school). I am accustomed to assisting students with varying levels of writing experience and skills, including immigrants and others with limited English proficiency. I scored a 720 out of 800 on the Verbal section of the SAT before the Writing section was separated from Reading.
I developed fluency in Spanish while living in South America for a year and a half (2010 to 2011). In 2008, I participated in a language immersion program in El Salvador and I conducted Spanish-language interviews as part of my research for a Master's thesis in 2009. From 2005 to 2007 I worked with immigrants from various countries in Latin America. As a student, I took a combined 7 years of Spanish courses. I am open to both ongoing tutoring and last minute test preparation in this subject.
My expertise in this area comes primarily from my own personal success as a top-performing student (3.75 undergraduate GPA and 3.78 graduate GPA) which required me to master effective study skills. I can assist students to develop better organizational and time management skills as well as learn to plan overwhelming homework assignments in advance (breaking big assignments down into small pieces with self-imposed "due dates"). I am also familiar with strategies to track and prioritize assignments, resist procrastination and overcome test or paper-writing anxiety for students dealing with ADHD.
My background working with writers at a wide range of skill-levels has given me the experience necessary to deliver lessons that are responsive to students' unique needs, including to students with limited English proficiency or learning disabilities. As a Teacher's Assistant for freshman college courses in graduate school I learned to provide concrete feedback on short assignments, assess longer essays according to a grading rubric, and advise students on research papers. I am also skilled at demonstrating effective techniques for saving time and improving performance on timed essay tests. As a tutor, I draw heavily upon my 6-year career as a professional writer and editor to help students plan and organize their writing more effectively, improve unwieldy sentences, and fix grammatical errors.