Meet Amy Kossoff Smith

Headshot of Amy Kossoff SmithAmy Kossoff Smith
Power Hour Editing (MD)

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
I went to journalism school and launched a PR firm and parenting website. When my oldest son started applying to colleges seven years ago, I realized that college essays are essentially a merger of my diverse skill set. They require great storytelling (journalism) and the ability to set yourself apart in a competitive environment (PR). Also, I’ve always loved to create systems and resources to help simplify cumbersome processes, and this career lets me put that to use every day!

What is your favorite part of the job? 
I love coaching students to connect their own personal dots to create a meaningful and powerful story. There’s nothing better than helping students uncover what I like to call “their biggest headline.” It’s so gratifying to help families navigate such an important process. I love providing what I call “power tools” so students are empowered to create and succeed.

What prompted you to join NACAC and what do you hope to get out of your membership?
As a writing coach, I help students on many parts of the application (anything with words—essays, supplements, activity lists, strategy, etc.), and my families consult me on a variety of topics. Having gone through the process with my own three sons and so many clients, there’s not a lot I haven’t seen or experienced. But I highly value continuing education in my field and think NACAC has a ton to offer in terms of keeping members apprised of the rapidly evolving changes in college admission.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today? 
The pandemic has thrown a curveball at both applicants and colleges. The spike in the number of applications because of students’ inability to visit has flooded admission offices. Also affecting the surge in applications was the massive increase in test-optional admission policies. Removing this data point (test score) from applications, makes all of the other pieces matter even more. Students and parents are stressed and confused, and we need to continue to bring calm to this process.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I love to travel and missed it during the pandemic, so I’ve really enjoyed riding my spin bike on beach-inspired routes. Also, my husband Mitch and I love to take long walks with our dogs, Zoe and Whiskey.

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Lois Lane! I love to uncover fascinating stories and interview interesting people. It would be so fun to be a Daily Planet reporter while flying around town with Superman.

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