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Alumni Spotlight

  • Kate Sonnenberg

In the Words of Graduate: Kate Sonnenberg

Independent Educational Consultant Certificate

Why did you choose UCI Division of Continuing Education’s Independent Educational Consultant certificate?

I chose the UCI program because I wanted to focus specifically on the “independent” aspect of educational consulting (as opposed to a school-based guidance counselor). I came to the profession with experience in a college admissions office and essay coaching, but I did not have a lot of experience in list-building or in counseling. I felt that the courses at UCI would help me develop in these areas — and they did!

Also, although I am an ex-attorney and knew how to do various legal things (incorporate, get liability insurance) I did not have a business background and thought the program would be helpful for setting up a business.

Finally, I knew that Dr. Steven Antonoff was one of the instructors for the Principles of Independent Educational Consulting course and I definitely wanted the opportunity to learn from him.

What did you enjoy most about your experience in the program?

While there were many things I enjoyed, I am particularly happy to have developed a network of trusted colleagues. My practicum class continues to meet monthly and I am in regular contact with many other people I met in the program.

What was your favorite course in the program, and why?

I loved all my classes, but my favorite was Consulting Transfer, Summer, and Gap Year Students (taught by Emily Goldman) and I am very excited to be taking over as the instructor for this class!

What impact has earning your Independent Educational Consultant certificate had on your career?

I think graduating from the program has given me credibility with both my clients and my colleagues. I think it reflects on the seriousness with which I have transitioned into this profession and my commitment to continued professional development. I certainly still have things to learn but knowing that I am doing all I can to deliver top-level advice to my students and families matters a lot to me.