One thing is for sure - there is NEVER a dull moment around here! I thought it would be fun to track a day in my life during busy season! Here’s a day from earlier this week…
Client meetings: 4
Hours worked: About 15
Hours Billed: About 9
Essays Reviewed: About 5
Emails Received: 174 - I counted :)
7:00 a.m.: Start reading email in bed. I decide to pull out my laptop, send two urgent responses, and then get in the shower after that.
9:00 a.m.: Ready for the day, I have responded to a few more emails and my daughter asks if I can drop her off at school (my au pair usually does, but if I’m around I will). I go through the carpool line with her and see an email on my phone (while stopped) that a total debacle happened with one of my clients involving a HS visit. Ughh… I place a Starbucks mobile order and rack my brain for solutions to the problem at hand as I am heading down Beulah.
9:10 a.m.: Starting to get nervous about the fact that my meeting is at 10:00 and I need to handle this situation first, but I haven’t gotten through all of the 40 or so emails I’ve received since last night. Every time I look down at my phone, I have more email. I decide to run in to Starbucks to get my mobile order instead of doing through the drive through because it’s faster that way.
9:20 a.m.: Run into Rebeccah in the office. She is here printing out questionnaires and putting files together to get ready for the week ahead. Rebeccah lives in Vienna but works mostly remote. I have had more than one student ask me if she really exists in person because they only hear from her and never actually see her while she is in the office :) Yes, she definitely exists (now we have proof!) but is usually home with her kids during after-school hours when the office is busiest.
9:27: I am not actually at my computer yet but a flurry of emails are sent that I actually wrote after midnight. I try to remember to set them to go out in the morning if I’m writing them really late.
9:30: Sit back down at my computer and start writing a response to the family with the crisis. See an email from a client with a scheduled meeting tomorrow who is desperately trying to change the meeting time to today. I weigh the options: I have a zillion things on my plate today but they really want the time. I decide to offer it to them because they have an extenuating circumstance with a relative in the hospital and a cross-country trip. I try to be flexible when I can.
9:40: Continue to go through email and see another big crisis that a student had involving an SAT administration this past weekend. This situation makes the first one look mild. AHH! I switch gears to that one before my strategy session.
10:00: Have a two-hour strategy session with parents I’ve worked with before. They are great and we end the session a little late, laughing. We got a lot accomplished.
12:20: Start regretting moving the other meeting around when I see that I got about thirty new emails while I was in the strategy session. Start replying as quickly as possible to make a dent. Also still dealing with the two crises from before, plus a transfer application I’m really trying to get wrapped up today, and a student trying to make a decision on his ED school. Quickly change plans for an essay meeting today based on a student’s weekend progress and update the coach.
1:00: Have the meeting. Spend the entire time writing down a to-do list of tasks that I need to take care of later including some that are very time-sensitive.
2:00: Thankfully, I only got a couple of emails during the meeting. Answer the most urgent of the emails, including one regarding one of the morning crises, and one with a parent regarding a later meeting tonight, and then put everything else aside to start the most time-sensitive project from the 1:00 meeting.
3:00: Realize I have not had lunch. Decide to order Uber Eats quickly before my 4:00 meeting. Say hi to Megan the essay coach after thinking she’s the Uber guy when I hear footsteps coming. Megan goes into a whole string of essay and interview prep meetings, and I eat lunch while still working on aforementioned project and answering emails.
4:00: Meet with the senior who is still trying to finalize his ED choice (fortunately his applications are done and they have been for a while). Email a detailed recap of our meeting after we finish so that his parents can read everything we discussed, and also so that he can have a to-do list. Tag Rebeccah to follow up on all of the items in the to-do list, to make sure that he actually does everything.
5:30: Back to work on the project.
6:00: Meet with a junior remotely via Zoom. She’s at her New England boarding school, although our last meeting was actually in person when I was in the area visiting Dartmouth a few weeks ago. Start discussing which week in August we will block out for her apps before we plan out her activities list and discuss instructions for beginning the Common App. I can’t believe we are talking about August already!
7:01: Raid the candy bowl. I think I have twizzler competition from someone else in this office!
7:02: Back to work on the project. At this point my inbox is going nuts and it makes me feel anxious.
8:01: Send completed project. YES! Begin to work on meeting recap and to-do instructions from 6:00 meeting.
8:15: Print out Halloween Phantom signs because we were Boo’ed at home this evening. Place a dinner order on Uber Eats after printing the signs (I keep Uber Eats in business).
8:50: Finally leave the office after sending the detailed meeting recap for the 6:00 meeting and tagging Rebeccah to follow-up on all of the items in the to-do list.
9:00: Thank God for my 8-minute commute and eat dinner.
9:30: Back to work! Review progress from the essay coach meetings this afternoon - make edits when necessary and send follow-up emails to the parents and students. Plan out tasks for the next essay coaching sessions for the kids that came in today and fill in the essay coaches on Asana. Start going through all of the emails that I missed today and last night (this involves helping plan a college visit, weighing in on art portfolio progress, engaging in a few back-and-forth emails about the crises from this morning which now seem to be mostly resolved, passing on feedback about a client’s confidentiality agreement from a tutor, editing a peer recommendation letter… and lots more.
12:01: Send my last email of the evening. WHEW!