Interview 146: Elliot Felix on "How to get the most out of College"
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Interview 147: Irena Smith on “The Golden Ticket: A Life in College Admission Essays”

Irena Smith
  • Irena talks about her path from being an English major to a PHD in Comparative literature to brief stint as a Humanities lecturer in the Structural Liberal Education program at Stanford to an being admission reader at Stanford for four years in the late 90’s
  • Irena tells us about the book she wrote about College Essays, creative non-fiction and she talks about the Palo Alto culture when it comes to college admissions and the pressure that is on students from a very young age
  • Irena talks about the mental health toil this pressure cooker culture takes on students
  • Dr. Irena Smith continues talking about the toil being obsessed about getting into a place like Stanford takes on so many students that have this aspiration.
  • Lisa and Irena have a great conversation about why our society is so fixated on going to an elite college and not on their 3rd or 5th job or more of a long range view
  • Irena shares about how as much as she tried to resist the Palo Alto pressure culture, it ended up seeping into the pressure her son felt at times
  • Dr. Smith gives her advice to students and to parents
  • Irena talks about the idiocy of college rankings
  • Irena talks about how location is an underrated part of findng a college match
  • Lisa puts Irena on the hotseat

You can also listen on Episode 338, Episode 340, and Episode 342

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