High school seniors in Land O' Lakes are busy getting their college applications finalized, and there’s a local businesswoman available to help make their admissions essays stand out.
Heather Tomasello of Land O’ Lakes founded her company, The Essay Lady, in 2006, after working for several years at the University of Florida in admissions and academic advising in the Honors College.
“I read a lot of essays,” she said.
That experience gave her the expertise to start the company, which assists students applying to undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as prestigious scholarships, she said.
“Students applying to colleges use me to review their essays and offer a thorough critique,” Tomasello said. “ I never write essays for students. Instead I help them take their own words and ideas and make them more compelling and distinctive.”
Tomasello’s services range from a one-time essay review, to a personal consultation, including help with brainstorming, outlining, and several reviews from first draft to finalized product, she said.
“Many of my clients are applying to multiple top-ranked universities and must write thousands of words between the common application, supplemental essays, academic resumes, and other materials for their applications,” Tomasello said.
Her background in college admissions gives her an expertise that helps clients hone their words to stand out to those who are making the decisions.
“I offer a unique perspective,” Tomasello said. “I know what admissions officers are looking for, because I've been one.”
Making sure an application stands out is vital, she said. The Bright Futures Scholarship Program has resulted in the trend of top students applying in-state, and the competition among the top five Florida universities is fierce.
Essays play an important role in that process, Tomasello said. “Admissions officers realize that grades and test scores don't tell the whole story.”
The essay is the part of the application that students have the most control over, she said. “These statements allow students to make the case for why they are the best candidate for a particular school.”
Tomasello offers rush service with a 24-hour turnaround for last minute applicants, she said.