Portrait of Rachel

Our Work Together

Rachel is a wonderful caring person who absolutely loves film production. When Rachel’s parents first contacted me, they weren’t sure just how serious she was about film. Rachel said that she loved it, but her extracurriculars were more about mountain biking and music.

As Rachel and I worked together in her first-semester of junior year, we built a first-draft list of extracurricular activities, and then put ourselves in the seat of the admissions officers looking at how she “looked on paper.” She actually looked pretty good. There were a couple C grades, but these were in very difficult courses. The paper review showed that she was a member of the Mountain Bike team, but nothing showed that she had an interest in film. The college planning process does not involve “therapy” but it can involve serious conversations. I asked Rachel if she really wanted to do film, or was she just attracted to the idea of film. We decided that she needed to do figure this out!

Rachel forged her own path and gained a ton of film experience in a short amount of time. She helped with several film festivals, made her own movie, enrolled in film-making classes, and even landed an editing job on an independent film in western Colorado (where she could mountain bike in her free time — something she did competitively in high school). Robin did such great work as an editor that she got her name in the credits and on the giant film poster for the movie. It turned out she really did like working in the film industry!

Getting started with essays was hard for Rachel. We worked through a couple of Bell College Consulting’s proven approaches for brainstorming and identifying topics. She was drawn toward talking about leadership and kindness and so her early drafts were about this. It all came together when she took a Film Directing class from a teacher who was aggressive and masculine and not at all like Rachel. She figured out in this class that she did not want to be the kind of director she was learning to be. She wanted to be collaborative and gentle, and that realization turned into a compelling personal statement.

Building the college list for Rachel involved conversations around whether she wanted to pursue a broad liberal-arts type education, with filmmaking as a portion of it, or if she wanted to go all-in on film. In the end, she chose both paths: She applied to some film schools and other schools that had film as one part of a broader curriculum. She was not accepted at USC Film, the Harvard of film school, but she did get into other schools that gave her a number of choices. In the end, she chose to go to Colorado College, majoring in Film Production while also getting a full liberal arts education.

Rather than going straight to college after high school, she deferred her enrollment at CC and took a gap-year to continue gaining experience in film. She is working in the film industry for an entire 12 months before jumping in as a full-time student.

Student Facts

Interests and Extracurriculars

Film!, Mountain Bike Club, Piano

Academics and Tests

Some AP/IB Classes, good grades with a couple blemishes, very good test scores

Perfect-Fit College List

Colorado College, USC, Loyola Marymount, CU Boulder, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz


Accepted at Colorado College, CU Boulder, and UC Santa Cruz with a very nice merit package and others. Rachel opted to defer going to CC so she could take a gap-year to do more film work. She finished that with tons of impressive experience, and is now enrolled at Colorado College.

Note: This is a description of an actual student-client of Bell College Consulting. All aspects are real and accurate; however, the name and photo have been changed to protect the student’s privacy. The photo is used by permission from Philip Wang’s page at https://www.thispersondoesnotexist.com and uses the underlying algorithm created by Nvidia.