Graduate and Professional School Reviews

During my first medical school application cycle I fell into a number of traps and pitfalls that contributed to an unsuccessful first campaign. I recognized these missteps and having decided to apply a second time chose to give myself the best possible chance of acceptance at the schools I wanted to attend. I researched a number of different companies/individuals who offer assistance with the application process. I chose to work with Doing College and Beyond specifically because Elizabeth takes very few clients each cycle to ensure she has ample time to devote to each individual applicant. But the main reason I decided to work with Elizabeth is because of her candor in speaking to the positive and negative aspects of my application. In talking to other companies and individuals, I found they skipped by the question of whether or not I should apply in the current cycle. Elizabeth, on the other hand, did a comprehensive analysis to assess the strength of my application and provided impartial guidance concerning the merits of applying in the current cycle or building a stronger application for the following year. This process gave me faith in the strength of my application and I believe this was the source of much of my confidence throughout the application process.

Aside from the analysis, the greatest resource Doing College and Beyond provided to me came through personal statement and secondary prompt planning, development and revision. Elizabeth’s comments helped me to shape a meaningful personal statement and concise, poignant answers to secondary prompts which made my application stand out in the large, highly competitive applicant pool. With timely feedback and thought-provoking guidance, I was able to turn around all secondary applications promptly, showing schools I was prepared and interested in their programs. Finally, Elizabeth provided emotional support and perspective through the ups and downs of the application process, providing timely answers to questions which just can’t be found roaming through internet blogs. For those applicants looking for an honest opinion on their medical school application and the help needed to turn a good application into one that truly projects your best self, I highly recommend looking no further than Elizabeth LaScala and Doing College and Beyond.

Byrnn Sargent
UC Irvine School of Medicine
Class of 2023

Elizabeth was an incredible mentor in helping to guide me through the entire medical school application process. She not only took the time to really familiarize herself with my application, but she also put in the effort to get to know me on a more personal basis. Through our conversations, I came to realize my many strengths, which ultimately allowed me to succeed. I am very thankful for her help and the relationship we have built.

Michelle Liu Shu
David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine

I did not know that I wanted to be a doctor until after graduating from college. I thought about getting an MPH or going to nursing school, but after working in a clinical setting, I decided on medicine. My undergraduate institution did not provide much pre-medical advising and, so I searched for someone to help me navigate the application process, both with general guidance and more specific advising related to personal statements and written components.

I was incredibly happy with my overall advising experience. Elizabeth was always responsive to whatever questions I had, answering them with her own knowledge and expertise or guiding me to the resources that answered my questions. She provided me with structured opportunities and exercises to reflect personally and academically, which was tremendously helpful in formulating a personal statement I was very proud to submit. I would definitely recommend Elizabeth to anyone that is looking for personalized advising for their graduate school applications.

Karen Bryan
UCLA School of Medicine
Class of 2023

Elizabeth, Thank you so much for your wise guidance and support throughout this whole process. My daughter couldn’t have done it without your help. She has accepted admission to UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine!

Virginia Crisp
Daughter Becca Crisp
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

“I came to Elizabeth overwhelmed by the graduate school application process. I was deciding between an MPH, MSW, or both and felt I couldn’t manage the various applications on my own. Elizabeth encouraged me to think about why I wanted each degree and provided me with resources to help me make my decision. Once I decided on the MPH, she was instrumental in each component of the application, particularly my Statement of Purpose. She has a keen understanding of what schools are looking for, especially in public health, and has developed a process that facilitates strong essay writing. She challenged me to reflect on my experiences and be critical of my own writing. She worked diligently to provide advice and feedback despite a short timeline, her other students, and the holidays.

Good grades, test scores, and letters of recommendation will only get you so far if you don’t know how to showcase your experiences and construct a coherent application package; that’s what Elizabeth helped me achieve. In the end, I was thrilled to be accepted to 6 out of 7 schools. My only advice is to reach out to Elizabeth as soon as possible!”

Amanda Aubel
MPH in Health and Social Behavior
Harvard, Class of 2020

“Elizabeth’s advice and support strengthened my graduate school applications considerably. I thought my background as a Native American from a non-traditional background (military veteran) was a weakness, but she helped me realize that it was really one of big my strengths. Her advice was key to being admitted to and making the final decision about several fine universities, including Tufts and University of Massachusetts Amherst. I ultimately decided to attend University of California Santa Cruz with a $24,000 fellowship, which allows me to focus exclusively on my studies.”

Shawn Tsosie
PhD, Department of Mathematics
University of California, Santa Cruz

“When it came time for me to think about applying to graduate study, I had the good fortune to work with one of the best resources, mentors, and professionals in the field of educational consulting, Elizabeth LaScala. Overall, the application process to Master’s programs in Genetic Counseling took me three years to fully complete, because I had several post baccalaureate courses to complete in order to be eligible for many selective programs.

Elizabeth assisted from initial brainstorming to receipt of my final acceptance notifications. She helped make the application process manageable through her near-daily insightful suggestions. Ultimately I was admitted to the majority of the programs I applied to and had many excellent options to consider.”

Alena Faulkner
M.S. in Genetic Counseling
University of South Carolina

“Elizabeth and I worked closely to develop a well-researched and balanced list of schools. She informed me that when it came to choosing a medical school, it wasn’t about the name but instead whether it was the right fit for me.

In college I majored in chemical engineering and I knew I wanted to take a gap year after graduation. During that gap year, I thought I should take an engineering job, but Elizabeth encouraged me to see that this would be a misstep. Instead she guided me to work in a health care setting before applying to dental schools—volunteering as well as shadowing in a dental office. Ultimately, I was hired to work full-time in a dental office and I believe this made all the difference in the strength of my applications. I would highly recommend her to anyone who is interested in attending a graduate or professional degree school.”

Jennifer Xu
Columbia College of Dental Medicine

Elizabeth LaScala - College Advisor

“The greatest reward is to know that you have actually affected a young person’s life in a positive way. This is the reason I started working in education and continues to be the source of my boundless motivation and energy.”

~ Elizabeth LaScala