Motaz Fallata was always encouraged to pursue higher education by his father, but, like many international applicants, he had a hard time figuring out the American college application process. Of course, he was aware of the components of the application, but when it actually came time to start making a list of schools, writing personal statements, and asking for letters of recommendation, he was more than a little confused about where to begin.
While he and his father were watching YouTube videos to find out more information about top colleges in the United States, they came across a video of a review of CollegeAdvisor.com and how it helps students with applying to college. This was the turning point for Motaz who, soon after looking through the website and learning more about the services, took the first step of registering for an account to find a mentor.
All of Motaz’s uncertainty about starting the application process started to ease when he began working with his mentor, Amelie Thouvenot.
Amelie comforted Motaz when he was nervous about deadlines, and she taught him to channel his restless energy into digging deep within himself and writing personal essays that truly captivated him—both his personality and his life experiences.
“My mentor, Amelie, was a great listener, not only did she ask me specific questions that focused my train of thought, but she also walked me through the process of digging deep into my personality and past experiences. It was a profound exercise that helped me identify my main features and surprisingly led to me having long-overdue conversations with family and friends.”
Because Amelie had been in Motaz’s position not too long ago, she took the time to listen to Motaz and answered all of his questions rather than dismiss his anxieties as mere last-minute doubts. She provided a safe space for Motaz to be vulnerable and share his stories—something that proved to be more useful than even Motaz realized at the time since his mentor was learning more about him as a person and was able to later recommend what aspects of himself he should emphasize in his essays.
“She believed in me and she was part of the dream. At the end of every meeting, I felt one step closer to accomplishing my goal. She was a reference point to come back to after completing each milestone like taking standardized tests, and she was supportive and realistic when grades came out. Although sometimes I missed meetings due to the time difference, Amelie understood and offered me to reschedule the meetings to times that better suited me. I now realize it might have been challenging for her and I am very thankful.”
Most importantly, Amelie gave Motaz a piece of advice that he can use long after college: don’t change who you are to please others. “One of the greatest lessons that I learned was that I should not try to change myself to impress schools, instead I should discover my strengths and realize that I am a unique and amazing person. This change in mindset was very empowering for me.” He advises future applicants to have the same mindset when applying to their dream schools and to not let the fear of rejection stop them from taking that first step and getting that much closer to reaching their dreams.
Today Motaz is enjoying the last few months of the school year and awaiting the decision letter that will determine where he will transfer to and start the next phase of his life. He thanks CollegeAdvisor.com for the services that they provide and recommends that students take advantage of mentors during the application process because “two brains are better than one, and sometimes we need some help.”
This success story was based on a questionnaire answered by Motaz Fallata. Motaz reached out to us for help with getting started on the college application process. If you are feeling stuck and are interested in working with a CollegeAdvisor.com Admissions Expert, click here.