I'm Going 2 College!
Annette has lived in the Almaden Valley area of San Jose for over 20 years. She and her husband have raised three children who've attended their local public schools: Williams, Bret Harte and Leland High schools. Her oldest child graduated from Loyola Marymount University and her middle child attends San Diego State University. Her desire to help students navigate the college admissions process stems from her passion and experience in guiding her own children through that journey. Annette has helped countless students achieve their college goals.
Annette obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She is a former Certified Public Accountant and worked in public accounting and finance with Ernst & Young, Apple and Netscape. Most recently she was Director of HR & Recruiting for Ricoh Innovations and subsequently specialized in Corporate Recruiting for the high-tech industry. Annette excelled at matching employers and job seekers to find the best fit for both parties. She brings that same expertise to college admissions counseling where she helps students find colleges that are uniquely matched to their individual needs.
Annette is an advocate of lifelong learning and obtained her certificate in College Admissions Counseling from UCLA. She graduated with Distinction. She is a member of the Higher Educational Consultants Association (HECA) and the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC),
Annette has been, and continues to be, active in her community, volunteering and serving the following organizations: her children’s schools, sports teams, church, National Charity League, South Valley Fish Food Pantry, Las Madres, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), MomsNext, Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence and City Team Ministries. She has also embarked on three Mission Trips to Mexico to build homes for the needy.
Annette is grateful that her business thrives from word-of-mouth referrals from previous clients. Below are a few testimonials from families she has advised.
"We were referred to Annette by a friend when my son was in the second half of his sophomore year. We knew we needed a college counselor for our son because he had no idea what type of school he wanted to go to (big or small), where geographically he wanted to go, what he wanted to study, etc. In addition, he was hesitant to take feedback from us, his parents, and knew we needed an outside resource. We interviewed several college counselors and immediately selected Annette based on her calm demeanor, extensive knowledge of universities and the process, as well as her kind and understanding rapport with our son.
Annette's structured and methodical approach to the college admissions process worked very well for our son and our family. She broke the process down into individual, achievable steps so it was not overwhelming for my son with clear deadlines and action items (he is a procrastinator so really needed this!) She helped him decide on the type of schools he wanted to apply to as well as his major focus through a skills and interest assessment. She helped him narrow down his university application list based on his academic performance, ACT scores, and extracurricular activities. She involved us as parents in the process and ensured we were all on the same page. She did all of this with patience and flexibility, while keeping us all on track.
We could not have managed this process without the assistance of Annette. We could not recommend her more highly as a fantastic college counselor and partner."
Vivian (Parent) & Justin (High School Class of 2023)
“Let me start by saying that Annette is truly miraculous! She knows her craft really well. I was referred to Annette by a family from my daughter’s school. The referral came with a glowing review of Annette and details of how much she helped the family with the entire college application process.
We contacted Annette to set up an initial consultation and to hear about her process. We walked away from the consultation extremely impressed with how organized and detail-oriented Annette was. We immediately decided to go with her and knew we’d be in good hands.
To say we were a little behind in the process was an understatement… My daughter did not know where she wanted to go to school, what kind of school she wanted to go to (big, small, private, public) what she wanted to study, geographical location, should she take the SAT or ACT, semesters vs. quarters, etc. Additionally, she was also concerned that she had not performed well on the English portion of her SAT, and thought that could limit her choices. As parents we were a bit at a loss as to how to best direct her efforts.
Annette, seemingly effortlessly, took the jumble of thoughts that were running through all of our heads and turned them into an organized action plan. She asked my daughter to complete a questionnaire to help her identify where her strengths and interests aligned (to provide a general direction of study). She was then able to curate a list of schools, ranging from ‘reach’ schools to ‘likely’ schools using my daughter’s direction of study, GPA, SAT, geographic preferences, and many other factors she gathered from conversations with our family.
Annette additionally provided amazing tools to help research the list of schools both quantitatively and qualitatively. She provided a recommendation for a tutor which helped my daughter raise her SAT English score over 100 points. She also guided my daughter through the essay writing portion of the process. The detailed list of help she provided is too long for this review. In short, however, Annette created a very detail oriented, logical, easy-to-follow plan that provided my daughter a great path to select a school that was right for her. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the process and the outcome.”
Mark (Parent) & Natalie (High School Class of 2022)
"We retained Annette during our daughter’s sophomore year, and Annette almost immediately had an impact on the way our daughter pursued the rest of high school. Annette was able to demonstrate (with kindness and data!) the trajectory our daughter was on with her current grades, versus the trajectory she wanted to be on. It was like a lightbulb went off, and our daughter had two-plus years to approach her studies differently. Her grades continually improved, and she was admitted to one of her top choice colleges this fall.
Annette is kind, patient, positive, professional, and also, realistic and transparent. We always knew what to expect due to her organized way of preparing for, conducting, and following up after our meetings. She does an excellent job of setting expectations and holding the student accountable for the work prior to the meetings. Her system helps break down the college application process into such bite size pieces that it never felt like the daunting, overwhelming task it often can be. Instead, by the time essays and applications were due, the research had been done, the essays drafted and reviewed, and all our daughter had to do is press send. We recommend Annette without reservation. Working with her was a thoroughly positive experience for our family."
Jill (Parent) & Hope (High School Class of 2022)
"We started working with Annette the summer before our daughter’s junior year. Our experience with Annette was extremely positive, professional and successful in accomplishing her college admission goals. From the onset she provided us with a detailed roadmap, guidance and great tools to evaluate majors, schools, measure our progress and outcomes. Our meetings were always well organized and productive and after each meeting she followed up with a comprehensive summary of what we discussed, action items as well as topics to start considering. Annette developed a great rapport with our daughter. She was encouraging, motivating and also partnered with us to ensure she remained on track to reach her objectives. Annette is a great listener and the work she did in helping our daughter write her essays was invaluable. Annika is currently at her top choice school, San Diego State University, and absolutely loves it! Thanks Annette for making the application process as stress free as possible and your support and guidance made a big difference in helping Annika get into her dream school!"
Jean (Parent) & Annika (High School Class of 2021)
"Annette has been an outstanding partner for both of our boys’ college exploration and admission processes. Why? First and foremost, she knows the market. She came to the table with a wealth of wisdom and data gained from years of experience that truly helped our boys hone in on their searches. She also utilizes an extremely structured approach. She makes a stressful, complicated journey feel straightforward and exciting. Finally, Annette has the wonderful ability of relating to the students. As with many issues in life, sometimes it’s better if the parents aren’t the first, firm voice of reason and guidance. Annette was an outstanding, effective voice for us. And the results were there! Our older son gained admission to his top choice school, George Washington University! Stay tuned for our younger son."
Ben & Jeanette (Parents) and Andrew & Jack (Students, High School Class of 2020 and 2023 respectively)
"We worked with Annette to help with both of our sons, starting with our oldest son when he was a sophomore. She helped him explore and research majors, prep for the SAT, select classes, and navigate the entire college research and application journey. Over the 3 years that we worked with her, she helped lessen our stress, and kept us on track for all the decisions, research and timelines we had to be aware of. Annette helped us choose which test to take (SAT or ACT) and provided numerous resources for college research. She also helped us navigate financial aid and scholarships. We appreciated her input on college essays: deadlines, deciding on topics, approach and detailed review, as well as prepping materials for letters of recommendation to teachers/coaches/advisors. Annette helped both my sons overcome “writer’s block” on essays to keep the creativity flowing, and represent themselves authentically. Our younger son worked with her during his junior/senior years on essays, college research, and letters of recommendation.
A few highlights that covered our experience with Annette for both boys:
In the end, she helped our sons find the colleges that are a perfect fit for them and their majors/career aspirations. Our older son is now attending Cal Poly, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and is loving his time there. Our younger son is starting this fall at Auburn University in the Professional Flight aviation program. We can’t thank Annette enough for guiding us on this journey and helping them be confident in their college decisions and majors."
BJ (Parent), Cole & Rex (Students, High School Class of 2020 and 2022 respectively)