Meet Amber Thompson, owner and lead consultant

In 2015, I started exploring colleges with my oldest daughter. Each step of the way, from cross-country campus visits to late-night research sessions to essay editing conversations, I craved more knowledge about how to navigate the college application process effectively. The more I learned, the more I wanted to share my knowledge and stress-reducing tips with other families who were also embarking on this pivotal journey. 

With my background in education and writing, my passion for research, and my experience as a mom of three, I felt confident I had the soft skills necessary to guide families and students compassionately and collaboratively. But I knew it was equally important for me to have professional training before opening my business. 

In 2019, I started UC Irvine’s certificate program in Independent Educational Consulting, a 7-course series of classes that provides professional preparation over the course of 150+ classroom hours. I am proud to say I earned this certificate in August 2020, which included specialized coursework in college resources, financial aid and counseling techniques. 

As a graduate of Northwestern University, I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a secondary teaching certificate. While a student, I was a tutor in The Writing Center, where I was able to help both undergraduate and graduate students improve their writing and essay development skills. My love for writing continued upon graduation from the California Culinary Academy when I became a freelance writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, profiling local food businesses on the peninsula. Today, it is my great joy to engage in conversations with my students, learn what makes them unique and help them craft their authentic voice and story when writing their essays. 

Along my journey, I have volunteered with local families and several non-profit organizations, including the Matchlighters Scholarship program, Scholar Match and 826LA, helping students revise essays, generate balanced college lists and answer questions. I am committed to being a ‘student of colleges,’ always seeking out the latest news, perspectives from industry leaders and up-to-date college data so that I can minimize stress and emphasize the excitement and possibilities of the college application process. Ultimately, my goal is to help students discover colleges where they will feel comfortable engaging in their learning and embracing available opportunities so they can grow as students and thrive as human beings. 

Affiliations- IECA and WACAC

I am a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, the industry’s professional association committed to upholding ethical guidelines, maintaining the highest standards and providing professional development for its network of consultants. Additionally, I am a student member of WACAC, the Western Association of College Admission Counseling, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting counselors who are helping their students realize their full potential in higher education. 

Why Choose an IEC from IECA-

You can read more about IECA’s Principles of Good Practice here-