John Char

Essay Consultant

Dartmouth College (BA in Geography)
UCLA (Master of Urban and Regional Planning)
UCLA (Certificate exp in College Counseling)

John spent most of his childhood in the desert. While the town appeared quiet and bland on the surface, a closer look revealed a community filled with interesting and unique people. Everyone had a long story that explained how he or she ended up there. This experience is the foundation of John’s approach as a consultant at IvyConnection. He believes that the most important and revealing qualities of his students’ lives are hidden beneath the surface.

John continued to explore his interest in the connection between people and their spaces by studying geography at Dartmouth College. He later completed a graduate program in urban planning at UCLA. Cities and urban development still fascinate John, but the main focus of his life since joining IvyConnection has been to help students gain admission to the most competitive colleges. Guiding young students through the complicated process of college applications has been an exciting professional challenge and a rewarding personal experience.

What led you to IvyConnection?
Most people don't believe I am Korean when they first see me, but both of my parents are Korean, and I was actually born in Seoul. We immigrated to the United States when I was a year old. After graduating from college, I decided to work in Korea before attending graduate school. I found that I really enjoyed listening to students and helping them apply to college with the insight I could provide on their lives.

What do you love most about IvyConnection?
Few people know me as well as my coworkers and students. They still surprise me with their insightful comments. The office has become a space for me to learn about myself.

Who inspires you?
My mom and my wife (in no particular order). They are both driven women who are defined by their unique aspirations.