I am currently a senior at UC Berkeley, studying Political Economy with a concentration in Law, Politics, and Asian Communities. Prior to joining Varsity, I worked at a boutique financial services consulting firm and Merrill Lynch.
I am originally from New Jersey and have experience in teaching SAT, college/personal essays, and a few other subjects. In New Jersey, I went to a highly ranked magnet school (Bergen Academies) and have experience teaching 7th and 8th graders how to understand word problems and algebra for high school entrance exams.
In my free time, I enjoy reading the newspaper, fiction & non-fiction books, watching new television shows and movies, and cooking. My interest in films is extensive, and I often find myself acting like a human IMDb, naming random actors in movies and television shows and their filmographies.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Berkeley - Bachelors, Political Economy
SAT Math: 780
SAT Writing: 730
Reading the newspaper, reading books, cooking, politics, finance, and city exploring.
High School Business
High School Economics
High School English
IB Economics HL
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
To empower students by asking them questions and helping them make connections. I prefer to have, and teach, a deeper understanding of content over-memorization.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Have them do a short assignment on the topic (e.g. a word problem for algebra, description of an artwork for art history, reading an article for history or economics, etc.). After 10 minutes, I would discuss with him/her about their thoughts and find out how they think, and then discuss what their goals are and go from there!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Giving assignments is one way, but that is not directly independent. I would discuss to find their interests and suggest ways to feed his/her intellectual curiosity: documentaries, newspapers, podcasts, etc.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To focus on the end goal. If that's finishing SAT prep, to think about the college application process; if it's a high school course, to think about summer vacation (and possibly the college application process as well).
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try to focus on the groundwork or fundamental aspects of the concept that are shaky with this student. If this student is having problems with quadratic equations, it would be to focus on algebra basics.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would urge them to read more often, probably newspaper or magazine articles of similar lengths. Reading comprehension issues are often related to a lack of familiarity with the type of writing, or reading speed. Articles help with both.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Working through problems with guiding questions, rather than outlining each step of the problem. There are days/sessions where the steps will be outlined, but when starting, it's good to give practice problems to determine trouble spots.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Excitement is difficult when there is a lack of interest; however, a good way that I like to frame subjects like SAT reading is in relation to the other subjects, like SAT math. So, if a student is struggling in reading, I'd frame it in such a way that finishing reading will give he/she more time to focus on what they enjoy, math. When it comes to something like economics or history that somebody is struggling with, I would try to relate certain aspects of the field to what they are interested in (e.g. using sports for economics or history).
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Asking deeper questions related to the materials, and asking for explanations on assignments and solutions. For math/quantitative subjects, I would use different coefficients to make sure the concepts have stuck.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
To start off at an appropriate level. Giving a student the "harder" end of problems to work with is both discouraging and pointless; finding a good baseline, and incrementally increasing difficulty is a great way to learn efficiently and build confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Asking questions and seeing where he/she stands in content understanding. So, to determine the student's goals, I would need to ask about his/her goals as what he/she is proficient in now.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I focus on the things that work best for the student. Some students are visual learners, while some are more auditory. Other students are both, and some don't really know what works. Trying different mediums for learning new things and going with works best is my approach.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Course material (i.e. textbooks, problem sets, etc.) and published practice problems. I also use articles, stories, and videos to make things more accessible and relatable.