At the core of my consulting approach is a passion for helping people tell their best stories. I honed this instinct through my journalism training (M.A., UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, full scholarship) and experience working for some of the best news organizations in the world, including The Financial Times and National Public Radio.
I got my start in admissions consulting in Japan, where I lived for seven years and where I established myself as one of the most successful consultants in the country, pioneering innovations such as flat-rate pricing and no-risk trial periods to provide clients with the most straightforward, comprehensive and fair services possible. I now live in New York City and work with clients all over the world.
While in Japan, I was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to document one of Japan’s leading swordmakers. Before Japan, I completed my first M.A. at the UC San Diego Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies, where the core curriculum included many MBA courses, such as marketing, accounting and finance. I did my undergraduate work at UC Santa Barbara in law.
In addition to Japanese, I am fluent in Spanish from having lived and established a Spanish-language school in Guatemala. In my free time, I work on long-term documentary portrait photography projects, where, similar to admissions consulting, I try to capture something unique about each individual I work with. (www.bryanshih.com)
For more insights about my counseling approach and philosophy, click here.
The common thread through all of my professional and academic experience is my drive to help individuals explore and visualize their goals and dreams, and then recognize and articulate what makes them stand out from other qualified applicants. This exploratory process and the relationships I develop with my clients are what I enjoy most about this work.
For over twenty years, I’ve helped international and domestic students gain admission to their dream colleges and universities. I began my career in educational consulting in Bangkok, Thailand, when I advised the Royal Thai Government on enrolling sponsored students in MBA and PhD programs in the U.S. Since then, I’ve worked with thousands of students on both sides of the desk–as a college counselor for high school and prospective graduate students and as an Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at the University of California at Berkeley and the City University of New York (CUNY).
Working in Asia (India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand) and Turkey has helped me develop a deep appreciation for different cultures and a strong understanding of educational systems outside of the U.S. I’m also well versed in the student immigration and work authorization issues that affect international students through my leadership roles in International Student Affairs and as a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Designated School Officer (DSO). For two years, I also served as a Fulbright Program Advisor, working with prospective applicants on how to best present their projects and also serving on a university-wide selection committee.
I’ve especially enjoyed living and working in Japan: as a Mazda-sponsored high school exchange student and as a student at Nanzan Daigaku (南山大学) and later in my career, working with IBM Japan, ASPECT Education, Kyoto Seika (京都精華大学) and the Osaka University of the Arts (大阪芸術大学).
Outside of academia, I’ve served as a Coordinator of University Outreach for AOL and as Director of Educational Content for a social networking website for Indian students wishing to study abroad. These experiences have given me an understanding of the skill and mindset needed to succeed in today’s fast-moving business world.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I evaluate undergraduate applications for UC Berkeley. I have a Master’s in Educational Administration from Harvard University and a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Middlebury College and the University of San Francisco. I’m also a graduate of the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions and a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA). In my free time, I enjoy chasing my son around playgrounds, practicing yoga and reading. To satisfy my cross-cultural passions, I love international travel, experimenting in the kitchen, and studying flamenco dance.
I look forward to hearing your story and working with you to take the next steps in your personal and professional journey.