Meeting Ms. Kuh: University School’s Newest College Counselor


Anshul Sharma, Staff Writer

The University School community has welcomed many new teachers and staff members this year. Ms. Jessica Kuh is a new addition to the College Counseling department. She graciously accepted to be interviewed about her background and much else. 

Ms. Kuh is based from Bay Village, a small city near Westlake, with a population of about 15,000 as of 2020. Similar to many other new teachers this year, this was not Ms. Kuh’s first job. After spending time as an RA in Italy for Loyola University, Ms. Kuh started her first job within the US. In 2016, Ms. Kuh joined a study abroad organization called CET Academic Programs, an educational organization that operates  “innovative educational programs abroad,” per their website. They help students experience the rich culture and new experiences of countries around the world within an academic overview. Ms. Kuh was the student’s point of contact and helped arrange everything, such as housing and transportation prior to arrival.

 After that, she worked with a study abroad startup that helped interns find other startups around the world for about 6 months. However, with a laugh Ms. Kuh exclaimed that in the end, the startup world was “a little too fast paced for me.” 

Finally, and most recently, she worked at the University of Chicago, getting to experience the other side of her current job by working in the Admissions Office, from the summer of 2019 to the summer of 2022. In regards to switching, she mentions the more connections and in person conversations found within college counseling at US. As for the students themselves, she simply wishes for every student to ,“ [put] their best foot forward,” throughout their years of high school.

Of course, by working in the admissions office, Ms. Kuh had a variety of different experiences. While at University of Chicago, she managed over a hundred tours by herself. She says these tours had a major impact on her decision to go into high school admissions. The constant interactions with high school students brought to light what Ms. Kuh was missing: the process of connecting and simply talking with students. Over the hundreds of tours given, this became more apparent. 

Along with the connections with high schoolers, Ms. Kuh  also had the opportunity of meeting the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella. Ms.Kuh was the one who gave him a tour around UChicago’s campus, and she mentioned his kind personality.

Finally, as with many other admission related jobs, Ms. Kuh also had to deal with her fair share of “haters.” Specifically, she had one grandma who wrote to her claiming that her son who was denied admission was “going to be the next president of the USA.” 

However, there were still major differences for Ms. Kuh from switching from one POV of a job to another: from working College Admissions to being someone who hopefully makes a student stand out in the Admissions Office. One difference was one that many US students probably dislike as well: the early hours. Bay Village is a bit of a drive from the Upper School, so Ms. Kuh must start her day much earlier than before. She recalls, “those first two weeks of school I was drinking probably way too much coffee to get through the day,” a feeling that was likely shared by many in early September!

Entering high school was a new and, at first, frightening experience for me. One of the most intimidating parts was the inevitable prospect of actually applying for college. So I decided to ask Ms. Kuh what her advice would be for underclassmen looking ahead. She emphasized maintaining high grades and being truly connected to some activity at US or being an integral part of the US community. These all help to make the application process easier later on, when college counselors are there to guide a student. Most of all, Ms. Kuh wants students in 9th and 10th grade to not put too much pressure on themselves and to know that everyone at US will support them throughout their journey.

And now… for the most important question… favorite lunch! After a moment of thought, Ms. Kuh decided that Thai Curry was the winner so far. Thank you so much to Ms. Kuh once again for being so flexible and answering my questions so thoroughly. Welcome!