Emma ZC


Emma hails from rural Minnesota, where she frequented her local library to the point that her parents were forced to threaten returning her literary spoils as a form of disciplinary leverage. After graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2014 with degrees in French Studies and Cello Performance, Emma spent a year in France teaching English to high school juniors and seniors. Having completed her Masters of Arts at Harvard in 2016, Emma is now in her third year of a PhD program in French Literature, where she specializes in the relationship between music and contemporary French writing. Her current research led her to pursue a secondary PhD field in musicology, which she completed in 2017.

Emma originally came to teaching through music. After many years of private cello lessons, she started volunteering with her local orchestra program. During college, she “changed her tune”—that is to say, she reapplied her teaching skills, but this time to language learning. As a volunteer peer tutor in French at the University of Minnesota, she eventually oversaw all tutors in the Department. Today, she works as a Teaching Fellow in Romance Languages and Literatures, where she enjoys spiraling language and culture to introduce students to beginning French. Emma especially relishes challenging her students to bypass clichés and drive to the core of the idea they wish to communicate—whether in essayistic, expositional, or creative writing. She has edited many an application essay and strives to emphasize transferable writing skills that will serve her students well in the future.

When she is not reading, Emma enjoys long-distance swimming, watercolor painting, and tending to her tiny urban garden during the summer months in Cambridge.  

Education & Qualifications
  • Harvard University, PhD in French Literature (in progress)
  • Harvard University, MA in French Literature
  • University of Minnesota, BA in French Studies and BM in Music Performance
  • Creative Writing
  • English
  • Expository Writing
  • French
  • Admissions Coaching (College, Medical, Business)
  • Testimonial Citation: 
    "I was amazed at how quickly we were able to transform my drafts into products that I was proud of submitting. Emma was always well prepared for the sessions and we were able to get right to work immediately. Overall I'm very happy with the process and firmly believe my end products were stronger as a result. When I first started with Emma, it had been years since my last essay writing experiences of college, and there had been minimal formal writing required in my finance job up to that point. Working with Emma not only strengthened my MBA application essays, but also improved my overall day-to-day writing. Emma was so great to work with, in large part because she was so receptive to my feedback. She didn't hesitate to challenge me when she thought I was heading in the wrong direction, but she made sure to make sure to let my ideas carry the essays. Of the six schools I applied to, I've since been admitted to Columbia Business School and received interviews at four of the other five schools."
    Testimonial Source: 
    (Alex, MBA Admissions)
  • Testimonial Citation: 
    "Emma helped guide me to make profound conclusions in my writing. She also provided me with a basic structure for answering secondary questions."
    Testimonial Source: 
    (Alex, MD Admissions)