Since my business is new, I reached out to people in my life to describe how I helped them apply to schools, jobs, or navigate life and the work place. For ethical reasons, I have eliminated identifying information for some, but all the testimonials are written by people I have helped.
IL University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
Stephanie jirard was my professor, my mock trial coach, and ultimately my mentor during my time at shippensburg university. When i got to shippensburg as a freshman, i knew i wanted to go to law school, i just didn’t quite know how to get there or what i actually had to do. Professor jirard walked with me over 4 years through the whole process: helping me build a professional resume, enroll in the right classes, prepare for the lsat, draft a personal statement, and finally submit applications. With professor jirard’s guidance i was able to get accepted to the university of maryland school of law, a top 50 school. Even today i value professor jirard as a friend and as a role model, i wouldn’t be on to greater things in my life and maximizing my potential if it weren’t for her.
Law Clerk for the Honorable Michelle T. Friedland, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
I met Steph just out of college while working in my first full-time job as a criminal defense investigator. Choosing to spend her sabbatical to represent individuals facing the death penalty (just another demonstration of her commitment to the law actually serving justice), Steph immediately took me under her wing and began to show me how to act as a young professional dedicated to public service. Steph’s guidance is always direct but caring, critical but supportive—she puts her arm around you and then tells you exactly how you can reach your goals, even if it means having to address something in need of significant improvement. Several years after we worked together, I reached out to Steph to talk about applying to law school. She not only spoke to me at length about the decision, but she also provided extensive feedback on my personal statement. Without her multiple rounds of edits, I am certain I would not have been accepted to and had the chance to attend Stanford Law. I am lucky to count her as a mentor and friend.
Mother of High School Senior
Stephanie Jirard presented a unique way of approaching the college essay writing process. She showed an incredible ability to chat with my son and listen to his stories about school and life and then know exactly which moments in his life experiences would capture the attention of the college admissions staff. She was able to see my son’s experiences as the truly character-building moments that should be revealed in a college essay.
High School Senior
One of the hardest parts of writing my college essays was finding what moments in my life would truly captivate the attention of the admissions office. Stephanie Jirard forced me to dig deep into my own experiences in order to pull out the perfect essay topics. Her guidance and unique outlook on the writing process helped me to write strong application essays that I was both proud of and believed fully encompassed my experiences in the allotted word count. I have been accepted into every college I have applied to, and I am confident that my essays were a critical aspect to my admissions success.
Jackson X. Jirard
Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2018
The idea of a son saying that without their mom, “they would not be who they are today” is a sweet, cliché that we’ve all heard before. To think, however, of *where* I would be without my mother’s tenacious academic tutelage is enough to induce shudders.
As a young academic, I dreamt of attending Harvard. As I grew into young adulthood though, a passion for dance also blossomed. Once it came time to apply for colleges, my mother rigorously researched university profiles that would fit my duality – artist and academic. Which institutions held their dance program in the highest esteem? Which institutions held the most dance groups on campus? Which institutions supported both their academic AND artistic programs proportionately? To each question, my mother found an answer. Answers that gave me the foresight necessary to know my immediate future laid elsewhere: Stanford. My goal now set, the real work commenced. For hours and days at a time, mom helped me chisel a perfect college essay from the bedrock of draft, after draft, after draft. Even when I felt like I could quit, she refused. Grammar, content, structure, every piece carefully scrutinized while I was not just told what to do but how to do it. Such process allowed me ample opportunity to learn how I could craft my own fine essays, which helped get me admitted to Stanford early decision. Mom then helped me decide to defer college for two years as I danced professionally. Thus, in truth, my mother was slowly imparting me with tools to produce the kind of work that would allow me to succeed alone; work that would, eventually, get me to Harvard where I graduated in 2018 with my master’s degree.
Long story short, I don’t think of where I wouldn’t be without mom’s guidance. I think about where I am because of it.
Navigating the Work Place
Stephanie is the consummate professional in her field and has had years of experience as an attorney. I confided with Stephanie for her litigation advice as to what I should do for a long extensive legal case I was going through years past. Stephanie gave me common sense direction on how I should become successful in dealing with the case at hand. She’s bright, articulate and has had years of education and experience. Her litigation and educational background experience for several years is outstanding and I can say she helped me become successful in my challenging time of need.
Former Graduate Student
I had the pleasure of attending several of Ms. Jirard’s classes as part of my graduate studies. Her personality and love for people were infectious. Over the years, she taught me to be more confident, not only in public speaking but in my everyday life, both personally and professionally. My relationships within the work environment improved drastically because of the skills and knowledge I gained. I now have a better sense of how to communicate with the staff that I supervise and the population that we serve. As I continue to grow professionally, I can always reference back to the lessons learned from Jirard. I truly believe that without her guidance and her genuine demeanor, I would not be where I am today.
Former Graduate Student
I was in three of Stephanie’s classes during my time in graduate school at Shippensburg University. To say that she contributed to my education is an understatement. In addition to imparting knowledge, of which there was plenty, Stephanie was able to assist me in honing writing and public speaking skills in ways that far exceeded my expectations when I first came under her charge as a student. Her meticulous manner coupled with her fun, flashy, and very direct approach to teaching has made me, not only a better writer and speaker, but a better person in my job and in my day to day life. I owe a large portion of my success to Stephanie Jirard!
Former Graduate Student
Jirard’s energy and self-confidence are instantly apparent and undeniably contagious. To say she has been the most influential person in my professional career is not an exaggeration. Jirard has a unique ability to find the ‘spark’ in each student and uses it bring out their best, then challenges them to do better. For me, Jirard’s impressive accomplishments, her wealth of knowledge, and her ability to sustain such an intense drive rekindled a fire within me; I felt a renewed love of learning and eagerly absorbed every lesson she was willing to impart.
When I entered Jirard’s graduate class I already had many years of professional experience. Though I felt my writing and public speaking skills were solid, Jirard’s honest feedback and the techniques she shared resulted in demonstrable improvements in my work week after week. Still, never did I imagine I could become so comfortable making public presentations. When I stood calmly and confidently, alone on a stage to speak to an audience of hundreds of professionals, the first person I acknowledged was Jirard. She was unquestionably the guiding force behind my achievement.
Five years later, I continually reflect on the communication skills Jirard instilled and edit my work accordingly; I use her strategies in every speaking engagement and training I provide. I believe the strength of my presentations has afforded me ever more opportunities to represent my office in the public venue. Having an audience with policy makers, agency leaders, and judges to advocate for reformed practices provides an incredible sense of personal and professional satisfaction. I firmly believe none of this would have been possible without the teachings and guidance of Stephanie Jirard.
Kennedy L. Jirard
West Chester University, 2019
My relationship with Stephanie Jirard is a little more unique because she is my mother. Aside from raising, supporting, and teaching me my entire life, my mom has been my personal career counselor throughout my entire professional development. Specifically, she helped me draft every resume and cover letter for the following positions I have successfully gotten: Honors Society at West Chester University, Press internship for the Mayor of Philadelphia, International Media internship in Paris, France, and my current internship with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
The Tonight Show internship application process was the most extensive of the all consisting of a video interview, online essay questionnaire, and an in-person interview at Rockefeller Center in New York City. For the video interview, my mom helped me prepare by driving 2+ hours to my school where we story boarded the bulk of my professional and personal experiences so that I would be prepared for any and every question. When it came time for the online essay questionnaire, my mom proofread and edited my responses. Then after I successfully secured the in-person interview, my mom spent the days leading up quizzing me on NBC’s history, sending me helpful resources, making sure I knew my resume inside and out, advising me on proper interview apparel, and finally, traveled with me to New York City a day before the interview. When I was offered the position of General Production and Costumes Intern at The Tonight Show for the Spring 2019 semester it was a dream come true and I knew I could not have done it without my mom.
The opportunities and experiences in my professional career are solely because I have a mother who has such all-encompassing knowledge of how to successfully research your dream job, present yourself and prepare for the interview. I have had numerous friends throughout my life remark that if they had a parent with such relevant skills like my mother’s the trajectory of their lives would be vastly different, which is why I have steered a lot of my friends to reach out to my mom for application advice, career counseling, and more, because I know they will be in good hands.
Juvenile Case Worker, Idaho
I, like many young adults, struggled with a lack of direction going into my senior year of college. I had felt that I was going through the motions without specific intention behind my actions and studies. Stephanie Jirard helped me fight to discover my passion and a direction. As a professor, mentor and friend, Stephanie was there to push me to explore new ideas and opportunities. Stephanie encouraged me to try new activities based off of my interests, such as mock trial. I was not happy about the thought of staying in Pennsylvania so she pushed me to widen my view and search jobs abroad and across the country. She coached me not only through mock trial, but also through my own personal development. Career searching, job applications and resume building are all important steps that I have been helped with from Stephanie that gave me a better chance to be successful. A couple years out of college now, I work as a counselor for juveniles and am able to travel the country while doing so. The guidance that I was able to gain from Stephanie Jirard is invaluable to the success I have had in my career.
Teach for America New Orleans, 2017-2019
Innovative, knowledgeable, and resourceful are the three words I would use to describe Stephanie Jirard. She helped me prepare for my interim period between undergraduate school and law school. During this time, Jirard was innovative with her ideas in what paths to take and how they would look in the eyes of future schools and employers. She has a vast knowledge base which she used to direct me in the appropriate steps towards my career. Lastly, Jirard is resourceful. When I was offered a position from a particular business, Jirard followed up with research to make sure it was the right fit. Stephanie Jirard would be a great help to anyone seeking general career advice, such as preparing for interviews, resume building, and next steps in life.
Criminal Justice Instructor, Baltimore City Community College
I met Stephanie Jirard while taking graduate courses at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. I loved her energy, expertise in the subject and her enthusiasm in teaching. Professor Jirard is very knowledgeable! She is also a patient person who is attentive to every student’s need. Professor Jirard challenged me to aim higher and not settle with just obtaining my master’s degree. When I was ready to change careers from being a Juvenile Probation Officer to an Instructor, she was available to give me the best advice. I knew she was the perfect person to aid with the resume, interview techniques and course content. Thanks to her mentoring and expertise, I am enjoying a rewarding career in teaching Criminal Justice at Baltimore City Community College. I even incorporated some of the activities I learned in her class in my classes. My students love them! I value Professor Jirard’s input not only as my mentor, but now as a friend.
Dr. Cheryl Slattery
Professor, Teacher Education
Stephanie Jirard’s professional zest and expertise are unsurpassed! When I first started working professionally with her my curriculum vitae was disconnected and difficult to understand because the pieces were not synchronized in a way that revealed a comprehensible lens from which someone could see and appreciate my varied professional accomplishments. Her visionary capability and genuine willingness to become familiar with my work grounded in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service, transformed my curriculum vitae into a clearly focused document signifying the many facets of my career. Largely, Stephanie has facilitated the change in the way I now think about how I have developed myself professionally and representing that in the best way possible by way of a sound curriculum vitae. She has notably accelerated for me this process of denoting professional growth.
I met Stephanie almost 7 years ago while working at a non-profit in New Orleans. She came into our somewhat drab office and enlivened it in every way! Not only did she boldly paint her office but she carried her bright presence and positive outlook everywhere.
Stephanie has an energy and work ethic that attract many people to her. I was fortunate enough to work with her and take lessons from her perspective not only about criminal defense cases but how to live life to the fullest. She was amazing with our clients, she acted professionally in all moments and then maintained a work-life balance to be emulated. She opened her home to me for a week when my apartment was being worked on and during that time we talked about life goals. She succinctly and gingerly guided me into making a pivotal life transition. We are both proud mothers in unique families and I will always be grateful for her support. Anyone working with Stephanie is blessed.