Founder & President of ISCA
Mark Efinger is a coach and a teacher. He has 25 years of experience teaching interview skills, public speaking and acting at Phillips Academy Andover, The Taft School and the University of North Carolina. Through his classes and as a wrestling coach, Mark understands the need to support and to provide clarity in order to bring about the best performances when applying to private, independent schools. Mark became the Founder and President of the Interview Skill Coaching Academy after working on both sides of the interview desk for over 40 years. He has conducted and trained over a thousand interviews in the academic world, the US Army and for Pfizer Laboratories.
Authenticity is at the heart of every good presentation or performance. Mark convey their students' personal truth. He knows that confidence cannot be faked. Belief in oneself can be earned through practicing specific exercises that he has used while coaching athletes, actors and interviewers to present with sincerity and assurance. His approach to interviewing combines his extensive knowledge of interview structures and strategies with his understanding of human behavior and presentation authenticity. His clients have been accepted at many top universities and prep schools including, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Williams, Smith and Andover, Loomis and Lawrenceville, to name a few.
Mark’s education includes an MFA in Theatre from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, MBA training from Golden Gate University, a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Middlebury College, and a High School diploma from Phillips Academy.
Cindy's adventurous spirit and interest in serving her country after high school launched her 4-year military career, during which she finished her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and began working in what has always been her passion, Art History and Photography. She opened up a photography studio and began teaching at Phillips Academy and Northern Essex Community College. Her passion for teaching lead to full time employment at Phillips Academy where she served in various faculty and administrative positions for 20 years. She led her varsity WaterPolo team to three consecutive undefeated New England Prep School Championships. She has served as a house counselor, student advisor, admissions reader and interviewer. She has taught life issue classes, has run the student activities department and was promoted to the position of Dean, where she managed 35 faculty and the academic and residential life of over 200 students.
After leaving Andover in 2012, Cindy served on the faculty as a senior administrator at several small boarding schools, including Bard College at Simon’s Rock and The Oliverian School. She is certified in Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice through Skidmore College and is trained as a Title IX resolution officer in higher education. With over twenty-five years of experience as a teacher, coach, and school administrator, Cindy is an enthusiastic educator with experience from prep school to college in practical hands-on learning and experiential curricula.
The ISCA is designed to teach the interview skills that are not taught by our schools. How will you respond when an interviewer asks you, “Can you begin by telling me a little bit about yourself?” You will want to determine beforehand which of your successes in life are most relevant to the person asking. You will want to be comfortable giving an honest and personal answer. If you can do this, the successes of your past will open the doors to your future. Careful preparation and practice, role-plays with an ISCA coach, will all make a significant difference in helping you prepare for your DREAM school. Most of us are self-critical and limit ourselves unfairly, but ISCA clients learn to identify their strengths and express them poignantly. Coaching allows each client to grow confident presenting themselves as a series of successes. When we know our personal story and how it could serve the interviewer’s needs, then it is simply a matter of honest connection between you and the interviewer.
Our online classes gives you that extra help you may need in preparing your essays and/or oral communication. If you struggle with speaking in front of people, Speech and Debate is a wonderful class to help with stage fright. If grammar and vocabulary give you pause, we have classes to help whether this is a problem with your speaking or your writing. Dramatic Literature provides an opportunity to work on your oral expression at the same time you tackle reading comprehension.