Getting to Know Bennett's Consultants: Meet Emma Hoffman
Updated: Sep 28
Emma Hoffman is an experienced Bennett consultant who currently lives outside of Philadelphia. She is a true TCK (Third Culture Kid) and has lived all over the world. Her experiences as a student in many different countries, an educator, and a parent bring a great deal of empathy and knowledge to each family she works with.
Emma also has a fantastic sense of humor, which is always helpful when working with families and students!
What is your specific area of expertise?
I support domestic and international students who are applying to colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad throughout the application process. I have a particular passion for the Common Application personal statement, and I love to encourage to students discover who they really are and what really matters to them through the process of writing it.
I also conduct mid-assignment check-ins for companies, recommending to families how they can best keep their children academically on track for repatriation and I also conduct a variety of types of assessments, including private vs. public school assessments. I also greatly enjoy contributing to Bennett’s blog – there are so many interesting issues that arise in education and in relocating with a family.
How long have you been an education consultant?
I can’t believe that it’s been almost 10 years! Time flies when you’re having fun!
What did you do before you became a consultant?
After receiving my law degree from King’s College, University of London (an undergraduate degree in the U.K.), I earned my Post-Graduate Certificate in Education. I have taught at state schools in London and private schools in NYC and Philadelphia and have prepared students for standardized tests such as the SAT and the SSAT. Somewhere in the middle of all that, I spent some time at home, looking after my young sons.
It was in my role as a parent spectator at my son’s soccer game that a mutual acquaintance told me about Elizabeth’s education consulting business, which felt like a perfect match for my Third Culture Kid background and my experience in education.
Do you have a relocation story that informs you work as a consultant?
In my final year of high school, my family and I repatriated to New Zealand after 5 years in Europe. I had to jump headfirst into a completely different school system and curriculum, six weeks after the start of the school year, since the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere academic calendars are different. On top of that, I had to prepare for high stakes, university entrance exams at the end of that year. Needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of down time that year!
Looking back, I realize how incredibly helpful it would have been to have had the support and guidance of an education consultant in the lead up to the move and during the transition, both for myself and for my parents. As a consultant working with relocating families, I can empathize with all the challenges and emotions that they experience.
How has being a parent influenced your work with families?
My own two sons went through the college application process not so long ago and I am very aware of what senior year looks like for 12th graders and their families.
I remind the students I work with to try to see the big picture, not to get too stressed and to make sure to take some time out for themselves too. I hope my sons would agree that I always try to listen to them and to value what they think, how they feel and what they have to say, and I like to bring this approach to the young people I work with, too.
Do you have any tried-and-true advice for families?
While moving to the other side of the world is stressful and as a parent, you might worry about whether it is right for your children, remember that the experiences they will have, the perspectives they will gain, the friends they will make, and the global education they will have, are unique things that they will carry with them throughout their lives.
What is your favorite part of working with families/students?
Meeting and making connections with families from all over the world. I am constantly reminded that while miles might separate us and we may come from such different cultures and experiences, we, as parents, are all united by the fact that we deeply care about our children. This allows us to strike up an immediate connection and I am frequently humbled by how parents let me share in their family lives and decisions at such significant times in their lives.
If you could take a year's sabbatical (and money/time was no object), where would you live?
It would have to be Lake Taupo in New Zealand. As a TCK, I spent much of my childhood living in countries far away from my country of birth, but whenever we would return to New Zealand for a vacation, we would head to Lake Taupo for a break. There, we would spend time with our relatives, eating trout that my fly-fishing father would catch for dinner, we would take endless dips in the clear, ice-cold water under the bright blue sky, in the most breath-takingly beautiful location in the world. (an audible sigh) Maybe I’m romanticizing it... but I don’t think so...
Thank you, Emma; it's been delightful.
Thank you, Erin.
By Erin Brady
Erin Brady serves a dual role as Co-Director of Private Client Services and one of Bennett’s Global Team Leads, supporting Bennett’s consultants in Canada and parts of the U.S. In the latter, she oversees consultants working with families relocating to Greater New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Phoenix, and Toronto. She also serves as the Bennett International liaison for a leading global investment banking, securities, and investment management firm in New York. Erin joined Bennett in 2006 and has worn many hats over the years, consulting with families relocating to areas throughout the U.S and to non-U.S. locations; she eventually focused on U.S. boarding school and New York city placements, PreK through grade 12, though she was frequently called on for other tasks such as co-managing special projects and serving as the Senior Account Representative for a large Global Relocation client.
To read more about our top-flight team of consultants, please see here.
Bennett International Education Consultancy works directly with hundreds of families each year across the globe. We support families by helping them make informed decisions about the best-fit schools for their children; with our guidance, they secure placement in preschools, private day schools, public/state schools, boarding schools, colleges & universities, including schools with particular programs, such as special needs support.