Member Spotlight - Who is Dr. Pat Smith? Holmes Smith Consulting Services, Inc.

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Provide us a brief description of your business and your professional journey? How many years have you been in business?

Dr. Smith has 25+ years of college, career, and academic counseling. In addition, she is certified as an Educational Planner and Career Counselor. In 2012, Dr. Smith established Holmes Smith Consulting Services, Inc - this firm provides individualized and customized services to students, parents/guardians, and individuals seeking college planning and career guidance. Dr. Smith’s passion is to help clients meet their educational and career goals by providing tools to successfully plan, organize, navigate, and maximize financial and educational resources.  

Since its incorporation nearly ten years ago, her firm has helped students find their college ‘fit”, receive merit, state, community, athletic scholarships, and financial aid. Holmes Smith Consulting Services was awarded the Delaware State Chamber, Small Business Alliance Marvin S. Gilman Superstars in Business, 2018 Award of Excellence.  

Dr. Smith is committed to community outreach. In 2013, she founded the Annual College Planning Conference for Parents & Guardians, Inc. This non-profit organization offers an annual conference to disseminate and share college planning, financial aid, SAT/ACT prep, and scholarship information. Through the generosity of conference sponsors - high school seniors are awarded college scholarships at the conference. Additionally, Dr. Smith has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware to provide college planning services to its teen members.   

Dr. Smith is the author of “The Power of Parent Involvement in the College Planning Process: A Guidebook to help Parents and Students Approach the College Planning Process Efficiently and Productively Together.” 

What resources do you offer your clients? 
 
Holmes Smith Consulting Services offers the following individualized and customized services:  

College Planning: 
As Independent Educational Consultants, we advise families on educational planning. We help parents and students identify the learning environment that best suits the individual needs of the students. By providing individualized and customized services to students and families, we help identify the college(s) that will meet a student’s academic, social, and financial needs. As educational consultants, we broaden the potential college choices assist with selecting college majors and career paths, provide essay writing feedback, locate private scholarships, and weigh factors such as best college fit and cost.  

Career Planning: 
As professional Career Consultants, we advise clients on career transition, career change, and advancement. We help clients identify their career interests and execute plans to meet their career goals. As experienced consultants, we broaden the potential choices, help locate financial assistance, and consider factors such as best career fit, cost and time for training, and job search strategies. 

Psychological Type Assessment:
We are certified to administer the Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children (MMTIC). This inventory allows us to assess psychological types in children and young people. A description of how each type relates to learning, working in teams, working with parents and teachers, and things they find challenging. The report offers suggestions for studying, working with others, maintaining friendships, and communicating with parents and teachers. 

Amid our current climate, what is one thing that families/clients worry about the most? How do you help them overcome their worries?
 
Educational Cost: The cost of college is a primary concern for families. Some families have not created a plan to pay for college expenses; others see cost as a barrier for their students getting into the college of their choice. At HSCS, we advise on paying for college and help families explore methods to pay for college, such as seeking and applying for scholarships. 

College Planning: Many families wish they had planned better for college and feel overwhelmed with the process and decision-making. Some families feel they have waited too late. The educational response to the COVID pandemic has intensified these concerns. At HSCS, we plan and organize a plan of action and collaboratively work with families every step of the way. 

Career Planning: Many individuals are confused or seek guidance for career transition, career change, and advancement. Individuals have been displaced because of the current climate or view this time to make a career change. Recent graduates have trouble finding their first jobs and must apply innovative job search strategies– we can help by offering career assessments, resume writing, interviewing skills, and job search strategies. 
 
What is an interesting fact(s) that the community may not know about Holmes Smith Consulting?
 
As a certified educational planner and my affiliations with professional national educational planning/admissions associations, we stay current with college admissions requirements, trends, and changes. Therefore, we can help families by guiding them through one of the most critical decisions they will make. As a certified career counselor and my affiliations with professional career development associations, we stay current with job search trends and approaches. With this information, we assist recent college graduates, military spouses, and individuals seeking a career change with identifying a new career, resume development, interviewing skills, job search, and personal branding. 

What motivated you to become a Chamber member? How long have you been a Chamber member?

I was invited to join the Chamber in 2016 and what motivated me to become a member was to ensure that HSCS was widely branded and recognized. I also felt that networking and exposure would enhance my business growth and allow me a platform to share my resources and experiences with other small businesses. I appreciate being a member and supporting the local Chamber.   

What aspect of the Chamber have you personally taken advantage of the most?
 
I have taken advantage of many of the Chamber’s offerings. The Networking group – Chamber Pro, has been extremely beneficial. I have also appreciated the partnerships and business relationships that have evolved from being a Chamber member. 
 
Can you share some exciting programs or offers you have done for your clients during this health pandemic?

I have engaged in several exciting programs that I have offered during the pandemic; two programs that stand out are: 1) virtual SAT Prep for teen members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware and 2) virtual College Scholarship Awards Program – awarding 11 high school students and current college students with scholarships. 
 
Can you share a few of your partnerships and awards you have received? 

I have a fantastic external team of people and businesses that I rely heavily on to manage and grow my business. These partnerships provide technology, accounting, advertising/marketing, staffing, printing, and legal support. I have formed many of these partnerships through my membership with the Chambers of Commerce. 

Holmes Smith Consulting Services was awarded the Delaware State Chamber, Small Business Alliance Marvin S. Gilman Superstars in Business, 2018 Award of Excellence.   

When you are not helping your clients, how do you like to spend your time? 

When I am not helping clients, I engage in self-improvement activities (e.g., trail walking and exercising). I also enjoy listening to spa music, watching classic films, visiting state parks and colleges/universities (before COVID- 19), and reading autobiographies.

What advice would you give to our new or current chamber members about keeping their businesses thriving? 

The advice I would give new and current chamber members to keep their businesses thriving is to find your people/organizations that will aid you with making the right sound business decisions. Minimize the need to do “trendy” things but instead, do what makes sense to grow and sustain your businesses and stay relevant in your industries. Remember, “One size doesn’t fit all.”  

I would also encourage chamber members not to do it alone but build partnerships and share your resources and thoughts with other business owners/leaders. Take advantage of all resources like the Chamber of Commerce. 

I learned very early as a small business owner that I needed to network and have candied and challenging conversations with peers and successful business owners. As the thought leader Brene’ Brown emphasizes, we have to have the courage to develop our potentials. I would go a step further and encourage you to become comfortable with being life-long learners.    

For more information, visit Holmes Smith Consulting Services at www.holmessmithconsulting.com.
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