Caryl Kristensen


WOO: Woo stands for winning others over. People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.

Communication: People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.

Positivity: People who are especially talented in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.

Achiever: People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.

Activator: People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.

Caryl came to college counseling after a successful career in television as one of “The Mommies” on NBC, co-host of the NBC talk show Caryl & Marilyn: Real Friends, and the hit Showtime Special My Kid Beat Up Your Honor Student.

She is the co-author of The Motherload: When Your Life’s on Spin Cycle and You Just Can’t Get the Lid Up. She traveled the United States doing stand-up comedy and found herself visiting every college campus she came across. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Joan Rivers, the Today show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to name a few.  She also did the Palmolive commercials for seven years, replacing the infamous Madge. As one of The Mommies, she has been a spokesperson for Target, Mastercard, Microsoft, Contadina, and Revereware. 

After living the college process with her own children (and having always been a college junkie), she went back to school and made college counseling her profession 15 years ago.
She especially loves working with students who are pursuing careers in the arts, media, entertainment, and technology. And frankly, she says, “There is a lot of comedy in college counseling, or at least there should be!” 

I am beyond appreciative for Caryl’s ever-present guidance and encouragement. I was a student who struggled with learning disabilities, and applying to college was intimidating. I wasn’t sure where I would fit in or if there was a school that checked all the boxes. Then came my first meeting with Caryl. She let me be me, and reassured me that everything was going to be OK. I believed her and she went above and beyond to help me find the perfect school for me.

— Recent College Grad, Goucher College


College Counseling Certification at UCLA in 2002; worked as a college counselor for the past 10 years

CollegeTrack — Independent College Counseling

Campbell Hall High School, Los Angeles, College Counselor, seven years

Instrumental in initiating the school-wide use of the Naviance college planning platform

Spearheaded many multi-media, college-content projects to streamline and simplify the college process for parents and students

Visited over 300 colleges in the U.S. and abroad


Co-founded LikeLive, the first-of-its-kind digital interview portal for colleges and universities all over the world, enabling colleges to conduct interviews of students digitally as part of their applications. Its client list included: Georgetown, USC WBB, USC Law, USC Marshall School of Business, Cornell, Washington University, Rice, Bucknell, Hamilton, Tulane, Pitzer, University of Texas and Michigan State.

As COO of LikeLive (six years), Caryl worked with colleges and universities to create and identify interview questions and techniques to yield desired students. 

She worked closely with the Deans of Admission at hundreds of undergrad and graduate schools as well as private high schools to implement digital interviewing into their admission process.

LikeLive was acquired by Educational Testing Service (creator of SAT, TOEFL, and GRE) in 2012, and ultimately merged with another next-generation digital provider.

Caryl created a practice interviewing tool for Naviance as an add-on to the main Naviance College Planning Platform by Hobsons. It is used by over 6000 high schools. 

Caryl was also the co-founder of Zip Intro, a time-shifted interview platform for the HR space that uses prerecorded video.

She has been a member of WACAC, NACAC, NAFSA and has done presentations on the use of technology in the college admissions process.

Schedule your Free Consulation

Call for a free 30-minute phone consultation: (818) 459-6901

30721 Russell Ranch Road, Suite 140, Westlake Village , California 91362 - Get Directions