SUSAN BERISHAJ, FOUNDER
At heart, Susan Berishaj, founder of Sia Admissions, is an educator with a passion for diversity. She holds a deep conviction that racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, sexual, geographic, academic and professional differences should be embraced. Susan believes these are the very strengths that inspire progress, success, and growth, not only for the individual contributing to and participating in society but also for the world that is affected by those experiences. Weaknesses are to be celebrated as individuality. Troubled experiences are to be honored as lessons. After all, it is the culmination of a web of experiences that weave the fabric that shapes each of our uniqueness.
Like those of her clients, Susan’s diverse web of experiences led her to found Sia Admissions, and her story is integral to the values and mission of the firm.
Susan grew up in Montenegro, where she began her formal academic training at a local elementary and high school using the gymnasium system of education. Relocating to the United States in her senior year provided Susan an opportunity to showcase her character and work ethic. Thrown into a foreign school system, a different culture and new social network, Susan succeeded where many might stumble.
As a proud and independent woman from a modest Eastern European family, graduating high school presented its own adversity. Susan worked tirelessly on both her academics and self; her path led to the steps of NYU. Her ambitions, background, and commitment to excellence earned her a degree with honors from NYU. Her passion for education unwavering and her curiosity unsatisfied, Susan then completed her Master’s at Yale.
Throughout her years in university, Susan not only excelled in the classroom but was a leader on campus. Whether pioneering clubs that embraced diversity, fundraising for charitable organizations, or volunteering at the library, Susan was in a word, involved. It was this drive and character that also led her to hold positions at a leading hedge fund in New York as well as a global private equity firm. Despite her professional successes, her passion for education remained unchanging.
Susan gathered the pools of knowledge gained from her academic, professional and personal experiences and founded Sia Admissions. Her aim is to serve students of diverse background in helping them craft and curate their unique story in a manner that is sympathetic to their views and experiences and tell that story in a confident voice all their own.