INTERNATIONAL: The team has traveled to 100+ countries, speak over 10 languages including Spanish, Greek, Mandarin, Urdu, Arabic, Farsi, French, and have worked with applicants from over 30 nations.
ACCOMPLISHED: Our Experts went to Stanford, Oxford, Harvard, Columbia, Berkeley, have served on admissions committees, have all received scholarships and graduated in the top 10% of their class.
EXPERIENCED: We were in your shoes, overcoming significant hurdles to gain admission to top programs, and in the process have developed over 75 Years of Admissions Experience!
Area(s) of Expertise: College, Law, MBA
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: Each time I applied to college, graduate school, and law school my standardized scores were in the 50th – 60th percentile. Despite taking the SAT, LSAT and GRE several times, the scores simply did not reflect my efforts or true aptitude. I knew I could not get into a top program without an outstanding application including a bulletproof addendum and a unique personal statement. Thankfully in each case I was able to extensively research and artfully craft an application that not only helped get me over the admissions hurdle at top programs, but also receive funding for my studies!
Fun Fact: I am obsessed with traveling. To date I have traveled to 130+ countries and attended 6 Soccer World Cups!
Areas of Expertise: Business Management, Customer Relations, Accounting and Marketing.
Fun Fact: Even though I’m half Japanese and half Chinese I sadly don’t speak either language, as my parents were born in Hawaii!
Area(s) of Expertise: College, Graduate, Medical School, Scholarships/Fellowship
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: As a first-generation college student, it always seemed that other students had a better understanding of the application process. For instance, the first time I heard the words “curriculum vitae” I silently panicked. I had never heard the term, but noticed most around me had. Furthermore, during my applications to undergraduate programs, an adviser had told me that the ACT and SAT were interchangeable. As a consequence, I missed out on some application opportunities, having not had the right standardized tests appropriate to each school. Thankfully, I was able to persist and figure out not only what I needed to be competitive for my programs, but also how to secure extended opportunities for fellowships and scholarships. Eventually, I graduated top of my class and matriculated to graduate school at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship!
Fun Fact: I am a gym junkie where I love to run or lift weights!
Area(s) of Expertise: College, Scholarships/Fellowship
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: My first time getting real about who I am was in my college applications. The bad news was my SAT quant stats were not Ivy League competitive. The good news was I didn’t feel I had anything to lose in applying to my last choice schools so I wrote a vulnerable piece about who I was, what matters to me, and how I was going to create value by aligning my college experience with what matters to me. The decision to write this way was a huge win for me. I got acceptances to two Ivies and Notre Dame. Penn blessed me with over a quarter-million dollars total to comfortably enjoy undergrad. Now, my daily life experiences affirm to me that there is success in telling my story. It has helped me as an Educator to build amazing relationships with my students. It has opened the door to my love for global connection (7 countries and counting!!). It has helped me dive into my fascination for developing people and helping them discover their gifts and use them in the best spaces. Most importantly, it helps me advocate for and bet on myself — the best thing any of us can do!
Fun Fact: I have to have a dessert or sugary item at least once each day. No matter how great my keto meal I remember life just isn’t a good one without a pastry, ice cream, or boba tea! If I can’t get my hands on something I will opt for bubblegum.
Area(s) of Expertise: College, Graduate Studies
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: A year out of college, I applied to 13 Masters Programs while I was living and working abroad in Pune, India. Power outages were a hurdle (although, I discovered they predictably fell on Thursday afternoons). My own insecurities proved to be the larger challenge.
Fun Fact: One time in Las Vegas, I won $50,000 as a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire!
Area(s) of Expertise: Law School, Career Planning
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: I decided to pursue law school during my junior year at UCLA. So, unlike many students who tailored their courses and extracurricular activities towards future law school studies, my path was a bit scattered, with some great successes and some great “misses”. The personal statement allowed me to weave these seemingly scattered pieces into a cohesive story that truly conveyed how I came to choose law school as my path for graduate studies. Further the Diversity Statement allowed me to bring together my life experiences and explain, in a bit more detail, about my family background and how I could add to the diversity of the profession.
Fun Fact: T.S. Eliot has my poet heart. I discovered him as an undergrad and still get chills reading his work!
Area(s) of Expertise: Law School, College, Graduate, Scholarships/Fellowship
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: When I decided to do a dual degree in addition to my J.D., I had to take the GRE for admission to my top choice MPA program at Harvard. At the same time, I was selected to work on a civil rights appellate brief and studying for the GRE took a backseat to the brief. I took the GRE at the latest date possible to be eligible for admissions, which happened to be the same week the brief was due. I did well in verbal, but tanked the quantitative portion. So I not only wrote an addendum to my application, but invested a lot of time in writing an authentic personal statement. When I visited Harvard after receiving admissions, I met the woman who admitted me and she stated that she cried after reading my personal statement and that she knew she had to admit me. That experience taught me the importance of being authentic and vulnerable in applications and made me want to help others with this process.
Fun Fact: I once won a radio karaoke contest that got me a private concert with Joe Jonas. To be clear–I am not a good singer, but would do it again in a heartbeat!
Area(s) of Expertise: College, Law School
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: When I sat down to write my personal essay for my law school applications, I was frozen by how painfully uneventful my life had been. I knew applicants that had been in the Peace Corps, beat overwhelming odds, and performed incredible life feats. I, on the other hand, applied to law school during my senior year of college, immersed in a world of football games and palm trees and beautiful people. Eventually, however, I came to realize that how you write about life experience is as important as what you write about. You don’t have to crawl on your hands and knees through the Amazon to tell a story that reflects who you are (although admittedly this would make it easier). The personal essay gave me the opportunity to reflect on experiences in my life that might have at first seemed trivial, but upon deeper reflection, were incredibly meaningful.
Fun Fact: I have driven across the United States eight times!
Area(s) of Expertise: Law School
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: University of California – Berkeley Law has always been a dream school. However, being admitted was extremely difficult, in no small part, because I was an out of state applicant. On my first time applying I was rejected and instead enrolled at Northwestern School of Law. But something didn’t feel right. I withdrew and re-applied to Berkeley Law a second time and again was rejected. This time I decided to pursue my studies at the University of Michigan School of Law. While there, I applied yet again to Berkeley Law, this time as a visiting student, and thankfully my persistence paid off as I was admitted!
Fun Fact: I love traveling and languages. For the past three summers I spent time in Barcelona learning Spanish and taking in the incredible culture!
Area(s) of Expertise: MBA
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: Coming from a nontraditional background, I had almost no idea about what it takes to get into a top MBA program. Therefore, my biggest hurdle was communicating my experience in a way that would convince MBA admissions committees that I can excel both in business school and the private sector. To do this, I spoke with several people that also possessed nontraditional professional backgrounds and who were in or had completed business school to glean which parts of my experiences to highlight given my present and future goals. Doing so ultimately helped me to receive offers from several top business schools!
Fun Fact: During my first year at Stanford, a few of my classmates and I would take over the empty MBA lounge on Saturday nights, shut the doors, close the blinds, and blast instrumental hip-hop beats. After cranking up the bass, we would freestyle for hours!
Area(s) of Expertise: MBA
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: When I was 25, everyone around me in my little town (including myself) thought that Ivy League schools were far beyond my reach; no blue chip companies appeared in my resume, my GMAT score (680) did not stand out for top schools, and my GPA was something I avoided talking about. As an underdog, I had no other choice but to work both hard and smart. After connecting and interviewing dozens of people that attended top schools and reading multiple books and articles, I developed a formula for applications – mastering how to demonstrate a healthy balance of vulnerability, persistence, enthusiasm and insider knowledge about each program I wanted to apply to. In addition, I always aspired to display my uniqueness through my values, skills, passion, and experiences, both positive and negative. This formula has never failed me as I ended was accepted to each one of my dream programs!
Fun Fact: As a Greek, I know for a fact that the Greek food is the best in the world. I am extremely open-minded, but please don’t argue against this universal truth!
Area(s) of Expertise: Business School
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: Coming from an over-represented applicant pool in consulting, I had to really think outside the box in order to make my application shine. I dug deep into my personal and professional experiences to identify the key elements in my journey that adequately conveyed my story in an unforgettable way. This consisted of hours of self-reflection and long inquisitions with family, friends and colleagues to help me put on paper who I truly am. Through this introspective and cathartic process, I was able to craft a unique profile by combining my skills, strengths, passions and narrative. In tandem, I spoke with several current students and school alumni to get a sneak peak into what the AdCom was looking for. Doing so allowed me to be a stand out candidate and helped me gain admissions to some of the world’s top MBA programs.
Fun Fact: I produce house music! You might hear one of my tracks at your next party!
Area(s) of Expertise: Career Coaching, Tech Startups, Customer Success, International Development
Overcoming a Professional Hurdle: Early on in my career I pursued my passion for international development, working for several non-profit policy and research organizations abroad. However, my financial circumstances evolved, unfortunately requiring me to prioritize the needs of my growing family and seek a financially lucrative opportunity in the private sector. Clueless about how to actually achieve this, I decided to lean on the career services at my alma mater. I swallowed my pride and attended a career forum intended for undergrads looking for their summer internships (I’m pretty certain I was the oldest person in the room). Following the forum, I approached one of the speakers, who also happened to be a recruiter. I initiated a conversation, provided him with a copy of my resume, and asked him if he would be open to a coffee chat in person the following week. He agreed! After our coffee chat, the recruiter invited me to the office across the street for a tour and team meet-and-greet. A very informal conversation led to a formal series of interviews and a handsome job offer two weeks later. The rest is history!
Fun Fact: I love to sing! If you search my name, you might find me on itunes 🙂
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