Together we will make your academic dreams a reality
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: Digital Content Creator, Multi-Media Marketing
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: I am pleased to be interning for Write Track Admissions. As a first-generation college student, there was a lot that I was not aware of when applying for college. Though I took the SAT three times, I did not score high. Being interested in a project-based major, I felt that my test score did not represent who I am in an academic setting or as a person. I was very fortunate to have teachers, friends, and family who were able to guide me along during this process. I was able to get into the school and program that was the perfect fit for me.
Fun Fact: I love working out, lifting weights, and finding different ways to challenge me physically. Currently, my highest deadlift is at 215 lbs and by the end of the year, I would like to be at 235 lbs.
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, Medical School
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: I didn’t learn how to write till senior year of high school. Sounds odd, no? I entered AP Lit believing I was a hot shot writer and expecting to ace the course. This delusion shattered when I received a 54 on my first paper. Over the next few months – I had to unlearn everything I knew about writing and relearn that words are powerful and it not only matters what you say but how you say it. Quickly humbled after that experience, I had no idea how to approach the biggest test of my life – my college application. Factually my details are like thousands (Immigrant, the American dream, AP classes, community service etc). I spent countless hours in front of the computer trying to tell my story and figuring out what made me unique. But I realized that it wasn’t about the facts, but more so about how I told my story and what words I used. Ultimately the hard work paid off and I received admission into all the schools I applied to.
Fun Fact: I prefer marathons to 5Ks. Marathons are addicting and once you do one, you can’t stop. I’m currently training for the Chicago Marathon!
Area(s) of Expertise: College and Scholarships
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: There was a period towards the end of the college admissions cycle where I became extremely disillusioned from the whole process. The essay writing process felt uncomfortably probing. I spent weeks writing what felt like fiction essays about some fantastical character. In retrospect, I approached the personal statements too artificially. I tried imagining the ideal version of myself and wrote to that standard. Naturally, such a mindset did not yield an enjoyable or authentic experience. In college, I learned that being authentic was no longer just optimal, it was the only option. Everyone’s story is unique and powerful. It isn’t about how to live a certain way to tell the best story.
Fun Fact: I love podcasting and listening to them, too! My favorite shows are Beautiful Anonymous and This American Life.
Area(s) of Expertise: College and Scholarships
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: It’s extremely nerve-wrecking to know that everything you’ve worked for is determined by one application process. Every time you’ve sweat a test, practiced for extracurriculars and even dealt with difficult people — all your hard work is captured in this two dimensional application of just words. That really scared me. I felt like there was so much to my personality I wanted to convey and it honestly felt like a puzzle to do so. Also, I wasn’t really applying with the best test scores or had cured cancer or anything, so I was pretty unsure about my application. Honestly, it wasn’t until I got to Harvard that I finally understood I shouldn’t have been so anxious. Colleges invest into you as a person, not just into your ideas. I looked at my admissions file and my international relations focus/academic history/extracurriculars were interesting to officers, but it was really my personality they cared about. I think that’s the missing element of college consulting. I learned it’s not about doing the “right things,“ it’s about having the right essay and interview to reflect what you do and who you are.
Fun Fact: My hair is currently hip-level long (Side effect of quarantine) and I’ve developed a new obsession with spinning classes.
Area(s) of Expertise: College, Graduate, Medical School
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: I remember going through the college application process as a student and struggling with my personal statement. I have always found it difficult to talk about myself, especially in an environment as seemingly sterile as an application essay. Luckily for me, I had a great network of teachers, guidance counselors, and family who directed me during the process. The best advice I received was framing my essay around something I cared about or enjoyed, using that as a way to explore deeper themes. I ended up writing about playing Halo with my friends, an essay that explored how to create a community out of shared interests. I would not have been able to write that essay without the help and support I received, and I hope to offer the same to anyone I work with!
Fun Fact: In college, Steph Curry once help me move into my dorm room.
Area(s) of Expertise: College, Public Health (masters and doctoral level programs)
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: I was seriously ill during my senior year of high school and ended up applying to college from the hospital. While the college application process is exhausting, I had to be even more strategic with my time and efforts – learning early on where to prioritize and coming to terms that I wouldn’t physically have enough energy to complete every supplement. Those early lessons forced me to strategically manage and maximize my time, and learn who I could lean on for support. Lessons I carried with me as I later went through two more admission processes. When I applied for my MPH in Global Health I was one of the youngest in my cohort – coming straight from undergrad. While that led to imposter syndrome I had to learn to relinquish it and trust that I was admitted based on my experience and that while I may not have had the years of experience some of my peers had, I was able to be an asset to the classroom. I found trusting the process became easier when I was actively doing everything I felt in my control.
Fun Fact: I’ve lived and worked abroad in a few places, and one of my strengths every time I’m in a new country is discovering the best ice cream – regardless if I’m in a city or village.
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: Law School
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: As a first-generation college student, I tried to overshadow my humble origins with accomplishments: I earned high academic honors and participated heavily in volunteer, political, social and athletic activities. I was going to be the perfect law school applicant…until the day I received a mediocre LSAT score. My first choice was Berkeley Law, so I was already at a disadvantage as an out-of-state applicant from a low-ranked “party school.” It was only out of desperation that I found the strength to be vulnerable and tell my deeply personal story in my personal statement. This act of vulnerability opened the door to my dream law school and invaluable opportunities throughout my career.
Fun Fact: I am the middle child of 9 siblings and have lived on three continents and in seven American states. I’m now settled in Washington State, where I love to explore the outdoors with my amazing little boy!
Area(s) of Expertise: Law School, Graduate
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: Applying to law school was an opaque process that took weeks to assemble the right information, guidance, and strategy. However, after months of preparing and studying, I landed exactly where I was meant to be.
Fun Fact: I have run two half marathons, two Cherry Blossom Ten-Milers, and a couple of 5Ks.
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: 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: 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 🙂