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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!
Miami Dade College | A.A. General (Pre-med)
St. Thomas University| B.S. Chemistry/Mathematics – Magna Cum Laude
Columbia Theological Seminary | MA Theological Studies
Florida State University | PhD Religion (Spring 2023)
Area(s) of Expertise: Communications, Customer Relations, Office Management
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: When taking the GRE, I struggled with high levels of test anxiety and did not get the scores that best represented my aptitude. I worked to submit a great application with strong writing samples and secured one of three spots in an excellent graduate program with a teaching fellowship.
Fun Fact: I love the arts. I’ve played every woodwind instrument except the oboe and have experience in percussion and piano.
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
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: As the daughter of Peruvian immigrants, I understand how the college admissions process can be as challenging as it can be isolating. From worrying over whether I had too little extracurriculars under my belt, to wondering whether my application “stood out” from the rest, to stressing over whether the countless hours I spent writing (and re-writing) my personal statement was worth it in the end. I felt that navigating the process was like busting a gut, chasing rainbows, boiling the oceans! It was not until I got into Harvard University when I finally realized that the college admissions process cared more about me than the score I got on my ACT, the GPA I earned, or even the number of community service hours I accumulated over the years. There is more value in the person we are than what our transcripts read; being able to convey how you are as a person–to your own identity–on paper is what truly matters.
Fun Fact:I took thirteen years of Italian from kindergarten to my senior year of high school, but have never been to Italy!
Area(s) of Expertise: College and Scholarships
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: Applying to college is hard enough when you’re confident in knowing what you’re doing. What appears to be a lifetime of work and investment rides on only a few pages of application, all of which culminates in the final click of the big red submit button. It didn’t help that everyone I knew seemed to have something to say about what colleges liked and what they didn’t. These perspectives often conflicted, and left me feeling anxious and afraid of failure. For my early action app, I packed as much as possible of what I thought colleges wanted to hear into the limited word counts. It took me this predictable failure to realize that I was going about it all wrong. Gradually, I came to realize that admissions was just as much about figuring out who I was as communicating that person to the colleges of my dreams. A few weeks of reworking and rewriting my applications brought me not only much closer to where I wanted to be for college, but also to a deeper understanding of who I was and what I wanted in life. Unlocking that deeper introspection is what made all the difference in tackling my applications and clicking that big red button with confidence.
Fun Fact: I co-run a bagel instagram account with a friend where we try and rate bagels from around the world.
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, Scholarships
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: When I was in high school, it seemed like my entire life was building up to my college application. I needed to show who I was as a person, my academic potential, and my capabilities in a short application that would be openly judged by college admissions officers. It felt like a rejection of my application was equivalent to a rejection of who I was as an individual. Even after I spent dozens of hours pouring over every aspect of my application, turned in my essays and completed my interview, and was accepted into Harvard University, I still did not fully understand the college application process. After my first semester of college, however, I realized that colleges were not looking for perfect scores, presidents, and working bees. Colleges wanted potential, and people who are passionate about what they do. I hope to help others find their potential and showcase what they are passionate about. Ultimately, it is your passion, not a perfect GPA, that will move your admissions officer.
Fun Fact: I love to try new hobbies. It would be hard to find something I have not tried before!
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:
I was at the lowest point in my life when I was applying to law school. My brother was fatally ill, my personal life in shambles, and my motivation at rock bottom. I was going through the motions of writing my law school admissions essay when I bumped into Hamada (WTA’s Founder), with whom I occasionally played soccer — and Hamada lit a fire under me. He taught me the value of storytelling, and motivated me to write MY STORY.
That was the first time I had thought about my life as a powerful story — and that story got me into my dream school (and more). I’m now part of the WTA team because I’m a WTA alum.
Fun Fact: As a side gig to being a lawyer, I occasionally perform stand-up comedy — last performing at The Punch Line comedy club in San Francisco!
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: College, Business School, Graduate School, Scholarships
Overcoming an Admissions Hurdle: I didn’t have a stellar GPA when I applied to graduate school. What I did have, though, was a strong understanding of my strengths and my story — and that’s what I leaned into. After coaching countless applicants through admissions processes, I’ve seen the importance of having clarity and conviction around who you are and where you’re headed. Let’s work together to bring that out in your next application.
Fun Fact: I gave Malia Obama and two of her high school friends a private tour of Princeton. I’m only slightly bitter that she chose Harvard instead….
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 🙂