Status: First-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: Banking/Private Equity
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 5
GMAT/GRE score: 770
Undergraduate GPA: 3.72/4.00
Admitted to: HBS, Harvard Kennedy School
I started the b-school application process thinking I knew exactly how I would need to craft my applications. I felt I was a competitive candidate, with a strong GMAT score and resume, and would be (at the very least) well-positioned in my applications to HBS and Stanford GSB. After just one or two sessions with Kathryn, I quickly learned how naïve I had been. Kathryn helped me from start to finish:
– Resume: Transform my resume from a corporate/professionally-oriented format to one that most effectively highlights my undergraduate/professional/extracurricular accomplishments and activities. With Kathryn’s help, I was able to better convey my experiences and their impact
– Personal Narrative: Critically think about what I wanted to get out of my business school experience before I started to even think about drafting my essays, so that I could have an honest, passionate, and compelling narrative to tell the admissions committees. Going into the process, I had a sense for what I wanted out of business school, but Kathryn constructively challenged me to refine that to make my application stronger
– Essays: Provide key feedback on my essays and a fresh point of view. After you read your own writing enough times, you can’t help but to lose some perspective. Kathryn’s honest and direct feedback style made for a highly value-add and time-efficient essay crafting process
– Interview Prep: Prepare for the interviews with mocks that gave me peace of mind that I was ready. After Kathryn has helped you refine your narrative through the resume/essay writing part of the process, the interview also just feels less ominous
I should add that I was also starting my application process relatively late and (to make things more complicated) was traveling internationally while preparing my HBS application. Despite these obstacles, Kathryn was extremely accommodating, moving things around on her own calendar to help me get it all done. We had about 10 days to do what normally required 30 – including resume creation, narrative development, and essay drafting. (Thank you again, Kathryn!)
I’m headed to HBS in the fall, and I’m very grateful to Kathryn for everything she did to help get me here. What is most special about working with Kathryn is the relationship you develop with her. She “pushes” / challenges you to tell your own story more effectively and provides feedback on how you present yourself – all of which go well beyond the b-school application process. I certainly feel that after working with Kathryn, I speak about my goals more confidently and better understand my own strengths/weaknesses.
Kathryn also played a critical role in my application to the joint degree program between Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. Despite the different timelines for those school admissions processes, it was key that I emphasize my dual interests across all my applications, and Kathryn helped me do that effectively.