When applying to an elite MBA program, you should have elite experience on your side. Each member of our team is an MBA and a published author who will help you convey your distinctiveness as a candidate. As you write your MBA application, having a true communicator helping you craft your personal message is key.
Prior to founding mbaMission, Jeremy Shinewald was the sole speechwriter for the Ambassador of Israel to the United States, for whom he wrote more than 70 policy addresses. As his speeches were being published in the Washington Post, Washington Times and other major international media outlets, Jeremy was also laying the foundation for mbaMission, helping a small number of applicants gain acceptance to top-tier MBA programs each year. Jeremy was admitted to several top domestic and international MBA programs himself and ultimately became one of the youngest members of his class at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, where he was an admissions interviewer, wrote a Business Ethics case and a Small Business Acquisitions case and was chosen by his peers to be Class Graduation Speaker.
After graduation, Jeremy formally established mbaMission and has subsequently provided admissions consulting services to applicants from the United States and more than 30 other countries on six continents. Jeremy is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC), an organization committed to upholding the highest standards of ethical practices in MBA advisory services, and was the Co-Chair of the 2009 AIGAC Conference at Columbia Business School.
Jeremy is a founding member of the Board of Directors of Venture for America, an organization dedicated to creating jobs across the United States by spurring young entrepreneurs.
Spending two years reading and evaluating hundreds of MBA applications for the Stanford GSB inspired Katharine Lewis to coach business school applicants on her own for a time before joining mbaMission as a Senior Consultant. With ten MBAs from six schools in her family, she passionately believes that business school provides essential leadership training for any career. After graduating from Yale, Katharine earned her JD and MBA (with distinction) from Harvard. She then joined McKinsey & Company, where she completed consulting projects for finance, forest products, retail and nonprofit clients, and designed and established two prominent business-government advocacy groups: a roundtable partnership under David Rockefeller comprising the top New York—based CEOs, and a Washington, DC, coalition of AMEX-listed, midsize companies committed to pro-growth tax and regulatory policies. After reluctantly declining a teaching offer from HBS, Katharine practiced law with Morrison & Foerster before switching her focus to education and nonprofit consulting. She chaired finance at a highly successful start-up school, served on four school boards and completed projects for the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation. Katharine also assisted Professor Kathleen M. Connell (the former California State Controller) in her finance class at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and contributed to Connell’s book Moving Up to Millions: The Life Calculator Guide to Wealth (Wiley, 2007).
While at Harvard Business School (HBS), Monica Carpenter-Okrah was a Board Member of Harbus News Corporation and a member of the team that wrote 65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays (published by St. Martin’s Press in 2004), a collection of essays and critiques that provides an inside view into the broad range of writing styles and creative content in successful HBS application essays. Before joining mbaMission, Monica was a member of a start-up team at Red Ventures, an Internet marketing firm that launched an e-commerce business as the direct-to-consumer marketing partner of Sirius Satellite Radio. Prior to business school, Monica was an associate at Rice Financial Products Company, an innovative derivatives boutique in New York City, and an investment banking analyst at JPMorgan Securities, where she assisted nonprofit hospitals with their capital market needs. Monica volunteers with the HBS Alumni Club of Charlotte, North Carolina, and serves as the Chief Marketing Officer of the 700+ member alumni club.
John Sisk has a BS in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University and earned his MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Before attending Stern, John was one of The Huffington Post’s first Chicago-focused bloggers and spent five years in the media industry, starting with a position as a page in the NBC Page Program. After a two-year stint at 30 Rock, he briefly worked as a producer on VH1’s Best Week Ever before transitioning to digital media buying with Starcom Worldwide, where he planned clients’ online marketing campaigns. At Stern, John was a vice president of the Media Entertainment & Sports Association and contributed to The Stern Opportunity, the business school’s student newspaper. John brings a career focus to his admissions consulting —as a Graduate Fellow in Stern’s Office of Career Development, he reviewed students’ resumes and cover letters and conducted mock interviews.
Kevin Shen received his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. While at Wharton, Kevin worked closely with the admissions office as a co-chair of Winter Welcome Weekend in his first year and as a member of the admissions committee in his second year. After graduating from Wharton, Kevin moved to London, where he worked for an Internet start-up in the entertainment industry, initially focusing on business intelligence and later managing the company’s social media and nontraditional marketing strategies. Kevin created and supervised the start-up’s content for Twitter and Facebook, and wrote copy for both the company Web site and various offline marketing materials. In addition, Kevin has worked in information security consulting in New York and in international marketing and new initiatives for a Las Vegas casino. Kevin graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s degree in computer systems engineering and a Master’s in sociology.
Before earning her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Debbie Choy was an investment analyst with JP Morgan, and previously, a management consultant with Booz & Co. After graduating, she worked in product marketing in the medical technology industry, where she developed an expertise in the planning and execution of product launches, product line management and marketing strategy. In addition, Debbie was actively involved in recruiting business school graduates for her employer and led an MBA recruiting program for a fast-growing health care company, focusing on the top programs. She also presented at career fairs and directly interviewed candidates. Debbie is a co-founder of ALIST Magazine, which showcases Asian American corporate leaders and success stories. In this capacity, she oversaw a team of six staff writers and produced a regular column called “Women At Work” for the publication’s Web site. Debbie graduated cum laude from Vassar College with a BA in International Studies.
Hollis Kline earned her BA in literature from Yale University (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude) and her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB). A lifelong love of reading and writing led Hollis to pursue student journalism in the form of various editorial roles at The Yale Herald, writing for The Stanford Business Reporter and co-founding a Stanford GSB blog. Before joining mbaMission, Hollis held a variety of roles in New York and San Francisco, working in design-focused public relations at Clifford Public Relations, real estate private equity at Carmel Partners and executive search at Russell Reynolds Associates—where she selected and interviewed senior executive candidates for C-suite and board positions at large corporations. In her free time, Hollis enjoys rock climbing throughout the western United States and Canada and is a council member of the Yosemite Conservancy, which is dedicated exclusively to the preservation and enhancement of Yosemite National Park. When she’s not scaling one of the park’s peaks, domes or walls, Hollis can often be found engaging in one of her other interests—photography, yoga, travel and vegan cooking.
A graduate of Lehigh University, Rachel Beck holds a master’s degree in journalism and earned her MBA from Columbia Business School, where she was awarded the prestigious Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics Business Journalism. While at Columbia, Rachel was both a teaching assistant and an officer in the retail club. She also served as a resume reviewer for the MBA program’s Career Management Center and volunteered for iPrep, a program that helps the underprivileged learn and improve their interview skills. Since graduating from Columbia, Rachel has been an alumni admissions interviewer for the school. Before joining mbaMission, Rachel was the national business columnist and features writer for The Associated Press, where she covered such topics as the financial crisis and Great Recession, consumer trends, accounting issues in corporate America and executive pay. Rachel has interviewed dozens of Fortune 500 CEOs and has been featured in numerous radio and TV spots on major news events. Her award-winning columns and stories have appeared in newspapers and on online news sites worldwide.
After leaving a career in private sector technology to earn her MBA from MIT Sloan, Liza Weale began a new career in management consulting with Bain & Company, where she worked with clients in education, health care and consumer products, while in her free time guiding her associate consultants through the MBA admissions process. She later joined Scholastic as director of product marketing for its fledgling math programs, which she grew by five times in two years, all the while advising junior colleagues and acquaintances on their business school applications. Wanting to further her marketing expertise, Liza then became executive director of Kaplan Test Prep’s GMAT and GRE business lines, not only owning the programs’ strategic decisions but also heading up all marketing and curriculum development efforts. Although she is well known at Kaplan for her work rewriting and editing customer-facing brochures, Web sites, textbooks, speeches, scripts, newsletters and emails, her true marketing passion lies in helping people “market” themselves in their MBA applications.
Daniel Richards earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and later received his MBA from Columbia Business School, with a focus on marketing and corporate strategy. Before attending business school, Daniel was a writer and editor for several print and online publications, and spent three years as the retail and consumer packaged goods editor for SmartBrief, Inc., a publishing company specializing in e-mail newsletters for trade associations. His clients at SmartBrief included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation. While at Columbia, Daniel was active in the Marketing Association, and his cluster elected him to represent the group in alumni development activities. After graduating, Daniel worked in online marketing and product development at American Express in New York City, where he developed an expertise in digital marketing and strategy, as well as social media. His accomplishments include designing and launching the first American Express social media app, managing a company-wide Innovation Challenge and relaunching a small business e-mail newsletter reaching one million customers. Daniel also managed the online marketing strategy for the first-ever Small Business Saturday—a complex, multichannel event that is credited with having the fastest-growing Facebook page in history. Daniel relocated to Washington, DC, in 2011 to focus on growing his marketing consulting business. He has also been a member of the editorial staffs of Washingtonian magazine and Moment magazine, and authored the initial version of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Columbia Business School.
Before joining mbaMission, Helen Summers served as the director of MBA Programs at Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT)—a national nonprofit that guides underrepresented minorities through the business school application process—where she developed curriculum and programming for nearly 1,000 fellows. Helen’s passion for business school admissions began when she was earning her MBA from HBS. In recognition of her significant involvement in admissions efforts and outreach, Helen received the HBS Student Association Award and the Bert King Fellowship. Helen was a senior financial analyst with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) before enrolling at HBS, and began her five years with the company as part of the Financial Leadership Development Program (FLDP). She gained valuable experience through rotations in finance and accounting, managing Motrin Franchise marketing expenses and analyzing the financial impact of new initiatives in the production process of cardiac catheters and stents. As a graduate of FLDP, Helen returned to J&J’s corporate headquarters, where she helped develop a new financial reporting system and managed the $160M budgets of the company’s CEO and CFO. A former division I scholarship tennis player, Helen is now a long-distance runner and completed the 2008 and 2009 Chicago marathons.
Before earning her MBA in marketing and strategy from the Yale School of Management, Susan Kaplan—who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan—was a policy analyst at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC, where she wrote policy papers for senior leadership and developed external communications for the public on department initiatives. She was later director of corporate marketing for the National Hockey League, where she collaborated with national sponsors and oversaw multi-million dollar marketing programs. Susan also worked at a marketing consulting firm, implementing integrated marketing campaigns for clients in the financial and health care industries and developing content for client Web sites, consumer education publications and public relations pieces. Most recently, Susan was the brand manager for GMAT and GRE programs at Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, where she managed all aspects of the product lines, including product development and marketing, in addition to writing materials on the admissions process and contributing to GMAT and GRE course books. In this role, she also counseled thousands of prospective MBA candidates on the admissions process and eventually became a consultant, working one-on-one with clients.
After graduating from Harvard College with a degree in Anthropology, Jessica Shklar worked in nonprofit education, first doing curriculum development for an adult education center and then in the Admissions office of a small university in Los Angeles, where she advised applicants to both the undergraduate college and several graduate programs, including business school. While there, she developed and delivered workshops around the country on Selecting the Right College and How to Write an Effective Application Essay. Having been accepted to every business school to which she applied, including Stanford, Kellogg and Yale, Jessica ultimately chose to attend HBS, where she completed her MBA with distinction (graduating in the top 10%). After starting work, she volunteered in the New York City public school system, helping high school seniors with their college applications. She has worked at several Fortune 100 companies, including American Express and JPMorgan Chase, where she was the quality leader and a senior vice president for Chase Home Finance. Jessica is also a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, with specific expertise in Six Sigma deployment and initialization.
Adam Grossman received his MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. While at Stern, he founded the Government and Business Association (GBA), the first school-sanctioned professional club at Stern in five years. GBA events included panel discussions with Congressman Anthony Weiner on healthcare legislation and Nouriel Roubini on the recent economic downturn and potential recovery. Adam was also a contributing writer to The Stern Opportunity on issues relating to government and business and a marketing intern for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League. Before attending business school, Adam worked in strategy consulting for the Huron Consulting Group and Hudson Talent Management. Adam completed his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University, where he was a goalkeeper for the men’s soccer team and a reporter for The Daily Northwestern. He is currently working on a book entitled Changing the Playbook, Navigating Crisis, Competition, and Challenge in the Sports Industry and was a guest lecturer for an undergraduate communications course entitled “Crises and Sports Management” at Northwestern University.
Before joining mbaMission, Lynn spent most of her career in the New York media industry. During her years as the managing editor of the business magazines Fast Company and Inc. she spent many hours mentoring staff; career development is something she has always enjoyed. Lynn started her magazine career in the editorial department of Vanity Fair, and then edited the Gourmet section of Epicurious.com. Eager to embrace all that the media world has to offer, she took on side projects to complement her full time positions at Condé Nast, including penning a column for the New York Post about the Internet, and serving as co-publisher/co-editor of the start-up magazine Tart. After business school, Lynn spent a few years working in brand management. She was corporate marketing director of Mail.com as it went from start-up to publicly traded company, and then worked as a marketing consultant for Internet start-ups. Realizing how much she missed the editorial process, she returned to publishing. Lynn graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin College with a BA in International Relations and Asian Studies, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was elected co-president of the Entertainment and Media Club and served as a Board member of the Harbus News Corporation. Lynn resides in New York City.
Having been admitted to several top MBA programs, Erin Foley Schuhmacher ultimately chose to attend HBS. While at HBS, Erin completed an independent study for a national retail franchise and served as an ambassador for the Admissions Committee, hosting prospectives, leading campus-wide information sessions and participating in Q&A conference calls for newly admitted students. Before business school, Erin was a research associate for Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette and Banc of America Securities, where she authored and edited white papers on the retail industry. Most recently, Erin worked at Financial Risk Management, a London-based fund of hedge funds company, where she performed due diligence on hedge fund investments and produced qualitative research reports used by the firm’s investment committee and institutional clients. Erin was a founding member of the NYC Young Professionals Council of Upwardly Global, a nonprofit organization devoted to serving the needs of legal, professionally trained immigrants, and currently volunteers at Covenant House.
Lynn Harwell was admitted to several top business schools and ultimately earned an MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS) and a JD from Harvard Law School. While at HBS, Lynn volunteered as a nonvoting board member with Citizen Schools, a nonprofit, after-school education program for students in the middle grades. In addition, Lynn’s interest in career development led her to serve as a career representative at HBS, and her law school thesis—which was later published in the Florida State Business Review—explored the topic of “Crossing the Charles: A Study of the Experiences, Networks, and Career Paths of Harvard JD/MBA Alumni.” Lynn’s own career has spanned a number of industries, including media and entertainment, government, professional services and high technology. At Arthur Andersen LLP, she fulfilled business advisory and tax consulting roles, and at Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., her focus was on corporate business development and strategy. Currently, Lynn serves as deputy to the chair of finance, policy and outreach for a California biomedical funding agency.
After graduating from Smith College, where she was layout editor and staff writer for the college newspaper The Sophian, Pamela Jaffe moved to New York to pursue a career in advertising. She spent several years developing communications for major international brands in the United States and abroad. As associate international brand director for one of Nestlé’s global agencies in Paris, she focused on the development of water communications, specializing in the Middle Eastern region. Pamela then returned to the United States to attend Columbia Business School, after which she became a strategy consultant with BearingPoint and again had the opportunity to work abroad—this time in Asia. Several of Pamela’s business school admissions essays have been published by Vault.
After being accepted to several top U.S. and international business schools, Jennifer Kedrowski chose to attend Cambridge University’s Judge Business School in the United Kingdom for her MBA. There she focused on marketing and entrepreneurship and was on the winning team of the A.T. Kearney Global Prize Competition. She also worked closely with the school’s admissions office and founded the Judge Student Ambassadors Club, which assisted with MBA admissions. After graduating, Jennifer returned to the United States and worked at the corporate headquarters of Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions in brand management, strategic marketing, GMAT curriculum and MBA admissions consultant roles. Having spent several years assisting with business school admissions in both New York and London and advising applicants to the leading domestic and international programs, Jennifer has served as the featured MBA admissions presenter at dozens of seminars around the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, representing Kaplan and the World MBA Tour. In addition, she has provided articles and admissions advice to such organizations and publications as TopMBA.com, Vault, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Association of MBAs and MSN, and has developed related seminars and workshops used in hundreds of test prep centers across the States and the United Kingdom.
While studying philosophy at Yale, Angela Guido managed the Yale Record, the nation's oldest college humor magazine. Upon graduating, she moved to South Korea, where, in addition to writing for multiple local publications, she taught English as a second language and coordinated writing and communications training programs at KPMG Korea. Angela joined the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) after completing her MBA at the University of Chicago, where she was named a Siebel Scholar and served on the Dean's Student Admissions Committee. During her two years as a consultant at BCG, Angela participated in writing Treasure Hunt: Inside the Mind of the New Consumer, a bestselling book by Michael Silverstein. Following her years as a consultant, Angela served as Women's Initiative Captain and Recruiting Manager for BCG. In that role, she reviewed resumes, conducted case interview preparation sessions and led workshops for hundreds of candidates to help them better tell their personal stories in interviews.
Seamane Flanagan has been a professional editor and copy writer for more than 16 years, with an emphasis on marketing and nonfiction texts. After graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Washington and Lee University, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English in France. Seamane has since worked for such organizations as Thomson Financial, Smarter Travel Media, RTI International, American Book Publishing, Rookwood Press, CFA Institute and Decision Resources, in addition to numerous smaller clients, on a wide variety of electronic and print materials, from high-worth government proposals and grant applications to literary criticism to financial, medical and market research. She was also a communications specialist at The Darden School at the University of Virginia, supporting, among others, the admissions department, for which she wrote and produced all marketing pieces and oversaw all significant media interaction. As mbaMission's Director of Content, Seamane is project manager/managing editor for the Complete Start-to-Finish Guide and all 16 Insider's Guides.
As a result of his unusual and diverse career, Benjamin Shinewald has developed outstanding writing and editing skills. Benjamin earned a Master's degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics, where he sat on the editorial board of the Millennium Journal of International Studies, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto (Canada's top law school), where he was an assistant editor of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review and President of the Students' Law Society. As a practicing lawyer and an English-language law clerk to the Chief Justice of Israel, Benjamin developed a keen eye for detail and a powerful ability for crafting arguments. Benjamin's most recent positions include working as a senior analyst to the Prime Minister of Canada, a position that has required him to write dozens of briefing notes to two Prime Ministers—and one that has further honed his ability to write effectively. Benjamin's published work has appeared in a variety of leading newspapers.
Matthew Bower’s primary background is in higher education—he has been a graduate student, researcher and college instructor for the past four years. Originally from Philadelphia, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Green Mountain College in Vermont and his master’s from the University of Toledo in Ohio. His research led him to become involved in “field philosophy,” an interdisciplinary approach to engaging with public ideas, images and texts. After receiving a grant to work with a team of sociologists studying trends in the globalized work force of the Philippines, Mat began focusing on media and design, eventually pursuing work outside academia as a writer for Flavorwire, a cultural news and critique blog. Since then, he has helped market and edit copy for mobile applications, written for architectural and art publications and been a frequent collaborator in a New York–based art collective. In his spare time, Mat is writing a dissertation on critical theory and urbanism for a doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of North Texas. As Researcher and Copywriter at mbaMission, Mat is in charge of updating and developing content for our 16 Insider's Guides, free ebooks and the mbaMission blog.
Aimee Pearlman graduated with highest honors and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa from Lehigh University in 2007 with a BA in journalism. While at Lehigh, Aimee also studied communications, public relations and sociology, and put her grammar skills to use as copy editor for the school's newspaper, The Brown and White. After graduating, Aimee was the special events coordinator at Touro Law Center in Long Island, NY. In this role, she organized and planned every alumni and fundraising event at the law school, helped write and edit all publications, brochures and invitations, and initiated and maintained all of Touro Law's social media efforts. As Director of Marketing and Operations at mbaMission, Aimee leads all social media, marketing and partnership efforts, as well as runs day-to-day company operations such as customer service, sales, scheduling, event planning and more.
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