Who We Are: mbaMission Reviews

Reviews for Kate Richardson

After looking at the extremely competitive admission statistics for top business schools, I decided to work with consultant Kate Richardson to identify strategies to differentiate myself. I was immediately impressed with Kate during our initial brainstorming session. Kate challenged me to think of a breadth of life, academic, and work experiences that would show why I wanted to attend business school and why I would be a desirable student. This discussion proved instrumental for crafting responses to essay prompts and interview questions.

Throughout the application process, Kate motivated me to write essays that were unique and consistent with my story. During our revision sessions, we would discuss what I wanted the admission committee to learn from my essays and how potential responses would contribute to my overall application. I was also impressed with Kate’s knowledge of top business schools. She had very useful advice about the types of responses that each school would find more compelling.

I am very glad that I opted for the all-inclusive school packages with Kate. While I initially assumed that a consultant would be most valuable for the essays, I did not realize the value in having Kate help me to adapt my resume for a business school application, to prepare me for my interview, and to provide guidance for the myriad of short answer questions on the applications. It was comforting to know that I could email her at any time and receive a quick and detailed response.

Stanford GSB Admit (via GMAT Club)

Kate and I met through mbaMission as she was highly recommended, especially given she was an alumnus of a target school of mine. While my target schools were all ‘top ten’ programs, Kate knew my lower GPA and GMAT score would be a challenge and was incredibly constructive in putting together a competitive, cohesive story targeted at each school I applied to. She was also very helpful in strategizing mitigants to weaknesses in my application based on her admissions experience and worked on ways to even further highlight my strengths. From the very beginning, Kate was supportive of my school selection decisions and patiently walked through tweaks to my resume, essays, and emails on almost weekly calls. Ultimately, I was admitted to my top choice school and I attribute much of my success to Kate.

Of Kate’s many qualities, perhaps her strongest is that she is very experienced in the industry and shows it. This was particularly helpful in identifying my top strengths for the application process and tailoring them to each school I applied to. At the beginning of our partnership, I filled out a lengthy essay response to a set of her questions ranging from where I was from, to my future goals, to my biggest accomplishments, to my family; after carefully reviewing my responses, Kate was able to identify and target the top accolades, stories and achievements I could use to develop a successful application package for business school. Her genuine interest in my story was tangible throughout the process and by selecting key points to differentiate myself, I was able to craft a unique, competitive application package. Kate was also very dedicated throughout the process and it never felt like my time was getting cut off or I was not getting what I paid for. No matter how busy she was, Kate would take the time to hop on the phone, send an email, or word of encouragement when it was needed. This was greatly appreciated, especially during such a daunting and ambiguous application process.

Throughout my MBA application, Kate was not just a consultant, she was a partner. I can proudly say I was recently admitted to my top choice school and I couldn’t have done it without her.

Chicago Booth Admit (via GMAT Club)

Working with Kate during the MBA application process was nothing short of a fantastic experience! I signed up for a complete start-to-finish package with her, and would highly recommend it. From brainstorming, to essay writing, to mock interviews, Kate was with me every step of the way, and she made the journey so much less stressful.

When I first spoke with Kate, I knew I had the grades, the test scores and the work experience for my top choice MBA program, but I had no idea how I was going to “tell my story”. The mbaMission Brainstorming guide and my 90-minute session with Kate really helped me reflect on experiences that shaped my education and career so far. Kate had this incredible way of helping me connect stories and experiences from my past to my future goals, and before I knew it, I had already outlines for all of my essays.

I usually dread essay writing, but with Kate, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Her suggestions were always so useful - she constantly probed me to dig deeper and explain “why” a program was right for me, or “why” an experience from my work was relevant. Additionally, I felt so much more prepared for my real interview once Kate completed a mock interview with me. She certainly helped calm my nerves and gave me constructive feedback that I could apply when the real interview rolled around.

I am so grateful to Kate for helping me turn my MBA dream into reality! She was an amazing support system and I would encourage future applicants reading this to choose to work with her too.

CBS Admit (via GMAT Club)

I had my first call with Kate in April and we matched instantly, as she immediately understood my needs and my goals.

I am going to start by the conclusion: Kate was amazing. If I had to go through the process again, I would work with her again without any hesitation.

The first step of the process was to define my profile and my development needs in order to select the schools. After a deep brainstorming, she proposed me the programs that she thought were the best fit. She even proposed programs I did not know and that matched perfectly with what I was looking for. I also really appreciated that Kate was invested in my schools choices but left the final decision up to me.

Right after, we “built” a profile from my personal story. We therefore worked on highlighting the parts of my profile that would be interesting for my application. I need to emphasize on the fact that, as an international applicant with 9 years of experience, my profile was “unusual” (older age than average, very “heterogeneous” professional path, degrees very far from what one can expect to apply for a business school) and “not linear”. It was hence not an easy “profile” for Kate. However, she was more than happy to take the bet.

Then we worked on every single aspect of the applications. Her coaching was very efficient as she always found the words to motivate me even when I was completely “broken” and “sunk” in my GMAT preparation as well as in my professional and family life. Her observations and remarks were straight to the point and relevant, without being directive.

On top of that, Kate was very adaptive. As far as she could, she always tried her best to adapt her schedule or her work to deliver her comments in case of an “urgent” request.

At the end of the process, on the 6 school we applied to, I was accepted in 4 among which my dream one!

Stanford GSB Admit (via GMAT Club)

I worked with Kate Richardson on an hourly consulting basis for my business school applications. I was initially apprehensive about utilizing an admissions consultant because I thought I knew the story I wanted to tell and had many friends who recently applied to top schools. That said, I am extremely glad that I decided to work with Kate and am sure that my application process was smoother and more successful with her help. The expertise, guidance and support she provided were invaluable throughout my application process; I now have Kate to thank for being accepted at Wharton and HBS!

I chose the hourly service because I had a good idea of where I wanted to go with my applications but I wanted someone to review my essays. I would send Kate initial drafts of my essays and she would respond with comments/questions and often we would get on the phone for an hour or so to discuss my thoughts and progress. The hourly service was perfect for this approach and even though there was very little hand-holding, I got exactly what I wanted out of it.

I am confident that my essays were greatly improved after each discussion with Kate. I would often come to her with loose ideas and she would help me explore and tease out those ideas until we found exactly how they could fit into my essay. I must say that she listened to a lot of my rambling thoughts and somehow managed to identify the best parts that could fit into essays! In addition, there were often times when I would accidentally mention red flags or problem words to my schools. Kate had incredible knowledge of what each of my schools were (or were not) looking for and was able to flag these items to be edited.

I should also note that Kate was a very helpful outlet to vent my anxieties to and confirm that I was on the right path. I would often look for a knowledgeable response on questions such as… am I way behind on this essay? How many drafts should I have done by now? Is everyone else doing this differently than I am? Having someone with the knowledge and background like Kate can put your mind at ease during this stressful process.

I was ultimately asked to interview at each school I applied to and accepted at two of the three schools. I had a great experience working with Kate and would highly recommend her!

Harvard Business School Admit (via GMAT Club)

In July when I was agonizing over which consultant to choose, my conversation with Melissa B. at mbaMission sealed the deal. But when I decided to go with mbaMission, Melissa recommended Kate to me after knowing my background and my target universities. I wanted to work with an admissions consultant especially because I didn’t have many people around me who had applied for business school in my circles.

Right from school selection to first understanding my story before we went into any application, Kate was AMAZING! She was particular that I not set my sights too low and yet be pragmatic about my chances which made me apply to a range of schools in the M7 and few outside of it, especially being an international student. I finally ended up choosing 4 M7 schools and 1 non-M7 school to work with mbaMission.

I got rejects from three schools and got admitted into Booth (one was still pending at the time of writing this). What’s funny is I chose to work with Kate because I thought that it would be an advantage while writing my Booth essays. Yet, Kate’s knowledge and insights on other universities were amazing. She would always supplement my research during my essays.

When I look back at my rejections, I know very well that it was NOT because of my essays but rather a question of profile / fit / round. That said, ‘all you need is one!’ and I know fully well that my applications would be nowhere as good without Kate’s help. Her attention to detail was awesome and it always amazed me how she would transform my essay, with essentially the same story and build-up, into something absolutely different.

During my interview preparation with Kate, she gave me some truly invaluable tips which I know I will be using going forward as well! Not just that, if I felt my essays needed an additional spark, Kate would always reach out to other consultants at mbaMission and get their thoughts as well which was not something I ever expected out of her.

I think what really stood out to me while working with Kate was just how amazing a person she was and was genuinely interested in my successes and failures. That is really important while working with a consultant since you are going and pouring out details of your life story to someone whom you haven’t met before and you need to be really comfortable doing that. My calls and frequent e-mails (trust me when I say frequent!) never disappointed and I always felt comfortable and relaxed during the entire process.

Lastly, the thing that stood out to me most was when I got my rejections, she gave me additional material to prepare for my Round 2 essays if I ever needed them and ensured that I planned ahead even though I wouldn’t be working with her. Before I received my Booth acceptance, I was able to complete my essays for 2 other universities as a backup all because of Kate’s push. Thankfully I never had to use them :-D

I really can’t overstate how much I recommend her services.

Chicago Booth Admit (via GMAT Club)

Applying to business school was an overwhelming experience for me. I was a non-traditional applicant and struggling with how to present myself. I knew what I wanted schools to know about me, but wasn’t sure how to express all of that eloquently in essay form. When I contacted mbaMission, I specifically requested a consultant who would be comfortable working with an unconventional applicant, because it was important to me that I stay authentic to myself throughout the process.

Working with Kate was such a pleasure from day one. She is incredibly insightful and knowledgeable when it comes to what various schools are looking for, and is an outstanding editor. I applied to a giant number of schools (a total of seven in round one). She was extremely organized and kept me motivated while I was nearing the finish line, especially given all those different deadlines and essay topics. Kate was full of very honest and straightforward feedback, while still managing to be kind and encouraging. Most importantly, Kate was really able to draw upon my strengths to create compelling applications, and asked me all the right questions while I was working through the essays. After submitting each application, I was certain that I had put my best foot forward, and that confidence in myself and in my story would not have been possible without Kate’s help and expertise.

I am 100% convinced that I would not have had the same successes in being admitted to top business schools if I hadn’t worked with Kate on every application. I’ve already recommended Kate to friends of mine going through the business school application process right now. Kate is such a gem for anyone applying to business school, and it was truly a pleasure to work with her.

Yale SOM Admit (via GMAT Club)

When I first started looking into admissions consulting services, I had a specific idea of what I needed. I was confident I was applying to the right schools, but I knew my essay writing skills were a bit weak. I was matched with Kate and my entire experience working with her was very enjoyable. I never imagined how much I would get out of the experience. She was always cognizant of what I needed and was very accountable in the usage of time.

The concise feedback I received on my essays was tailored to my specific concerns. The comments really helped me focus my ideas. By the time I was working on my 5th application, I had a sort of writer’s block. Kate provided the combination of constructive feedback and “cheering section” support that I needed. This 5th application was for the school that I ended up choosing to go to. I am forever grateful for Kate’s help in getting through the application process.

INSEAD Admit (via GMAT Club)

Kate was instrumental in helping me craft my story for my MBA applications. I did not have a business background and she helped me make my experience marketable and relevant for an MBA admissions committee. Having a professional available for feedback on all aspects of the application really streamlined the process, and Kate was always quick to respond with quality insights. I avoided countless hours of research and essay tinkering with Kate’s knowledge and unbiased input.

Kate was always provided objective feedback in a friendly manner, making the introspection and reflection and enjoyable process. I would highly recommend Kate for admissions consulting services.

Haas Admit (via GMAT Club)

Kate is an incredibly amazing consultant! I was skeptical of paying for application help at first, given the super high cost — but it was honestly worth every penny. I had applied on my own last year, and got waitlisted at my top choice. This year, after realizing that many others got professional application help, I begrudgingly decided to go for the hourly service in the reapplication process. I was pleasantly surprised. Kate pointed out strengths I didn’t know I had, and she really made my application shine. She has uniquely deep insight into the MBA admissions process, and every edit I received back helped focus my narrative. I got in (finally) this time around, and I really think that Kate was what made the huge difference for me. She has also gone above and beyond in the interview prep process — she walked me through the video essay interviews (which I was particularly nervous about - I had bombed the first time I applied), and she gave detailed, useful feedback as we practiced. She also prepped me for the in-person interview, and my actual in-person interview happened to be almost exactly the same as what we had prepped on! My recommendation? Splurge for the application help with Kate, you won’t regret it!

Kellogg Admit (via Poets&Quants)

I recently decided to attend UCLA Anderson this fall for the MBA Class of 2018, and with Kate Richardson’s help from MBA Mission was awarded a $60,000 scholarship as well.

I applied to several schools, and going into it alone before deciding to hire the help of a consultant, I was pretty clueless about what I wanted to write about in my essays as well as about other factors.

Right off the bat, Kate was extremely easy to talk to, and after learning more about me, pointed me in the right direction with regards to my essays, while she also helped give me a clear sense of my goals that helped determine which school and programs I’d eventually apply to.

For me, Kate’s biggest strength was the help she gave me with my essay writing. Kate is an extremely strong writer, but also a great creative thinker. I can honestly say that Kate helped me materialize some ideas for how to structure my essays that I would never have considered on my own.

Usually I hate writing, but working alongside Kate, it became a fun challenge to come up with unique and insightful ways of expressing myself through pen and paper.

I’m extremely pleased with how the entire MBA application process went and how Kate helped me every step of the way, and I’m happy to recommend her MBA consultancy services to anyone who might be thinking of applying in the near future.

UCLA Anderson Admit (via GMAT Club)

I am delighted with my mbaMission experience. I chose the hourly services option and was matched with Kate Richardson. My main goal with Kate was to ensure that the story I shared with the adcom was genuine, interesting and compelling. Kate helped me do just that.

As many reviews about Kate have already mentioned, I felt extremely comfortable sharing my story with Kate. I started the application process with a strong GPA and solid work experience but a low GMAT score which, I feared, may lead to my consultant writing me off as an unlikely b-school admit and not worth much time and effort. I never felt that way with Kate; she was extremely supportive and provided fantastic feedback from the very beginning. I particularly appreciated that her feedback was always to-the-point but that she conveyed her suggestions in a non-offensive way. I really felt like she was an ally in my fight to get into b-school.

I particularly remember how well she ‘listened’ to my story both during phone calls and through e-mail. She helped me tighten up and add ‘umph’ to my resume simply by listening to how I explained my experiences to her. She made comments like “this bullet point doesn’t really convey all that you did on that particular project – how about adding these details” (details that I had described to her but hadn’t thought relevant to include on my resume). The same was true for essay writing. She by no means wrote essays for me but rather listened intently throughout our time working together to help me identify the best stories to share and, later on in the writing process, helped me to make these stories strong and concise.

I only applied to one school (something I wouldn’t recommend!) and was placed on the waitlist in December. I retook the GMAT twice and managed to improve significantly on both tries. Kate continued to be my ally through my 6 months on the waitlist and she helped me hone my waitlist update letters to the adcom.

I received the call I had been hoping for less than a month ago and will be heading to Tuck in the fall. I know my application was greatly strengthened thanks to Kate’s guidance.

Dartmouth Tuck Admit (via GMAT Club)

Back to Kate Richardson’s profile

Explore onTrack — mbaMission’s newest offering allowing you to learn at your own pace through video. Learn more