UCLA Anderson | Mr. Worldwide
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Wharton | Mr. LatAm Indian Trader
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 2.1
Wharton | Mr. MBB to PE
GMAT 740, GPA 3.98
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Ms. Finance
GMAT 760, GPA 3.48
Harvard | Mr. MBB Aspirant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Soldier Boy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. Community Uplift
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Angel Investor
GMAT 700, GPA 3.20
Rice Jones | Mr. ToastMasters Treasurer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. MBB Private Equity
GMAT TBD (target 720+), GPA 4.0
Said Business School | Ms. Creative Planner
GMAT 690, GPA 3.81 / 5.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Wedding Music Business
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 Auditor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55
Harvard | Mr. Software PE
GMAT 760, GPA 3.45
Harvard | Mr. First Gen Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB/FinTech
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Break Into Buy-Side
GMAT 780, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Perseverance
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Politics Abroad
GRE 332, GPA 4.2/4.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Canadian Banker
GMAT 720, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Ms. Fintech To Tech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.54

Confessions of An MBA Consultant

As a senior in high school, I had my heart broken by Duke, a college I’d fallen in love with simply because it was a popular choice at my large, competitive, public high school outside of Washington, D.C. I was terrified that I wouldn’t get in and tried to create a perfect application for them, focusing on their needs, not mine. When they rejected me, I saw myself as a complete failure.

It didn’t help that the day after we got the news from colleges, I walked through a hallway at school only to hear someone say, “Can you believe Katie Malachuk didn’t get into Duke?”

Ouch. Instead, I headed off to Northwestern, a great school but one I only applied to because a lot of other kinds in my honors English class were doing so as well. There I became incredibly depressed for a lot of reasons, none of which had to do with Northwestern because it’s a wonderful place. But one of my biggest issues was this idea of having failed at college admissions, which stuck inside the perfectionist, young adult me.


I ended up dropping out of college, taking time off, and doing some massive soul-searching. I wasn’t sure if I’d return to Northwestern, which I knew would be different with a different frame of mind, or if I should transfer. I decided to explore my options and fill out a couple of transfer applications. It was a completely different experience from my first time applying to college. I was really open and honest in my essays and applications, and the entire experience helped me to understand what I’d been through and how I’d grown. I ended up transferring to Harvard, which was a major victory, not because I got into Harvard but because I had come to know and accept myself in an unprecedented way.

Of course, I didn’t get the self-acceptance lesson in one take. So I had a lot of twists and turns throughout my twenties as I tried to find my place in the world. Indeed, my graduate school experiences mirrored the undergraduate in many ways. I applied to law school as I was finishing up my two-year teaching commitment to Teach for America. I had no interest in being a lawyer. I was applying out of fear, scared to be in the world without the safety of an affiliation. I was tight and stiff in my applications and got rejected from my top schools. Again, Georgetown was a great school—I just had no interest in being there. Having been through this experience at Northwestern, I recognized the sadness and detachment, and I left after one semester.


Again, I entered soul-searching mode, and that’s when I returned to Teach for America in the role of director of admissions. I applied to business schools because I Ioved managing my team and was interested in studying nonprofit management. But a part of me still felt like a failure from the law school episode, as if I needed a graduate degree of some kind.

I wasn’t dead set on going to business school. I approached the process in an exploratory way. What would I gain from this? Why should I be making this move? As with my transfer applications, the process was about me, not the schools. I only applied to three schools: Harvard, Stanford, and Yale, and I was accepted at all three. Stanford felt like home immediately, and I loved my time there.

When I was applying to business school, I didn’t know anyone else applying to business school (I now realize this was a blessing). My friends from undergrad weren’t into that kind of thing. Back then, not as many TFA folks were applying to B-schools.

The finance guy from TFA had gone to Stanford, but that was it. I made the decision to apply at the end of summer and started studying for the GMAT right away. I took a course, having always struggled with the math on those tests. I was stressed because I would only have time to take the test once before the final deadline, and I wanted to make the first deadline (through this was mistaken pressure, as we’ll discuss later).