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Graduate: 11 Years
Undergraduate: 11 Years
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School Admissions or Administration
Net Promoter Score: 9
Hi! My name is Charli. As a professional with 15 years of experience in all things international higher education, my passion is helping international-minded MBA-aspirants take brave, bold leaps to create lives by their own design. I do this through my years of experience in recruitment and admissions at brilliant institutions like Brunel, Exeter and Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell. I am thrilled when my students meet their inner brilliance; I believe in their vision and love coaching them to bring it life!
While earning an MA in Diplomatic Studies, I was the Managing Director of Westminster Business Consultants in London where I led students interested in gaining professional experience on projects for high-profile companies. I became a project manager and worked on education projects throughout the Middle East, the former Soviet Union and Vietnam. In fact, I’ve worked in over 50 countries with students from countless more alongside government ministries and international universities. I love a good Russian banya when in Moscow, downing a pint in the Eagle when I’m in London and hiking the gorgeous Cascades with my son when I’m home in Oregon. I expand my inner borders with meditation and my life’s work – which includes working with you – is motivated by making our world intellectually borderless.
OK you’re smart, so you’ve probably read a lot of these. Here’s how we’re the same as some admissions consultants out there: in our elite school packages, we touch every single part of your application for your target schools as many times as we need to until the finished product inspires both you and us. We bring over a decade of expertise to bear, and we do all of this on a predictable timeline. Much more interesting, though, is what makes Career Protocol different. We’re not really consultants. We’re teachers. Career Protocol is a Professional Development Firm.
We think the MBA application process is a golden opportunity to uplevel your professional profile and executive skillset BEFORE you take the leap into the MBA. So instead of simply editing your essays, we use the MBA application as a training ground for new capabilities that will last you a lifetime.
THE AUTHENTIC MBA APPLICATION PACKAGE
Think of the Authentic MBA Application Package (as we call it) as a nearly year-long course in executive-level self-awareness, communication, and relationship building skills tailored to your needs and experiences. We work with you on every aspect of the MBA application not only to maximize your chances of success but also to uplevel your executive skillset in the process. Your Career Protocol Instructor will teach you how to explore your values, tell epic stories, and build genuine relationships with your fellow humans in everything you do (yes, even when you’re just writing an MBA application!) so that you can have the impact you want to have in your career. Imagine how empowered you’ll feel the first day of class knowing that you used the whole year prior to your MBA building key leadership skills with an experienced teacher by your side.
If you want someone to edit your essays, work with friends and family. If you want to transform your ability to stand out for the rest of your career as the bright shiny unicorn* you are, work with us.
*We mean unicorn in the one-of-a-kind-unique sense, not in the instagrammy** rainbow sense.
** We do like instagrammy rainbow unicorns, tho. Especially the cupcake kind.
ONCE YOU GET INTO BUSINESS SCHOOL…
The fun doesn’t stop. We’ve got…
• The Interview Hero Coaching Program
• YOMO: You Only MBA Once (AKA Your Guide to Getting Your Best MBA Internship), and
• How to Be the Smartest Person in the Room (AKA The Consulting Case Interview Hero Program)
These are all affordable group coaching programs to help you target and get the internship and post-MBA job you really want, while – of course – building your professional skillset every step of the way.
Oregon, United States
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From the beginning, I had doubts about the MBA process and knew I would need some help. I started late in the process (October) and decided a consultant would be my best shot at pulling together a successful application on short notice.
Immediately after speaking with Charli for the first time, I knew that I wanted to work with her. She understood my unique situation, my specific needs, and expertly guided me through this hectic process to achieve the outcomes I wanted.
As an older candidate with non-traditional work experience as an entrepreneur, I wondered how I could craft a strong application. I didn’t have an impressive GMAT score or stellar GPA, but I felt I had an interesting story to tell. Charli knew exactly how to shape my narrative, highlighting my strengths and presenting me as a standout candidate in every application. I appreciated that Charli’s approach felt completely tailored to me, with no cookie-cutter advice from a script.
Charli also encouraged me to apply to schools that I initially considered out of my league. We put together an ambitious but realistic school strategy. I applied to 11 schools, and while Charli officially helped me with 6 (3+3 package), her advice and guidance improved all of my other applications as well. She masterfully edited my essays, ensuring my ideas were succinct, clear, and powerful. I felt a sense of pride in every essay I submitted.
The interview prep was invaluable to me. I was extremely nervous about interviewing, and Charli’s expertise in this area made a significant difference. We brainstormed, prepped stories, and practiced answers until I could confidently discuss my impact, achievements, and growth with confident humility. I remember a particularly nerve-wracking night before an interview when I ended up crying on Zoom with Charli. She remained level-headed, reminded me of all the hard work I had put in to get to this point, and encouraged me to believe in myself. As it turned out, I aced the interview and she was the first person I called to share the news.
In the end, the results exceeded my wildest expectations. I received scholarships totaling $650k from 5 different schools, including 4 full scholarships, and was accepted to Wharton. Without Charli’s encouragement and support, I wouldn’t have even applied.
I am immensely grateful for everything Charli has done. If it isn’t abundantly clear, let me reiterate that I am thrilled with my decision to work with her and grateful for her time, effort, and wisdom on this journey as I embark on a new chapter of my life. She was worth every penny, and you won’t regret your decision to work with her!
I am an international student, was also a reapplicant with a slightly below average in test score. During my MBA application, I was in a transition into a new job which made the whole process seemed hectic and SUPER HARD. However, having Charli and Career Protocol team and resources were very helpful to guide me through my application journey.
From the get-go, it was clear that Charli was no ordinary consultant. Her brainpower was off the charts! She possessed the wisdom of a thousand sages and the strategic prowess of a master chess player. She carefully guided me through the treacherous MBA application process, helping me navigate every obstacle with ease and grace, and helped me strategize on school picks.
Now, let me tell you, she was meticulous to the nth degree! She scrutinized my profile with the precision of a detective, identifying every strength, every hidden gem, and even the tiniest area for improvement. She truly left no stone unturned, and her attention to detail had me in awe!
Charli wasn’t just smart—she was also a creative genius. She helped me weave together an application story that sounded like me and truly captured the essence of why I wanted to pursue an MBA. With her magical touch, my experiences, skills, and aspirations came to life on the page, helping me to create a narrative that was both impressive and authentic. She wasn’t only helping me shape my essay, she was helping me to think long term for my career, who I want to become, where I want to be.
But here’s the best part: Charli was my central support system, apart from friends and family, throughout my application process. I told my friends that my calls with Charli felt like calling an old friend, or sometimes it also felt like a session with my therapist, in a good way. She helped me get down to the roots of EVERYTHING. She was my personal hype squad, always there with a high-five and a word of encouragement. Whenever doubt crept in, she banished it with their infectious enthusiasm. Her positivity and genuine care were like a ray of sunshine on even the cloudiest days!
All my efforts paid off big time! Thanks to Charli, I not only gained admission to my dream MBA program but also discovered new depths of self-belief and confidence. Charli didn’t just guide me through the application process; she helped me found my meaning!
If you’re on the hunt for an MBA application consultant who combines brainpower, creativity, and grace, look no further than Charli. Working with her is like embarking on a thrilling roller coaster ride that leaves you screaming with joy at every twist and turn!
Charli, you are a true superstar, and I can’t thank you enough for the amazing journey we embarked upon together. Five stars don’t even come close to capturing the magic you bring to the table. You’re an absolute legend.
I went into the application process completely underestimating its demands. I was intending to apply R1 but got completely waylaid by work obligations and the scope of the application process. I realized during the summer that I had to push to R2 and be realistic about needing external support. I didn’t know anyone in my personal or professional life with an MBA, so I did some research and decided to meet with two MBA consulting firms – one of which was, of course, Career Protocol.
I was really skeptical about MBA consultants. It all felt rather mechanical and formulaic. But that’s where Career Protocol was different. The firm is wholly authentic, and it’s evident in their entire approach. Meeting with Charli further solidified that impression.
I went into this process very unsure about where exactly I fit within the MBA landscape, and Charli listened to me to really understand my full context and goals and helped me put my application together in a way I couldn’t have on my own. That’s the baseline point to understand here – Charli and Career Protocol will help you produce a better application than you can on your own if you don’t already have strong MBA network connections. This includes frameworks for the different parts of the application, career advising, school-specific strategies, and helping improve confidence overall.
Charli also was really generous and patient with me when I was in a really stressed headspace in the few weeks prior to the application. I sincerely appreciated that, and not many people would have done that. Charli truly cares and tries to do best by her students.
I was really happy with my results – 2 M7 and 2 T10 admits with another M7 waitlist. I got scholarships from all four admits and went with the M7 that gave me the most. For a number of other factors, this M7 was my top choice, so I’m elated and can’t wait for the fall. I have a ton of appreciation for Charli for all her support.
I had been planning to obtain my MBA for many years. Having transitioned out of AP & honors science in 2015, I was told that I didn’t have experience while trying to land entry-level corporate jobs. WHAT?! Fast Forward only 7 years when I reached a level in my current role where I knew I needed the business acumen that I lacked from joining corporate America later in the game than most. I also founded a non-profit to help teachers transition because it had been a 2.5-year grind when it didn’t need to be. I want to grow in my role and I want my non-profit to thrive…enter, MBA research. I soon learned that I would be the best fit for an EMBA (Executive MBA Program). I was not going to be able to do a full-time 2-year program, especially considering my life experience… I was much more suited for an EMBA where I would be surrounded by peers.
I found Career Protocol’s YouTube channel and felt in my soul that this was the program to work with. I was able to meet with 2 consultants and Charli was an INSTANT CONNECTION. She was my biggest cheerleader and supporter. I am NOT able to talk about myself or my successes well, but with her, I was able to be vulnerable and she helped me find my best voice. I was accepted into 3 of the top 12 schools, 1 being in the top 5, and I 100% believe it was due to Charli’s passion and guidance. You will NOT be disappointed. I was accepted into my 2 dream schools and I now have a friend for life. Charli will make you feel like you can take over the world.
The year before I worked with another admissions consultant and felt no real connection when I was telling my story and my fears, I felt misunderstood. Unfortunately, I had no offers from the three schools I applied to and decided to wait another year and try again. I focused on rethinking my application plan, improving my GMAT score and asking for help! I had my first intro zoom with Charli and bonded immediately; I knew we would be a great team.
As an investment banker working long hours, I had little time to focus on my MBA goals, I needed a coach that could help me pave the path for my application and guide me through the process and help me shape my story one step at a time with an organized framework.
As an international candidate with a lower-than-average GMAT score I was really scared of rejection and of not being able to tell my story in so little space. Charli helped me share my ideas, my goals, and my view of the world in an empowered authentic way. I felt she listened and understood what I had to say and what I was doing.
We had so much fun in the interview prep-sessions and I learned a lot of tricks to show my confident self (in writing and in video). I knew I was showing my potential to the schools.
I’m happy to say that I had a 100% hit-ratio. I was accepted into two amazing schools (both M7 MBAs), and I was offered a Merit based Scholarship from one of the two schools!
Coming from a nontraditional background and with little to none resources due to my niche profession and where I live, I did extensive research after deciding to apply for an international MBA. Luckily, I soon discovered Career Protocol’s YouTube channel, and it turned out to be not only textbook material but a life-changing opportunity. After partnering up with Charli, I quickly discovered that the support and guidance I got exceeded from the MBA applications to my personal growth.
While juggling between work and GMAT preps, the online sessions with Charli were my favorite moments. It was a safe space to share all my ambitions, doubts, and life stories. Charli did a great job of letting me do me and at the same time showing me a whole new perspective toward myself. I gained confidence and a deeper understanding of who I am and what I want in life. Through the dozens of essay revisions for each of the three schools I’ve applied to with Charli, I found myself laid out on paper in the most beautiful way, showcasing my bravery and ambitions, and most importantly it was all authentic me.
I’ve acquired so many tools that I could take along to benefit my MBA journey and future career goals. I learned how to network, how to fight for my rights, and how to be a persuasive storyteller. Living away from the capital of my country, I benefited a lot while networking with numerous alumni and seniors in the same industry. I even got myself a pre-MBA internship role while reaching out. The whole process has always focused on my individuality, and I was always the priority. I felt even more so during the process of choosing schools. Charli gave me a lot of advice specifically tailored to my situation and even offered some flexibility.
I am really grateful to have Charli along the way. And with her support and guidance, I was successfully admitted to INSEAD and waitlisted by UCLA. The whole experience with Charli empowered me to be ready for all the challenges ahead. I can’t wait to share my ups and even downs in my B-school life with Charli and work on my future career goals with an amazing kick-off.
Working with Charli was a rewarding experience. She has the tools and frameworks to help piece together various aspects of your life into a compelling and convincing story.
What particularly helped me was Charli’s “excavation matrix”, an exercise she does upfront with all her students. This is a comprehensive exercise that allows students to introspect on every detail of their life and understand their true values and personal drivers, something key when crafting one’s professional goals for the MBA application. Further, this was also a tool used by Charli to provide insights to me on how I can differentiate myself from an overrepresented pool of applications (Indian male). Charli is great about helping you find impactful differentiators in yourself.
Charli also had unique insights for each school and provided great advice on how to tailor the application for each program. She also makes it a point to connect her current clients with former successful students to build networks and connections.
What was particularly useful was Charli’s former experience as an AdCommer at a top US school. This was invaluable as she was able to opine and provide feedback on every aspect of the application from the perspective of an AdCommer.
Further, the MBA application process is daunting and requires resilience. Charli was a constant source of support through this process and was very motivational, especially during the hard times. She stayed supportive throughout the holiday period including reviewing drafts of essays on Christmas and New Years.
All in all, working with Charli was a great experience, and I would not have been able to endure this journey without her.
Charli was the foundational basis for my MBA application. I started the process with a 500’s score on GMAT aiming for INSEAD and HEC Paris, working and having several business travels in different time zones – don’t need to say that I almost gave up several times. Since my first engagement with her, I felt that I could achieve my goal, and this was, basically, because she believed in me and understood who I am as a person, so the process became so enjoyable in a way that the best part of my day became reviewing the essays – she knows me as much as my therapist does!
The insights and meaningful discussions in the preparation for the essays and interviews revealed a person that I forgot I used to be and is my true myself. Show it to the admissions committees was really easy after the process with Super Charli!
Charli is pure sunshine in the clouds of doubt that loom over you as you approach the MBA journey. I started out applying for the MBA with almost zero self-belief, especially given my incredibly chaotic profile and lack of much career progression. However, working with Charli made the whole process SO much more enjoyable – she provided not only stellar academic support but also emotional support, truly like a best friend who also gives you tough love when you need it. She gave me insights I could never have found online and helped me to shape some beautiful stories when I was convinced I had nothing to offer. Now, I’ll be starting at an M7 school but also got into several other top programmes and I just cannot believe it – had it not been for Charli none of this would have been possible. Working with her has truly been life-changing – and after having spoken to several other consultants whilst in the process of selecting one, she really stood out for her genuine interest in her students. She delivered rapid turnarounds of edits and was so incredibly committed every step of the way.
Charli is everything – and I mean EVERYTHING. I started my MBA journey with very little faith in myself. After multiple free consultations with other admissions coaches, I was convinced that everything about my profile (especially my stats) was subpar; it left me struggling to articulate what made me a competitive (or worthy) candidate. Charli opened the gates for me: we spent hours reflecting and synthesizing who I was as a person and how my experiences shaped me. She helped me understand what I wanted out of an MBA, what my future might look like 5 years out, and how my past prepared me for it.
When I went through one of the toughest moments of my career during all this chaos, the first person I spoke to was Charli – she didn’t feel like an admissions consultant, she felt like an unconditionally supportive best friend. With tough love, constructive feedback, and mounds of encouragement, she helped me bring out the best of me in my essays. She trained me through the interview process with clinical precision, and when decision days rolled around, I was admitted to 2 schools, waitlisted at a 3rd (all Top 10-15s) and bagged my dream program with a scholarship! Charli was my rock through my application and personal journey over the last 12 months. Her positive and optimistic take on every hurdle has influenced the way I’ll be seeing myself through my next set of challenges. I can’t thank her enough!
After 10 years working in technology, six of which involved setting up an office for a technology company in Tanzania, I knew that I was ready to formalize my experience with an MBA. I was 18 months into my MBA application journey when I decided that if I was going to give this the shot it deserved, I needed some informed help. That’s when I found Charli. The first thing you will notice about Charli is her encouragement and support. Charli takes the time to get to know you, your goals, and your background, and once you’re on board, she will be cheering you all the way. What I most appreciated about Charli was her international experience, we also studied at the same university in the UK, and her love and appreciation for the Middle East instantly enamored me to her. The biggest challenge on my MBA journey was the GMAT test (I don’t think I am the first MBA student to say this), and before Charli, I didn’t know if I had what it took to get into a top 10 business school. Charli’s support and guidance throughout the application journey helped me to remember all of my other experiences and what I had to offer at the schools I was applying to. With Charli’s guidance, I wrote an application that embraced who I am as a person and authentically showcased my stories in the applications. From the beginning of our relationship, I felt that she really made an effort to get who I am and what I want to achieve with an MBA.
I know that getting an admission consultant can be a considerable investment. It can feel like everyone else applying for an MBA knows how to write a perfect application and be accepted into the school without having to drop a wedge of cash. Still, I really recommend working with someone like Charli. It’s often a lonely journey applying for school, and there were many times that I felt that no one around me really got it. While you can borrow favours from those you know in the MBA world to review your application, it really isn’t the same as having an admissions consultant walk you through this process. I loved working with Charli because she never tried to make my applications formulaic or not authentic; everything in those applications I wrote, but Charli guided.
By working with Charli, I not only was admitted to my dream school but was also awarded a significant scholarship, which has completely transformed my MBA experience and, hopefully, my future career post MBA. All of this would not have been possible without Charli.
I am an Asian male international applicant who went to college in the US and is currently working in the US on a work visa. I did my undergrad in Engineering but pivoted to management consulting after finishing school. After staying in management consulting for around 3 years, I made a transition into Business Operations at a growth stage healthcare tech start-up. I applied for MBA with 5 years of working experience because after seeing both sides of strategy and operations at both fortune 500 companies and startups, I wanted to gain additional experience around entrepreneurship and pivot into Product Management. I am interested in the digital health space and am looking to meet people with similar passions at business school.
In terms of application outcomes and stats, I had a 750 GMAT and a high 3.9 GPA, and I received admission to HBS from the round 1 application.
Working with Charli through the process was a wonderful experience. I knew that I needed a consultant who is invested in me and would dedicate the time to push me to dig deeper within myself and my past experiences. Charli was candid, honest, and extremely supportive throughout the application process. In the beginning, I wrote over 13,000 words documenting my personal experiences to date and I was surprised by 1) the depth Charli has reviewed the document and picked out the slightest details and 2) the accuracy of Charli’s assessment of me. We spent a lot of time revising my storyline and drafting different ways to tell the story, and I can say hands down that I personally would not have crafted as compelling of a story had I not worked with Charli. The process was gruesome and challenging but I felt supported and loved by Charli to encourage me to continue to do the best I could. I remember the night before the HBS application deadline, I was anxious and working on the final details to push my assays over the line, and Charli was there with me live on Zoom to review my essays together well past midnight (her time).
I owe my success to Charli and I have no doubt that if you choose her to be your guide in this application process, she will dedicate the same energy and effort to help you get to where you want to be!
Charli has such a great vibe; you can feel her energy and passion for helping people succeed when you work with her. I reached a point in my career where I knew I needed a change, not an incremental change like the next promotion. Instead, I needed something that would accelerate my career exponentially. So, I decided it was time to pursue an MBA. I began researching schools to find program fit and, in the process, stumbled on career protocol. Given how much information I was gathering on navigating the MBA application process (a ton!) I knew I would need support to bring clarity and direction to the journey, so I signed up for a strategy call with Charli. Charli helped me see how I was underselling myself and the work I do to AdComs through the way I had phrased elements of my experience on my resume, she shared an effective framework to help tell my story through the essays and helped me home in on target schools based on my profile, all in 25 minutes! I came away from the call with more clarity and confidence to face the MBA application process. I believe everyone looking for a champion who believes in them especially when there’s self-doubt should work with Charli. She’s committed and invested in your success in a way that leaves you inspired and energized to shoot for the stars!
As I run my own company in India, I could not spare time for a full time MBA program, hence I was considering the PLD program at HBS. Having spoken to various alumni of the program, I was hesitant to apply as my work experience was way below the class average of 10-15 years. The moment I connected with Charli, she completely changed my perspective. She gave a much needed booster dose of motivation and it was a smooth sail after that. She was always full of positive energy and made me feel so proud of my accomplishments that naturally enriched my essays. I felt that the entire process was magical. It was not just about the application process and the admit, but about the transformative journey that evolved the way I think. I cannot recommend her enough. Just close your eyes and reach out to her, and you’ll wake up in the college of your dreams!
In early 2021, with a little less than 1.5 years of work experience, everyone thought I was too early to be thinking about an MBA. I heard the words “average work experience 5 years” more times than I like to recall – and particularly from most admission consultants. I was in two minds when a friend suggested I speak to Charli – based on her glowing recommendations, I set up a call, and before the end of the meeting, I knew I had to work with Charli for my B-school journey. The entire experience, from school selection to essay brainstorming, to interview prep, became much more memorable for me, because I had the chance and the privilege to work with Charli.
Of the many factors that set Charli apart, the very first was her approach. In my experience, consultants usually have a list of parameters that they want candidates to check off, before applying for programs, which can often lead to half-hearted attempts to pad up one’s resume. Charli instead, refined my focus on my strengths. Through a series of essays, I delved into the minutiae of my life – wins, losses, goals, and values. It was an introspective process, and it did not end when my essays are done – Charli has taught me to keep reflecting and questioning and as a result, today, I have much deeper clarity on who I am, and who I want to be.
Another reason why it was a pleasure to work with Charli was that she never compromised on her student’s goals. Lots of consultants I had spoken to wanted me to apply to a larger number of safety schools, given my fewer years of work experience. Charli instead had me thoroughly research each school, and assess how it fit with my professional and personal goals. She motivated me to connect with students and alums – something I was initially apprehensive about – almost a year before my application deadlines, to gauge whether the school was a ‘cultural fit’. This comprehensive research culminated in me applying to seven schools I was strongly keen on, each of which had specific offerings that were aligned with my goals and would provide the exact kind of opportunities I was seeking.
Under Charli’s mentorship, I received interview invites to all seven schools, and received offers from five of them. She pushed me to delve into the depths of my story, and share my narrative in an empowering and authentic way. Multiple mock interviews with her helped me better articulate my journey, and boosted my confidence for the actual interviews. Most importantly, her unwavering encouragement has been a pivotal motivator in this journey. As I head to NYU Stern, with a merit scholarship, and as a Forte Fellow, I am anchored by my vision and my values, and for that, I will always be deeply grateful to Charli.
My first trek through the MBA application cycle, I was planning to work with Charli at Career Protocol, but after seeing so much free information online, I figured I could do it on my own. Ultimately, I was rejected without interview at four schools ranked in the 7-12 range. As they say at Career Protocol, you really do only MBA once, so I decided if I was going to do it, I needed to do it right.
Charli helped me bring out my authentic self that I never would have uncovered alone. I am so proud of the story I was able to tell through my applications, and I genuinely did learn more about myself than I ever thought possible. As I mentioned, there are tons of resources online, but I am absolutely certain that none are as useful, impactful, or relevant as the resources at Career Protocol. Charli will push you when you need to be pushed, pick you up when you need a confidence boost, and bring you back to earth when you get ahead of yourself.
On paper, I am below average on literally every metric at every school in the top 20, but because of the guidance I received at Career Protocol, I find myself with multiple offers, including one from HBS. After being dinged at those 4 schools the year prior to working with Charli, I was not even going to apply to HBS, but Charli told me I needed to. She gave me the confidence to believe I had a shot, and she ensured that I gave that shot everything I had.
I am long overdue in writing this message. Nevertheless, I hope my insights and experience can help some of you who are considering or undergoing the business school application process.
A bit about my background. I’m an immigrant. I went to a state school, studied finance, and worked for a big four consultancy and several startups. My GPA and GMAT were at the average level for my program. My decision to obtain an MBA was motivated by three reasons: 1) boredom, 2) chasing prestige, and 3) realizing a long-time dream.
Prior to working with Charli, I worked and consulted with several consultants. I found those experiences dispiriting. It wasn’t an easy decision to not go with them because 1) they made me feel my experience was not competitive which made for a compelling case as to why I needed them and 2) I was feeling exhausted and vulnerable after being examined under a microscope. However, when I spoke to the founder of Career Protocol, I asked her why she thought Charli would be a good fit for me. When she provided her answer, I knew I found a partner in CP and in Charli.
To this day, I feel so fortunate to have found Charli. I’m filled with gratitude when I think about the positive impacts she has had on me. She was my mentor, my friend, my champion, my teacher, my sponsor throughout this entire process. She taught me how to bring my story to life on paper. She taught me a new language to speak about myself, my story. She made the process feel conquerable at times when I felt distressed and confused. Both the experience of applying to business school and going through it have been challenging at times, I couldn’t have done it without Charli who looked out for my interests. She was genuine, true, and might I add, one of the best MBA consultants you can obtain.
When I first started speaking to consultants, I knew I needed someone in my corner because I had a non-traditional profile and an average GMAT score. I needed someone to work with me and help manifest everything I had to offer in the application. The first few outreach calls across various consultants left me unsure, but in the first 5 minutes on a call with Charli, I knew she was the one. The journey of MBA applications can be exhausting – mentally and emotionally, but I could not have asked for anyone better than Charli. She is a bright positive cheerleader, she is also unafraid to share tough love, but you know that she has nothing but a single-minded focus in building your application to its full potential. I received Round 1 offers from both HBS & GSB, and she is a critical reason for my success. Beyond being a tremendously thorough and brilliant professional, Charli is a wonderful person, and working with her felt like I have built a friendship for life. I believe it is an absolute privilege to work with her, and cannot emphasize enough how transformative her involvement in my application process was.
Cheers to Charli!
The first thing I noticed about Charli during our intro call was how supportive she was. From Day 1 I felt like she truly wanted to know me – what made me tick, what my accomplishments were, and what type of person I was. Because of that, I knew throughout the process that Charli was giving me advice because she genuinely wanted me to succeed in not only my MBA application process, but once I got to school and beyond. Most importantly, she made me feel confident in myself and my accomplishments at a time when I was filled with self-doubt. I chose to do a self-guided program with Career Protocol, so I didn’t have many interactions with Charli. However, she was more than happy to make more time to talk with me or answer an email to address any questions I had. Overall, I had a great experience with Career Protocol and Charli.
When I decided to apply for business school, I had no idea how intense it would get. As an International Student, I felt so far away from the adcoms that would make the decision between admit and reject. Between juggling work commitments which seemed to be escalating, the GMAT which seemed like a continuous struggle and the number of schools that all seemed so perfect, I felt so overwhelmed. Charli was tremendous support in helping sort through the noise and focus on a game plan to work through my applications.
From the very start, I feel Charlie made a huge effort in trying to understand me, my background and my personality to give me the very best advice. Bonus of which was also having some amazing conversations that helped me sort through my own life journey that got me to this point! Even as I was changing up at the last minute which school to apply to, Charli was with me making sure we were both working to accomplish 100% confidence at submission that we’d represented me the best possible way regardless of timescale.
Thanks to her support, I start INSEAD in August and it’s a dream come true! What I really appreciate is that even after the admission process, Charli and the whole Career Protocol team have been available for any questions and building a community of support to get ready for the MBA and to get through it making the absolute best of it. I’m definitely better off for it and for getting to know her and the whole team.
I really enjoyed working with Charli during my application process! I knew that I wanted to go to business school, but I didn’t have a large network of peers applying at the same time, so I thought I could benefit from the support of an admissions consultant. I’m happy that I chose Career Protocol and that I had the opportunity to work with Charli.
Charli has been so supportive throughout the entire application process. While essays are often top of mind for many applicants, I would say that for me, one of the most valuable parts of working with Charli was crafting my resume. I have held a number of technical roles and was struggling to find a way to convey my work and impact in a way that would be meaningful to admissions committees. Charli worked through many drafts with me and I’m so pleased with the final result. I think that this put me in a better position not only for my applications but also for the internships and jobs that I will apply for during school.
Charli was just as helpful when it came to writing the essays – she helped me through many drafts and I was proud of the final versions that I submitted. Charli’s guidance helped me develop stories that genuinely represented myself and my goals.
While I did not receive interview invites to my two top choice schools, I did receive three acceptances and am happy with where I am headed this fall, especially because I received significant merit scholarships. I am sure that these scholarships are a reflection of the applications that I submitted with Charli’s help. Thank you, Charli!
When I first decided to apply for an MBA, the application process seemed incredibly daunting, especially as there was so much uncertainty going on in the world with COVID-19. I work for a large technology company in Seattle, doing corporate strategy and revenue planning and post-MBA hope to transition into the healthcare technology space. I knew I wanted to apply to a number of schools, but felt lost as to where to start.
Working with Charli was the best decision I could have made!! She helped me navigate what felt like a very ambiguous process at the time. She worked closely with me every step of the way – to narrow my post-MBA career goals, reflect on my past experiences to craft my stories, prepare me for interviews, refine my resume, and build relationships with the schools I was interested in attending.
Charli is incredibly warm, dependable and always built me up. She helped me gain the confidence I needed to be successful in the process. By the end, I not only felt like I’d submitted great applications, but also like I’d learned a lot about myself and what I’m looking for both professionally and personally.
I ended up applying to 8 schools and was accepted to both Wharton and HBS as well as Kellogg, Tuck, and received a full-ride scholarship to UCLA. I’ll be attending my DREAM school in the fall and it wouldn’t have been possible without all of Charli’s help and guidance!!
There are a few key people that have helped me reach my goals and Charli is one of them. I could have not gotten this far without her support. Charli was my admissions coach during my application process at NYU.
I had been trying to apply to grad. school for several years but the application process was not easy for me. Charli and the Career Protocol admissions prep program helped me organize the elements of my application and focus on getting it done the right way. We completed my application in less than 5 months and got accepted as soon as I applied since the executive MBA program I applied to reviewed applications in a few weeks and I was able to successfully share my story with the admissions team through my work neatly captured in application. After applying to my first school choice I felt I had covered all the areas that I could cover in the application. Having Charli’s support was crucial for me. She helped me perform a complete self-reflection and understand what was really being asked in the interview and application questions. She took the time to get to know me and did a thorough review of my key accomplishments and areas of opportunity that I needed to improve on in my application. Charli was a pleasure to work with throughout the entire engagement and understood my specific situation. She helped me apply during the months in which the Covid outbreak made it very difficult at work and home. I felt I could always reach out for help and that I had a friend who I could lean on. Charli also helped me double the size of the scholarship I had been offered for which I am so thankful. Throughout the whole process, I felt supported and empowered. I still do. I was also grateful I always had someone there to help me think through and navigate the steps in the application process (interview, recommendation discussions, work discussion regarding time commitment, conflict resolution for roadblocks that came up). English is my second language plus writing essays for the application didn’t come easily for me and I was just so grateful for Charli’s support in helping me tell my story in a concise manner. A final thought regarding my experience is that I feel supported beyond the admissions process thanks to Career Protocol’s belief in never-ending growth. I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Charli and for all the care, support I received and growth I have gained through her work. I can’t find words to express my full gratitude and all she’s done for me. Thank you!!!
I grew up in Shanghai, China and moved to the United States when I was 19 to pursue my undergraduate degree in economics and international studies. The idea of pursuing an MBA first occurred to me when I started my career in management consulting, as getting an MBA was a typical promotion path for consultants. Three years into my job though, I was ready for a career change. My reason for getting an MBA quickly shifted from climbing the consulting ladder to building leadership/management skills and lasting relationships that will help me launch a more global and impact-oriented career.
Applying to business schools can be a daunting, stressful, and lonely process. Personally, I struggled a lot with the GMAT. I studied on and off, took the test four times, and still ended up with a 690. Charli’s support and guidance throughout the application journey really helped me pick myself back up and focus on what mattered – embracing who I am as a person and authentically showcasing my stories in the applications. From the beginning of our relationship, I felt that she really made an effort to listen and understand who I am and my journey to date. As an internationalist herself, Charli really gets me and celebrates my identity as a worldly individual. This level of person-to-person, soul-to-soul connection was really valuable during the editing process of application essays. I appreciated her encouraging yet candid feedback on my application, and her dedication to reviewing dozens of iterations until we mutually agreed that each essay was in its best shape possible.
Thanks to Charli, I got into my dream school INSEAD with a Forte scholarship! She made the application journey much more fun and enjoyable because she made sure that I know I’m a rock star even when I doubted myself. Getting into business school is merely a short-term benefit of working with Charli. She continues to connect me with people with shared interests and gives me advice on career planning prior to business school. She has become my life coach, career coach, and a friend I will certainly be in touch with during business school and many years after. I highly recommend Charli to any globally minded applicants out there. Applying to business schools doesn’t have to suck. Prepare to become a master of articulating your impact and having fun celebrating who you are during this life-changing journey!
Before meeting Charli, I had previously applied to 18 business schools over the course of three admissions cycles, with a few waitlist offers but no acceptances. My GMAT was over 700, I graduated from an elite undergrad institution with honors, had an extensive record of local volunteering, and was a consistently high performer as a consultant at a Big 4 firm with plenty of valuable work experiences. Something really wasn’t clicking in my apps… because even though I aimed a bit high and applied to top 15 schools as a white male consultant (crowded demographic) from a large market area, I figured my profile warranted at least one admission.
Feeling discouraged but determined to pursue my goal of obtaining an MBA, I read a Q&A with Angela from Career Protocol on Poets & Quants. The way she addressed the questions made me feel like she really understood the admissions process and what the applicants go through. So, I reached out to learn more about Career Protocol, and after a free 30-minute consultation Angela paired me with Charli to get going on another application cycle.
I saw the price tag and given my interests, felt that the 3-school package was the best deal. It looked steep initially, but I can’t emphasize enough how good of a deal this process was. Charli coached me and encouraged me to rethink my approach to these schools. My career goals were fine, but the more important thing for me to share was my personal narrative so that we could paint a better picture for admissions as to what value I could bring to my communities and what really motivates me.
Charli’s approach carries a lot of empathy and positive reinforcement, which is exactly what I needed after an ego-bruising few years of applications. She helped me dig deep and reveal very personal anecdotes that not only enhanced my applications, but also proved therapeutic as I grappled with something I had never really done before – telling essentially my life story and coming to terms with who I am.
Charli was there for me 24×7, and her insights and support played a significant role in my admission to two top 20 schools, one with scholarship (unthinkable for me one year ago). Her guidance and the Career Protocol resources also will help me for life as I’ve received extremely beneficial resume and interviewing tips that will serve me long after b-school. I can’t recommend her and CP enough, especially for those who have similar trajectories as mine. Thank you, Charli!!
After doing research to launch my company’s women’s resource group, I was astonished by the lack of VC funding that was provided to female-founded companies. I wanted to focus my career on taking action to bridge the gap. Reflecting on my technical accounting and finance background from working in management consulting, I wanted to further explore entrepreneurial leadership and strategy. I decided an MBA was the right path to learn, explore, and grow my network. I had talked with a few consultants when deciding which one to go with, and the initial conversation I had with Angela Guido was so comforting and welcoming – she immediately said I need to work with Charli. Other consultants seemed turned away because I had done some job-hopping after undergraduate, but had a reason for each career move. In my intro call with Charli, she made me relieved and we decided to lean into my varied experiences and how those make me unique. In one of the first sessions we had, Charli made a slide deck telling my story as if I were a superhero. It was great to reflect on what made me unique and how we could use that to tell stories for the application process.
But first, there was the GMAT studying! I was originally supposed to take the GMAT in April 2020. COVID-19 had other plans, after postponing my exam three times I began to question why I was pursuing the MBA and if it was worth it to keep pushing. Charli was my biggest cheerleader, always filling me with a refreshed drive to keep going and making herself available for pep talks. I ended up traveling out of state to take the GMAT, two months after I had initially planned on taking it. I was astonished when I saw the screen pop up after I hit submit. A 730! I had beat my target score and was relieved.
When the main focus turned to application essays, Charli was always willing to bounce ideas around and look over my essays. I drafted so many versions across my 6 applications, some essays I completely re-did and had upwards of 12 versions. It was work, but Charli was motivating every step of the way. Charli also encouraged me to reach out to current students, alumni, and VCs to learn more about programs and the career. This lead to having such meaningful conversations and learning about what I could get involved in both in MBA programs and internships.
I can honestly say I don’t think I would have been able to be going to Wharton without Charli. She built up my confidence and cheered me on when things got tough. I know that the journey is just beginning and there is a lot of work to do in the future, but because of working with Charli, I feel so empowered to accomplish my goals and help build up others.
I’m not the type who gives out reviews. I’m not your typical candidate either. I’m older, married, with average grades, with some career achievements here and there. Going through this journey wasn’t imaginable to me without the help and support of Charli.
I knew exactly what I wanted but wasn’t really sure if I was going to cut it with my grades or if I had the ‘spark’. Also, I wasn’t sure if my ambitions to get into a T10 were really well-founded or just daydreams. Boy was I wrong. Charli was phenomenal in helping to guide me in stitching the broad talking points I had about myself into these amazing (repeat AMAZING) personal statements.
When I read the final draft I couldn’t believe that was my story, everything there was 100% factual, I just never told it that way. I shared that final draft with a few friends who were also stunned about not just the quality and flow of the narrative, but also the many struggles I personally went through, which I rarely share, and how it all made sense to them on how it contributed to me as a person.
I’m happy to say that I got accepted into not one but two T10 schools, one of which is an Ivy. (I applied for 3 schools). I wouldn’t have made it without Charli’s help. Bite the bullet and go ahead with it, you wouldn’t regret that decision.
Oh, and one more thing, seeing how much she did to me, my wife, who is also pursuing further studies is in talks with Charli.
After working for a healthcare startup in several different roles for 3 years, I decided I wanted to try and go back to school to move into an Operations role at a larger healthcare organization. I was excited about the chance to build a stronger academic foundation after studying International Studies and Spanish in undergrad but had no idea where to start in the process of applying, what my realistic schools were, or where to start with my essays. I knew I wanted to work with a consultant for help navigating the process and to help ease some of the doubts I had about my chances of getting in anywhere or what I had to offer a school.
I had a 680 GMAT and a 3.4 GPA from University of Michigan and met with a few consultants prior to choosing Career Protocol and Charli. I didn’t feel like I got an honest answer on my profile until I talked with Angela and Charli. It felt like most people were so eager to get my business that they told me I could get in anywhere which I knew was likely not the case with my stats. Angela and Charli were very straightforward with me and realistic about my chances at different schools given my background. Their honesty, but also their encouragement, made me choose their help instantly.
Being paired with Charli at CP was the best thing to happen during my admissions process. Charli not only helped me improve my resume and brainstorm fantastic essay ideas, she instilled so much confidence in me during the process. From the time I first met with Charli to my first MBA interview, I felt like a completely different person. She helped me interview prep so many times and get the nerves out so I could be myself when it finally came time to talk to schools. She was always a text or an email away and always made time to help answer any question I had, no matter how small. She didn’t stop helping after I got in either – after I got all my acceptances I was really worried about making the wrong choice and Charli got on the phone with me multiple times, offered to help connect me with students at the schools, and helped me strategize on the best way to negotiate scholarships.
I got into all of my top choices and 11/14 of the schools I ended up applying to. I know I wouldn’t have had that success without working with Charli and the rest of the CP team.
Working with Charli was just amazing! Being from Brazil and focusing mainly in European schools, I struggled to find someone who would really understand everything and help me with international applications. Charli was the person! She has a completely international mindset and she knows this stuff. She really helped me out with valuable tips to show my best self to these schools! It was just incredible to walk through this complex and exhaustive journey with her, she really was able to cheer me up and make me have fun in the journey, plus I discovered so many things about me along the way. Our chats were light, cheerful, and always made me feel with extra energy to apply. I will miss them for sure!
My ROI working with Charli was hands down above and beyond my wildest expectations. I am a non-traditional applicant, mid 30s female, 11 years of work experience at the same company in a sales and business development role, LGBTQ, above-average GPA in social sciences, with a ton of international experience. Prior to embarking on my MBA application journey, I hit rock bottom- I was losing my job, navigating an international move amidst COVID, studying for the GRE, and last but not least, going through a break-up.
Starting with my initial consultation with Angela I could immediately feel the Career Protocol support web and instead of staying in my pity party, she helped me see a way out- a window of opportunity in the usually cursed Round 4/5 application cycle. After thinking about it for a few days I decided to take Angela’s advice to move up my timeline and maximize my opportunities. Before I knew it, I was on the arduous journey to meet R4/5 deadlines, an adventure that would end up being the greatest hustle of my life.
I expected my first discovery call with Charli to be her reading back the stories I had provided on the worksheet, telling me which to write about were, but it was so much more than that. Charli helped me contextualize from 30,000 feet the impacts of my accomplishments and built up my confidence over time to proudly and loudly wear them as a badge of honor, something that I have struggled with.
She gave me the perspective and framework to dig deep into wounds/painful stories, providing guidance on how and where to leverage them as opportunities highlighting character growth, culture fit, and grit. Charli’s emotional intelligence is through the roof- she was straightforward with me when I needed it and gentle when I was at my most vulnerable. Her ability to see the optimal structure and flow for each essay is a true talent- I never ever in a million years would have ended up with so many fantastic essays in such a short period of time that I was extremely proud of without her help. The first deadline we worked on was only 4 days away when we started the process but Charli woke up early and stayed up late with me every day to make sure I submitted on time. Working with Charli massively contributed to rekindling my passion for writing, something that will prove invaluable when I start my program as well as in my personal creative life.
I applied to five schools, all of which had deadlines less than two months away from my first call with Angela. I BOMBED the GRE, falling far below the median scores for all the schools I applied to. As others have mentioned, Charli helped me focus on my stellar work experience and stories to offset my test score, which was absolutely the weakest aspect of my application.
Charli helped me prep for all my interviews and video essays with several live mock interview sessions and made herself available on multiple occasions so I could run answers by her for specific questions I was preparing for. I ended up with two acceptances (one M7 and one international w/ $) and one T15 waitlist.
2020 has been a year for the books but I am so happy to have tackled it with Charli by my side. She really is so much more than a consultant…a therapist, executive coach, mentor, and most importantly a friend when you need it most, all rolled into one. Thank you, Charli!
I’ve applied to colleges, including a master’s program alone before, and let me tell you, applying to b-schools is about 100 times more stressful. After the fiasco that was me trying to apply to one (!) b-school alone last year, while dealing with a really hectic work schedule, I decided I needed a professional’s help. After a few unsuccessful attempts at trying to connect with a local consultant, a friend introduced me to Charli. The difference between her and the other consultants I had spoken to was obvious from the get-go. From the very first call, Charli was encouraging and warm. Rather than treating the ‘flaws’ in my profile as weaknesses, she was able to help me build a unique profile, all while easing my anxiety and fears. This was a far cry from the other consultants who had made me feel inadequate and overambitious within ten minutes of conversation.
The biggest weakness in my profile was my lack of work experience. At the time I was putting together my application, I had just barely three years of cumulative work experience. Despite having a decent GMAT score (730), and a good educational background with a Master’s and undergraduate degree from top-ranked universities in the US and UK, I felt that my application was weak and unfocused. I was having trouble expressing my goals with clarity and was finding it difficult to justify the lack of work experience. I needed an experienced and unbiased individual to guide me and Charli was the perfect fit for this role.
Being an international student from India, it was important for me to stand out from my peers while also being 100% authentic in my application, and she really helped me to achieve this, while also building my self-confidence. She explained the mistakes I had been making well, which helped me to avoid repeating them, and also helped me in thinking critically and independently on how to proceed for different types of essay and interview questions. It may also be relevant to mention that I only applied to 4 schools total (i.e. no safety schools) as I was very picky about which programs I would be willing to invest my time and money in, and she was able to help me identify the programs which would be the best fit for me.
I think for me, the best part about working with Charli was simply her reassuring presence. I trusted her to steer me right and she was always able to calm me down when I got too stressed about the entire process. I really have no reservations about working with her. I would recommend her whole-heartedly even if I had not gotten a successful admit this year. She really is a wonderful person, so do yourself a big favour and reach out to her!
B school application is a daunting one and there are lots of ups and downs. I had already gone through that phase in 2018. My biggest mistake was I was looking for consultants who were too professional so I did not have a personal touch to my applications which led to very dismal results (NIL ADMIT) in 2018-19 application year.
After learning from my mistakes, I started my application for the 2019-20 admit cycle. This time I wanted someone who can understand me as a person, my culture and the impact of my work. This is where Charli came into my world. When I approached her for help and scheduled the first call, I could relate to her very easily. I found her very dedicated and she really wanted to know my story. Surprisingly adcoms are also wanting to know the story of a candidate.
I did not take too long and immediately decided to work with her. She has a very personal approach which I felt helped me to stand out in competitive applicant pool. She really pushed me to bring out the best of me. During the process, I never felt that she is my consultant. It was like I am taking a help from my friend who is equally dedicated to my success. Her tips for interviews were very practical and easy to implement. She knew what were my strengths and weaknesses (which even I did not know) and I think that made my interview genuine and personalized and kept the interviewer very interested. One of my B school interviews lasted for 2 hrs (yes 2 hrs) and I felt that I have no chance of getting an admit but Charli had faith in me and when I got an admit from that B school, the first thing I did was to call her. Even when I reached out to my interviewer after getting an admit, he told me that my conversation was interesting and very genuine. So I am sure this would not have been possible without “THE GREAT CHARLI”. Because of her, I will be joining my dream B school this fall.
I highly recommend Charli to anyone aiming top 10 B school and wants to outperform a tough applicant pool. She knows how to put everything together and submit a strong application.
I’m a telecom engineer by background working as a technology consultant for the last 5 years. I wanted to understand the business side of things and transition to strategy consulting, hence I decided to do an MBA. Having got 710 on my GMAT, I realised that it would be a challenge for an Indian-male to get into a top business programme. To perfect every other part of my application, I decided to work with a consultant. I chose Career Protocol based on 2 things 1) reference – this person had just them been admitted to London Business School 2) my free consultation with Angela.
Thank god I had Charli as my consultant. She is a perfectionist in every way and that’s exactly what I wanted. The Career Protocol process required me to create a discovery document – highlights of my life and Charli used this to create a presentation called Life Story Insights. This presentation was super helpful when I was writing my essays as Charli had mapped my stories to the various skillset that b-schools looks for in a candidate. You will always come across some essays where you have a lot to share but you’re constrained by the word limit and this is where Charli is at her best. She not only helps you with bringing down the word count but also ensures that the essence of your story is intact. Although I took a 3-school package at Career Protocol, she was there for me when I was applying to schools outside of this package. Of the many things, the only thing I will cherish the most is the interview prep. She helped me prepare for not only the usual questions but also helped me tackle the curveball ones. The interview prep definitely boosted my confidence and is what I believe got me into IESE Business School with a scholarship.
Charli is the perfect instructor for international students. She understands you and makes the entire process fun, which is really important. There will always be a career protocol dance once you hit the submit button and a victory dance once you are admitted. If you’re an international candidate looking for a consultant to help you out with applications, Charli is the person no doubt!
I’m a telecom engineer by background working as a technology consultant for the last 5 years. I wanted to understand the business side of things and transition to strategy consulting, hence I decided to do an MBA. Having got 710 on my GMAT, I realized that it would be a challenge for an Indian-male to get into a top business program. To perfect every other part of my application, I decided to work with a consultant. I chose Career Protocol based on 2 things 1) reference – this person had just them been admitted to London Business School 2) my free consultation with Angela.
Thank god I had Charli as my consultant. She is a perfectionist in every way and that’s exactly what I wanted. The Career Protocol process required me to create a discovery document – highlights of my life and Charli used this to create a presentation called Life Story Insights. This presentation was super helpful when I was writing my essays as Charli had mapped my stories to the various skillset that b-schools look for in a candidate. You will always come across some essays where you have a lot to share but you’re constrained by the word limit and this is where Charli is at her best. She not only helps you with bringing down the word count but also ensures that the essence of your story is intact. Although I took a 3-school package at Career Protocol, she was there for me when I was applying to schools outside of this package. Of the many things, the only thing I will cherish the most is the interview prep. She helped me prepare for not only the usual questions but also helped me tackle the curveball ones. The interview prep definitely boosted my confidence and is what I believe got me into IESE Business School with a scholarship.
The MBA application process is a daunting one, and before I teamed up with Charli it felt like an impossible task. I debated working with a consultant for a while (it seemed so costly, but I can tell you now that it was WELL worth it) and spoke to a few different people at various companies. All had impressive stats, but the Career Protocol approach was by far the most unique and personal. Charli’s kind and bright personality radiated during our first call, and I instantly knew she would be a vital key in my journey.
I cannot say enough great things about working with Charli – it was not only a pleasure but truly a transformational experience. The most influential aspect was learning so much about myself. Going into the process I knew I wanted an MBA, but I couldn’t totally articulate why. I felt my career path had been somewhat random and I wouldn’t have a story to tell. With the help of Charli and the Career Protocol’s many resources, I was able to reflect very deeply on my story, my strengths, my weaknesses, and my aspirations. Charli brought a crucial outside perspective – it often felt like she knew me better than I knew myself. I can say now that I have so much more self-awareness and self-confidence because of my work with Charli.
The whole application process was a rollercoaster ride, one that was filled with both joy and disappointment. I often joked with Charli that she was not only my consultant but my therapist. Charli is extremely generous, supportive, and caring. She is a great listener (and shoulder to cry on, even on Zoom…speaking from experience) and gives a killer pump-up speech – both of which helped me stay strong throughout the process (even when the GMAT felt like it might break me!).
With Charli’s help, I was admitted to six MBA programs, all with scholarships, and will be attending an M7 school this fall (my DREAM school!). I now know that my work with Charli and Career Protocol not only helped me gain admittance to business school but will set me up for success as I begin my MBA and future career. I am confident I will stay in touch with Charli for many years – another testament to her character, friendship, and mentorship. She is an angel and a ROCKSTAR!
I knew I wanted the full-time MBA experience to dedicate 2 years to developing myself and build my network but had a lot working against me – my stats weren’t great, my age had many asking why I didn’t just do a part-time MBA program, and I was looking to pivot into a completely different field. I ended up choosing Career Protocol based on gut feeling and have no regrets.
Charli isn’t a project manager MBA consultant – she is a perfectionist that continually helps iterate and improve essays. I started my application process a bit later and would say I wish I started working on my essays earlier to feel less rushed closer to crunch time.
Where Charli excels beyond any other MBA consultant I’ve heard of is that she really goes above and beyond to provide additional help, even when she is beyond swamped with other demands. She helped me with all the questions I had (well beyond the official school package I paid for), gave me advice that will help me long after this whole MBA application process is behind me and really made me feel like I could do anything with her in my corner (including pushing me to apply to even more schools in a later round when I was ready to call it a day – and let me tell you, I had already applied to an obscene number of schools). I won’t say I’m there completely, but Charli has really helped me believe in myself and be more cognizant of how I present myself – she’s been a huge part of my personal journey.
Going into the MBA application journey, I had two main concerns.
Although I’ve always known that I wanted to get into consulting post-MBA, coming from a somewhat non-conventional background, I did not have a compelling story to convince the adcom that this was the case.
Charli was without a doubt an expert in this area. Through my initial sessions with Charli, I was able to discover a common theme in my past experiences and personal traits which I had not been aware of. The outcome was perfectly aligned to my consulting goal and was as genuine as it could be. The essays for the two M7 schools which I was admitted to were the ones that I believe showcased these aspects in the most original way.
My second concern was regarding the interview. I had my share of bad interview experiences in the past and was concerned that my nerves would take the best of me. During my session with Charli the day before my interview, instead of reviewing the long list answers which I had prepared, we focused on getting into the interview mindset. This turned out to be the best decision ever as it prepared me to successfully get through the toughest interview I ever had.
My interview with one of the M7 schools turned out to be rather unconventional as my interviewer decided to drift away from the traditional MBA interview structure and instead go into a debate-like discussion. What was more nerve-racking was the fact that my interview took place in the exact room where I had the most unsuccessful interview four years ago. However, the practice I had with Charli allowed me to actually enjoy this challenging situation and leave the interview room light-hearted.
There are so many positive things about Charli and I could probably go on forever. Her passion for international applicants is real, but you can’t go wrong with her being a non-international as well. The super positive mojo which she sends out regularly is definitely a huge plus for keeping your morale up. I am thankful to have had her as a mentor for my MBA application journey and I look forward to seeking her advice further in the future.
I graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s in hotel management. At the time I was 100% sure that was what I wanted to do with my life. Seven years into my career I realized that the personal values that brought me to hotel management were really more relevant to human capital and maximizing the capabilities of a business through its people. I began my transition into HR in Technology and really found my calling. In this career, I am challenged every day but I also see the impact of my work and ways in which I can lead with influence. The world of technology and startups change quickly and people programs become more complex every day. As I entered into conversation with Executives in various orgs, I realized I lacked the knowledge to fully understand the constraints each team was under and ways to weigh prioritization of one initiative over another as it relates to resources/human capital. I wanted an MBA to round-out my skill set so that I can be a more effective partner to the business. The idea of going back to school and just focusing on self-development also sounded so enticing. I was nervous of course, I haven’t taken a test since 2010 nor did I have the background of a traditional candidate. I had never worked in consulting, finance, marketing, or sales. Which just added even more to my imposter syndrome.
As a first-generation college student, an MBA always just seemed so out of reach for me. I was nervous about my profile, I wasn’t sure how to tell my story, and test-taking certainly is not my strong suit. This was when I decided to enlist the help of a consultant. I spoke with four consultants before deciding on Charli. Everyone I spoke with was incredibly intelligent, well-versed, and effective; but every conversation felt like a business transaction. It just didn’t feel quite right. A few of my friends even gave me the advice that consulting is business so it’s supposed to feel like a transaction. While I can appreciate that approach, I just wasn’t sure it was the right thing for me. That was until I met Charli, she has a spirit that puts you immediately at ease. She’s like a long lost friend that you can tell all your wins and your failures to. She’ll ask tough questions to dig deep but there’s never any judgment and somewhere along the way, she makes you feel at peace about your losses so that you can start to articulate how that experience really just translates to another feather in your cap.
I studied for the GMAT for six months (took the actual test once) before deciding to take the GRE. I scored a lot better (80th percentile verbal/ 60th percentile quant), but my quant score was still not where I needed it to be. I took the test one more time and actually did worse. This was the lowest point in my MBA application journey, I thought there was no way I would get into my dream school. Charli was there through my emotional breakdowns and helped me stay focused. We re-worked every essay at least ten times and in the end, I ended up with applications that I was extremely proud of. Throughout the interview process with my dream school, I was surprised to see how at ease I was and prepared I felt. Reflecting back on it now, my journey with Charli had already prepared me to tell my story authentically and with confidence long before I stepped into my interview. I ended up with an acceptance to my dream school with a merit scholarship.
The MBA applications process has been transformational for me to say the least and I think that was largely in part due to Charli.
The MBA application journey can be and was stressful and taxing. There were many times throughout the process where I doubted myself or zeroed in on my low GMAT score and weaknesses. On top of that, I was applying from Asia and felt disconnected from the MBA world from the other side of the world. I found myself turning to Charli for advice during these moments of doubt.
She is not only an amazing advisor but also a friend. I always felt more confident and energized after my video calls Charli. She truly sees the best in each individual and knows how to masterfully guide you in creating an application that highlights all of your wins while ensuring you stay true to yourself. Her experience as an adcom means that she has a keen eye for what works and what doesn’t.
Like most of the other reviews suggest, working with Charli has truly been fantastic. Her methods are anything by transactional. You will discover so much about yourself and uncover aspects of your life you weren’t previously cognizant about. In addition, Career Protocol has so many resources that help you go beyond the application process and makes working with a consultant feel like a partnership.
Charli was always there to remind me how much of a “boss lady” I was when I felt like trash (oh yes there were many moments) but I think she’s the true boss lady. With Charli’s help, I was able to gain admittance into an M7 program and couldn’t be more excited to attend in the Fall!
I can’t say enough good things about Charli and my experience with her as well as with Career Protocol as a whole. Career Protocol was the only admissions firm I talked to and after doing an initial consultation, I knew I had come to the right people. That first discussion set my expectations high and I can confidently say, now that I’m on the other side, that my expectations were well met and beyond.
I chose to work with a consultant because I didn’t have a lot of contacts that had been through the MBA admissions process and I knew that having someone to help me would be extremely valuable. Additionally, I wasn’t the most confident going into the process as well as with approaching the MBA experience in general with my background. I knew I wanted to pursue my MBA, but I didn’t have a ton of guidance/understanding of what the admissions process would entail prior and wasn’t sure how to best present myself. Charli really helped to boost my confidence and slowly erase the imposter syndrome that was embedded pretty deep within me. She was my personal cheerleader throughout the entire process. She also helped me dig deeper into my story and craft compelling essays that were authentic to me and provided candid advice without pressuring me to do anything that didn’t feel right. Not only is she knowledgeable in all things MBA admissions, but just as a human being she is truly extraordinary. She really took the time to get to know me so she could coach me in the most effective ways possible.
Overall, I truly felt supported the whole time – from my school selection to interviewing and finally to looking at admissions offers. I ended up applying to three top 20 schools and was admitted to all of them. Now, I’m heading to a school I’m super excited about and didn’t think I’d necessarily even be a competitive candidate for in the beginning. None of this would’ve been possible without Charli’s assistance and for that, I am truly grateful.
Working with Charli was and remains (we’re still in touch) the best thing I did for my candidacy. Here’s why:
I dove into MBA research like most of you, I was unhappy with my current career and its trajectory and I needed an out. I took my GMAT (700), lined up the rest of my stats (3.56 GPA from a regional liberal arts university no one has heard of, No name employers, and a six-month employment gap). And then I was stuck. No one in my network, my friends’ network, or my friends’ old high school volleyball coach’s network had ever gotten an MBA. So I turned to the consultants, hoping for some guidance. I made some of those free “check out our services” calls, and every one of them made me feel terrible. With my stats, I was “too much of a question mark”, so they wouldn’t tell me if they thought I had a shot at all, let alone a shot at my T15 targets. Enter Career Protocol.
My intake call was so heartening. I felt seen, guided, and like I wasn’t crazy for wanting to pursue an MBA. Someone had an eye out for me because, after that call, they matched me with Charli. Suffering from a severe case of imposter syndrome coupled with no earthly idea what I was doing, Charli cut through my bullshit. She, with a warm and deft hand, gave me the vocabulary to tell my story. She held up a mirror to my life so that I could see it clearly, undiminished by my own baggage. She helped me carve out my own compelling case for why I wanted an MBA. She unflaggingly hyped me up on my third time through the GMAT. She never wavered in support, and never wavered in her truth-telling. She was exactly what I needed for my journey.
I was worried that this would be a formulaic experience that revolved only around essays. And don’t get me wrong, a lot of this was about essays (one of mine hit nine drafts and never did I feel like I was a burden, or like she was tired of reading this one story. She stuck with me until it was perfect). But this experience with Charli was bigger than that. It was a journey of self-discovery and reflection on my whole person. I was never just my stats. I was never asked to try and contort myself into some kind of perfect applicant. I got to be me the whole way through. Just me with Charli constantly reminding me I’m a force of f**king nature.
Six acceptances later, I am happy new admit at my dream T15 school with a scholarship (she held my hand through that negotiation as well).
The opportunity to work with Charli on my MBA applications was an invaluable experience. In fact, I would say it was profoundly transformational, as I experienced immense personal growth that went far beyond what I was expecting to gain from the MBA application process.
Who am I? I am a 30-year-old white male and recovering CPA from the Big4 (PwC, EY, etc.) with a great job in corporate finance at a really cool startup in San Francisco. But after some reflection on where I was and where I wanted to go, it became clear to me that an MBA would help me get there. I wanted an MBA program that would help me develop impactful leadership skills, develop a strong understanding & strategic skillset in areas outside of my current wheelhouse of finance & accounting, and help me transition from a corporate finance career to a career in investment banking in New York City. To accomplish this, I knew that I needed to get into a T20 program, and at the age of 30, I felt like I had no time to waste. As a result, I was looking for a professional who could help me focus my time and energy to present the best version of myself to the MBA admissions committee. My research led me to Charli, and I’m so happy it did!
Charli’s real strength flows from her unique ability to understand the true essence of who you are. It’s funny to hear, but most people don’t really know who they are and what they have to offer. Charli helped me understand that the most important step in the MBA application process is to first understand who you are, recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and to be emphatic about the value that you have to offer the program. Through stories that I shared with Charli about my life, she guided me towards self-discovery and a true confidence in the unique attributes that I as a candidate have to offer a program. This self-awareness was even more important for me because I had to overcome a glaring weakness in my application – a weak test score.
I tried everything to improve my test score to no avail – I took the in-person Manhattan GMAT prep course, I hired a private tutor, I woke up at 6 am every day to study before work, I switched from the GMAT to the GRE, but I still couldn’t break above the average test score at the programs that I was targeting. After all of this, I was ready to give up on my dreams of an MBA at T20 program, but Charli gave me the confidence to realize that I had A LOT to offer a program. So, our strategy turned to focusing on writing killer essays that highlighted my strengths and MBA readiness despite a low-test score. These essays successfully resulted in a 50% conversion rate from application to interview invite (3 out of 6). When it came time to interview, I was not nervous because I had so much clarity around who I was, what I wanted, and the value that I had to offer a program.
Charli’s coaching, candidness, professionalism, support, unique insight-sights, and cheerleading ultimately led to my success in gaining acceptance into the full-time MBA programs at two of my target T20 programs – UT Austin McCombs & Georgetown’s McDonough School of business. My wife and I are so ecstatic about the outcome and extremely excited to begin this next chapter of our lives. While this part of the MBA journey is over, it is only beginning and my wife and I are very much looking forward to continuing to work with Charli and benefit from her support and guidance as we navigate the next part of our MBA adventure.
The process of applying for an MBA is full of anxiety and uncertainty. But Charli made it fun for me. I applied to 4 schools and got interview calls from 3. Got admitted to 2, including HBS (I wouldn’t have even applied to HBS had it not been for Charli’s confidence in me and her inherent positivity).
She is candid with you – about your strengths and your weaknesses. But she never pressures you to do anything you don’t want. She motivated me to apply to the best schools, give the GMAT again and was the staunchest of cheerleaders throughout.
She made me look at some of the work I had done in a new light – found impact in my stories where my humble self saw none. She’s a great, great storyteller, and her contribution to how I put my entire profile forward and diversified myself was immense.
She coached me through the interviews – worked on aspects I didn’t even consider important like body language, my speed of talking, etc. This is something that helped me even beyond the MBA applications and changed the way I speak and interact with clients/teams at work.
I found a friend in Charli, someone who cares about your application like it’s hers but does not shy away from telling you the hard truth. I loved that she would always send me positive mojo before a deadline or an interview. And then call me on skype for a 5 min victory dance after!
If you are looking for a true partner for the MBA application journey, you don’t need to look any further than Charli Taylor.
When I decided to get an MBA, I had one school in mind and one alone. I tried to fall in love with other programs, but I knew that deep down, I would not be happy anywhere else. It was selective, as you can imagine. Unfortunately, my GPA and GMAT were both below the median. Oh, and I hadn’t taken a math class since high school. After slogging through the GMAT five times because of the verbal (don’t ask), I didn’t want to rob myself of the more joyful parts of the application, the self-reflection and research. Plus, I knew my only shot at making my dream a reality was to put together the best application I could, which meant getting outside help. Enter Charli.
To say Charli is pretty good at her job is like saying Meryl Streep is ok at the whole acting thing. I know MBA applications are supposed to be stressful but thanks to Charli, it never felt that way. Charli is exactly the kind of supportive, compassionate partner you need on this journey. She’s whipsmart, with the perfect ratio of nurturing to no-nonsense. I can’t imagine having gone through this exhilarating process with anyone else. Even the most self-aware among us are blind to what makes our stories unique. Charli knew how to draw out the right ones—for the resume, video questions, and all the other application minutiae. When you (inevitably) second-guess yourself, she will meet your crazy with calm. I remember calling her to debrief after school visits, just because. She was always available and excited to hear from me.
As a professional writer, I figured I’d be in my element when it came to essays. Wrong. Every instinct I had was way off-base. I shudder to think about what kind of clinical, stiff essays I might’ve submitted to the five schools I applied to if it weren’t for Charli’s steady hand. After some 10-20 essay drafts, I ended up with lovely polished pieces, all while preserving my voice. Because Career Protocol’s methodology involves getting to know each client on a deeply personal level, Charli was able to keep me honest about what mattered to me. Was that one volunteering experience worth highlighting or was it that project I had at work that was more impactful? How would that interview answer sound to an adcom? Rather than frittering away time on Reddit threads and websites like these and crowdsourcing opinions from well-meaning (but uninformed) family and friends, I could just ask a trusted source about every concern I had. Charli was right about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. All I had to do was work hard and trust her.
I got interview invites to all 5 schools, got admitted to 4 (including a highly-ranked M7 that I thought was way out of my league and almost didn’t apply to), and waitlisted at 1 (a school I’d heard a lot about anecdotally but wasn’t the right cultural fit). But of course, I only cared about one decision. As you might have guessed by now, Charli changed my life. I will be attending my dream school in the fall (with $)!! Getting that call is now one of my all-time happiest memories. And who called it from the start? Charli.
Applying for an MBA program can be a painful and confusing process. Applying as an international student is often a whole different level of daunting. The amazing thing about Charli is that she guides you through the process with so much care and consideration, you forget that what you’re going through is a challenging experience! Charli knows the nuances of what it takes to get into a strong MBA program as an international student, whether it’s pulling out the strengths of your experience as a global citizen or more practical concerns like negotiating for scholarships. Charli is particularly adept at getting to the core of your experiences and drawing out the strengths that are not only attractive for an admissions department, but that fit with your own honest and truthful definition of success. I can’t imagine having succeeded in my admissions process without Charli, and more importantly, I don’t think I would have gained the insight of my experiences that are critical for succeeding in an MBA program after admission
MBA applications, no matter who tells you what, are daunting. There are loads of constraints and knowledge asymmetry points: Colleges to choose? My fit? Branding myself? Maximizing impact in limited space? The process was even more complicated as an Indian male which may be the most over-represented applicant pool. It took me two years to climb this mountain of “fear of applying” and I attribute my success wholeheartedly to Charli.
In 2018 I was browsing Poets&Quants review of Admission Consultants and Career Protocol’s setup made me inquisitive. They were very unique in marketing themselves and seemed fun. I decided to take the plunge after a free consultation and from then on Charli became, literally, my best friend. She didn’t tinker with my personality rather she encouraged me to understand myself and introspect who I was at the core. This is essentially what makes her different to all other admission consultants. Unpacking your authenticity is the key to a successful application and I can attest working with Charli not only helped me gain admission (Yale!!!, MIT/Tuck/Darden Waitlist) but also helped set the stepping stone for success in B-School. Now I know why I want to do an MBA and what I would like my future to be. Charli was available to me at every moment (even on an hour’s notice) and I cannot stress how important she will be in your MBA application. I applied to four universities and received overwhelmingly positive feedback on my interviews across all. Charli will be there for you right from choosing the colleges, deciphering yourself, calming you during panic attacks, clicking the submit button, fretting over interview nervousness to raising the toast on your acceptance. Truly a North-star.
In Spring of 2011, I felt for perhaps the first time, the heartbreak of rejection. I was an undeclared sophomore at UC Berkeley who was not accepted into the undergraduate Haas business school program. I remember my mom crying for me because “a door had been closed”, and I believed her.
Sorry Charli, you’re probably thinking to yourself “Oh my god, ****, you’re still writing depressing stories, even on my review.” See what she had to work with?
To try and write this with a more light-hearted tone, I think that was the moment I realized I actually had wanted to “go to business school”. And so after graduating college, I took my GMAT in 2014 (680 and then 710) and thus the countdown began.
Flash forward to Fall of 2018. Over the past 3 years, I have applied for the 7 top US business schools in 2015 (3 schools) and 2016 (4 schools). In 2016 I get interviews with two schools, but no offer. In 2017, I decided to give myself a break and try to get into a product management role instead of applying for schools and do so successfully. It’s now Fall of 2018 and at this point, if I don’t get into a program, my GMAT score will EXPIRE and I’d have to take the test again.
Now I’m a stubborn person so I don’t apply for schools outside of the ones I like, and I’m actually somewhat lazy so I don’t really research schools beyond the top 7 that I had originally fallen in love with. Instead through the Forte Foundation, I take the opportunity to work with a stellar team at Career Protocol (and got a notable discount). I thought to myself, “This will give me the best shot. And if I don’t get in anywhere, it was meant to be and I’ll find a window to climb through.”
And so that’s how I felt in December 2018 after two interviews and one “you’re the cream of the crop” lunch when I was rejected. I had applied for 4 of the top 7 schools in Round 1. But if I’m being honest, I was again pretty sad. After so many years of applying, I felt like I had accomplished nothing. Sure, I had a great experience working with Charli and had an awesome deck she made on me that I continued to reference as I applied for jobs and other resources from Career Protocol that I continued to treasure, but I didn’t get in anywhere. In my mind, I had to pack up my box of business school dreams of debating case studies, meeting new friends from various countries and backgrounds, and of meeting a business partner and testing my entrepreneurship ideas. I had to look for my next path.
A couple of weeks later, the Evening and Weekend program at Haas asked if I wanted to transfer my full-time app to the part-time program…for free. Interesting. I hadn’t really thought about the part-time program for a variety of reasons. So I apply half-heartedly. At this point, it’s the holidays, in the midst of Round 2 applications, and Charli and I don’t get to connect though she graciously tries to reach out. (Sorry Charli!) I think the nicest way for me to say this is that from my point of view, as much as I loved working with her, it was still a business transaction. To ask her for help and tell her about this last opportunity I had would be to take advantage of her, and I’m not feeling super gung-ho about this so why bother.
I got waitlisted.
I guess through this process I’ve also learned that I’m the A- student, doing just enough to get by which, might be great if you’re building a minimum viable product, but very stressful and anxiety-inducing when you realize you still wanted something pretty badly.
At this point, it’s April 2019 and there’s basically nothing I can do right? Charli graciously reaches out to me again to reconnect and this time I tell her my position.
Thank goodness we talked again because talking with her again gave me renewed motivation and spirit that reminded me it’s not over till it’s over. And I didn’t want this to end with my mindset and efforts being half-hearted. Now maybe I shouldn’t say this because I don’t know if it should be encouraged, but she brainstormed with me different things I could do to show Haas I was still interested, she reviewed my updated resume, and she reviewed my email presenting my case. She did this because that’s the type of person she is.
Regardless of how this would end, Charli’s encouragement and willingness to help after our official time was up, helped me close this chapter of my life with confidence that I had done what I could.
So as I reflect after my first week of part-time business school at Haas, was it all worth it?
I’m very thankful that Charli helped me close this 5-year saga of my MBA application journey with a belief in myself so that I can start my next journey with my head raised.
Thanks again Charli 🙂
When I first began the process of applying to business schools, I was extremely unsure if it was for me. I did not know if my GRE score was in the ‘safe’ zone for an Indian applicant and I wasn’t sure if the admissions committee would like my story, because of my unusual career trajectory. When you see your peers from traditional backgrounds with incredible experiences and realize that you are an outlier in the career path you chose, often it can be difficult to own your story and the risks you took. I found it challenging to tell my story with authenticity but also in a manner that would be palatable. Charli is a gifted storyteller, the best I know personally. She is not a typical consultant. She is a friend and a mentor who will immerse herself in understanding your story and your world. I was so comfortable sharing some deeply personal accounts with her candidly and she helped me weave them and connect the strands that I had overlooked. Talking to her helped me see my story in a new light, one that gave me confidence to share it with the world. If you’re like me, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about the skills/qualities you are yet to work on, and don’t often pause to look back and appreciate how far you have come. I remember she once stopped in the middle of her sentence and said, “Do you realize that the product you created for rural India does not exist in any other emerging country in the world? Can we just let this sink in?” I hadn’t seen it that way before. Charli helped me believe a bit more in myself.
She rooted for me (and boy you’ll need it when you’re down!) as I worked on the weaker aspects of my application. I could get by failures (and there will be plenty!) because she constantly inspired me to fight the good fight.
When working on the interviews, she focused on the finer aspects such as body language, confidence, mindset and being a charismatic communicator. She was always available for my SOS requests. I religiously pinged her each time I hit ‘submit’ on an application and she’d promptly reply with ‘Yay! I’m now doing my happy dance for you!’ The process can be long and exhausting. Working with someone with so much positive energy, a big bright smile and a great sense of humor always helps :).
I’m grateful to Charli because what I learned in the MBA application process from her added value that will serve me lifelong. I got admission at Wharton and Ross and was waitlisted at three of the top 10 US business schools. I’m headed to Wharton this fall and Charli has been an integral part of my journey.
HA. I know you are browsing MBA consultants as you probably just got your GMAT done. Recently you feel anxiety level keeps soaring – you are not really sure how best to approach your applications.
YA. I was walking in your shoes exactly a year ago. BECAUSE I made a decision to work with Charli also exactly a year ago, I am packing up to go to my dream school (top 6) this fall even though I come from a relatively weak background.
You’d be like whattttt?????? define how weak a background you had.
My ‘relatively weak’ background:
GMAT: 680-710-680 My third attempt tells me I am as good as 680, but I got freaking lucky for a 710, which is still 20 below my class average. (TRAUMATIZING)
Work: A not-so-special NA retail banking tech strategy manager role. 100% back-office role in IT function.
Post-MBA goal: Consulting
Do you see where I’m going?
If you come from a similar background – the not so strong kind (babe it’s okay!). Having worked with Charli is my only secret to the congratulations calls from my dream school’s admission director.
One WARNING. Charli is a perfectionist, and she is a very persistent figure – Charli never calls an app complete even when I was ready to submit sometimes!!!!!!!! When I was so mentally and physically exhausted from my MIT Sloan app and was just so ready to click the submit button. Charli called a chat and discussed a new idea that came to her brightest mind which took my essay from 99.9% to 100%. (man! 99.9% was awesome enough for me in that state of exhaustion but never good enough for Charli) Charli kept me going strong and I just know she will keep you going strong too. She will be with you in countless late nights to refine your apps a bazillion times to get to the 100% one telling genuine story about YOU.
If you come from a ‘hyper-competitive’ background, quoted the HBS boss below (Respect!! Man!), you should work with Charli too. Charli is a double shot of a supreme storyteller and psychiatrist. She coached me to realize the one and only one WHY of every import decision I’ve made (Pre MBA), I was about to make (Why MBA) and I will make (Post MBA). And as a rocking-it boss, what you lack now is exactly your ‘WHY’ – the genuine story about YOU.
I’ve been saying that I am going to get my MBA since 2012. In the course of the last 7 years, I have been an MBALaunch participant, visited a dozen schools to sit in on classes/meet admissions teams, taken an MGMAT course twice, and a Kaplan GRE course once. To say I was well versed in the admissions process is an understatement, yet I was always afraid to bite the bullet and actually hit submit on any of my applications because I knew my test scores and my GPA were all below my target schools’ standards. Every year was the same thing – “maybe next year”. Finally facing my 30U30 bucket list, I decided to reach out to admissions consultants to help pull my applications together into a cohesive story. R1 deadlines had already passed and I was targeting only top 20 schools so I knew the process was going to be a long shot despite eight years of significant career progress on Wall Street and multiple volunteer positions.
I spoke with five consultants over the course of a month. The first told me to find backup schools. The second told me she “only focuses on strategy” and to find someone else reviews my essays (which made me question what I would be paying her five figures for…). The third told me his company was at capacity for R2. The fourth directly told me “You’re not getting into business school this year” within the first three minutes of meeting me by phone. Each of these companies was cookie cutter – dark suits, no personality, expensive fees, and no out of the box thinking.
Career Protocol was the fifth company I reached out to and I was ready to give up when I came across them due to their partnership with the Forte Foundation. My first impression was “they can’t be serious” due to the unicorns and gifs on their website, but decided to reach out because I realized most people say the same about me for wearing bright colors in a room full of stuffy old guys and if anyone was going to understand my application it would be them.
Charli and I worked on applications for five top 20 MBA programs. To make a long story short, I have just packed my boxes and moved across the country to start my MBA at one of my top choice schools. Without Charli, I probably wouldn’t be accepted at any of these schools on my own. She took the time to get to know me as a person, my motivations for b-school, and the stories I wanted the admissions committee to know about me. She poured over every detail in the application then prepared me for my interviews. Best of all, she became my biggest cheerleader throughout the exhausting process. I cannot say enough positive things about Charli. She helped turn my “maybe next year” goal into a this year reality. If you want a consultant to just send you the same template they send hundreds of other clients each admissions round, go somewhere else. If you want someone to take the time to understand you and brainstorm how to put your authentic self in front of the AdComms, hire Charli.
Coming from a hyper competitive background (ivy league grad, investment banking analyst, private equity associate at a megafund), I felt like I needed someone to guide me with my process and story. I called and interviewed ~20 consultants and chose Charli. Working with Charli was the best decision I made in the application process, and I am now going to HBS this fall! She was responsive, incredibly friendly and warm, and helped guide me and mold every part of my application. We went through tens of rounds of essay revisions together, prepped for my interviews at HBS and GSB, and she was my biggest cheerleader throughout. It was amazing how many of the questions she asked me during our mock interviews showed up in the actual interview, which goes to show how much of an expert she really is. Don’t waste your time, money, or your chance to be admitted with someone else — work with Charli!!
Charli really sees you for who you are! Working with Charli has been the best decision I ever made. Right from the onset, she was super invested in me and my story, she was determined to see me getting accepted at all the schools I had applied to and pushed and motivated me to have it no other way. Every interview was preceded by a heartfelt message instilling a whole lot of confidence in me. There were times when I had lost hope and doubted myself, in these desperate times Charli helped me regain the confidence and reminded me of the accomplishments I belittled.
As someone who came from a non-feeder school, competitive pool (Indian, female), WE: top 5 consulting firms with a pivot to social enterprise it was important to make every move, decision and experience personalized and explain the WHY? Charli spent multiple sessions just probing and asking me questions to dig deeper and reflect on my experiences. I was able to uncover so many hidden parts of my story that put things into a new light for me. All the sessions helped me craft my story amazingly well and bring them to the interview as well.
Charli goes beyond the applications and interviews and invests in you SO personally. She constantly reminded me ‘You are a BADASS’. This single line has been the biggest source of inspiration for me and reflected in my interviews. Once accepted she helped me research schools and make decisions, she helped me plan for the MBA life and most importantly reminded me of the great things I will accomplish at school.
Your consultant is your biggest champion in the MBA journey and as someone who had constant self-doubt about my average journey, I would say this to everyone ‘You need to believe in yourself and your story’. It is often difficult to underappreciate and Charli has experience of personalizing stories and uncover things even from the most ordinary experiences. It is all about having this strong support who pushes you reflect until you believe in yourself and appreciate your journey. Charli did just that for me (in addition to the other amazing insights, techniques and processes that made my applications a success). I would absolutely and wholeheartedly recommend everyone to work with Charli 🙂
Where am I headed:
well thanks to Charli I have acceptances from London Business School, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and waitlisted at Kellogg (Charli’s amazing mojo might turn this into acceptance :))
I made a promise to never again hire an MBA consultant. I applied to B-school twice. The first time around, I utilized a consultant from a well-known, big name consulting company. I ended up getting dinged by every school I applied to, without an interview. Given the results, I followed up with my consultant and shared my disappointment with the service. What blew my mind was that my consultant refused to take ownership and framed the situation in way where I was at fault. I found this to be incredibly discouraging. After all, MBA consultants are not cheap. If you drop good money, I believe you’re entitled to good results. This experience was clearly not the case, and it tainted my image of MBA consultants. I was less than inclined to take on another one for the next round of applications.
Then came Charli.
I heard positive things about Career Protocol both from online sources and a friend. After researching my options and an initial consultation call with Charli, I decided to jump the gun and work with her. The first great impression she made was her invitation to communicate via webcam, what this demonstrates is Charli’s genuine interest in getting to know YOU as a person. Our conversations were never robotic or transactional. It honestly feels like you’re just talking with a friend. What I came to realize is that it is through these interactions that she really gets to the core of who you are, what you value, and where your strengths lie. It’s important to remember that a strong MBA application requires you to be personal and vulnerable. However, the process is still an intimidating task. For many, the question of “what makes me special” constantly runs through our heads. Working with Charli made me realize that you don’t have to be an ex-navy seal or an MBB consultant to get into a top program. You just need to be… you. Charli helped to uncover my shining attributes and did an impeccable job of helping me formulate strong essays and preparing me for interviews without distorting my true voice.
There were a couple of occasions when I was under extraordinary time constraints and needed help outside of business hours. My previous consultant wouldn’t consider speaking to me after hours. However, when I explained my circumstances to Charli, she carved out some evening and weekend time to accommodate my situation. Before submitting my applications, we reviewed each one together, ensuring that they were clean and ready to go and that we both felt great about them.
The first round of applications, I applied to four schools and got zero acceptances. This time around, I applied to seven schools and got six acceptances (M7 included). I also got multiple scholarship offers, including a full ride plus stipend for my top school!
My perception of MBA consultants has changed. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that there are a lot of bad consultants out there. But there are a few kick-ass consultants out there who will truly be invested in you and unlock your potential. Just a few. Charli is one of them.
I was feeling lost and a bit overwhelmed as I began my journey applying to business schools. As a public school teacher with no connections to business schools, I felt intimated by the whole process. I didn’t have any close friends or family who had attended a prestigious business school to go to for advice. I was also going through a tumultuous time personally, and trying to balance a very hectic work schedule.
Then, in came Charli! Charli made all the difference. She advised me about school choices, applying through and joining The Consortium, school visits, essays, interviews, you name it. She was my mentor AND my cheerleader. Several times along the way I really struggled and doubted myself, Charli was there to encourage me, push me to meet deadlines and do my best work.
I am a Teach for America alum and have been working as a classroom teacher for six years, the past three as a Pre-K teacher. Before talking to Charli, I was having a hard time seeing how I had any relevant experience. I thought none of my “stories” were good enough for business school. Charli taught me to see my accomplishments in a new light and how to frame my essays to highlight my talents, achievements, and passions. She guided me through the whole process, from school search to post-admission counseling. I didn’t attend a prestigious undergrad, and my test scores weren’t anything to write home about, but working with Charli gave me the confidence to go after highly ranked programs and succeed! I’ll be attending a top-ranked, highly respected business school in the fall, my number one choice!
If you’re struggling right now, trying to navigate the admissions process, especially if you’re coming from a non-traditional background, if you think you’d benefit from having someone on your team during this journey, I highly recommend working with Charli.
Working with Charli was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had and I would strongly recommend her as your consultant! I had previously applied to B-Schools two years ago (I was not even remotely successful), without a consultant and with little guidance. I attended a lesser known state college for my undergrad and spent my career working for the federal government. With a goal of transitioning out of the public sector and into investment banking, I knew that I needed to find someone to help craft my story. As a first generation college student at a company with few MBAs, I didn’t know anyone personally that could assist. From the first consultation, I knew that Charli genuinely cared about my story and wasn’t going to cut any corners during the process. Charli has an innate ability to understand people and was exceptional at helping me explore my experiences, passions, motivations, and life goals. During our conversations, she helped me uncover strengths of mine that I wasn’t even aware of and highlight them in the essays.
Charli went above and beyond during our time together. When providing feedback on one of my essays, she was completely honest and told me it just wasn’t working. Knowing that the deadline was around the corner, she made herself available and we spent multiple hours (at 10pm nonetheless) brainstorming content and coaching me on ways to fix the structure. Her dedication persisted from the day one consult to the interview prep, and even continues today as she’s helping me negotiate scholarships. Our work together resulted in admittance into LBS and into an Ivy League program (with a partial scholarship), while also getting waitlisted at a third school. I know I couldn’t have done this without Charli’s dedication, care, and support!
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