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University of Iowa
Brand Management and Development
Marketing and PR
Bank of America
MBA Prep Coach
Net Promoter Score: 9
Together, we create unique application strategies that leverage your demonstrated strengths. My coaching brings forth your most compelling, authentic content. 98% of my clients have obtained admission to one or more top 10 MBA programs; 80% to a top 5 program. Most attend their first-choice school – and receive sizeable scholarships (that far exceed my fees!)
More than a consultant, I consider myself to be your friend and trusted advocate who is passionately invested in your success. Each client partnership is an exciting and fulfilling journey to me. I am known for my candor and high standards but always work with my clients in a spirit of humor, warmth, and kindness.
I received the Global Scholar award as the first Iowa MBA to study abroad. In 1999, I completed research and coursework on Brand Strategy and Consumer Behavior at a French-speaking business school, Ecole Superieure de Commerce-Amiens.
Upon my return in 2000, I taught GMAT Verbal at Kaplan while completing the second year of my MBA. At that time, I was approached by a top 5 admissions consulting firm, asked to develop a remote GMAT program and later, to edit essays. From 2000 to 2008, I held marketing management positions in companies such as Gannett, Dow Jones and Wells Fargo while coaching MBA and EMBA aspirants in the evenings. As the corporate newsletter editor for Wells Fargo, I interviewed executives throughout the organization and helped them tell their stories.
In 2008, I left the world of corporate marketing management to obtain my coach certification. From 2008 to 2014, I was a business coach to new startup founders while continuing my side work with MBA applicants. In addition, I taught marketing, advertising and strategic management at California State University.
In 2014, I decided to combine my work with MBA applicants with my coaching practice, by creating a unique coaching-based admissions consultancy. The goal of coaching is transformation; in my practice, the client’s desire for a top MBA is the catalyst for their transformation.
In addition to being a coach, I am a trained marketing strategist and a professional editor. All of this combined allows me to dig out good content, that I edit succinctly. The goal is to create a clear identity in the mind of your reader. I enjoy leveraging my coaching, marketing and editing skills to help my clients gain admission to their ideal MBA programs.
My hobbies include meditation, swimming, Feng Shui, watching French films, and attending live jazz.
I am known for…
My aim is to help you create your best applications – get into your dream b-school – and pursue a career that excites you.
Fill out my prospective client form on my website and send me your CV; I will review both and reply to set up a time to chat.
Is this you?
When clients first come to me, they are generally looking to make a big career transformation but not sure what that looks like or how to go about it. They just know a bit about what they like – and even more about what they are trying to get rid of.
Also, when I first speak with clients, they usually do not have a clear understanding of what I call their “professional identity.” Their strengths, weaknesses, areas of competitive advantage. What they are known for in the eyes of others. The adcom wants to get to know you. But if you do not know yourself, you cannot really help the adcom get to know you.
And, they are unclear about, as they say, “what to put.” They don’t know what the admissions committees are looking for – or what motivates adcom to root for you. Because of this, they have trouble identifying what aspects of their background should be put to the foreground in their applications.
When it comes to discussing their work, they are unable to convey it in universal language the admissions committee could easily follow and absorb. This limits the impact of your application, and subsequently your chances.
Knowing “what to put,” – Often clients have a treasure trove of impressive anecdotes but are unable to recognize them as “exceptional”. We mine through your stories together so I can identify examples of what the adcom is seeking – leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, innovation, positive impact, etc.
Identifying the “brilliance factor” – I help you identify the breakthrough thinking you applied to solve the problem, to get the result. With tight word limits, it’s important we go down the right road with these stories.
Discerning all the ways you added value/had impact – I often spot ways my clients make a positive impact that they had not considered. I can see ways your actions benefitted the company that you may not. We work together to articulate the value derived from your actions.
Achieve greater self-awareness – Our most important task is to help adcom get to know you. I help you get in touch with your authentic self, so can better express who you are to the adcom. The better they know you, as a person, the more they will “root” for you.
Tell your story – By outlining your anecdotes with me, you learn an effective framework for telling stories. You will take this framework into interviews and carry it with you for the rest of your life. Also: because I outline all your essay stories with you, the drafts you write are on track, which saves time.
Set you apart – I focus on the attributes that separate you from other competitors in your profile group, to give you a strategic advantage. Beyond b-school, you need to communicate your USP cleanly and concisely. This is what sparks interest in you when it comes to interviews, networking and speaking with investors.
Remove barriers – In your line of work, you have learned a secret language replete with acronyms and industry terms. I help you translate industry jargon that into plain language adcom readily understands. Consider the expression, “A fish doesn’t know what water looks like.”
Establish your critical path – My key to success: research yourself, research your goals and research the schools. I guide you in doing the right things in the right sequence to get you closer to your goal of an admit.
Get a clear command of your professional identity for adcom – By getting to know you, I identify your brand promise. What you deliver in every setting. From this we come up with an “angle” unique to you, and weave that positioning through all elements of the application. By doing this work, adcom can then summarize who you are, making you memorable.
Polished final product – I edit all your work, so it accentuates the key communication objective of each piece. I cut away what distracts from the main message. By focusing on our communication objective and cutting the rest, you develop a more well-defined identity in the minds of your readers.
Leveraging your b-school investment – Having your goals ironed out allows you to spend time in b-school learning, instead of recruiting for a bunch of different industries. Why spend $200K only to get a job – classes, extracurriculars, and building a network hold a great deal of long-term value.
Be ahead of the game – In sum, you hit the ground running. I put my clients through the same exercises they do in zero week in business school, in terms of personal branding, and informational interviewing. You will have already completed some of your outreach in finding an internship or post-MBA job.
Reasons for my success
✦ MARKETING EXPERT – Skilled at anecdotally conveying your leadership and problem-solving skills
✦ CERTIFIED CAREER COACH – Eliciting concrete post-MBA goals and steps to achieve them
✦ CORPORATE & STARTUP LEADERSHIP – 20 years of post-MBA experience informing your apps
✦ FORMER MBA PROFESSOR – Academic perspective will help enrich your essays
✦ COMMUNICATION COACH – Guiding your prep for video essays and interviews
✔ I KNOW WHAT’S OUT THERE
I have read and edited several hundred essays, by having worked for five large admissions consulting firms. I know what has been “done to death” by applicants, and where the opportunities lie.
✔ I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES
Contact me at the email below to set up a time to chat and see if we would make a good team. I want to help you create your best applications – get into your dream b-school – and pursue a career that excites you.
I take the time to get to know my clients inside and out. This allows us to create truly customized applications that are consequently very authentic, compelling and successful.
You will be working with me directly – a full-time experienced proven professional – on all elements of the application.
For best results, it is important that we partner on every aspect of your application. NOT just your essays. The application is akin to a “campaign” and each element needs to be consistent in message and quality. Also, statistically, each application element is weighted equally. Essays are weighed the same as your letters of recommendation, CV, and application boxes. Adcom looks at your LinkedIn as well.
For this reason, the first application generally requires 40 hours. My hourly rate is $120/hour. Subsequent applications are sequentially less, between 25-30 hours, depending upon how much additional work there is to be done. The 3rd and 4th applications land between 10-15. I strive to maximize your chances by repurposing your content in other applications. This allows us to improve your odds by applying to more schools.
Just looking for some answers or strategic direction with this whole thing? Contact me to book a 60 or 90-minute strategy session.
Don’t roll the dice on your future when the payoff is potentially massive: starting salary, scholarships, and being prepared to succeed in MBA internship interviews.
10=Without Hesitation, 1=I would advise against it.
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I’m in my early 30s, an ex-Big 4 CPA working in financial reporting at a conglomerate in NYC, and recently got admitted to Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA program. Farrell reached out via LinkedIn after seeing I was a participant in one of CBS’ EMBA webinars this past March. Throughout the short time working with her, I kept saying I wish we had connected sooner.
At the time of her message, I was in the throes of completing my CBS EMBA application for the early admission deadline that was eight days away. I had been working with another consultant who was a direct referral, so I initially thought that would be a positive thing for me choosing to go with her. It ended up being a bad fit in all the ways that MBA consultants get a bad reputation for, but I didn’t have the wisdom or gumption to end it when I should have. That consultant was disorganized in coordinating her schedule to speak on the phone, and never kept her word on getting back to me unless I reached out and she would act as if I, the paying client, was bothering her when I did reach out. She was condescending on the phone and in emails when she would respond – at one point, she admitted my messages had gone to her spam folder which was shocking given we had communicated by email more than several times at that point. The result was over $2k spent on essay edits/”guidance” that didn’t actually answer the prompts, along with a lot of unnecessary anxiety and a very poor professional-to-client service/output overall. To reiterate, I was very first-world stressed eight days away from a deadline I was set on meeting.
I had a lot of work left to do so it was very serendipitous that I emailed Farrell with this problem and that she happened to have enough bandwidth to help in the final days of the deadline. Farrell is very easy to talk to even having never met her in person. She has an open and quirky personality that I believe is her way to help clients open up to her so that she can in turn help them as best as she can. She was essentially everything the other consultant was unable to be – empathetic, helpful, organized, patient, and very responsive in our communications. Right off the bat, she sent me resources from her blog and other helpful MBA/EMBA related articles. It showed that she cared and her overall demeanor was night and day compared to my previous experience. Before our long working session began, she communicated her workstyle and expectations so that we could be as efficient as possible. She makes you talk about your feelings, your goals, and anything MBA-related on your mind to uncover the best things to incorporate in the essays. The result was well-edited essays that met the word count limitations and had me feeling much more assured about submitting something to be proud of. The work with her paid off in the end and I hope applicants continue engaging with her in their MBA application journey.
When it comes to MBA admissions most of us focus more on our scores than our applications. With a similar mindset and a GRE score of 319, I had almost given up on my M7 dream until I met Farrell. Her experience in this field and resourcefulness helped me get into Booth as well as Ross, despite being an R2 applicant from India. I was also working around a very limited budget which prevented me from seeking comprehensive support from Farrell, yet, she respected my constraints and provided the best advice in the time we spent together. This was a refreshing difference from many of the large MBA consulting firms that charge exorbitantly yet provide mediocre service and guidance.
If I were to be honest, after my first call with Farrell, I was intimidated by her calling out my weaknesses. It made me feel quite vulnerable, but this is what a true MBA consultant does, lays the facts out for you whether you like it or not. Her approach surprised me because she was not trying to win me as a client with promises of securing a dream school, however, she assured me that putting our best foot forward will give us our best shot, and THAT IT DID!
Farrell has a very detailed approach to consulting and will have you answer a lot of questions – both personal and professional. She has a knack for finding what truly differentiates you as an applicant – even if you are over-represented like me. She followed the STAR format of story-telling which made my essays impactful and also advised me to approach the essays with 3 questions – Where are you right now? Where do you want to be and how will the B-school help you get there? She also helped me fine-tune my resume and provided guidance on how to go about my letter of recommendation. My calls with Farrell sometimes felt like therapy because she would ask all the right questions that helped me introspect and find my true calling.
She once told me that “I think I’ve had uncommon success with ppl who are challenged statistically” and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve had a career break which I thought was a huge disadvantage, but with Farrell’s help, I made it my USP and spoke more about it in my applications with details on how it shaped me as a person. Overall, I consider myself lucky to have had the pleasure of working with Farrell and would highly recommend you give her a chance to work her magic with your application as well!
When I approached Farrell in July 2022, I had just quit my job whilst simultaneously preparing for the GMAT. Over her first few calls with me, she convinced me to get my job back as soon as possible so that Admissions wouldn’t be overly concerned with a long resume gap. We had a little over a month to prepare for the Early round deadlines. Farrell proposed ideas like taking the Executive Assessment and using test waivers where possible so that we could have more than enough time to prepare applications for the early rounds at Duke, Darden, and IESE. We eventually ended up applying to a lot more schools in Round 1 and I received admits with scholarships from IESE, McCombs, McDonough, and ISB. This was a great result compared to two years ago when I applied to schools on my own without any success.
Every session with Farrell feels like therapy. She digs deep to uncover your greatest accomplishments at work and why they were impactful, your personality traits, and everything in between. When convincing me to get my job back, she helped me uncover why I had quit in the first place despite performing well – a lack of mentorship as a first-time PM, a feeling of isolation due to absent colleagues and superiors and my personal tendency to always say yes at the cost of my well-being. She coached me to approach my next few months on the job differently – learning to set boundaries and learning to delegate where possible. Through conversations that seemed casual at the time, but are pure gold in retrospect, she helped me understand my motivations and values. I use my nurturing and helping identity as a crutch to be conflict-averse in social situations. She helped me realize how I can use the MBA experience to grow as a person by taking risks and potentially failing without fearing judgment, and being open to conflict without fearing that I’m causing hard feelings. These conversations certainly made for compelling, authentic essays, but they also helped me understand my values as a person and a professional. Coupled with this introspection, Farrell gave me the resources and encouraged me to speak with students and alumni of the schools I was applying to. This wasn’t just to show Admissions that I had ‘networked’, but in fact, for me to understand my fit with the program and culture of the school, and to understand job recruitment processes. This also helped me develop a fondness for the schools I was applying to, which I believe is essential to ace MBA interviews. I believe that the personal introspection and development of a genuine interest in the school helped me get an admit at IESE, and for that matter at McCombs as well. I wouldn’t have been able to go through this process without Farrell, who has been my biggest cheerleader throughout.
Farrell is extremely meticulous and invests a lot of time and energy in understanding the value proposition behind everything that you submit in your application – whether it’s a bullet point in your resume or a recommendation anecdote. She is confident and really good at what she does.
My only advice would be: Trust her process and be coachable. Listen to her feedback and implement. Be open and vulnerable, not just with her but also in your applications.
It was late July of 2022. Round 1 applications were due in 1.5 months and despite having been in this process for the better part of two years I still felt lost. Having gone through the application process last year without success, my confidence in my gut instincts around what to write about and how to portray myself and my experiences—especially with me coming from a consulting background with all oversubscribed demographics—was totally shaken. Nearly a dozen friends at top MBA programs assured me my past year’s essays and resumes looked good, yet I hadn’t gotten the traction I’d hoped. Now, I was applying to five schools and had a grand total of zero of my essay drafts complete.
Although I had promised myself that I could get through this process without an advisor, a looming sense of fear that all the effort that I had put into the past two years would be for not caused me to finally pull my rip cord and search for an advisor. It felt unreal that just four months later I would be holding admission offers from Stanford GSB, Wharton (with a $120k scholarship), and others. It felt so unreal that every day for the first two weeks after getting notified of these admissions offers, my morning routine included re-checking the portal to make sure I hadn’t just dreamed my acceptance!! Reflecting back on this time, I think there is a nearly 0% chance I could have gotten these results without Farrell.
I reached out to Farrell seeing that her rates were extremely competitive given the fantastic results she seemed to have on her website. I was, admittedly, a little skeptical at first, but our first call convinced me that Farrell was the real deal. It was clear she knew this world inside and out and she brought me a sense of certainty and confidence in her approach that I had been wholly lacking.
Farrell first worked with me to go through my aspirations and my life and career story. Although she had a set of documents to guide this process, our conversations were extremely free-flowing and most sessions felt like therapy. Truly. We were working on an accelerated timeline (side note: DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING THAT NO MATTER HOW STRONG AN APPLICANT YOU THINK YOU ARE), so I worried that this wasn’t as pressing an exercise. I am so glad that Farrell encouraged me to trust the process! Through these seemingly casual, conversational sessions, Farrell was actually busily panning the river that was my story for proverbial application gold and seeking to understand how my story connected together. Things I had totally dismissed as irrelevant such as my fun and jokey leadership style she pulled to be at the forefront of my story. She helped me create my “secret sauce” as a consultant and a leader was, and this went on to serve as the key driver of my application essays. We then meticulously worked together to ensure that every part of the application, from my recommenders to my resume, to the essays, to the application forms, were free of duplicative information and were as clear and effectively described as they could be.
I could not recommend Farrell more highly! For those considering working with her, I recommend a few things. First, trust in Farrell’s process; she knows what she’s doing and there’s a reason she doesn’t start writing essays with you right away. Second, be open about everything in your life. Tears were shed on more than one occasion, and coming in willing to be open, honest, and authentic will give your application the critical authenticity most applications are missing. Finally, be open to feedback and criticism; Farrell will provide a lot of it, and—especially if you come in with strong opinions about how you want to do the application as I did—it can feel uncomfortable. Again, trust Farrell cares about you deeply and is doing it to make you a better candidate.
Truly Farrell is far more than an MBA consultant. Yes, she’s an expert in that, but she is so much more. She’s a life coach, a therapist, a career counselor, a critic (when deserved), and—ultimately—an avid cheerleader. This strikes me as highly untraditional but surprisingly effective. I don’t say this lightly, but Farrell gave me another thing perhaps as valuable as the incredible opportunity to attend GSB: she gave me a sense of what makes me unique as a person and leader and the confidence to lean into that.
When I was young, I spent all my free time tinkering with computers and gadgets. Fast forward twenty years later and suddenly I’m responsible for guiding a large team to achieve a high degree of customer satisfaction in many highly technical areas. Yet still, when I think of myself, I feel like the same small boy taking apart a computer.
I hit a point in my career where the problems no longer were technical, and I didn’t have the tools that I needed to solve the larger strategic problems facing the company. Farrell really helped me to explore first, what did I really want out of my career; second, how do I continue to build on the foundation of the little boy taking apart computers; and third, what type of EMBA program would be right to help build my career.
Farrell’s unique process starts with introspection to enable her to get to know you and for you to get to know yourself. This exploration will drive you to figure out your goals, what prevents you from pursuing those goals, and how an MBA helps further achieve those goals.
Farrell really brings out what is unique about you while editing resumes and essays. She collaborates with you to review line by line each part of your resume and essays to ensure that no possible advantage is left unexplored, and each sentence has pop.
Our results together speak well to Farrell’s approach. I was admitted to Wharton and Booth’s EMBA programs and received a fellowship – which is very difficult to obtain – to Wharton. Furthermore, through discussing my career goals that Farrell and I identified; I was able to chart a path at my current job which led to a promotion in leading our operations. I would not have the promotion nor the admittance without Farrell’s guidance.
Executive MBA candidates have different needs as well. They are further in their career which means sifting through much more experiences to sift through in writing essays and resumes. Farrell also pinpoints how executive programs are different than traditional MBAs at each school. She had incredible guidance in exploring which programs best met my needs. Finally, Farrell has guided multiple candidates through EMBA applications and knows what each program is looking for.
I’m very thankful for the time spent with Farrell through EMBA admissions. I gained a new perspective on myself and my career. I was able to see how the little boy that has been incredibly successful can continue to grow and be successful in new challenges. Farrell is incredibly pleasant to work with and I found myself joking and laughing through many of our sessions, despite the seriousness of the topic. I would recommend Farrell to anyone unsure of what they want to do and to anyone looking for help with MBA and EMBA admissions.
Even after working with a brand name MBA consulting firm to prepare my admission package, I got dinged by Sloan without an interview call, I felt dejected. I chanced upon a comment from Farrell in an MBA forum that resonated with me and I contacted her to guide me through my next application, the best decision I ever made in my MBA journey. My prior large consultancy had many consultants on employ and the quality was not consistent from one to another. Who I interviewed and who I got on my case were different and were not very personal in her approach. Interactions dry. The feedback was unconnected and not holistic. I felt it didn’t help me much to tell my story. In contrast, Farrell’s approach was very personal and holistic, She dove right into the core of what I represent, what I stand for, what are my values. She helped me articulate what’s truly unique about me, my work. What’s my differentiating factor. She then guided me to map that uniqueness to the unique culture of the school I was applying, to ensure the fitment is well articulated. Farrell took a holistic approach and helped me also to design the conversations with my recommenders so that they are able to highlight my unique strengths to the adcom. Moreover, Farell also connected me with alums of the schools I was applying to so that I get a better understanding of the culture and curriculum, which were immensely helpful. With my earlier experience, I was skeptical about applying to other top-tier schools. Farrell motivated me, explaining the experience with one school has no bearing on the result of the others. So, I applied to the top-ranked programs in the US. When I finally received the acceptance letter from Booth, I was beyond ecstatic. I made it to my dream program! I also got an admit from Michigan Ross EMBA, an interview call from Sloan, and waitlisted at Wharton EMBA.
Farrell is a Gem! I couldn’t think of accomplishing this without her. Thank you, Farrell!
For me Farrell is more than an MBA admissions consultant, she is a friend, a mentor, and a coach. The application process with her was bigger than just getting into a top MBA program, I learned what my values are (what makes me happy and what I don’t like), what my strengths are, and what makes me stand out. Learning these things about myself will forever guide me when looking for internships, jobs, and promotions. Having this knowledge gives me the ability to communicate who I am to people. Her coaching has even helped me make adjustments at my workplace and in my family life that have greatly benefited me.
Before working with Farrell I had a lot of doubts about myself and insecurities about not being a “typical” MBA applicant, I really felt like I didn’t even belong in a top MBA program. Farrell transformed these insecurities into things I am now proud of, and helped me feel worthy and deserving of the 3 admits I received. I was even extremely embarrassed about my writing skills and had almost no confidence when it came to drafting my essays, Farrell built me up and gave me the confidence and advice I needed to create a beautiful end product.
Farrell’s background in journalism and marketing really shines throughout this process, before working with her I didn’t even know how to really express my story, skills, and values. I find her skills far more valuable in this process than working with a consultant just because they have received an MBA from program X.
Getting into an MBA program is really just the beginning, leveraging it for its value is a whole different ball game and Farrell has gone above and beyond to prepare me for that. Having worked with other MBA consultants in the past I was bothered by some of their gimmicks and them asking me to oversell/exaggerate (which make me uncomfortable), Farrell allowed me to be my true self without any of that. Not only was I accepted to all three programs I applied to -Kellogg, Berkeley and Booth ($), I feel prepared for my future during my MBA program and after. Expect honesty and straightforwardness throughout the process.
If I had gotten accepted to zero programs my time and money spent with Farrell would still have absolutely been worth it ten times over, for I truly evolved and grew as a person under her wing.
I LOVE WORKING WITH FARRELL. I used other admission consultants in the past, and I didn’t receive any good results. This year, I worked with Farrell on my application. Farrell coached me to apply to an MBA program in Round 3. I got admitted to Darden with a decent amount scholarship which is a big surprise to me! I would say it is the best decision that I have ever made in my life. She is the best! Below is a list of her values that I didn’t find in others.
1. Personal – Farrell does not do a cookie-cutter approach. She paid close attention to understand me as a person rather than just an MBA applicant. Working as an independent MBA consultant, she has the advantage to offer best-in-class quality services to everyone. As an applicant who comes from a non-traditional background, I knew that I need to find and sell my uniqueness in my application. I really needed someone who is accessible and easy to approach to help with my application. No doubt, Farrell is the best match for me. While working with her, I felt confident in my application because I felt her enthusiasm and strong willingness to learn about me as a person. She asked probing questions to encourage me to think deeper about my motivation and values. After completing my application, I was extremely satisfied because my personal brand and value are well presented and elaborated like they had not been with the other consultants.
2. Results-Driven – Farrell is responsible and committed to delivering the best outcomes for her clients. Not realizing how fierce the competition would be this year, I put all my eggs into Top 5 programs for Round 2. Unfortunately, I was rejected by all of them. Farrell pulled me out of the disappointment and helped me actively evaluate the situation. She researched programs that fit my personality and can help me achieve my post-MBA goal. With Farrell’s recommendation, I became more open-minded and applied to Darden. She was able to put herself in my shoes and recommend a program that will fit me well. It turns out that she is absolutely right!
3. Life-long coach – The best treasure I received from working with Farrell is the lasting impact of her coaching. She put a lot of effort to get to know me as a person and discover my unique value, which has made me become more confident. She always has a long vision in mind and thinks about what the best for me in the long term would be. Even though the application is done, I still chat with her a lot to get advice for my career development.
4. Commitment – Integrity is one of Farrell’s key values. She always gave me candid and straightforward feedback which really improved the quality of my application. She delivered what she promised and never disappointed me even once. It can be scary to let someone else set the pace, but I fully believe in her and recommend her to anyone. You won’t be sorry!
Due to covid-19 and some work issues, I started late to prepare my applications. When I started looking for a consultant, I had not taken the GMAT or TOEFL, and everyone told me that I would not meet the deadlines and that they could not help me, except for Farrell.
After a brief conversation where we talked a bit about me and my goals in life, she said we could do this, I believe in you. We put together a plan to prepare everything in 2 months, and she coached me in everything from my resume to my interviews and helped me to get into Kellogg.
Now that I look past through the process, I could highlight many things, but what I most value about her is two things. First, her empathy, you can feel that she is fully committed in you reaching your goals, she was a partner during the process and she helped me not only in technical things but in the emotional part too – she turned into a friend. She insisted on thinking about my life and helped me in ‘connecting the dots,’ this was crucial for her to know me better and advice where I could stand out, but also for me because I got to know myself better and see my goals clearer – that for me was priceless.
Second, her transparency, she is always going to say what she believes is best for you, even if the truth is not pleasant. This is really important in every part of the application. Because of her experience and intelligence, she will see things that you don’t.
I would totally recommend her if you are looking for a consultant.
7 applications, 7 interviews, 0 dings, 1 life changed forever.
When Farrell and I first started working together, I had a plan, but I was lost. I was following the standard career path for my industry; start in engineering, get an MBA, move into business development. There was nothing in my plan that aligned with who I am or what I believe in. Farrell saw through this, and so would an admissions committee.
We started with introspection and goal setting. We dove deep into my entire life story, not just my professional journey! I told her of the good times that I love to share and the hard times that I’d rather forget. Farrell got to know me better than I know myself. She posed challenging questions that pushed me to my emotional limits but helped me uncover who I am and what I bring as a unique individual.
After learning about who I am, the school choices fell into place. Farrell identified MBA programs that aligned with my goals and pushed me to research each one, connecting me with her past clients who were current students or alums and recommending podcasts and business school guides. It felt like pieces of a puzzle coming together. I could see myself at each institution, working towards a future that would bring me true fulfillment.
After choosing the schools, crafting the essays was next. Farrell has developed a process that is structured and clear. She identified the stories that would bring life to each essay, coaching me to bring out in my writing the unique qualities that I will be able to share with my future classmates. She provided me with untethered feedback, designed to bring out the best in me and my writing, even if I felt the words were tough to hear. We worked through drafts, day and night (it felt like Farrell never took a holiday, she was that committed!) until together we had created something that would show the admissions committee who I truly am in a way that they would really hear.
When I got my first interview invitation, I was over the moon. When I received my 7th interview invitation, I was in shock. Farrell was just as happy as I was, but she wasn’t in shock. She would never lie to make me happy and was always transparent about my chances, but she was confident that she had helped me present myself in a way that made me stand out among a pool of brilliant candidates.
Throughout the interview process, Farrell was dedicated to helping me adapt my story to each individual interview. We outlined anecdotes and fit them into a framework that I will use in interviews for the rest of my life. I recorded myself on video and she provided honest feedback that helped me refine my stories into short, effective responses that captured the key messages that I want to convey. Most importantly, Farrell was my biggest fan and I walked into every interview feeling like I deserved a place on that school’s MBA program.
In the end, I chose to accept an offer from Harvard Business School with offers from Duke, Kellogg, MIT, and Berkeley and waitlists from Yale and Stanford. $25K offer from MIT and $60K from Duke. Great results for someone without any diversity points to speak of and a 720 GMAT.
However, I gained so much more from this process than these results. I learned about who I am, what I bring, and what I will bring me true fulfillment in life. Farrell has been my admissions consultant, my life coach, my harshest critic, my biggest fan, and my best friend, and I’ll forever be in her debt.
I consider myself so lucky to have gotten to work with Farrell, and I know I wouldn’t have gotten into HBS without her help. I came to Farrell in mid-July hoping to apply round 1. In two months, Farrell coached me through taking the GMAT twice, rewriting my resume, submitting three applications, prepping for interviews, and ultimately getting accepted to HBS, MIT, and Darden. Farrell was my therapist, best friend, and toughest critic throughout the process. She insists on a lengthy introspection process before starting the applications, which ensures that she knows you incredibly well and understands your unique strengths / what will make your application stand out. Farrell has a very strong BS detector, and she does not put up with slacking off or not giving her 100%. She makes you work extremely hard (basically a full-time job on top of your day job), but that hard work pays off. And she’s really fun to work with (seriously, I miss our daily calls). If you’re considering working with a consultant, CHOOSE FARRELL!
Farrell will help you get into your dream university. She is a results-oriented professional with track record of success. In my case, I was admitted to both HBS and MIT.
Farrell’s success formula is based on a number of factors that I will list below:
1. She is extremely committed with her clients. Your goal will become her goal. It was incredible to see how much she cared about me getting admitted: even more than my parents! She dedicated time outside her work schedule to think about me and my application, she sent me relevant articles and information very often, she was 24/7 available, she gave feedback with very short turnover time when we were approaching deadlines… You will hardly find anyone so focused in your success.
2. She has a very special quality: she gets to know people very, very well. She will understand your motivations, your personality, your passions, your worries. She will know every side of you. In my opinion, this is the most critical part of the process. She will propose you outlines for the essays that you would never have imagined, ones that will show really well who you are as a person. This is, at the end, what Adcoms are looking for, to get to know you. This quality that Farrell has is very rare.
3. She is very demanding and always seeks excellence. She will bring all your materials to another level. For example, when we started working together, I told her that I thought we didn’t have to work on my Resume. I thought it was already very good, as I had received very good job offers with it. So, I believed it was good enough. However, Farrell told me there was a lot of room for improvement. And there was indeed! We improved formatting, we changed my descriptive sentences to really impactful facts, and we added a personal angle that was missing. The final result was amazing. Actually, I always show to workmates my previous Resume and compare it with my current Resume – everyone is impressed with the big difference. This story was repeated over time with other materials: when I thought something was 99% finished, Farrell came up with ideas to really improve them. This continuous search for excellence makes the difference.
4. She is world class in editing and fine-tuning essays. When I say “world class” I mean “world class”. I have never seen anything similar. My first HBS draft was 1,500 words. I tried to trim the essay, but it was impossible for me to go below 1,400 words without removing relevant content. Farrell took the essay, re-structured it, focused on the important messages, improved the wording, and came up with a 699-word essay that was poetry. It was incredible. The first time I read it I could not believe that was my essay. I used to be a bit pessimistic with my applications, but when I read that essay I felt I had a real shot at interview invitation. I reviewed it thoroughly to find typos or improve some sentences – but had absolutely nothing to add. And ended up being admitted to Harvard.
5. Last, but not least, she is a kind, friendly, and a great person to meet. She made me laugh a lot and we had a lot of fun together. I could expect I might get admitted to a good MBA – but I was not expecting to forge a deep connection with my coach.
I have only worked but one admissions consultant in my life – but I am very sure that there are very few like Farrell. If I had to choose my admission consultant again, I would choose Farrell 1,000 times. Don’t miss the opportunity!
I couldn’t believe it when I received a ding from INSEAD! I thought I had prepared a strong application and was completely confused and clueless about what went wrong and was looking for guidance. I was a bit apprehensive about my GMAT score of 710, but thought my strong application would make up for that. I browsed for days on the net, read reviews of various consultants and finally decided to seek help by reaching out to three consultants, including Farrell. The responses from two consultants were quite generic – try to slightly improve my GMAT score and be more specific in my essays. I got the impression that they had not read my INSEAD essays in detail. Farrell’s view was diametrically opposite. After pouring herself into my essays she sent me an audio clip with her critical comments – and more importantly – she was confident that I had a good chance to enter a top U.S. school and my GMAT score was not an issue! This was a totally new perspective and I was pleasantly surprised. However, still not very certain whether to go ahead or not I did a lot of research online and was impressed with what I found – she had admits in all the top U.S. B-Schools – Wharton, HBS, Stanford – you name it! For the next 2 months I bombarded Farrell with loads of questions. She would respond immediately. Her patience, energy and enthusiasm amazed me! And I had not even engaged her till then! Her passion and zeal finally won me over and I decided to engage her as my coach – this proved to be a turning point and the best decision of my MBA journey! Before diving into the essays, Farrell spent hours trying to understand my professional background and what I hoped to achieve from my MBA. She inundated me with relevant articles, details of events I should attend and with just about anything and everything that would help me get into my dream school. Initially, I was not sure how a lot of things we spent time on would help me, but when I finally got down to writing the essays, I realized how vital it was to spend time on my background and goals and then connect the dots, which Farrell did so successfully. When I was finally done with my essays, my confidence soared seeing the final output and I had the gut feeling that I would get that coveted interview call! When I did get the call Farrell was as excited as me! She pulled out all the plugs for my interview preparation and not only guided me, but even connected me to everyone who could help me prepare, including her previous admits in Wharton. All these efforts paid off and I was over the moon when I got the admit call from Wharton! I am extremely grateful to Farrell for all her help and guidance throughout my MBA journey to Wharton, and highly recommend her services to every MBA aspirant.
As a strategy consultant at BCG, I’m surrounded by colleagues who get into top 10 business schools every year. I thought the application process would be straightforward and something I could manage on my own. I invested quite a lot of time in my R1 HBS and Stanford applications. Much to my surprise, even with a 780 GMAT, I was dinged from both without interview. Only then did I probe a bit more and then learned that almost all of my fellow consultants sought help on their MBA applications. Planning for Round 2, I set up some calls with the big Admissions Consulting companies and also with Farrell. There were three main reasons I chose to work with Farrell: • She was the only consultant who read through my R1 applications and had some feedback already prepared for our consultation call. • She had an honest, direct style. No beating around the bush, it gave me confidence that we wouldn’t waste time. • She is a lot of fun to work with. This is important, your admissions consultant is somebody you are going to spend a lot of time with! We worked together on both of the applications I submitted for Round 2 – Wharton and MIT Sloan, and I got admitted to both! The quality of my applications was unbelievably higher. There are several things where Farrell stands out: • Helping you tell a compelling story. The most important part of the application. Here you really need somebody who knows the nuances between the different programs, will study your past to know you inside and out, and has read thousands of essays. Farrell could always tell me when something would have a positive impact or detract from the value of my candidacy. Furthermore, she can even help you decide what you really want to do after the MBA, which is not always an easy thing to determine. • Keeping track of the global picture of your application and all the details. Every space on the application is an opportunity to tell your story and set yourself apart. And it is very hard to track all these details. Farrell made sure I leveraged all parts of the application to the highest advantage. • Cutting down those essays to meet the word limit. Farrell is world-class talented at this. Being able to include that extra example in your essays can be a deciding factor. • Moral support: Not to be underestimated. It is a long and tortuous process, and I was really grateful to have someone I could rely on to keep me focused and motivated. It is not easy to find a consultant who is really your partner, in your corner to help you in every aspect and even makes it fun. I cannot recommend her strongly enough. Work with Farrell – she will get you into business school.
I thank Farrell whole heartedly for helping me get admitted to INSEAD, my dream B-school, INSEAD. When I found her on GMAT Club, I had already applied to London Business School, and was rejected without getting even an interview. In order to improve my essays and increase the chances to get admitted by my dream school, I decided to go with her, even knowing we on a very tight schedule. Farrell couldn’t have been more helpful and supportive throughout the entire application process, including essay editing, resume preparation, video interview preparation, and later, alumni interview preparation. I also chose to work with her on the Diversity scholarship for INSEAD, and was awarded 10K Euros! She has rich experience in how to tailor candidates’ profiles to each B-school and helped me put all my attractive and unique experiences together. I highly recommend Farrell as your personal MBA Prep coach to get you into your dream school. Cheers, Jiang
I don’t know how I can thank Farrell enough: I have been admitted with a scholarship to Wharton with no GMAT! When I first start preparing my GMAT and researching business schools, I was quite confident. After completing my master’s in Aerospace Engineering, as a French student in the US, I went on to work for a top aviation company in NYC, filling a role generally reserved for engineers almost twice my age. On top of that, I had a leadership position in a non-profit organization. Quite a rare profile in this business world! Well, I could not get above 650 on the GMAT and, after calling dozens of prep coaches, none of them believed in me. They all told me that the top 10 was out of my league. I was devastated until I met Farrell. Farrell is the only one who believed in me. First, she spent hours learning about me, to make sure I chose schools that fit me, and also, where the adcom would appreciate my international background the most. Honestly, this is probably the most important part of the application process and most students neglect it. It is the step that will make your profile unique for a particular program. As you know, the process is extremely long and tiring and you will need someone you can trust to go through this with. For over 8 months (from our free consultation to interviews), Farrell was like either my mom or my bestie. She was making sure I kept myself on track and she was constantly sending me information to make sure I was choosing the right thing for me. She advised me to attend specific events, read articles or watch videos to research schools, so I could create a good fit between my qualifications and what the school valued. She literally thought about everything. Not only did Farrell support me for “deliverable” part of the application (LOR, essays, resume, etc), but she also provided me with moral support. When I was crying and wanted to give up, she comforted me and helped me focus on the next step I needed to take. I took the GMAT several times during our engagement and despite my inability achieve a competitive GMAT score, Farrell made sure I would not lose hope. If you want to have someone to support you in all the different domains, I could not recommend Farrell strongly enough. Despite her website, which might be not be as flashy as those of her competitors, the work she delivers is for sure way more valuable than any of those companies trying to sell you a “customized application.” I honestly and sincerely don’t think that you could find someone as dedicated as Farrell, it is impossible! Farrell also knows all the “hidden tips and tricks” to make your application successful. She advised me to take the GRE, despite my reluctance, and apply to Wharton Lauder, an international joint degree program at Wharton, to increase my chances. Nothing was forgotten! Even for the interview Farrell spent several hours to coach me on my expressions, tone, hand gestures, eye contact…it was amazing! Last week, I was admitted to Wharton…I can’t believe it! After 8 months of labor, sweat, and tears…I owe everything to Farrell, and I will share this joy with her forever. Thank you Bestie! If you are afraid to jump into this, spend one or two hours with her to see what I am talking about, or you can contact me and I would be more than happy to tell you about the best of Miss Farrell. Killian
Simply put, Farrell goes above and beyond what I would ever expect from an MBA prep coach. When I went to her, I had a resume that showed no impact and provided unclear, confusing details of my roles. Farrell was able to show me ways that I had contributed to my company that I had not even realized. She opened my eyes to how to quantify impact and describe problems I had solved in language that would make sense to even people outside of my industry. Apart from working wonders on my resume, Farrell helped me understand more about my professional aspirations. When I first started working with her, I had no real long or short term career goals. She was tough and critical of my inability to articulate what my goals were and motivated me to figure it out. She pushed me to self-reflect and determine goals that aligned with my natural abilities and interests. She was essentially a life coach for me. She helped me craft cohesive essays that told a story of me as a candidate. I had a GMAT score in the low 600s, but with her help, I was able to get in Booth. I could tell that she truly cares about her clients and thinks about them even outside of scheduled appointments. She was constantly shooting me quick emails, interesting job postings, resources about the school I was interested in. When I was getting close to deadline, she went out of her way to accommodate my schedule and get my applications where they needed to be. I would 100% recommend Farrell to anybody seeking a coach.
Farrell was a real life saver in the MBA application process. I first came to her to help me in developing a holistic application that was tailored to my target schools. Her process effectively identified key strengths and weaknesses in my candidacy and developed a strategy to give me the best chance of getting accepted. Two weeks into working with Farrell, I had realized my first choice schools deadline was actually in two weeks, and not in two months as I had originally thought. Farrell immediately sprang to action and made herself available around the clock. We would often have calls as late as 11pm and corresponded constantly through email. While I do not suggest completing an application in just two weeks, Farrell’s dedication and commitment to helping her clients put forth the best application possible is unwavering. With Farrell’s help, I was accepted to my first choice school, Kellogg.
After battling through the MBA applications and essays alone for several months, I decided I needed help. I was targeting some of the most elite schools in the country, and I knew I could not do it alone. I found Farrell through a close friend who was working with her at the time on his MBA essays. I was having trouble framing my message clearly and concisely, and I was looking to gain a perspective outside my own that would help enrich my essays, but still remain true to my story. I would write essays but they would end up being 1,500 words for a 750 words maximum essay or would meander and abruptly end with no strong conclusion. Farrell was a tremendous help in these areas! She helped to focus in on the key message I was trying to create and helped me refine that message over multiple iterations. It was tough and challenging to have your hard work picked apart and analyzed, but that is exactly what the AdCom committee would do, and in the end made my essays stand out. She also was a lifesaver when it came down to helping me minimize my content but retain my message. I cannot tell you how many times she took an essay several hundred words over the essay word limit, and was able to cut out the “fat” but still leave the “meat” of the message. What helped the most out of this entire process was Farrell’s high expectations and belief in me as a candidate. It was tough to go over the same essay multiple times, but in the end I am grateful I did. If I had not, I would have never achieved my dream of attending Wharton. I also realized that through our sessions, that I had the capacity to create good content, but under her guidance and critiques I could truly create great content. Her perspective improved my essays, made my applications stronger, and in the end, also helped me better understand my own writing style. I found Farrell to be an invaluable resource during my MBA application and I would recommend anyone to use her as an MBA Essay Coach.
Long before I started the MBA application process, I knew that I wanted to attend MIT-Sloan. Even though it was my top choice, I was reluctant to apply, given Sloan’s intimidating acceptance rate and the weaknesses in my application profile – sub par undergrad GPA and zero extracurricular involvement. While I was proud of my professional work experience in big tech, I knew it was only valuable to my application in so far as my ability to tell a compelling story. To stand any chance of getting in to Sloan, my application essays and letters of recommendation would have to be exceptional. When I started writing my initial drafts, I really struggled to find my story – faced with broad essay prompts, yet tight word limits. I spent a few weeks shoving as many of my professional accomplishments into 500 words as I could, but it came out sounding scattered, superficial, impersonal. I went to a couple of friends for their thoughts—first, an English teacher and then later a colleague–but neither had the sort of advice I needed to give my essays the dimension they were missing. A colleague recommended that I try an “admissions consultant.” I was hesitant to go this route, after hearing stories of how impersonal and expensive these services could be. When I finally spoke with Farrell, she must’ve sensed my hesitation, so she offered to read through my material before I committed to working with her. Her feedback was so eye-opening and honest. I found it hard to understand why I hadn’t seen it before. After hours of video chat, last-minute proofreads, and candid feedback, I’d come to learn that Farrell has a unique talent for framing context, probing with questions, and smashing through writer’s block to bring out the best in her clients. I’m a procrastinator by nature, but Farrell held me to relentlessly high standards while keeping me motivated and on track. In the end, she helped me transform my essays, resume, optional video, and letters of recommendation into a story of my own personal journey. Best of all, I am so proud that the work is my own! Farrell saw that I had it in me all along–I just needed help finding it. My dream of attending MIT-Sloan is now a reality.
“After finishing college, I worked as a trader for a few years, but realized that that my understanding of the business world was actually quite limited. I spent considerable time looking for a position in another industry, but realized I was extremely pigeon-holed to finance. My Ivy league undergraduate degree often got my foot in the door, but I didn’t have any hard skills I could bring to the table. I decided to submit Round 3 business school applications. I needed to differentiate myself, being overrepresented as a white male with a finance background. I started looking for GMAT Verbal tutors and found Farrell on Craigslist. Farrell raised my Verbal score from 48 to 51 within only 8 hours; I would have spent more time studying but was short on time. Her way of tackling questions was extremely helpful and made me think a lot harder about what I was trying to answer. It was certainly challenging, but Farrell’s combination of motivation and reassurance helped me over that mental block. As a result, I was able to increase my score from 690 to 760 after just one month of studying. I chose Farrell to also serve as my consultant for the entrance applications. Given our previous time spent together, I felt assured that she would give me honest feedback. Farrell challenged me time and time again and pushed me to do better. At the same time, she encouraged me; always stating that I had what it took, and would be accepted to a top 5 MBA program. My originally unfocused essays later became well-developed narratives. With Farrell’s guidance, I was better able to articulate who I was, who I wanted to be, and how I was going to get there. Perhaps the greatest value that Farrell brought to the table was her conciseness; she knows how to say anything in less than 10 words. This proved to be extremely helpful in revising my business school resume, and for future resumes (we still have an ongoing relationship.) We spent a considerable amount of time developing my personal brand. Having a well-developed resume by the time I arrived at business school served me quite well. I found myself ahead of the curve when it came time to write resumes for internship applications, and only needed to make superficial changes. Most of my colleagues at Booth were highly impressed by the quality of my resume. Armed with a 760 GMAT and some well-crafted essays, I was admitted to Kellogg with the offer of a 60K merit-based scholarship, and to Chicago Booth with a merit-based scholarship of 50K. Everyone here at Booth says that getting a merit-based scholarship in the 3rd Round is impossible! I could not have been more fortunate, and I am extremely grateful to have worked with Farrell. She pushed me to do my best, but also provided support and reassurance that I could do it. It was certainly a challenge and required an investment of time, but I am extremely happy to have completed my first year at Chicago Booth. By rebranding myself, and attending a top 5 school, I am now positioned to transition into any industry I so choose. This summer I will be taking part in the Coca-Cola Management Leadership Development Program, which was my first choice among internships.”
This time last year, I had just exited a software startup that I co-founded. After considering my options, I decided to go to business school and started to study for the GMAT. When I had finally taken the test three months later, it dawned on me that my first Round 1 application deadline was only four weeks away! That’s when I called Farrell. I knew I needed help with my application essays. Even though I am skilled at writing technical documents for work, I had no clue what would make for a good personal essay. I was also in the dark about what essay content would capture the attention of the admission committee. And, although I didn’t realize it when I first called Farrell, I wasn’t exactly clear on why business school was the right choice for me. Farrell would always push back on my vague essay drafts, and instead forced me to explore the ‘why.’ She gave me tools and exercises that helped me learn more about myself. These all helped me get clear about my motivations for pursuing an MBA, motivations that shined through in my essay drafts. I was able to attack the essays with more confidence. However, what I valued most was her coaching, and her insistence that I get absolute clarity on my purpose for obtaining an MBA. This helped me frame excellent answers to the “why MBA” essay and interview questions. Thanks to Farrell’s coaching and unforgiving eye for detail, after interviews, I was down to a final decision between Stern and Ross. Farrell graciously arranged for me to speak with her previous clients who had attended each school. Today, I’m proud to say that I’ll be attending NYU-Stern this Fall. I couldn’t be happier, and I couldn’t have done it without Farrell!
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