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Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
Graduate School Admissions
Marketing and PR
Net Promoter Score: 10
Only a handful of Karen’s Kellogg classmates routinely wore shorts to work prior to their MBA. Karen, immersed deep in the startup world, was lucky enough to be one of them.
Karen graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelors in Government, then dove straight into marketing research in Washington, DC. After a few years advising Fortune 500 clients on a range of strategic messaging challenges, she left to become the fourth employee of a startup called Cove. She loved the fast, casual environment and the service: a sweet network of co-working spaces in DC and Boston. However, when the CEO/Founder asked her to put together a detailed budget for all locations, she knew it was time to head back to school and brush up on her business skills.
At Kellogg, Karen held leadership positions the Kellogg Admissions Committee, Net Impact, and Cork & Screw, a club for wine enthusiasts. She fully immersed herself in Chicago’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through internships with a Chicago VC firm and Exelon’s corporate innovation team.
In her spare time, she enjoys the latest celebrity gossip, testing new vegan recipes, and pretending to train for half marathons.
As someone with a somewhat non-traditional background, Karen loves working with applicants who need some help standing out from the crowd.
Admissionado is a results-driven MBA admissions consulting agency. We have a lust for smart ideas and tactics that – quite simply – work. We embrace a two-person specialty approach to consulting, leveraging the talents of strategic business geniuses with masters of writing. Browse through our website to get a sense of our style, our process, our team, and our case studies. We’re a no-nonsense crew, committed to delivering a boutique experience that stretches potential and earns admit letters.
We offer three different packages to accommodate individuals with different needs and budgets. Our Gold and Platinum packages include everything under the sun: deep strategic guidance plus comprehensive essay development, along with all the supporting elements such as interview prep, resume and LOR support, and unlimited access to your MBA consultant. We also offer a more economical Silver package (starting at $3,250) for those who prefer a more targeted experience: deep strategy plus comprehensive essay development (and the flexibility to add on any individual elements as needed).
Chicago, Illinois, United States
10=Without Hesitation, 1=I would advise against it.
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Working with Karen–and the entire Admissionado team– was truly a blessing and a highlight of my MBA application experience. As a Kellogg applicant, Karen’s clear pride and deep experience with the program made her the only consultant I wanted to work with, and she did not disappoint. From our initial Zoom call, Karen listened intently and openly to my story, asking nuanced questions to understand what made me unique, and how I could best craft my story in a memorable way for the adcom, and then summarized it eloquently and succinctly in an Action Plan that felt realistic. She was kind, very open to hearing new ideas or processing new additions to my essay drafts, and was consistently in my corner. I felt completely comfortable with her and truly felt the always thoughtful suggestions and feedback she gave came from her true desire to see me succeed. Karen is in many ways an ideal consultant–she provides frameworks to help you articulate yourself, steps back, and gives encouragement while you do the work crafting your essays. I can’t imagine navigating the process without her steady presence, and the extremely valuable due dates she set. When I was admitted, Karen and the entire team were genuinely cheering for my success, and I know that they played an instrumental role in helping me craft an application I felt proud of, admit or not.
Karen is an amazing person to collaborate with on business school applications! I’m heading to Stanford this fall and I’m grateful to Karen for being instrumental to my application journey.
From the moment I met Karen during our first get-to-know call, she listened intently to my story, my dreams, and why I wanted to pursue an MBA. I felt that she genuinely took the time to know me as a person beyond stats, resume headlines, and extra-curricular catchphrases. It made me comfortable to share deeper, more personal anecdotes of my history and see her as a true ally from the get-go.
From then, during the actual application strategy and writing process, Karen perfectly complemented my creative, idea-loaded style of writing with her structured, laser-focused approach, quickly pointing out details she felt were “relevant” vs. “noise”. I don’t know if I would have been able to come up with tight-knit, coherent essays if Karen weren’t there as a thought partner. Case in point: I had new creative ideas and stories I wanted to bring in the project almost every week during the first month and Karen took the time to brainstorm each concept with me!
Beyond that, Karen is reliable, always on time, and easy to work with. She was never late to our working sessions and never failed to give timely feedback on my essay drafts based on timelines we agreed on. I knew Karen had my back throughout the process. Even during the decisions stage, Karen and the broader Admissionado team were always there. Aside from content, they became great morale boosters, cheering me on when I received interview invites and acceptance letters and consoling me when I received rejections.
I personally really enjoyed working with Karen and highly recommend her to future MBA applicants!
When it comes to business school counselors, Karen was everything I dreamed of and more. Her comments on my essays were extremely insightful and she was always available whenever I needed help. Following an initial Zoom session, Karen helped me sift through all of my professional and personal experiences to really create a cohesive narrative throughout my application, making the process fun and interesting.
I could describe our process more but the results speak for themselves. I was accepted to both institutions I applied to with scholarships. If given the chance, I highly recommend working with Karen!
Coming from a non-traditional MBA applicant background, I was immediately aware of the gaps I had in my application and the help I would need to close them. I needed someone who could not only counteract my weaknesses (low undergraduate GPA and unique background) but could help me speak to my strengths. After interviewing multiple firms, I was incredibly lucky to find Karen and the entire Admissionado team. From day one they dove into my story with intense rigor and positivity. It seemed like I was the only person Karen was working with due to the speed and kindness in which she always responded with. Each time I took the GMAT, Karen and the entire team reached out with words of encouragement and celebrated with me when I received my highest score. I truly felt like they were my teammates!
Karen was by far the greatest coach and teacher I could have asked for. She took the time to listen to every life and work experience that I felt could build my story, then gave constructive and timely feedback. She was always honest and straightforward, which is so appreciated when building an application and working full time. Karen was also always calm when I was worried about essays/scores/news articles about my application round competition… and extremely flexible with meeting times which occasionally needed to change due to my work. When I was struggling with my essays, she took the time to brainstorm and discuss possible changes prior to the editing rounds. She even practiced video interviews with me on December 26th!
Karen became such an integral part of my application process and I truly do not believe I would be heading to Cornell this fall without her. If you are looking for someone who is so incredibly kind, intelligent, and caring, stop looking and work with Karen!
After I was waitlisted at two schools, I retained Admissionado’s services to help me navigate the waitlist process. Karen was very helpful in identifying whether there were any gaps in my application, and what more the schools may be interested in seeing from me. In addition to helping me craft and edit submissions, Karen was very responsive throughout the process when I had questions about how to communicate with the admissions committees. The waitlist process can be opaque and filled with uncertainty, so I very much appreciated her insights from her past experience with the admissions committee at Kellogg.
With this help, I was accepted to my top choice school. While I can’t say for sure whether I would have gotten in without this help, it is definitely true that Karen and Admissionado helped me position myself as well as I could and gave me confidence that my application was as strong as possible. I also want to note that Admissionado was willing to tailor their pricing for my specific needs and situation. I appreciated that flexibility and the fact that Admissionado helped me derive the maximum amount of benefit I could from their services. Overall, I would certainly recommend using Admissionado’s services.
I can’t speak highly enough of my experience working with Karen Doster and the Admissionado team. Let’s be honest, the application process is daunting, though with Karen’s expertise I knew I was in good hands.
For me, the hardest part was getting my story of why an MBA and why now dialed in as I, in my opinion, had a very convoluted path with non-traditional work experience and a non-typical undergraduate degree. That is where Karen and Admissionado shined. With a few Skype calls, Karen was able to pull bits and pieces out of me and help weave them into a cogent story that flowed with my goals. It was seriously impressive how well she understood the kind of person I am and what my path has been leading up to the business school to help me get my story tightly knit.
Throughout the few months we worked together, we exchanged dozens of emails. Her response time was always lightning quick, which is incredibly important considering we are all fighting the clock to meet the application deadlines.
What I really liked was that she was honest with her feedback. If something was working, she would give encouragement and help me explore the idea further. More importantly, if something wasn’t working, she would point it out and tell me why it wasn’t working and help me steer the boat in a new direction. I really think that her ability to give candid and honest feedback is such an integral part of the process.
If I had to go through the admission process again I wouldn’t change a thing. Working with Karen and Admissionado brought a ton of clarity, direction, and value to the process. I ended up getting admitted to my top choice — with a scholarship!
Karen is amazing. She took the time to get to know me way beyond my resume and her assessment of my strengths and weaknesses was spot on. She was able to help me put my best foot forward and focus on the aspects of my application that were unique and would matter most to the adcom. She worked around the clock to make sure I had what I needed and even replied within 15 minutes one Saturday when I needed something answered urgently. After I was accepted into Kellogg, she went above and beyond and sent me a list of recommendations based on my career interests. I highly recommend working with Karen!
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