Lainie Blum Cogan

Sr. Admissions Consultant & Director

Menlo Coaching

Amsterdam

Netherlands

Net Promoter Score: 10

Consultant Bio

In her 14-year career as an admissions consultant, Lainie has helped hundreds of candidates from around the globe gain admission to top MBA programs. A former teacher and published author, Lainie takes great pleasure in getting to know her clients personally and helping them present their unique stories through the MBA application.

I want to work with a consultant who understands non-traditional applicants.

In addition to working with candidates in traditional fields (consulting, finance, and industry), Lainie has years of experience helping military officers, engineers, lawyers, non-profit entrepreneurs, and many other career-changers make their MBA dreams come true. She truly understands the analytical, business, and leadership skills these candidates bring and helps to highlight their added value to prospective business school cohorts.

I want to work with a consultant who can help me uncover and frame the right personal story for my candidacy.

Admissions officers want to understand how your experiences and personal values have shaped your professional life and your future goals. This reflective component of the application does not come naturally to most applicants, and crafting compelling stories in an authentic voice is one of the most difficult undertakings in MBA admissions. Lainie’s patience, open-mindedness, and curiosity will leave no stone unturned in developing a cohesive narrative that ties your application together. From brainstorming and data mining to crafting unique, effective essays, Lainie will help you discover – and present to the AdComs – what makes you, your career path, and your dreams to change the world so special.

I want to work with a consultant who will accommodate my busy schedule and manage the process to empower me to deliver my best.

Always calm, direct, and responsive, Lainie will help you cross the finish line with maximal efficiency, minimal stress, and optimal results. You will always feel that you are her top priority.

I want to work with a consultant who can connect me to a network of former clients from all the best programs in a wide variety of professional fields.

Lainie’s personal network spans 14 years, a dozen countries of origin, every top MBA program, and a variety of professional fields. She will connect you with invaluable resources to advise your career path and strengthen your school research.

I want a consultant who can help me apply to a double-degree program.

Lainie has years of experience helping clients like you gain admission to such programs as MIT LGO, Kellogg MMM, Harvard’s MS/MBA, MBA programs that partner with the Harvard Kennedy School, and more. She can help you weigh the benefits of applying to specialized programs and to present your unique qualifications in the best possible way.

Company Information

If you want to do everything you can to win admission to a top MBA program, and you are ready to do the hard work involved in building your profile and creating great applications, Menlo Coaching can help. We have high standards and will push you hard to uncover every detail that will help you to find your voice and tell your story in the most compelling way possible.

You will never have a blind spot when you work with us. We visit campuses, interview admissions directors (see our blog), and employ a network of students to give us candid feedback about their MBA programs. We know the things that aren’t always discussed openly, like how schools manage their rankings, the side channels through which schools receive feedback on applicants, and more.

Our services combine unlimited 1:1 coaching with a self-paced curriculum that allows you to learn the basics in a way that fits your incredibly busy schedule. We also bring you together with other applicants to build your MBA network and keep your motivation high throughout the process.

To ensure the highest quality of service, we accept only a limited number of clients each year so that we can keep a low ratio of clients to coaches. Contact us as soon as you have committed to pursuing an MBA and want to maximize your odds of acceptance.

Menu of Services and Associated Costs

We support applicants across all stages of an MBA application: planning your career goals, selecting schools that will help you achieve those goals, networking effectively with students, staff and alumni, identifying your personal story, and telling it across the many essays, application forms, resumes, and recommendations. Our structured approach means that you’ll always know the answer to the question “What should I be doing NOW to improve my odds of acceptance?”

Our interview preparation combines mock interviews, tailored to each school’s format, with communications training provided by former professional actors. You’ll overcome your interview nerves and will feel confident, authentic and relaxed on the day of the interview.

Even after the interview, we work with you to negotiate your merit-based aid. Although we cannot promise an award for any particular candidate, our clients have received millions of dollars of additional awards based directly on our negotiating strategies.

Finally, we love helping future-year applicants to build their MBA profiles through our “Early Birds” program because taking the right steps now will give you an edge in the competitive application process later.

Location: Amsterdam Netherlands

Email: lainie@menlocoaching.com

Website: http://menlocoaching.com/

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P&Q Consultant Reviews

  • Applying To MBA & Need Help? Lainie Will Be Your Best Shot
    12 months ago
    If you are currently working towards 2024 admissions cycle, or thinking about 2025 admissions cycle, and you aren't sure how to put all of your materials together to present it to the adcom in a cohesive/comprehensive manner, then I highly encourage you to reach out to Menlo Coaching and ask for Lainie's availability for two reasons (1) her expertise and knowledge in crafting a successful application (2) her professional commitment to be available and also be kind throughout this arduous process. Lainie was able to dissect, analyze, and formulate all the components that an applicant needs to be a competitive candidate for each of the specific schools that I wanted to apply to (M7s and T15s). She first took her time and effort in learning ...
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    Class of 2025 Admit
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  • If You Want M7 - Look No Further Than Lainie!
    1 year ago
    Lainie helped make my dreams come true - simple as that! The unconditional support, mentorship, advice, and constructive feedback that she provided me with were monumental in helping me secure an offer at my dream school - CBS in New York! I was originally very stressed about managing application work, exam studying, my current job, and physical therapy from a significant injury but Lainie helped me build out a schedule that was tailored to my needs and goals. She is the most organized person I have worked with and was there for me 24/7 with any questions I asked (which were a ton)! Whether it came down to helping decide which schools to apply to, which exam (GMAT, GRE, EA) I should take, or which topics ...
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    Class of 2025 Admit
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  • Lainie Is A Gem!
    1 year ago
    As an R2 applicant, who only decided to consider pursuing an MBA in early October, I genuinely don’t know if I could have pulled off completing the application process without Lainie’s help, and I am sure I would not have seen nearly the same results. Now on the other end of the process, I have five full tuitions (including named fellowships/special programming) offered to T15 and M7 schools. Lainie worked hard to understand my story, both in regard to my career path so far and my hopes for the future. It was so helpful to hear her perspective on how to craft a narrative that would connect with admissions officers, and her feedback on my writing helped me consider new perspectives and better draw the trajectory ...
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    Class of 2025 Admit
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  • Lainie Is The Best!
    1 year ago
    Lainie was the most thoughtful, considerate, and supportive coach I could have asked for. In my applications, I could tell that she really cared about making my story come across authentically, in my own voice - while appealing to the admissions committees. Outside of my written applications, she was so supportive, provided thoughtful advice on my path, and was the person I could turn to for all my unanswered questions. I applied to MBA programs for the class of 2025. I was admitted to Wharton, Darden, and Yale... with scholarships, among others. I'm incredibly grateful for all the help she provided and would do it all over again!!
    Class of 2025 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Lainie & The Menlo Team Are EXCELLENT
    1 year ago
    If you’re looking for a best-in-class consultant to help with your MBA applications, look no further than Lainie and the Menlo team. I received multiple offers of admission and am thrilled to be attending UC Berkeley Haas for the 2025 cycle. Being the first person in my family to earn an MBA and coming from a non-traditional nonprofit background, I’m not sure that I would have ended up at Haas without Lainie and the incredible team at Menlo. If I could give Lainie and Menlo 6 stars, I would. Working with them was a complete game-changer for me during the application process. To start, the structure, quality, and quantity of resources provided by Menlo are incredibly helpful and exhaustive and make every aspect of the ...
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    Class of 2025 Admit
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  • You Need Lainie!!!
    1 year ago
    I cannot speak highly enough of my experience working with Lainie and the Menlo Coaching team! I started working with Lainie for Round 1 admissions in April 2022, and she was with me every step of the way from school selection, resume building, essay writing, interview practice, and scholarship negotiations - and all other moments of stress and nerves. It was easy to forget that I actually wasn’t her only client; Lainie is that focused on you, and becomes an expert on every facet of you throughout the time you work with her. I was initially a puddle of nerves and insecurity, but Lainie patiently guided me throughout the whole process with concrete milestones and a plan so that I never felt overwhelmed or like I ...
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    Class of 2025 Admit
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  • Lainie Is The Absolute Best - I Could Not Have Done It Without Her
    1 year ago
    I worked with Lainie for the class of 2025 applications and had a wonderful experience. I’ve been accepted to HBS and Wharton (with a large scholarship) in R1, and could not have done it without her! Lainie is always responsive, timely, and honest. She is a perfectionist and isn’t afraid to push me on areas where I needed improvement. Her 15+ years of experience in being an admissions consultant really showed throughout the application process, because she knew what story would resonate with admissions and what would be considered “generic”. She also helped me a ton during the interview stage and always took the time to do mock interviews with me. She is truly outstanding. Most importantly, she gave me confidence. I knew ...
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    Class of 2025 Admit
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