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Sr. Admissions Consultant
Leslie has studied at Stanford and the University of Oxford and earned her Ph.D. in English at U.C. Berkeley. She taught writing at U.C. Berkeley and Stanford and has considerable experience helping students craft persuasive essays. In her role as Academic Director at Stanford, she counseled students who were planning their academic careers and putting together applications to graduate and professional schools. She also served on grant and fellowship committees and helped students draft successful research grant proposals and scholarship essays.
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 pursue an MBA and want to maximize your odds of acceptance.
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.
Palo Alto United States
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I had the pleasure of working with Leslie on my R1 apps (Class of 2025) for HBS, Stanford, and Wharton. I’ve had a few months to reflect on my Harvard and Wharton acceptances and sincerely believe that this would not have been possible without Leslie as my coach!
HBS has been a dream of mine ever since I was in college, and I had applied twice (unsuccessfully) before for the 2+2 programme. Given my slightly tricky re-applicant history and the fact that I was in a hyper-competitive applicant bucket (Indian Male), I knew that I had to go with the best consultant for my third, and likely final, time applying to HBS. I could list countless examples that showcase why you should pick Menlo and Leslie for your MBA journey but the 4 most important factors for you to consider are:
1. A Partner in your MBA journey and not an instructor
• I started the MBA application journey in Feb ’22 and over the course of 6-7 months, I felt Leslie was an invaluable partner in the journey. I always felt like Leslie was rooting for me and that our successes were intertwined.
• Not once did I feel like I was simply paying for a service where I was spoon-fed and told what to do. Leslie always wanted to showcase my voice, authenticity, and tone in all components of the application, and this meant I always had to have an active role in driving the story forward. This was an important consideration for me because I wanted to come across as genuine and considered, and also wanted my voice to come through in the essays.
• Leslie, and the rest of the Menlo team, have been doing this for several years with 100s of applicants. This allowed Leslie to share unique data-driven perspectives and expertise whenever I asked questions about the application process, what is right/wrong, what the admissions committee is looking for, etc.
2. Unlimited support and their number 1 priority
• Leslie was always available for me whenever I needed her. I know she had other clients too but anytime I had a question I knew I could reach out to Leslie and I’d be able to get on a call within a day or get an e-mail response a few hours later. Whether it was a holiday or a weekend, I could always get Leslie’s input if I needed to!
• Leslie was also based in a different time zone (West Coast) than me (UK), which was a cause for concern for me at the beginning but ended up being one key reason why our partnership worked so well. I could send my drafts in EOD UK time and have Leslie’s feedback, changes, and comments back in my inbox the next morning because Leslie was 8 hours behind me.
• Although you are assigned 1 Menlo coach, throughout the application process, I always felt like I had an entire team behind me. For instance, Alice, Menlo’s Founder, jumped in to review essay drafts that were in their final stages and also helped shape my career goals statement. I also had several conversations with Alice 1:1 that involved strategizing and brainstorming about how I could gain an edge despite being in a competitive bucket. During the mock interview stage, I was interviewed by Alice and Leslie, each structuring their mock HBS interviews in a way that mitigated different gaps. Finally, for the Wharton TBD, I was able to do a mock interview with David, the co-founder of Menlo, and other Menlo clients.
• Over several months, I always felt like I was Menlo’s #1 priority despite them having several other clients who were all applying to similar schools. I know several of my friends used other Admissions Consultants and only had their ‘coach’ to lean on.
3. Hand-holding if you are in a busy job
• I work in a job with long hours (MBB) and I wanted to work with a consultant that offered a bit more hand-holding along the journey than others. Upon speaking to several former Menlo clients I was told that Leslie/Menlo will ensure you stay on track by gently nudging you and checking in with you regularly to ensure you aren’t falling behind.
• In fact, I finished all my applications with a few days to spare, and Leslie was a big reason for that! Furthermore, when I had particularly busy weeks at work, Leslie suggested I make progress on other parts of the application that weren’t as time/effort intensive and to come back to my essays when things cooled down at work.
4. Leslie will do what’s right for you, not what’s easy for Menlo
• Firstly, there were times when I had a strong point of view about how my essays should end or what to include/exclude from the story. On the few occasions where Leslie categorically disagreed with me, she was not afraid to say so and explain why, whilst also leveraging her experience in the past with other applicants. Although it would’ve been easier for Leslie/Menlo to keep me happier by agreeing with me, they were not scared to tell me when they disagreed with me, which ultimately led to a better essay.
• Secondly, I went through 20+ iterations of my HBS essay with Leslie until we both felt it was perfect. Although it was difficult to constantly make changes and build upon previous drafts, the fact that Leslie kept pushing me to refine my stories and content further allowed me to pull out key details that allowed me to showcase who I am as a person and applicant more effectively. Given draft 10 may not have been significantly different than draft 20, I know it would’ve been easier for Leslie to not request additional builds but she pushed me and added work on to her own plate until she knew the essays were acceptable.
I had an amazing experience working with Leslie. Being from Belgium and willing to embark on an MBA on the west coast of the United States, I reached out to Menlo quite late in the process when I realized that I knew too little about this very particular environment. Knowing that the competition is fierce to embark on a top MBA program in the US, I wanted to improve my odds and this is exactly what Menlo will provide you. With their intimate knowledge of the different MBA programs and their very professional planning, Menlo coaches like Leslie will walk you through the tricky and stressful application process with confidence and professionalism. Leslie, via her countless feedback, will definitely encourage you to elevate yourself and make the difference between a good and a great application.
Even though Leslie and I had a time zone difference of 9 hours, it never impacted the tight schedule to get my applications ready in time. It felt like Leslie was available 24/7. I could reach out to her during weekends, early mornings, evenings, and even during the holiday period which was particularly important since I applied in round 2.
Menlo Coaching is a full-service package with no limit on the hours they spend to help you. They only select candidates in which they believe and will do their uttermost to have you admitted to your dream school. This goes from the school selection, the essay writings and edits, the very important and sometimes forgotten interview preparations with multiple coaches, and finally the scholarship application. This full-service package implies a premium on the fee that made me first hesitant to embark on this journey with Menlo. But looking back, I’m confident that I made the right choice to get support from Leslie who pushed me to surpass myself and go to the essence of my story. The outcome was very positive. I was admitted to my dream school, Haas, as well as another program with an impressive merit-based scholarship. With the counsel of Leslie, I was able to negotiate my scholarship at Haas which offered me a generous amount covering more than all the costs of my application. Applying for a top MBA program is a long and tedious journey and the support of a coach like Leslie is definitely worth the price.
I sincerely recommend Leslie and the Menlo team to anybody serious about getting into his or her dream program. It makes the difference!
Choosing to work with Menlo coaching was the best choice I made and getting accepted to both my top choices with scholarships proves it!
When you work with Menlo you get the impression that you are their only customer and top priority. Even though Leslie and I are in different time zones, I never even noticed. Weekends, early mornings, evenings, it felt as though she was available 24/7 and responses were almost instantaneous.
They guide you through the process from A to Z with a systematic approach and without the stress and panic. Their knowledge, expertise, and commitment to your success are unmatched. From helping you choose schools, narrow down your career goals, writing essays, video interviews, in-person interviews, and scholarship applications, there isn’t anything they can’t do.
Choosing to apply 3 weeks before the deadline didn’t matter. Leslie kept me calm and ensured that everything was done on time, but more importantly, that I provided an output that I can be proud to submit.
Even though I worked mostly with Leslie, from day 1 both Leslie and David took the time to get to know me and my goals and provide valuable insight and guidance. I felt like I had an entire team devoted to me to ensure that I can shine throughout the entire application process.
Their expertise and large network not only helped provide guidance on choosing my second school (which I chose to attend), they also put me in contact with others that work in related fields to my career goals, providing clarity on my career choices and allowing me to build my network right from the start
The application process is stressful, tricky and there are so many moving parts. If you want to ensure your success, choose to work with the Menlo team!
I am so glad that I chose to work with Menlo and they helped me got into my dream school. My friend referred me to Menlo because of her wonderful experience working with Alice last year. I started working with Menlo about one month before the deadline. The time frame is really tight but working with Leslie has put away a lot of stress. She is super diligent, responsive and personable. She has answered all of my questions no matter how small it might be, usually within hours. She is also an alum of my dream school so she could offer a lot of valuable insights. I am very happy that we happen to be in the same time zone, so I feel like she is there with me 24/7. Leslie has guided me through this whole application every step of the way so there’s no time or room for stress or panic. I am not always the most disciplined person so I really appreciate Menlo’s systematic approach to demystify this process. Leslie is the most caring, kind and responsible consultant that I can think of! I feel very fortunate to have met her!!!
Even though I worked mainly with Leslie, I also feel like I have everyone from Menlo on my team. Alice helped me narrow down my application school lists based on my profile during our first call. She always pitches in and offers some valuable advice from time to time. David has helped me with all the interview prep and is so much fun to work with! I love everyone at Menlo and feel very happy to be a part of this community.
Leslie and the broader Menlo team are the best in the business! I reached out to the Menlo team only months before the Round 2 deadline, and their dedication and expertise were critical for getting my applications over-the-line. I wish that I had worked with them from the early days of my process, and I recommend reaching out to them early to secure their help and take advantage of their expertise from Day 1.
In terms of the essay process, I had a clear idea of my narrative but struggled with putting it on a page. Leslie guided me through the writing process with her invaluable advice and helped me to find my voice as I crafted my essays. Not only did she help me complete my essays on time but I walked away from the process proud of my output. I couldn’t have asked for a better consultant to work with! I highly recommend Alice and the Menlo team if you want to work with the best.
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