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Graduate School Admissions
Nonprofit and Social Enterprise
Wharton at University of Pennsylvania
Personal MBA Coach
Net Promoter Score: 9
MJ has served in senior admissions leadership roles at top business schools, including The Wharton School of Business, UCLA Anderson, and the International University of Moscow – Russia. She served as Admissions Director at The Wharton School of Business and as an assistant dean in Admissions at UCLA Anderson. At the International University at Moscow, MJ taught Organizational Behavior, International Trade, and Negotiations to MBA and undergraduate business students.
During her time in admissions, MJ served on boards and committees for the General Management Admissions Council (GMAC), the Forté Foundation, the MBA Tour, and others. She regularly spoke on panels and made presentations to alumni and prospective MBA students around the globe. She was also featured in Business Week, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, China Post, and others.
MJ earned baccalaureate degrees in Economics and History from Guilford College and Arizona State University, respectively, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She also earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University in New York City.
In her free time, MJ is an active volunteer in the community. A lover of gourmet coffee, she can frequently be spotted spending time with friends at local coffee shops.
Personal MBA Coach was founded in 2008 to offer a boutique and personalized level of application support unavailable at other firms. Our approach is unique and, unlike with many other consultancies, you will not be handed off to a junior consultant who works with a few clients a year and has limited insight into the application process. All Personal MBA Coach clients work directly with our founder, Scott Edinburgh or a former M7 admissions director. This means you work directly with an expert throughout the entire process.
Personal MBA Coach helps clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing, and mock interviews. Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and former M7 admissions interviewers. We work with a select number of applicants each year and place them into the best MBA, EMBA, part-time MBA and other graduate school programs.
Our clients not only get admitted, but many also receive substantial scholarships. Last year our clients received over $6.5M in merit scholarships.
While most applicants work through a comprehensive admissions package, we offer a full suite of services including:
Comprehensive MBA Application Support including:
Early MBA Planning
GMAT, GRE and EA 1:1 Tutoring
A la Carte Admissions Consulting Services:
Scholarship Advice and Scholarship Essay Editing
MBA Application Gut Check
If you are truly dedicated to getting into a great school, we will walk you step-by-step through the process.
California, United States
10=Without Hesitation, 1=I would advise against it.
Select "N/A" if you are a career coaching client only.
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MJ played a pivotal role in my successful application to Stanford GSB MSx program. Her expertise and guidance were instrumental in helping me articulate my goals with precision and structure. She assisted me in crafting an objective-focused curriculum that highlighted my strengths, and her support in refining my essays and interview preparation brought out the best in me. MJ’s personalized approach and strategic insights significantly contributed to my acceptance. Highly recommended for anyone seeking tailored and effective coaching for top-tier business school admissions.
MJ and the Personal MBA Coach team were instrumental in my admission success. MJ is knowledgeable and honest and provides actionable feedback. She really helped me believe that I could and would get into business school (I have a non-traditional MBA work background). The Personal MBA Coach essay reviewers made writing multiple essays less painful and greatly improved their quality. I recommend them highly!
I loved working with MJ. As someone who does not do a lot of writing in my work and who has been out of school for a while having MJ to support me through the application process was vital. She was incredibly responsive and patient, and gave me very clear feedback and guidelines. I especially appreciated her help with my essays, as I found writing them to be the most difficult part of the entire process.
I really enjoyed working with MJ last fall, particularly for my Wharton interview. I attended a group practice TBD that she hosted and I found it extremely helpful. We also did one on one coaching. I went to my interview, feeling very prepared and confident, and I just started at Wharton this fall! Hiring a consultant is definitely an investment, but for me it paid off significantly.
MJ helped me prepare for Wharton’s team based interview. She broke down what I needed to concentrate on, provided detailed and personalized feedback, and demystified the process for me. It made me feel comfortable and confident going into the interview, and I would not have had the success I did if it was not for her.
MJ’s experience, ample availability, helpful tips, and thorough interview prep helped me with expressing the pivot of my distinctly non-formal business background as a set of viable goals post-graduation. I applied to 7 T10 programs and was admitted to my top 3 choices, including Chicago Booth. I would absolutely recommend MJ’s services for anyone, but especially those who may be concerned with their background and stats. Thank you, MJ!
MJ was my coach and she was fantastic to work with. She was incredibly patient and straight forward. She helped me tease out key parts of my story and articulate it in a clear and transparent way. I could not have put together a better application without her. I would highly encourage anyone applying to business school to consider working with MJ.
I considered working with an MBA consultant because 1) I didn’t feel very confident based on my non-business and frankly, not super impressive, background and 2) I didn’t start my MBA application or GMAT studying in earnest until July and was determined to apply round 1. I ended up getting into 4/4 MBA programs I applied to, with full funding at 3/4 of them (2 were top 10, 2 were top 20 programs). Working with MJ and her team was definitely an investment, but I consider it well worth it given the results and the peace of mind I had throughout the process. I also applied to a dual degree program, and even though I didn’t directly work with personal MBA coach on that application, I know working with them helped me significantly. I got into that program too with a combined full ride for the dual degree. I opted to work with MJ because we had some similar academic/professional experiences/interests. To be honest, she came off a bit intimidating to me. I sometimes found it tough to open up to her, but I also knew that her demeanor and feedback would help me sharpen my essays and interviewing, since interviewers aren’t always warm/friendly. It was really helpful to talk through questions that weren’t even necessarily built into the package, like whether I should retake the GMAT. She advised me to, and I’m glad I did, because I increased my score by 20 points!
MJ helped prep me for an interview with Anderson for the part-time program. MJ was very familiar with Anderson and the types of questions to expect. She provided great feedback that helped me to feel more confident going into interviews. The interview went great! I was so happy to have prepped with MJ. I was accepted with a scholarship to Anderson’s part-time MBA program.
I worked with MJ to prepare for my interview with UCLA. Her feedback was very intentional and thoughtful. It was very easy to incorporate her feedback into my practice afterward, and I felt much more confident going into my actual interview. Safe to say that her prep added tremendous value as I was accepted with a full merit scholarship!
Truly an investment that is worth every penny: Scott, MJ, and the Personal MBA Coach team were an absolutely amazing resource for tying together my application package. MJ was a huge value for candid feedback on a mock interview for Wharton’s TBD – a much different interview style than most schools.
MJ helped me prepare for my Wharton interview. She is very knowledgeable and was able to give me candid and detailed feedback after our mock interview. Thanks to her help, I was able to improve my performance during the actual TBD and get accepted into Wharton. I would highly recommend MJ’s mock TBD sessions.
My experience working with MJ Shores, Scott Edinburgh and the entire Personal MBA Coach Team far exceeded my expectations. MJ especially was my lifesaver during the MBA prep and application process! She was helpful, generous with her time, and went above and beyond to provide unmatched support during the entire process. With the support of MJ and the rest of the Personal MBA Coach Team I was admitted into an M7 school, and my top pick. I truly don’t believe I could have done it without them.
MJ helped me prepare for my HBS interview, and I left our session feeling much more confident about nailing the real interview. She made sure to go over my resume in great detail to prepare for the probing questions that the interviewers were expected to ask, and helped me hone my answers to be more concise and impactful. I went into the interview knowing exactly what to expect, which helped calm my nerves tremendously. My interview ended up going very well, and I was ultimately accepted to HBS. I couldn’t be happier with my experience with MJ, and would highly recommend her!
MJ helped me prepare for the interviews with HBS and Wharton! She was very helpful and gave me a lot of great tips. She even stayed longer than our scheduled mock interview time to answer any of my questions. Really above and beyond! I eventually got an offer from both HBS and Wharton. Super recommend!
MJ was one of the best personal coaches I have met! She was very thoughtful in preparing me for both Wharton and Haas interviews and I managed to get admission to Haas because of her personalized guidance! I highly recommend her!
Working with Personal MBA Coach was an incredible experience. The whole team is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. With experience in the Middle East and Europe, I was successful in my applications to multiple M7 deferred MBA programs. Personal MBA Coach provided me with structured guidance and tools to prepare for interviews, applications and jobs. The team is always available (7 days/week 24 hours) and very committed to helping you and answering all of your questions. There is a dedicated one Personal MBA Coach consultant that shapes the overall experience when you work with them, yet Personal MBA Coach broader team has former M7 adcom experts when needed. When I had doubts about my abilities, the whole team motivated me and encouraged me so much! Personal MBA Coach brought the best out of me and challenged me to continuously reassess and reflect on myself so that I can convey my true self when applying. With extensive experience and expertise, the team is so professional, genuine, detailed and authentic when providing advice on how to improve. Thank you with all my heart! I highly recommend Personal MBA Coach to anyone thinking of applying for an MBA!!
I worked with Personal MBA Coach for my Wharton mock reviews. The simulation of the mock was as close to the real thing as possible. Moreover, the level of detailed feedback I got from MJ over my performance in the mock, and what to improve on in both the team and individual interviews was spot on. I knew exactly what items I had to take action on and improve upon. I even sent follow-up questions to MJ after the interview experience was over, and her professionalism in answering my questions with care and detail is definitely something I am highly appreciative of. 10/10 would recommend
Working with MJ exponentially increased the quality of my applications at Kellogg and Booth PT programs. She is knowledgeable and always has precious insights, fundamental for the quality of your story throughout all the application material. The mock 1:1 session interview preparations really was the ice on the cake after all the work was done. Absolutely recommend her.
In the end, I was admitted to all the schools I applied to (PT Kellogg and PT Booth), even getting a scholarship ($$) from one of them, with MJ and Personal MBA Coach’s help.
I worked with Personal MBA Coach for a mock Wharton TBD and it helped me immensely. It helped confirm certain behaviors that would be helpful to double down on, what I should express more and what I could do better. My 1:1 session with MJ Shores was even more helpful as she helped me trim the fat from my interview responses and make them more succinct and clean. Scott Edinburgh was also incredibly prompt and on top of things, particularly since I booked and prepared very last-minute. PMC and MJ’s support was super helpful and enabled me to feel much more confident and prepared for the TBD.
I’ve known MJ through Personal MBA Coach’s TBD mock interview prep. I’ve joined a couple of mocks with other candidates before. However, I wasn’t sure whether my performance was good enough for the real interview. I’ve connected with Scott at the Personal MBA Coach and he introduced me to MJ for a mock session. After the session, we held an amazing feedback session in which she touched on my personal and technical performance. Even after our conversation, she sent a very detailed written feedback for me. It was my first time getting feedback from a professional for interview prep and clearly, it was a game-changer. I thank MJ for conducting a great mock session, her kind approach, and her amazing feedback. I recommend Personal MBA Coach’s TBD mock interviews and MJ with utmost pleasure.
I honestly had no idea how to prepare for my MBA interviews. The advice MJ gave me made all the difference! From the ubiquitous “Tell me about yourself” to the more school-specific “Why do you want to live in X city” and “What would you add to Y school?,” MJ made sure that I clearly and effectively communicated my thoughts during MBA interviews. Thanks to her help, I was accepted to UCLA Anderson and am now a first-year MBA Candidate.
I worked with MJ through Personal MBA Coach. We first connected when I gave her a list of my top target schools and an overview of my applicant profile. From there, she detailed exactly what I needed to showcase in my application to be a truly attractive candidate to my selected schools, highlighting some parts of my story that I wouldn’t have done on my own. I could tell she knew so much about each individual program and could give me tailored feedback from the perspective of those respective schools. She even set me up with a mock interview the week before the real interview, which both calmed my nerves and prepared me very well for the real thing. Working with MJ was seamless and I would recommend her to all!
I was connected to MJ through Scott Edinburgh at Personal MBA Coach.
We connected over the weekend in the week leading up to my interview. In addition to providing a mock interview (which in my case was nearly identical to the real thing!), MJ provides you with face-to-face feedback alongside a document outlining comprehensive suggestions per each question. Before the mock interview, MJ allows you to talk about your background so that she can understand your story. Later, she gives you an opportunity to ask about any questions of particular concern and helps you learn how to approach questions with multiple layers.
If not for MJ, there is no way that I would have been as prepared for the interview’s core questions and curveballs as I was. At times, I have a tendency to ramble and MJ clearly articulated the necessity of quality over quantity. Having interviewed others in the past and participated in interview preparation courses/activities in college and during my career, I wasn’t sure at first whether or not this would be necessary. I can confidently say to anyone reading this that the decision to speak with MJ was essential in improving my ability to think on my feet, to answer directly, and to gain confidence in myself during my interview journey.
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