Nicole Shay

Admissions Director

Personal MBA Coach

Boston, Massachusetts

United States

Consultant Bio

I am a former Columbia Business School admissions director, where I evaluated and interviewed MBA applicants from 2015 until early 2021. I also served as the admissions liaison to the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program and oversaw admissions for the JD/MBA dual degree program with Columbia Law School. Additionally, I managed recruiting for Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA Program. I have traveled to Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America to recruit MBA talent, deliver presentations to applicants and leading global companies and host events for alumni and prospective students to connect. I have frequently participated in panels for the Forté Foundation and the MBA Tour, and have been interviewed for multiple MBA admissions publications.

I earned my BS in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh and MS in Human Capital Management from Columbia University. In my free time, I enjoy traveling by plane to reach new places and by bike to explore them.

Company Information

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.

Menu of Services and Associated Costs

While most applicants work through a comprehensive admissions package, we offer a full suite of services including:

Comprehensive MBA Application Support including:

  • Application Strategy and School Selection
  • Resume Editing
    Personal Story Development
    Essay Topic Creation and Unlimited Essay Editing
    Letter of Recommendation Support
  • Interview Preparation
  • Waitlist Strategy
  • Post-Acceptance Decision Support

Early MBA Planning

GMAT, GRE and EA 1:1 Tutoring 

A la Carte Admissions Consulting Services:
Interview Preparation
Scholarship Advice and Scholarship Essay Editing
Waitlist Strategy
Ding Report

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.

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Phone: +1 617-645-2424



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P&Q Consultant Reviews

  • Crack Any Interview With Nicole
    2 years ago
    I interviewed with Nicole one day before my final interview! Not only did Nicole provide valuable feedback that improved the quality of my answers, but I instantly felt more confident after my mock interview with her. Interviews can be the most nerve-racking part of the application process and I believe my mock interview ultimately helped me remain calm, composed, and confident during my final interview. Couldn't recommend more!!
    Class of 2024 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Nicole Is Awesome!
    2 years ago
    If someone is trying to get into Columbia Business School then you definitely want Nicole on your team. She is so knowledgeable of how CBS works and she is also really nice and patient. I used Nicole when I was waitlisted by Columbia Business School. Her expertise and advice were amazing and I am so happy I chose to use her services.
    Class of 2022 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Great Interview Guidance
    2 years ago
    Nicole helped me prepare for both my Tuck and Ross interviews, and her guidance was incredibly helpful. Nicole provided thorough feedback and highlighted areas where I could substitute examples, elaborate more, or practice delivering a more structured response. After prepping with Nicole, I was ultimately admitted to Tuck, Ross, Fuqua, Yale SOM, and Darden!
    Class of 2024 Applicant
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Incredible Interview Preparation
    2 years ago
    I worked with Nicole to prep specifically for my Kellogg interview, but her help and preparation served me well throughout the interview process for all four schools I applied to and was admitted to (Kellogg, Stanford, Columbia, Duke). Nicole helped push, shape, and polish my responses to key questions and advised on my delivery. Nicole is very approachable, genuine, and honest and our prep session was not only extremely beneficial but also enjoyable. Highly recommend Nicole for interview prep and in general!
    Class of 2024 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.