North Star Admissions Client TestimonialsNSAdmin2019-05-30T09:40:55-05:00
Made the right choice with Karen
“As an applicant from the overrepresented demographic pool, I was a bit anxious about the admission process, and therefore sought out an admissions consultant who has a history of placing clients into top institutions, worked in an admissions office, and delivered a personalized client approach. I made the right choice with Karen, who has been an incredible support for me on my journey to gain acceptance to a top MBA program. Before starting my essays, Karen put extensive care into understanding and contextualizing my background and experiences. Her personal yet thorough approach in our discussions allowed me to not only hone in on my unique characteristics that she believed MBA admissions would find attractive, but also identify the best schools that would best complement these strengths. This brainstorming process was crucial, as it allowed me to establish a compelling narrative by selecting the best anecdotes and stories that firmly tied together my personal history, “why school X”, and my professional goals. Since day one, Karen has always been prompt in her responses and feedback. Given my tendency to be obsessive with the process, I truly appreciated this and her care and patience with me. There are an abundance of MBA resource online, however it is a lot to navigate and a lot of info are myths or inaccurate; therefore, having a consultant such as Karen can help prospective applicants avoid crucial errors in this time-intensive process. Ultimately, Karen was more than I bargained for as she became my personal advocate who I could rely upon (she was also a lot of fun to work with!). My efforts paid off and I was able to gain acceptance to Tuck, my top choice school!“
I got into every school I applied for (including Stanford GSB, HBS, Wharton, Sloan and Booth) which I could not have done without Karen!
“I thoroughly recommend working with Karen! I thought I was ready to apply and came to Karen for some additional advice and support. Karen provided the perfect balance of tough love and support. She was honest when something could improve as well as when it was ready and we could move on and make better use of our time. She took the time to get to know me then challenged me to be more personal and vulnerable in my essays and interviews. She helped me make sure each essay was targeted to the school I was applying for and not generic. During interview practice she was tough but provided specific, actionable feedback that made me so much more comfortable on the day of. Karen was always available to talk through a question and could not have been more supportive. I got into every school I applied for (including Stanford GSB, HBS, Wharton, Sloan and Booth) which I could not have done without Karen!“
Accepted Early Decision to Penn
“Working with Karen got me accepted early decision into my first choice college, the University of Pennsylvania. Karen’s knowledge and expertise helped make the process very smooth and low-stress, especially after I was accepted early decision. Karen understands the admissions process very well, but more importantly, she invests the time necessary to really get to know the people she works with. By doing so, she helped me incorporate my personality into my essays. Karen helped me identify the strongest points of my candidacy and put them all together to create the best possible application, which accurately reflected my personality and ultimately got me accepted into a top university. Throughout the process, Karen remained very positive and supportive, and helped make the process a lot faster, easier, and more relaxed than it otherwise would have been. I strongly recommend Karen; working with her was the best decision I made during college apps.“
Working with Karen was the best decision I made
“I wholeheartedly recommend working with Karen if you are remotely considering applying to MBA programs. Working with Karen was the best decision I made throughout the MBA application process.
One great part of working with Karen is that she truly takes a personal approach, taking time to really understand both you as a person, as well as your biggest needs in terms applying to school. I have heard that many consultants are tactical in nature, preferring to become involved after one has initial essay drafts. This couldn’t be further from Karen’s approach, as she invests in every detail, guiding you from choosing the right schools to apply to, to helping solidify your career goals long before you even start writing. As a result, I was much more confident in my approach, producing more meaningful and genuine application essays.
Relatedly, Karen became an incredible support structure for me throughout the process. She is readily available to her clients, and frequent touchpoints both helped me stick to a timeline, as well as provided me the support needed through an otherwise fairly isolating process.
Karen is a pleasure to work with. She is encouraging, energetic, and was a huge part of my ultimate success in being admitted to Tuck. If you are thinking about applying to MBA programs, call Karen! This will certainly be one decision you won’t regret.”
Her guidance is the best investment I have ever made and has set me up for a bright future.
“Without Karen I would not be at the top tier MBA program I am at today. Before meeting Karen I applied to and was rejected by several schools and was at a loss on how to gain acceptance. My academic history was a massive red flag to MBA programs and a blemish on my application. I had an undergraduate GPA of 2.8 and a degree that was stitched together across several schools and years. It was something I tried to minimize and avoid in my previous applications.
I perceived my academic history as a blemish yet Karen saw it as an opportunity to tell my story of perseverance and personal growth. This shift in thinking was only possible because Karen took the time to get to know me, my story, and my dreams. Karen’s nuanced and bespoke approach transformed what I thought was my greatest flaw into the cornerstone of my MBA story. With her unique perspective and guidance I was able to create a compelling application that landed me at my stretch MBA school in the Ivy League.
Karen’s dedication to understanding me and my story along with her deep knowledge of MBA programs, truthful feedback, and guidance made the application process painless. Her guidance is the best investment I have ever made and has set me up for a bright future.“
“I can’t thank Karen enough for believing in my potential. Given my less-than-ideal stats and the fact that I had offers from three decent schools, I obviously didn’t have the motivation to go through the mill to apply to a stretch school. But after an honest and thorough profile evaluation, she instilled confidence in me to give the school my best shot. Not one to give false hopes, she was very forthcoming about the effort I had to put in to stand out and gave me a lot of guidance with respect to the essays and interview. Also, it didn’t hurt that she had a positive and approachable demeanour, which helped keep our interactions honest and engaging through the application process.
Fast forward a few months, right after I got the much-awaited admit call, she was one of the first few people I reached out to — a gesture so unconscious that I only fully realised at that moment how instrumental she had been in helping me secure the future of my dreams.
Now, if you’re reading this and are seriously considering b-schools, do yourself a favour and reach out to Karen. She’ll help you do all that it takes to make what’s best (AND right) for you happen, just as she did for me. Also, here’s another friendly tip: Never underestimate the power of the words “you’ve got this!”
Her dynamic abilities and execution-oriented feedback made an impact on my application and helped me get into my dream program - Harvard Business School.
“My coach from Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) referred me to Karen two months before first round applications were due. I was reassured that Karen was the best choice to get my application ready in the short timeframe I had before first round deadlines – and she absolutely rose to the occasion!I was blown away by Karen’s super positive energy, encouraging demeanor, and responsiveness. She took the time to get to know me and all of the components of my life, ultimately pushing me to be vulnerable and unlock the “why” in my story. The combination of Karen’s supportive nature and accessibility made her a quick addition to my “board of directors”. She was extremely knowledgeable about navigating each school’s process, helping me think through recommender strategy and balancing GMAT studying during those final weeks. Her dynamic abilities and execution-oriented feedback made an impact on my application and helped me get into my dream program – Harvard Business School. I am grateful that I had Karen in my corner during such a stressful period. She is amazing – both as an all around relatable person and as an advisor during a really intimidating and unfamiliar process.
In the end, I received two full-tuition scholarship offers -- something I didn't even think was possible for me -- one of which was at a top 10 program which I'll be attending in the Fall…I can't express enough how instrumental Karen was to my success of getting into my dream business school.
“I can’t express enough how instrumental Karen was to my success of getting into my dream business school. Going into the application process, I knew it was going to be a long process and one where I wanted full support. I had two big “red flags” on my application (below 3.0 undergrad GPA and low GRE Quant score) and I needed a consultant who would help me frame those weaknesses and identify my strengths. I interviewed a number of other consultants at different firms before meeting Karen and I was shocked that none of them wanted to work with me. To be candid, they were more concerned with preserving their success rate and I was too much of a risk. My initial consult with Karen was completely different. She took a more holistic approach when looking at my profile and experiences and she focused on the strengths I’d bring to a program. Put simply: she believed in me. She didn’t just look at the numbers, she honed in on who I was as a person and it made all the difference. In the end, I received two full-tuition scholarship offers — something I didn’t even think was possible for me — one of which was at a top 10 program which I’ll be attending in the Fall.Karen is the real deal — she’ll support you, be honest with you, and really get to know you so that you can put your best foot forward. She’ll partner with you to create an in-depth application strategy and give you clear, constructive feedback on your essays and short answers. Most importantly, she’ll prioritize you throughout your entire application journey, and you’ll never feel as though you’re competing for her time. I think she’s the best consultant out there.”
Ultimately I was accepted to the Tuck School of Business, which was one of the three programs I worked with Karen on, and all of which were among the top MBA programs in the country.
“I approached Karen late in the application process (in November) and I was intent on applying to MBAs by the round 2 deadlines (early January).
Karen is knowledgeable, attentive, and gives direct and constructivefeedback. She was very responsive and made time to answer my questions, even on very short notice. Her advice spans the initial thought process about which MBAs to apply to through to preparing for admissions interviews and finally on deciding on which program to attend.
Throughout my application process, Karen helped me to develop my ideas and go far deeper on essays to ensure I communicated an authentic message to admissions committees and to help differentiate my story from other applicants. A large part of the MBA application requires communicating your short and long term career goals and how an MBA can help you achieve these. Karen helped me to develop and convey these ideas clearly.
Early on in my application process, I appreciated Karen’s recommendation to re-sit the GRE for a second time sooner than later. In doing so, I thankfully scored in the range necessary for my target schools. Had I waited, which I was planning to initially, I would have had far less time to work on the application essays, and would have lost the option to re-sit a third time if I needed to. It’s small strategic decisions like this that can make a big difference to one’s application process.
Crucially, Karen knew when an application was ready to be submitted. As a first time applicant, this is very difficult to gauge and one can spend countless hours finalizing minute details on one application at the expense of working on another.
Ultimately I was accepted to the Tuck School of Business, which was one of the three programs I worked with Karen on, and all of which were among the top MBA programs in the country.”
She helped me get into my top choice program, Tuck, by providing constructive criticism, pep talks when I was at my lowest point, and everything else needed to get through this strenuous process. Thank you, Karen!
“Once I started the application process, I realized that I was going to need help from someone who was going to take the time to get to know my personal story and what I had to offer in my application, especially since my GMAT score alone wasn’t going to ensure me a spot in my desired programs. Karen made sure that she knew my whole story before helping me with my target school list – instead of underestimating my chances like some other consultants might have. If you’re looking for someone who will look at your candidacy holistically and will provide feedback on any and all aspects of your application, I recommend working with Karen. She helped me get into my top choice program, Tuck, by providing constructive criticism, pep talks when I was at my lowest point, and everything else needed to get through this strenuous process. Thank you, Karen!
Great and well worth the money
“If you’re looking for an MBA consultant to apply to the most competitive programs, Karen is an excellent choice. I had applied – and been rejected – to six competitive MBA programs two years before I found Karen. I first contacted her to review my unsuccessful applications and see where I might have gone wrong. At the time, I knew it wasn’t my GMAT, and I thought perhaps I was just too old to be admissible. Her review was extremely helpful, and I decided to both re-apply and work with her in the context of admissions consulting. Based on my experience (and acceptance!), I cannot recommend Karen highly enough.
To start, Karen is really easy to work with. She’s responsive, generally quick with her replies, and good about setting and keeping appointments. One might think these things are the basics, but a surprising number of consultants in high-demand fail at this. Karen’s ability to keep organized and on top of things is strong, which provided much stress reduction in the process; I knew the weak link wouldn’t be her.
Beyond this, Karen is great at the core tasks of her job. In crafting an application story and writing essays, I think most applicants are weak at either the content generation or in editing down to the word limit. Karen is exceptional at both of these activities. In terms of content generation, she has a deep and intimate knowledge of what admissions groups are looking for, she asks very thoughtful questions, and is simply an outstanding career counselor. I have worked with several mentors in my career, and twice I have sought formal career counseling, and I felt like Karen did a better job than all of them at understanding what I wanted to achieve and matching me with potential career paths of which I was previously unaware. Where I would present vague generalities about my own temperament, preferences, and aspirations, Karen would respond with concrete possibilities and options to consider. I found our sessions extraordinarily helpful in the brainstorming part of essay writing.
Further, Karen is a bang-up editor. She’s great at both making suggestions to distill content as well as the nitty gritty of striking frivolity from a thread (guilty here). At times in the process I would send her what amounted to a prose grenade, and in reply I would generally receive concise and thoughtful responses, redirecting me to a more helpful line of discussion. Several times since we worked together, I’ve wished I could hire her to edit other things I have written unrelated to MBA applications.
Karen is really knowledgeable about the MBA admissions process and is also interpersonally very insightful. It is difficult to convey how useful this combination of skills was in the process, but it made a huge difference in a myriad of ways: I considered programs that were a great match and to which I otherwise wouldn’t have applied; I removed aspects of my application which might have been perceived as reflecting “poor judgment”; I expressly included a downside of my candidacy I’d have preferred to gloss; I expounded on things I wouldn’t have emphasized; she coached me at times to make things more succinct, less theoretical, shorter, and even sexier. She personally knew many of the recruiters and admissions personnel with whom I interacted and was able to provide tips on how to navigate specific interactions and interviews with them. When I first applied to MBA programs, I had none of this insight, and I truly felt it made the difference into me getting in this time around.
Finally, Karen made a real difference in my application process by providing encouragement. Several times I sent her some miserable draft or note of failure or expression of indecision, and she would reply with, “Hang in there” or “It’s not that bad.” or even, “Ok, if you’re going to do the other thing, how?” I did not appreciate until well into the process how much I really needed this. A someone from a “non-traditional” background, I lacked people in my life who understood the effort, difficulty, competitiveness, or stress involved in applying to top MBA programs. When I started the process, I knew I needed a coach, but I didn’t know I needed a cheerleader, and I found this to be the most surprisingly helpful aspect of working with Karen.
Karen is great and well worth the money. I wish I’d found her two years before I did.”
Thanks to all her efforts I was able to earn admission into every school I applied to, and successfully earned scholarships that were beyond any expectation
“Applying to business school is a daunting process with all the interviews, school visits, and essays. However, Karen was able to bring a sense of calm throughout the experience as we tailored my story. Her dedication to understanding who I am as a person, and what I want to achieve, was critical. Combine this genuine interest with her attention to detail and ability to deliver honest, product feedback, and you have exactly what I needed to be successful. Ultimately, she guided me in crafting a narrative that was logical, compelling, and, most importantly, inherently me. Thanks to all her efforts I was able to earn admission into every school I applied to, and successfully earned scholarships that were beyond any expectation. I’d highly recommend Karen to anyone who is looking to put their best foot forward in the MBA application process.”
I couldn’t have done it without Karen’s guidance. She really believed in me.
“Karen took the time to learn about my background, goals and interests so she could help me incorporate these aspects into my personal statement. She helped me develop my writing so I could authentically convey my passion for UCLA Anderson as my top choice. I’m excited to share that I’ll be joining the Anderson family this fall. I couldn’t have done it without Karen’s guidance. She really believed in me.”
Through her very patient listening and insightful questioning, Karen was able to transform my biggest vulnerabilities into strong components of my overall application, and interview experience.
“I had been pondering the idea of enrolling for a Full Time MBA for quite some time. I felt that my career was stalling, and that the time was right for me to add extra skills to my tool box, via an MBA from a reputable program. When I finally decided to execute my thoughts however, all I could think about were the odds that were stacked up against me: I was an “older applicant”, I had a low undergraduate GPA, and just was sure how this whole process would play out. I decided that I needed the help of a coach who would keep me grounded and aligned throughout the process.
I came across North Star Admissions Consulting, and Karen Marks, after careful and extensive research on the internet. I was not looking for a business transaction as much as I was looking for an admissions consulting company with whom I could build a relationship through which my best possible applications could be nurtured, and I knew I had found THE Company when I saw North Star’s website. From my first phone call (in what appears to be a long, long time ago) to date, Karen has maintained the highest level of professionalism in our business relationship, taking a genuine interest in my story to help me craft the best possible applications. Through her very patient listening and insightful questioning, Karen was able to transform my biggest vulnerabilities into strong components of my overall application, and interview experience. The level of detail that Karen brings to the process is quite impressive; she helped me to determine what schools were the best for my post-MBA plans and my family fit, and provided insights about scholarships and my personal and professional aspirations upon completion of the MBA.
One of my personal challenges during this application process was meeting my soft deadlines (I was travelling extensively for work), and on several occasions when I thought the ship would be derailed, Karen’s easy but firm version of “tough love” kept me accountable. She also worked with my schedule such that we were able to meet all submission deadlines, delivering well thought out applications at each submission. I was AMAZED at the self-awareness that this relationship with North Star Admissions helped me to uncover about myself. When I finally got invited to interview at the schools I applied to, I scheduled mock interviews with Karen that certainly eased the anxieties of the day off. The culmination of this alliance was my admission to my dream school, and scholarship funds to boot!! Imagine my excitement!
Following my B-School admission, Karen and I have kept in touch, as she has reached out severally to check on my family’s preparation to move into B-School. I have sought her opinion through scheduled phone calls and email in the same time frame, despite the fact that our contractual agreements are since over. I found a friend in North Star Admissions Consulting to ease my B-School journey, and I am enthusiastic in my recommendations of them, should you be in need of an Admissions Consulting Company yourself!’
You would be glad you did!!”
Thanks to all her efforts I was able to earn admission into every school I applied to, and successfully earned scholarships that were beyond any expectation.
“Applying to business school is a daunting process with all the interviews, school visits, and essays. However, Karen was able to bring a sense of calm throughout the experience as we tailored my story. Her dedication to understanding who I am as a person, and what I want to achieve, was critical. Combine this genuine interest with her attention to detail and ability to deliver honest, product feedback, and you have exactly what I needed to be successful. Ultimately, she guided me in crafting a narrative that was logical, compelling, and, most importantly, inherently me.Thanks to all her efforts I was able to earn admission into every school I applied to, and successfully earned scholarships that were beyond any expectation. I’d highly recommend Karen to anyone who is looking to put their best foot forward in the MBA application process.”
I could not have done it without her!
“Karen was instrumental in helping me get into business school. She has a gift for understanding the unique personality of each of her clients and teasing out elements that determine the best fit for each person. From the start, Karen’s instincts on the right program for me were spot on, even before I came around to realizing it myself. Further, Karen provided the guidance I needed throughout the entire process, from planning to essays to interviews, and she enabled me to present the strongest version of myself to prospective programs. I could not have done it without her!“
We Highly Recommend Karen
“We are so thankful that we hired Karen to help our daughter with her college admissions process. Not only did our daughter get in early decision to Brown University, her first choice, but the process went so smoothly with Karen there guiding her along the way. Even though our high school has a strong guidance department they were not able to offer the type of support that kids need to get into highly selective schools. Karen really helped strengthen our daughter’s application and helped her manage deadlines. In addition, she helped her feel more confident and less stressed. Karen was always willing to listen and calm the nerves of our daughter with real concrete information that put her at ease during this stressful time of life. Although my husband works at an Ivy League college and we are both Ivy graduates, we found it useful to get expert advice. We highly recommend Karen. You, too, will be thankful that you hired her!”
Personal and Reflective Experience
“The business school application process can be daunting and complicated – Karen both guided me through the labyrinth and helped make it a more personal and reflective experience. She encouraged me to focus on my professional goals and polish that narrative before jumping into each school specific application. This approach helped me stay calm and keep to my core values and objectives throughout the process. Karen also tactfully kept me on task in my essays while still encouraging my voice and personality.
With Karen’s help, I got through the business school application process while staying sane and confident that I had given it my very best effort. In the end I got into my top choice schools including Tuck, Kellogg, and MIT Sloan. I also received almost full funding from five of the eight schools to which I was accepted – making the work I had put in all the more worthwhile.”
Karen is the real deal
“Let’s start the story with the outcome: I am going to my dream school and that is without doubt thanks to Karen!
A few months ago after being denied admission from all the schools I applied to the previous year and despite having worked with a « famous » consultant from a « famous » firm, I decided to reapply to the same schools and also to apply for the first time to my dream school, which was a stretch considering my stats. I decided to « audit » possible consultants and came upon Karen. Any free consultation could only give a glimpse of what it would be like working together but from the first call, you can hear in Karen’s cheerful voice that she is on your side. Karen was the first person to believe in me and to push me to apply to my dream school. As I mentioned, I did not apply to my dream school in my first round of application last year because the previous consultants told me I would never make it, they just looked at my profile and analyzed the stats and concluded I could only make it to a top 15 schools at best. Karen had a very candid and holistic look at my profile and concluded that both of us could make it to my dream school with some hard work of course.
So here are the best part of working with Karen:
– she understands that all prospective applicants are rough diamonds and that with some hard work: you can go to your dream school! Unlike other consultants who are not willing to go the extra mile with you but just to make you fit in a box;
– Karen will be your coach from day one until you put your deposit in the school you aimed to get to, at no point she will let you down (trust me on this point, if you are Rocky Balboa, Karen is Mickey Goldmill);
– take it from someone who worked with other consultant and who heard from friends working with consultant: you might think: ok that’s nice feedback from my consultant but was it worth the money? With Karen you will never have this feeling: all her inputs and prep will make you think: oh I could have never do so good without her inputs.
This is just my opinion, but after going through two admission cycles and working with several consultants before Karen, I can tell you this: Karen is the real deal. I am going to my dream school: Tuck!
Good luck to all of you, you can all make it!”
Took some of the angst out of this process
“Karen was a key asset during the college search and application process. In initial interviews with each parent separately and then with our son, she listened openly to our hopes, concerns, and aspirations, and used those conversations to shape a path of exploration that ultimately led to admission to his first choice school, Wake Forest University.Karen deftly walks the line between supporting students and encouraging independence, and she thinks both aspirationally and realistically. Karen can take both the meta view and see school trends from afar and at the same time, she understood very well the unique high school context from which our son comes. Impossibly, she also took some of the angst out of this process for which we are deeply grateful.”
Found a way connect with me
“Karen helped make my college application process go as smoothly and stress free as possible. She found a way to connect with me (a 17 year old high school male) and make me feel comfortable. Karen worked with me to identify and articulate my strengths and guided me as I prioritized my applications. I highly recommend Karen!”
What Got Me Into Business School
“Without question, working with Karen is what got me into business school. Just a year prior, I applied on my own and was disheartened to be receive rejection after rejection. Fast forward a year – I was offered admission or a spot on the waiting-list for all but one school that I applied to with Karen. She provided a soup-to-nuts approach to the process, which was invaluable for somebody who had no idea what he was doing. She helped me pick the best schools, she guided me through the applications/essays, and she prepared me for school visits – all with passion, energy and enthusiasm. As a former graduate admissions officer, Karen has incredible insights that you won’t find elsewhere. And beyond her qualifications, Karen was simply a pleasure to work with – always encouraging and instilling confidence in me throughout the process. I would recommend Karen to anybody without hesitation. Trust me, it’s worth it!”
Took The Stress Out Of The Process
“Working with Karen took essentially 100% of the stress out of the process for our family. Karen worked with us to develop an appropriate list of schools to visit and based on our initial visits very quickly got a sense of what our daughter was looking for in a school and who she is as a person. Karen had a ton of knowledge about school culture and was open about sharing her insights while still making our daughter feel that the choices she was making were her own. Karen and our daughter worked seamlessly to complete the Common App and the essays. With deadlines, our daughter was never playing catch-up or rushing to finish. As parents, we were able to remove ourselves from the application part of the process and be available to be available for the fun part – the school visits! While there are never any guarantees, our daughter did get accepted to her early decision choice and I believe that is because of her academic record, her application, and Karen’s help in finding a school that really felt like the right fit for our daughter.”
Professional & Personable
“Karen is professional and personable. She is continually keeping her clients’ needs in mind and wants to make them as successful as possible. Karen was also fun to work with! She demystified and clearly explained the entire grad school application process. She then worked proactively with me to set realistic timelines and regular check-ins to help achieve my goals.”
Karen's Help Made All The Difference
“After getting accepted to my dream school, the first person I wanted to tell was Karen. It’s a testament to how much I attribute my success to her and how personalized I felt she made the process. After receiving an offer from a top school, I was faced with a difficult choice on whether or not to re-apply to my dream school. I only felt comfortable turning down an amazing offer if I were to work with Karen. It was Karen’s honesty and authenticity that made me feel so at ease.
Karen takes the time to learn as much as possible about a candidate. She pointed out the qualities and experiences that would help differentiate my candidacy and craft a compelling story. It’s through this personalized process that helped me completely re-vamp my application from the previous year.
The business school process is stressful but Karen made me feel much more relaxed. She quickly turned around materials, answered all my questions, and always had time for a phone call.
Not only was I admitted to my dream school, but I also received scholarship offers from two other top schools. Without a doubt in my mind, it was Karen’s help that made all the difference!”
Single Best Decision
“Investing in North Star Consulting was the single best decision I could have made during my application process. Karen’s professional expertise coupled with an easy friendliness allowed for an unmatched experience. Karen has served as a guide, a cheerleader, and a savant. From the beginning, her analysis was insightful and could pull threads together from various conversations. She understands the business school landscape very well and can navigate it with ease and speak to distinctions. Through my personal process, Karen knew when to encourage me and when to pull back to give myself a break. Finally, Karen was always right! She put schools on my radar that I would have not considered, but she knew that they were perfect cultural fits. I am now enrolled in my dream school, and it could not have happened without Karen’s insight and encouragement.”
Unbelievable & Necessary Resource
“I don’t know what I would have done without Karen. From initial soul-searching to application composition to ultimate decision-making, she was an unbelievable and necessary resource. When I began this application process, I was flying blind; I had no idea what MBA programs expected of me when it came to application materials (whether my GRE score was strong enough, what essay topics were appropriate, how to structure my resume effectively, etc.). Karen gave me a nuts and bolts understanding of what I needed to say and how I needed to say it each step of the way — not by dictating content for me, but by helping me put my best self forward, in my unique tone of voice. Karen was also readily responsive throughout the application process, taking calls and responding to my emails at generous speed, which was helpful during anxiety-ridden months. At the end of the day, I was admitted to four of the six schools I applied to, and waitlisted at one of them. I received generous scholarship packages at three of the four schools to which I was admitted. Karen helped me negotiate for one of these packages. I have now happily committed to attending what was, from the start, one of my top choices.”
Understanding And Trusting
“Being an international student, I knew I would need some help with my application process for my MBA application in the US, so I reached out to a few admissions consultants. However, after my first interview with Karen I was convinced she was the right person. She immediately struck me as someone who truly seeks to understand her clients and she seemed to genuinely have my best interests at heart.
Over the last couple of months, Karen has helped me refine my career goals and taught me how to communicate in a direct and effective manner. Her calm and inviting nature also promoted an environment of trust where I always felt comfortable knowing I had someone to whom I could go with any questions or problems I had about the application process.
Karen constantly encouraged me to focus on my own unique experiences, which ensured my application was a true reflection of my values and attributes rather than merely what I thought the adcom wanted to hear. Her insight into the various universities and their differences also helped guide me towards which B-School I thought would be the best “fit” for me.
Having now been accepted into an Ivy League school, I am certain that it was Karen’s assistance that enabled me to put my best foot forward and eventually get in. I would highly recommend North Star Admissions to anyone who is looking to get into a top tier B-School. Karen’s insight was invaluable to me and there is no one else I would rather have had on my team throughout the process.”
Changed The Course Of My Life
“Karen has changed the course of my life. This is not an overstatement or an exaggeration. If you are reading this review that means you are lucky enough to have found her. Do not pass this opportunity up!
To say I was not the ideal candidate was an understatement. I found her 2 months before my first (and most important) application was due. At that point I have not even taken the GMAT yet. I come from a non traditional background, have low GPA at 3.02, my undergrad was piecemealed together because I worked full time while completing my degree, and my chosen career trajectory suddenly took a depressing turn as the plant I worked at was shut down. I also was a mom with two small children and a working spouse.
Karen excels at many things. She is equal part a detective combing your life experience for attributes and achievements you yourself forgot about or felt were unimportant or not pertinent, and equal part your most ardent cheerleader. Her knowledge on the application process and dynamics at play is unparalleled. Karen has an uncanny ability to reframe your experiences in way relevant to business school. She will push you to reach for your best product, she will make you work for it and you will work hard. She is an absolute master of her craft.
When you work with her you will have her undivided attention and will feel like she has no possible other place she needs to be even though you know she is extremely busy. She always honors her dead lines. If she says she will do something by this date and time you can set your whole life around it as she will deliver without fail.
But the results are unprecedented. I got accepted into my first choice school Ivy League Business School, and got two full ride fellowships to two lower tiered schools.
Ironically the hardest decision was still ahead of me. Given the fact that I was an older applicant with a family I did not see how I could possibly assume the financial burden of attending my first choice school and would have accepted the full ride to a lower tiered school. Karen would not have any of it. When I felt it could not be done she persisted and guided me, way beyond what our contractual relationship obligated her to. She was that dedicated to my success. The only thing I can credit myself with was having the good sense to listen to her.
I sincerely hope you do the same!”
Getting Accepted To Harvard
“I was very happy with Karen’s service and ended up getting accepted to Harvard. This is my second time applying to MBA programs, and the first time with consultants. After talking with Karen, I knew I wanted to work with her the most when compared to all the companies I had talked to. I ended up purchasing 10 hours. As she was running her own thing, I knew that the person I was talking to was the person I’d work with (unlike the other companies). I would recommend her to anyone looking for consulting help. She listened. I cannot emphasize this enough, especially in comparison to the other people I talked to. She took time to understand me, my candidacy and truly listened. I found her admissions experience extremely helpful. She gave me her perspective and guesses as to what other schools were looking for. She was generous with her time. With the other consultants I used, they were marking essays sent back to me with time it took to read, they were very much “counting hours.” With Karen, I never felt that way. Karen was very positive and provided a lot of encouragement.”
Big Ripple Effect
“It wasn’t until I started working with Karen that I truly understood the importance and value of soul searching throughout the MBA application process. As Karen and I continued to work together it became clearer than ever how important it is to me to find work that has meaning. In this regard, and many others, I would have been lost through this process without her. Aside from considering my own future and career, I couldn’t help but acknowledge that what Karen does for a living is a very important job, and it impacted me very deeply. Karen’s guidance and input helped me achieve results beyond my expectations. Further, she helped me touch others in such positive and meaningful ways – I can’t express how excited my entire family from Brazil was to hear that I was accepted to Duke. I feel like I’ve inspired them to reach higher, too. What Karen has done has had a big ripple effect!!”
Immediately Encouraging And Positive
“After my son was deferred from his first choice college in December, we went to North Star Admissions Consulting to help us through the regular admissions process. Karen was immediately encouraging and positive. She helped us identify target schools that were a great fit for my son. She helped my son write essays that truly explained why he was genuinely interested in each school he targeted. Rather than edit or rewrite the essays, she talked him through the essay writing process and gave pointed feedback that drew out writing skills that he didn’t even know he was capable of. Her method resulted in sincere essays that accurately reflected his interests, goals and personality. She also reviewed his common application to make sure it told his unique story. In addition, she gave us advice about enhancing my son’s application to his top choice to increase his chances during the regular admissions cycle. After he was deferred, we thought he had no chance of admission. But Karen did not let us give up and helped my son effectively convey to the school the reasons why he was a good fit. My son was ultimately admitted to his top choice Ivy League college! In addition, he was admitted to many of his other top choices. After receiving disappointing news in December, my son ended up in a great position, having to choose among a list of excellent schools, including his top choice! Karen assuaged our anxieties about the entire college admissions process with her sage advice, wealth of knowledge, and most of all, her calm, supportive and enthusiastic demeanor. My son is looking forward to enrolling in his first choice college next year thanks to Karen and North Star Admissions Consulting!”
“I am fortunate to have Karen as my mentor of MBA applications. I got to know Karen because my good friend, who was admitted to a top MBA program with the help of Karen, strongly recommended her. As a prior Associate Director of Admissions at Tuck, Karen has unique experience in top business school applications. When reviewing essays, she is able to quickly identify the pros and cons of your essays, proactively explore your potential selling points, and strategically provide you with suggestions from an insider’s perspective. All these expert advices saved me lots of time and boosted the quality of my essays. In addition, Karen is nice, supportive and responsible. It was always great experience working with her. To help me catch up with the application deadline, she sacrificed her weekend time to review my essays and cared about my application progress. As an international applicant, I was quite impressed by her quick responses in spite of the time difference. Sometimes I received her responses at her night time. I could easily tell that she treated my application as her own stuff and helped me with all her heart, rather than simply handle a task. Another thing that impressed me was that she is familiar with many top business schools. With her help, I was admitted to my two “dream schools,” Kellogg and Tepper, both with scholarship. Karen is far beyond my expectation. I strongly suggest that business school applicants consider her services. You will harvest not only an experienced mentor but also a lifelong friend.”
“I chose to work with Karen due to her exceptional qualifications and the fact that I get to work with her directly, rather than another employee. She had very fast response times, and was a huge help in perfecting my essays. I was able to receive admission to my top choices of graduate schools within weeks of submitting my application! On top of that, I was offered scholarships to my dream school! I honestly would not have been able to be so successful in my endeavor without help. I would definitely be working with Karen again when pursue further education.”
Accessible And Responsive
“Working with Karen was a real pleasure and her feedback and coaching were instrumental in my gaining acceptance to Wharton’s Lauder MA/MBA program, my top choice for a business school program. After consulting with Karen I felt that my application was much more precise and well-organized, and her knowledge of both the school and my target program made a huge difference when writing my essays and preparing for my interviews. I was out of the country when I applied, and despite a 12 hour time difference, Karen was always very accessible and responsive. I would highly recommend anyone who is serious about applying to business school to work with Karen. I think that she helped me to show my best self in the application and our conversations were always very fun and constructive at the same time.”
Invested In Your Success
“Karen is so good at getting you to trust her first, and then trust yourself. She helped me believe that top MBA programs were within my reach, which is half the battle in the application process. Graduate admissions is a competitive and intimidating process that can easily lead one towards self-doubt. Karen’s cheerfulness and positive attitude served as a voice of reason that assured me that everything would turn out fine (and they did!)
Having Karen’s experience in admissions and her willingness to really learn about my professional background helped me highlight my true strengths as an applicant. She helped add a genuine tone to my essays, which were too polished and proper. With her help, I applied to my only two “dream schools” in the final round of admission and was accepted to both. Needless to say, Karen was elated to hear about it. She’s truly invested in your success and has the knowledge and resources to help give you the best chance for admission.”
Top MBA Program
“Karen was instrumental in helping me getting accepted into my top choice school. I came into the application process very nervous that I did not have the qualifications to get accepted into a top MBA program. It was through my MANY conversations with Karen that I was able to successfully present my experiences both on paper and through my own voice. For me, the best thing about working with Karen was the constant reassurance that I was on the right track and the confidence she gave me to know that I would be successful. Thank you Karen!”
“Working with Karen got me into arguably the best business school in the world. But that’s not all. It helped me get a truly incredible scholarship to that school. But that’s not all, either. Most remarkable to me was that working with Karen turned the application process into a fun and organized personal growth experience. Karen is one of most insightful and thoughtful people with whom I have ever interacted. She instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Her powerful influence on me will go on well beyond the application and even business school. Working with Karen resulted in an immediate and long-term positive impact on my education, career and life.”
“Karen is amazing! With her knowledge of the admissions process she developed an admissions strategy that got me admitted to Wharton, Booth, Cornell, and Darden. Best part: I pulled $338,580 in scholarships … with a 2.57 GPA.”
“Karen is an amazing person to work with and I urge anyone applying to business school to consider her services. The MBA admissions process is a giant black box and Karen’s insider knowledge and ability to help me navigate the otherwise unknown was incredibly valuable, and more importantly, reassuring and calming. According to Karen, I had very good “stats” to start, but without her help I would never have been able to translate them into a meaningful, concise story that appealed to the types of schools I was aiming for. Throughout the process, Karen provided a consistent (and clearly correct) approach for me to follow, something that I think is vital in a world where every website and blog offers their own take on the secret to a successful application. It’s also important to note that working with Karen is like talking to a friend; there were no time limits or up-sells, it never felt like a business transaction, and she was always willing to answer my most ridiculous of questions and concerns within hours, even on weekends or when she was on vacation. Almost a year after starting to work with her, I’m eternally grateful for her direction, which helped me get into my dream school and even get a scholarship. I am also proud to say that as a result of working with her I have made a new friend who I plan to keep in touch with for life.”
“I cannot imagine navigating the MBA admissions process without the guidance, support and insights offered by Karen. The years of first-hand admissions experience she has, coupled with her naturally supportive personality, are a rare and incredibly helpful combination that I have come to trust and rely on immensely through the admissions process. Karen has a gift for seeing and bringing out the best in a candidate by listening intently, offering solid, realistic advice, and by honoring the experiences and personality each of her clients brings to the table. Where other consultants were confused by my “non-traditional” background, Karen was able to clearly see how my non-traditional background was a strength and present it as such in my application. With Karen’s help, I believe my applications reflected the very best of me, and my school choices were on target with my personality and career goals. Now, with several offers of admissions to consider, Karen continues to be my sounding board as I make my final decision. I am grateful for all that she has offered me through out this process and cannot recommend her services enough.”
“Karen has been a wonderful adviser to have through this complex application process. I made the mistake of not reaching out to her until I was almost ready to submit my application, but I dramatically improved my essays after talking with her. Applying to school is really about fit, and Karen does not overlook this essential aspect of your application. Karen has a rare gift of being a skilled listener, and she forced me to drill down my statements to emphasize my core values and challenged me to present my ideas in new ways. I am positive that my applications would not have been as strong without Karen. What I really appreciated the most about Karen was her honest feedback. I took my GMAT two weeks before application deadlines and was devastated that I did not reach my target score and was below the average for most of my target programs. With her encouragement, I applied and received three acceptances, including one from my dream school! I loved the fact that Karen never felt the need to sugarcoat any situation but always gave great advice that calmed me down when I was stressed. Her responses to any questions were always immediate and effective. If you work with Karen, you will instantly feel how much she genuinely cares about your success!”