Former MBB Consultant Admitted at HBS & Other M7 MBA Programs

Coming from management consulting, Vicky wanted to move into the entrepreneurial sphere, with the aim to take on a leadership role within her family business. An MBA would help her access a global network, sharpen her business acumen and gain operational knowledge to perform better as an executive in her family’s manufacturing company.

Applicant Stats


  • Undergraduate Institution
    University of California, Berkeley
  • Pre-MBA Industry: 
    Consulting, Retail
  • Career Goals: 
  • Admitted At:
    Harvard, Kellogg, Booth
  • Coach:

Vicky’s Challenges

#1: When to Apply for an MBA

Vicky was keen on enrolling in an MBA after just 3 years of consulting experience. Alice gave her the tough love advice that she’d be stronger after another year of experience, especially at top programs like HBS, and she took this to heart by joining a major retailer in an exciting strategy role.

This wasn’t what she wanted to hear, but the letters of recommendation from her second employer and her professional achievements there were a big part of telling a differentiated story in the very competitive pool of management consultants applying to MBA programs.

#2: Finding the Right Story

During the essay writing process, Vicky ran into challenges forming her story. She wanted to find something that was “real, but also something that’s unique”, and after a discussion with three of our consultants – Alice, Leslie, and David – found a story that unified the impact that her father had on her development, her professional growth after consulting, and her positive vision for her family business’s future.

#3: The HBS Interview

Vicky admits that she underestimated the MBA interview process. She was in consulting, after all–how much practice would she really need? But when she received the HBS invite, she wanted to do absolutely everything she could to improve her chances, and did multiple mock interviews to make sure she was ready for the big day. 

Menlo’s interview prep focused not only on knowing the right content to answer each question, but also on how to build genuine rapport with the interviewer. (The process includes several hours of training with professional actors to learn how to develop the right presence.) This allowed her to make an amazing personal connection with her interviewer, and the interview ended with the two of them looking on Vicky’s phone at pictures of the products made by her family’s company.

Despite the roadblocks she encountered during the application process, the personal relationships she built with Alice, Leslie, and David really pushed her and gave her the confidence to keep going. In the end, she won acceptance to Harvard, Kellogg, and Booth, and says, “HBS is a school I can’t say no to, so I’ll be starting my new chapter with HBS!”

Want to hear more admissions case studies from real MBA candidates? Check out our collection of Applicant Stories.

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