Karthik: From Blackstone to Wharton with $75,000 scholarship

Investment banker Karthik wanted a straight-talking coach to help him through the MBA application grind. Despite a hectic work life and his overrepresented profile, Karthik was able to win admission to his top choice through Yaron’s storytelling expertise and their optimal working arrangement.

Applicant Stats


  • Undergraduate Institution
    Carnegie Mellon University
  • Pre-MBA Industry: 
    Finance (alternative investments)
  • Career Goals: 
    Develop Deeper Understanding of Investment Banking
  • Admitted At:
    Wharton, Kellogg, Booth
  • Coach:

Highlights From Karthik’s Story

Matching Styles

Karthik was looking for a coach that would not just aid and support him but also would provide him feedback based on a deep understanding of the MBA application landscape—or, as Karthik put it, “although I was looking for an advocate, I was not looking for a cheerleader.” In his first call with Yaron, Karthik felt that the feedback was direct and blunt, and that Yaron was someone to whom he could entrust his application.

Developing the Story

As for many others applying from a competitive applicant pool (think incredibly strong competition from colleagues in finance), what Karthik was looking for was someone who could help him identify his best stories, lay out a strategy on how to best utilize them, and a framework through which he could turn his stories into impactful essays. 

Through hours of meetings with his coach Yaron, Karthik was able to test a multitude of ways to find and best shape his narrative for the Admissions Committee. One of the tactics Yaron advised Karthik on was using screenwriting tactics to make the stories more exciting for the reader, thus allowing him to create a more memorable essay. 

A Surprise Advantage

At first Karthik was concerned that being based in New York, Menlo’s European hours of operation might make things problematic. On the contrary, Karthik discovered that the time difference ended up being a huge advantage, as he would often send Yaron essays at 2AM, only to have them back in his inbox 3 or 4 hours later (due to the advantageous time delay between Europe and the US). 


Ultimately Karthik received an admit at Wharton and Kellogg, an interview at HBS, and a waitlist at Chicago Booth. Wharton offered Karthik a $75,000 scholarship, or as Karthik pointed out, “a scholarship that vastly exceeded how much I paid for Menlo’s services.”

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

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