BlackRock VP Admitted at Wharton

Henry was looking for an experience with a coaching service which would not just help make him a fantastic application, but which would also work with him to discover and then articulate his own specific goals. However, Henry was facing a stiff challenge – although coming from a great employer – BlackRock, the world’s largest Asset Manager – he was up against very stiff competition from within the finance industry, and especially so, as a white male candidate.

Applicant Stats


  • Undergraduate Institution
    Washington University in St. Louis
  • Pre-MBA Industry: 
    Finance (asset management)
  • Career Goals: 
    Accelerate Finance Career
  • Admitted At:
    Wharton, Kellogg
  • Coach:

Henry’s Challenges

Differentiating Henry as a “White Guy in Finance”

Henry was concerned about his applications, since he supposed (correctly) that in the MBA programs’ evolution in seeking ever more diversity he was facing ever-stiffer competition as a “white guy in finance”. As schools move towards gender-parity goals for their classes, and the MBA classes become increasingly more diverse and balanced, this leaves fewer places for those from larger or very competitive demographics, such as the “white / male / finance” profile.

The first step we took to help differentiate Henry was through a tailored approach. We aimed to create a unique story that would highlight Henry’s specific motivations and rationale for applying to his target MBA programs in general, and each one specifically.  And this could only be made after hours of discussions digging into Henry’s personal and professional background.

The foundation of a tailored-approach: Self-Discovery

Before Henry could propose his goals to the MBA programs, and excite them about what he was proposing to do, he had to discover his goals himself. Through hard work, networking, guidance, and dozens of conversations, Henry create a goal which was true to his work – to help Americans save for their future. 

As Henry mentions in his testimonial, it was finding this goal that allowed him to get admitted to Wharton.

The Key: Amazing Essays

Once the core strategy is laid out, the most difficult challenge is to write amazing essays that utilizes the best of that strategy. We worked with Henry on dozens of iterations, based on tailor-made goals, and his character, to express who he was and what he needed an MBA for to the AdCom. It is these iterations, guided by the “master storytelling”, as Henry calls it, of Yaron, his coach, that helped Henry create those powerful applications he was aiming to create.

Time Management is Key

To get things done in time, we had to work fast and at a rapid pace to ensure Henry could get the work done in tandem with his very busy workweek. Daily iterations, and emails with essay versions in less than 24 hours helped Henry pick up his pace and stay on target.

Henry also found Menlo Coaching’s European location to be a huge advantage in his work, as that allowed him “uninterrupted time before his day started” to have meetings, and also allowed us to move at a rapid clip, with him finishing versions of his essay right before he went to sleep, and having the next version in his inbox before he woke up.

Start Early

Henry’s sole regret in his MBA application process, and the lesson he gives to future candidates: Start early!

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

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