Meet the team

Alice van Harten

Alice van Harten

Founding Partner

Alice has coached MBA applicants since 2007 and is proud of her clients’ successes. Her background as a former Bain Consultant and Stanford lecturer puts her in a unique position to understand her clients’ career paths and coach them through their applications. Her own career also shows her talent for tackling tough applications: she was admitted to the Ph.D. program at Cambridge and secured 100% funding for her studies, and when leaving academia received offers from Bain, BCG, and McKinsey.
David White

David White

Founding Partner

David’s 15-year tech career included executive roles at startups (Efficient Frontier, acquired by Adobe) and publicly traded companies (Yahoo, Travelzoo) across the SF Bay Area and Europe, during which time he hired, trained and developed dozens of young professionals. He has been coaching MBA applicants since 2012 with a special focus on developing the right career goals.
Lauren Patterson

Lauren Patterson

Operations Manager

Lauren received her B.A. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. After earning her J.D. from the University of Miami, she was a commercial litigator with a specialty in drafting briefs and appellate arguments. She also founded an event management startup based in New York with a mission to help parents reduce, reuse and recycle.
Leslie Monstavicius

Leslie Monstavicius

Editor

Leslie has studied at Stanford and the University of Oxford, and earned her Ph.D. in English at U.C. Berkeley. She taught writing at U.C. Berkeley and Stanford and has considerable experience helping students craft persuasive essays. In her role as Academic Director at Stanford, she counseled students who were planning their academic careers and putting together applications to graduate and professional schools. She also served on grant and fellowship committees and helped students draft successful research grant proposals and scholarship essays.
Olga Iakovleva

Olga Iakovleva

Executive Assistant

Olga is well versed in life at Stanford and the surrounding Silicon Valley communities. In a previous role at the Stanford Linear Accelerator, she ran the User's Organization Office, which supported 1,500 clients from over 30 countries.
Darren Kowitt

Darren Kowitt

Senior Consultant

Darren has read thousands of essays and coached hundreds of MBA applicants since 2006. His Columbia MBA and voracious reading habits enable him to refine his clients’ candidacies through industry-inflected devil’s advocacy that avoids the obvious, thereby helping clients submit applications with suggestive shading not beholden to unthinking convention. He deploys the writing skills honed as a Yale humanities undergraduate to distill client ideas and insights into taut, dense arguments with graceful transitions that project an engaging, self-aware personality well-suited to sharing the hard-won fruits of professional judgement, personal insights, and wisdom.

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