|All Reviews > Kate Richardson > Kate Richardson Reviews|
Kate Richardson earned her MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and has a BS in psychology from the University of Illinois. After earning her MBA, Kate worked for several years in management consulting at Axiom Consulting Partners, a boutique strategy execution firm. Kate’s work at Axiom focused on ensuring that clients had the right organization and talent in place to execute their business strategies. As a principal with the firm, she also co-managed its recruiting program, including hiring MBA interns, and mentored entry-level consultants. While at Chicago Booth, Kate was actively involved in the Business Solutions Group and the Dean’s Student Admissions Committee and was also an Admissions Fellow, reading applications and conducting on-campus interviews. Kate has remained involved in the Chicago Booth community since graduating by serving as communications chair for the Booth Alumni Club of DC and as an alumni admissions interviewer. Before attending business school, Kate worked in human resources for Pepco Energy Services and KPMG. Kate brings a passion for identifying and developing future business leaders to her work at mbaMission. Originally from the Chicago area and having spent most of her professional career in Washington, DC, Kate now lives in Columbia, South Carolina.
Joined: Feb 15, 2020
I graduated from a top 10 UK university with okay grades (graduated with a 2.1). Following university I worked within financial advisory at one of the Big Four. Having grown up in the UK, I wanted to use a consultant as I was not familiar with the US system and had no real idea how competitive I would be at some of the leading schools.
Overview of experience
Kate was absolutely AMAZING, I definitely could not have gone through my process without her!! I began chatting with Kate in 2018 after signing up for the pre-application strategy service; I wanted to learn more about the US process and bounce ideas as I researched more about US MBA programs. She was readily available when I had questions and would also occasionally check in if she hadn’t heard from me in a while (she continued to check in until I finally decided in apply 1year+ later).
I choose to work with Kate as she showed a genuine interest in wanting to help me and looked beyond my statistics; I decided that I only wanted to apply to M7 schools and when undertaking free consultant consultations, a number of them focused on GMAT and employer when advising on schools.
Kate and I began officially working together in 2019. I applied to 5 schools in round 1 which was both a lot of pressure and work, however, Kate’s flexible approach allowed me to work on multiple applications seamlessly. If you are looking for someone that is really invested in you achieving your milestones, Kate is your consultant. She was very dedicated to ensuring I completed key work streams at the agreed date and times; and was always prompt in providing feedback (due to careful planning, I was able to get instant feedback at times on my essays!).
Kate was instrumental in helping me portray my story in a compelling way and showed patience (I was clear on how I wanted certain aspects of my essay to come across, which at times created extra work when it came to streamlining and trimming my essays).
Kate was supportive during the process, particularly when I got my first two dings and her encouragement kept me going. Ultimately, I ended up getting into my dream school and will be attending HBS in the fall!
I would highly recommend Kate to anyone looking for a consultant to help them on their MBA journey!!
Joined: Jan 17, 2020
Kate was incredibly instrumental in easing the application process. From the our first conversation when we discussed target schools and brainstorming, she was the ultimate professional. She helped me bring out the best aspects of my profile in order to put my best foot forward when it came time to apply. She was the ultimate professional, keeping me on task as the application season progressed and always available for an email or chat whenever I felt bogged down. I felt Kate went above and beyond to make sure I was satisfied with my application prior to submission. I would highly recommend Kate to all future applicants!
Joined: Dec 31, 2019
740 Q45 V47
Kate's guidance and support throughout the admissions process was second to none. I was offered admission to Booth, Kellogg, and Tuck, each with scholarships, and I couldn't have done it without Kate!
Kate led me in developing and communicating my personal brand by guiding me through a process of self-discovery (many phone calls and Skype sessions of brainstorming and questions). She helped me see patterns within my interests and education and work experience that enabled me to tie together my story, why I needed an MBA, and why now. By being straightforward about the weaknesses in my application (a shorter work history and somewhat jumpy resume), Kate helped me address these weaknesses within my written application and prepared me to answer questions around them in interviews.
As I built my resume, short answers, and essays to tell a cohesive story, Kate's feedback was exceptional. Always timely and professional, Kate understood what I was trying to convey and made suggestions that helped me best articulate it. She was so thoughtful, remembering (and reminding me!) of small details from our prior conversations that, once incorporated, brought my essays to the next level. Another big value-add was Kate's in-depth knowledge of each program and its students/culture. While sometimes I used similar anecdotes for essay questions and/or short answers, no two answers were the exact same, as each was adjusted to fit the school's values. Kate was key in helping me show how I was a good fit at each particular school. The same held true when it came down to interview preparation: Kate helped me prepare for each school's interview, quizzing me on questions she typically sees asked at specific schools and giving me tips on how to make my responses less cookie-cutter and more unique to the values of each school. I attribute my interview-to-admit success rate to Kate's help in preparation.
After receiving the calls with good news, Kate was one of the first people I told because I was so appreciative of her help. She saw me at my best and my worst, and she was a great sounding board for all things MBA-related (and some things less-MBA-related like a potential company switch pre-MBA). I highly recommend working with Kate to anyone applying – she is the absolute best and will help you find success in the application process!
Joined: Feb 26, 2019
660 Q44 V37
I knew I wanted an admissions consultant to help: (1) synthesize my story and goals succinctly to stand out from the crowd, (2) provide insight into which schools were targets/reaches based on my ambitions and risk-tolerance, and (3) answer one-off/random questions + ease my nerves throughout this marathon of a process.
I had an intro call with Kate to determine 'fit' and in that call, I walked her through the main reasons I wanted an admissions consultant. I felt confident Kate would meet those goals, and after a few weeks into working with her, she surpassed all of them! We started working together in May 2019 with my resume and brainstorming my story/goals. Her turnaround time was always within the 2-business day policy of mbaMission, and at times, even sooner. What I loved about her approach was that she: (1) is flexible (including setting up last-minute calls or answering emails quickly) (2) genuinely listens to my comments/questions/concerns and (3) is happy to review any/all materials related to schools' applications that we were working on together (I got the end-to-end package for multiple schools).
Overall Review of Kate:
I highly recommend Kate to anyone seeking an admissions consultant. In addition to the reasons I listed above, I also believe she has patience, detail-orientation and dedication to see her clients succeed. She's genuinely interested in her client's success and I definitely felt that way while working with her. For anyone considering an admissions consultant, I recommend understanding why you feel that you need one and set those expectations upfront with your consultant as I did with Kate -- It helped us form an easy, trustworthy relationship that, I believe, ultimately aided in securing admission at two T15 schools! Thanks, Kate, for your incredible guidance!!
Joined: Dec 16, 2019
Deciding to work with Kate was easily one of the best decisions I made during my MBA application process! Kate and I worked together for over a year, and she was fabulous, responsive and incredibly helpful the entire time. As a non-traditional applicant, Kate expertly helped me to see and succinctly explain my strengths, frame my career path narrative, and craft a polished, professional application package. Furthermore, Kate made me feel confident and supported from the very beginning and working with her made the application process a fun and introspective experience, allowing me to let go of the inherent stress, enjoy the process and learn a lot about myself along the way. She is an incredible brainstormer, and talking through essay ideas with her helped me to tell my story in an engaging and interesting way. She gave me great advice along the way, including taking MBAMath, which I believe strengthened my application and preparedness for school. Her advice to connect with as many current students and alumni as possible, to attend webinars and chats, and to speak with people in my desired career, allowed me to understand and articulate why each program I applied to was a strong fit for me, and what value I would add to each program. I ultimately was admitted to both Kellogg and Tuck, my two top choice programs, and truly believe she was integral to my acceptances! Finally, Kate is professional, respectful, kind and genuinely cares for her clients - I would recommend her to anybody!
Joined: May 22, 2018
After a demoralizing experience with the GMAT that lasted for about 7 months, I looked for admissions consultants to provide the guidance and expertise needed to tell my story best and make my application stand out in the best possible way. I did extensive diligence (spoke with more than 5 counselors from several companies) and finally decided to take my chances with Kate Richardson from MBA Mission.
From my initial discussions with her, I instantly realized that I had taken the right decision. She was extremely helpful, professional and kind. As an applicant which checked all of the boxes for the elite schools I wanted to apply to except for a lower-than-average GMAT score, Kate was honest and straightforward with me in regards to my strengths and weaknesses. Nevertheless, she was extremely motivating and positive about the application.
Kate’s expertise on each particular program and their ‘unique personalities’ allowed us to decide on the best possible strategy on how to approach each university. We worked together to identify the key aspects and stories of my professional and personal life that I wanted to highlight on the different components of my application (resume, essays, rec letters, short answers, etc.). I found it reassuring to be receiving guidance from someone who really understands the admissions process and the expectations of each admissions team. As an international student who speaks English as a second language, she was also great on giving me advice to structure my ideas and concisely articulating my story, but at the same time staying true to my own voice.
Kate was structured and organized, which was particularly useful for my tight timeframe (I had to write nine essays for four different programs in about two months). I asked her to keep me on a tight schedule and remind me of my pending to-do’s and overall timeline constantly. She always met MBA Missions’ document return policy and sometimes even returned my essays earlier than what she was supposed to. During the last 2 weeks before the deadlines, she was extremely adaptive to my schedule and even pushed me for extra rounds of comments for my essays until we both felt 100% comfortable with them.
Another very important factor which I came to realize later on was MBA Mission’s multiple resources. From multiple university guides to tailored mock interviews, I was able to take advantage of it all and definitely feel that it was a game changer in the last mile of the application process. I felt fully prepared for my three interviews, particularly at HBS and Wharton, which differentiate from the traditional blind-interviews of other programs.
I was eventually accepted to my top choice and dream school (HBS) and Kate was literally the first person I called after my parents. I am grateful of having had her in my corner throughout every step of the way and couldn’t be more thankful with her!!
Joined: Jul 22, 2018
740 Q51 V39
Kate is the perfect mix of professionally capable and personable. I have an unconventional background and short WE which made it challenging to apply to top 20 schools. Kate was very patient in the early stages when I was trying to figure out how to tell my story. Here are the things I was impressed by later on as we delved in the application process:
1. Documents: Kate was such a big help in my resume and essay drafting. She really helped me phrase things in a non-technical way without losing their significance. She offered a fresh perspective on the dos and don’ts for business school application for a young applicant who’s only been in the technical field. For my essays (on average 2 essays/school x 5 schools), she made detailed editing and gave valuable input on re-wording, themes and ideas of each essay. I easily went through at least 3-4 drafts with each essay. Kate thoroughly looked through them and responded to my comments on every single draft. The thing with essay writing is, even if you’re extremely savvy in business jargon and good at writing, it’s still nice (& necessary) to have someone else’s perspective on your essays because you should never assume other people (Adcom) would react to what you write the same way you do, and this is where consultants who know how Adcom thinks come in. I got interviews to ALL BUT ONE school I applied to, which I could’ve never done without Kate’s help.
2. Content: Kate is REALLY thoughtful and efficient in her communication. For example, I’d tell her my concerns, and she’d respond with her take on the issue and multiple solutions to resolve the problem. This pattern persisted all the way from September to April, from drafting essays, attending events, to selecting letter writers, communicating with schools, and then to waitlist strategies and negotiating scholarships! Even when I didn’t ask, if she had material that she knew would be of help to me, she’d send them to me. She takes client’s concerns seriously which I appreciated. Kate also doesn’t beat around the bush if something does not look right. She gives honest, direct and constructive feedback every time. Remember you’re paying thousands of dollars for quality, which is content in the most efficient way possible, and Kate lives up to that expectation.
3. Timeliness: Kate never failed to be responsive. This is something I was really touched by. Around the Holiday seasons when according to mbaMission schedule or her vacation, she didn’t need to respond to any emails, she swiftly responded to my inquiries (not document editing) because a lot of R2 deadlines were right around the corner. She had in mind the schools I was applying to and understood my priority. This is not to say that you should submit documents and expect her to edit them for you when she’s on vacation! The fact that she checked her email AND RESPONDED with thoughtful feedback within a day really showed that she cared, and I appreciated that.
I'm very happy with the result and glad Kate was there throughout the whole thing. Highly recommend Kate for those in need of guidance along the way!
Joined: Jul 06, 2018
I was a little late in the game as I only started the process in August. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to work with Kate throughout the process (brainstorming, essay editing, interview preps and mocks, etc). She was very good at identifying my strength and right stories to tell. She was very responsive and always offered good ideas. As an international student with an OK GMAT (730), differentiating my profile was the key, and she did a great job on that. I was admitted to Booth!
If you are trying to differentiate yourself in application, I highly recommend Kate! She will exceed your expectation!
Joined: Apr 11, 2019
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]
Kate is extremely experienced and has been extremely supportive throughout my entire application process. After taking the time to truly know and understand me, she helped showcasing my experience to the admissions team. Besides her attentiveness manner, she is an excellent writer who literally worked her best magic on my resume and essays - highlighting my strength and meeting the word/page requirements while keeping my true self on paper. Kate answers all my questions in an ultra timely fashion and makes great suggestions from school choices, campus visits to interviews. I understand the application process is quite a headache for everyone but Kate really made it easy for me. I highly recommend her to anyone who is preparing to apply for business school!
Joined: Jun 03, 2018
I started working pretty late on my applications (2 months before the deadline) so I wanted a professional to guide me through the process. That's when I engaged Kate based on the recommendation of a friend who had worked with her in the past. I bought a one school package for Booth from mbaMission. Kate was super-helpful in helping me craft the story and she provided honest feedback to weed out any irrelevant information in my essays. As the deadline drew closer, she even reverted with her comments on my essays within a few hours to save time. This speaks volumes about her commitment towards my success.
Unfortunately, Booth did not work out but I got into Columbia. I would like to attribute the success to Kate as I built upon my work with her while she acted as sounding board for some of my ideas for other applications.
So, if you are looking for a professional consultant who would make sure that you do the job right then I would highly recommend you to work with Kate.