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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 18, 2021
Kate is an INCREDIBLE consultant and did a tremendous job throughout my application cycle. I first contacted her back in May and she had very few Round 1 spots left. I was lucky to have her!
I come from a Big 4 consulting background and technical undergrad. I applied to 5 M7 schools, received interviews at 3 of them, and was ultimately admitted to 1 school and waitlisted at 2.
Kate was there every step of the way. She was kind, thoughtful, and thorough. She brought out the best in my story, helped me find a logical structure to the (sometimes scattered) experiences that make up my life, and pushed me through to the end.
Kate is an incredible editor and is suuuuper patient throughout the process, even when we would go through 5-6 iterations on a single essay. She's outstanding at both the high-level storyboarding and the granular edits that are required to get an essay to the finish line. She also is great with interview prep, helping me to hone in on the story lines that would speak best to each school.
Kate was AWESOME and I couldn't recommend her more!
Joined: Jan 29, 2021
720 Q47 V42
All thanks to Kate, I got into my top choice MBA school with a FULL RIDE!!! She was super responsive (I don't know when she had time to sleep). Her editing skills are absolutely fantastic - she cut down my essay that was was over the world limit to the required length without sacrificing any of the messaging.
I highly recommend Kate to anyone looking for an admissions consultant. I wouldn't have gotten into my top choice schools without her responsiveness, writing skills, and brainstorming ideas! She gave me confidence whenever I started to doubt myself. Whenever I had even a minor question, I knew I could email Kate and she would provide sound advice.
Again - couldn't recommend Kate enough.
Joined: May 10, 2020
I HIGHLY recommend Kate Richardson. I was extremely hesitant to use a consultant for several reasons, but I am 100% satisfied with my choice. I honestly don't know if I could have gone through this process and stayed sane without her.
I was so happy to get into a top-choice school, but a bit sad to not work with Kate regularly, which was an unexpected feeling! I felt extremely comfortable with Kate, especially as I had considered myself an "underdog" candidate before working with her. She instilled confidence in my abilities that I lacked before our partnership. I spoke with other consultants, and I felt a bit judged or that they wanted me to be inauthentic to myself and my story, but I never felt that way with Kate. I really looked forward to our chats throughout the pandemic - even if it meant a lot of "homework" on my end afterward. I really appreciate her kindness during a trying time.
Aside from her welcoming and approachable personality, she is EXTREMELY competent, especially with her editing skills, and her turnaround times were truly remarkable. I do not know how Kate sleeps because I would get essays and random questions answered in record-breaking time. I felt like Kate was on speed dial as a resource, and she always had a confident answer to my questions - and anxieties.
She really helped me tell my story, and I felt authentic and supported throughout this process. Seriously don't hesitate to use Kate!
Joined: May 25, 2020
I had a fantastic experience with Kate! For me there were 3 things that really stood out: her professionalism, her ability to take you from strategy through execution, and her genuine nature.
Professionalism: Practical, efficient, honest, prompt, straightforward. Really made an effort to understand my story and link back to it throughout the entire process. Offered balanced perspectives and took the time to walk through options.
Genuine nature: Kate is really friendly and down-to-earth. She's the type of person you'd look forward to interacting with through the stressful MBA application process.
Strategy through execution: Helped me thing strategically / big picture, to create a cohesive application strategy. But as we progressed, she was able to really drill into details and help me position details and nuances in a way that really helped me stand out.
Finally, I think the mbaMission business model is pretty compelling. You know exactly what you're getting up front... you don't have a 'middle man' situation where someone is trying to 'pair you' or [worse yet] gauge how much money they could get out of you.
I've been accepted to my dream M7 and am so grateful to Kate for all her support!
Joined: Feb 12, 2019
740 Q50 V40
Kate was instrumental in my MBA application journey from start to finish. She was extremely insightful, helpful and resourceful. When I was struggling with GMAT, she suggested various strategies for me to break out of the plateau stage and referred great tutor to help me. When I was brainstorming essay ideas and got stuck in difficult situations, ranging from not having enough ideas to having too many ideas, she was always there and ready to share wisdom and guidance. Kate struck a perfect balance between being an independent consultant and being resourceful.
Additionally, she was extremely responsive throughout the whole process. Whenever I had a question, she responded right away via email or phone call. Even during the rare days when she took time off, she gave more than adequate advance notice. During this challenging process with hair greying and weight loss effect :), it was so comforting to know that Kate always has my back.
If I were to do this again, I would choose Kate again in a heartbeat. Good luck to everyone looking to embark on this journey! Besides hard work, luck, and support from family and friends, Kate is the other invaluable and critical player to complete your dream team.
Joined: May 09, 2018
Attending an MBA program was a dream of mine for a couple years before I started working with Kate, and now it’s a reality! I’ve been admitted to multiple T20 US MBA programs, all with merit scholarships.
After a brutal year of studying for the GMAT and consistently scoring poorly, I felt it was even more important to work with a professional when applying to top business schools. I could not make the Round 1 deadline because I did not have a competitive score and didn’t want to risk having to re-apply the following year. For me, it was Round 2 or bust. After my fit call with Kate, I was eager to sign up for the Complete Start-to-Finish package for four schools.
Kate was instrumental in helping me formulate my story, building a strong resume, helping me guide my recommenders, and partnering with me throughout the entire process. As someone who has a very small MBA network and in a field that traditionally does not hire MBAs, I knew I would have tons of questions and Kate is a great sounding board for every and any question I had. As someone applying for the first time, I knew I wanted to do this right and Kate was a great partner and helped me feel confident that the applications I sent out were the best possible.
Having Kate was so important for me because I was still studying for the GMAT when we started working together. I can’t imagine the hours I would have spent mulling over my essays without guidance. Having Kate allowed me to send her drafts and receive fantastic feedback – freeing up time to study. Kate also helped me realize the GMAT was not working for me and pursue the GRE. This was a difficult decision because I had invested SO much time in the GMAT and I desperately wanted to earn a 700+ score, but I took the leap and didn’t look back. The GRE turned out so much better than I expected and I even admitted that the GRE was fun…I guess it’s fun when you do better than you expect!
Another weak aspect of my profile is my work experience. Kate helped me to formulate a story and make sense of my work experience within each organization I worked for and why I jumped from company to company (I had three jobs in the span of 5.5 years). This was helpful in my interview process and I was able to leverage my experience in a meaningful way to avoid being labeled a “job hopper”.
I really appreciate Kate’s dedication to my MBA journey. She often returned my documents well before the required 2-day turnaround time. Since she is on the East Coast and I am on the West Coast, I would always wake up to multiple documents returned and could tackle them first thing in the morning! Kate was strategic in mapping out my application timeline, based on the amount of work needed to complete the application. For example, we started with Duke Fuqua’s application due to the amount of work required. Completing this application took many iterations, but this helped establish a strong foundation to tackle other schools’ applications.
Kate is personable and someone who genuinely wants to help you succeed. I enjoyed chatting with her about current events and even life outside of work/business school! She shared her experiences at Booth, in consulting, and even helped connect me with MBA students in her network at schools I was interested in. All in all, I would highly recommend Kate as an admissions consultant. The application process was so much smoother than I could have imagined and I’m thrilled to be an MBA candidate this Fall!
Joined: Sep 26, 2018
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As a prospective student who had a traditional business background and a mediocre GRE score, I was worried about creating an application that would help me stand out from the competition. I was hesitant toward using consulting services at first, but once I had my initial consult and was paired with Kate, I couldn't have been more satisfied. Kate was extremely supportive throughout my entire application process and was always great about answering my questions in a timely manner. She was especially helpful in crafting my story with me by asking me questions that allowed me to dig deep and uncover my personal/career aspirations and goals. If it weren't for Kate's ongoing guidance, there's no way I would have been admitted to both Kellogg and Columbia's full-time programs!
Joined: Apr 20, 2020
740 Q46 V46
Kate is everything you would want in a consultant. She is conscientious, punctual, and an incredible resource. I primarily used her services for essay review and she exceeded my expectations with her level of insight and technical proficiency. The resources she provided were invaluable and the process was very smooth. We worked as a team to develop highly targeted and relevant essays that I was proud to submit as part of my MBA applications. I will be starting at Kellogg in the fall of 2020. Without her guidance, I would not be where I am today. I am so grateful for her help and highly recommend her.
Joined: Apr 02, 2020
740 Q45 V47
I worked with Kate using mbaMission's hourly services to apply to four schools this past fall (Round 1). Kate was amazing to work with, and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to apply! Whichever package you decide is right for you, Kate will be a source of encouragement of guidance throughout the application process and help to bring out YOUR best story to the admissions teams.
I'd initially reached out to another admissions consulting company, and when I told her my target schools (HBS, Stanford, Wharton and MIT) they were discouraging and dismissive based on the names on my resume (I went to a state school for undergrad and work for Accenture). During my initial call with Kate, she was encouraging in pointing out the strengths she noticed (triple major, high GPA, unique project experience), while straightforward with me in identifying weaknesses I could address (like re-taking the GMAT to bump up my score slightly above average).
I decided to use mbaMission's hourly service package for a lower cost option, and I found this to be of great value. I worked with Kate early on to brainstorm and strategize, prep my recommenders, and write essays. Kate worked with me to craft a unique and strong story that got me interviews at 3/4 of the schools I applied to (HBS, Wharton and MIT)!
I'm planning to attend Wharton next fall, and I could not have done this without Kate!!!
Joined: Feb 15, 2020
710 Q48 V40
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!!