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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: 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
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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
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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.
Joined: Mar 27, 2019
750 Q49 V44
First, a huge huge thank you to Kate!!! She helped me overcome several trickier elements about my application to help me a land an offer at dream school!! I cannot thank her enough!!
When I started looking seriously into MBA programs I realized that this was going to be a harder task than I had originally thought. As an older white-male in consulting, with a lower GPA, a recent job move, and an aspiration to switch industries, I had many challenges to overcome. I reached out to several consultants in May (ahead of the round 1 deadlines in September), to get a sense of how feasible business school would be. Straight away from the first conversation, Kate stood out in a big way, and I could sense that she would be a great person to work with.
There were several facets that not only made it great to work with Kate, but also made the process successful. First, from the moment we first spoke, it was clear that Kate is positive and constructive in the way that she engages with you. I noticed this straight away when I compared the first discussion with Kate to those of other consultants, who had interjected with “you’re not going to get in to that school” when I described my situation and goals. Throughout the process, Kate was great at building upon my first thoughts and helping me construct a successful application (e.g., starting from my self-reflections to craft a more succinct and compelling view of who I am). Second, Kate quickly focused on building a great story. She took time to really get to know me in a genuine way, showing a lot of empathy and understanding of who I am throughout the process. From this, we were able to build a unique story from my life experiences. I was really impressed at how much she was able to connect the dots between my life experiences! Third, she was honest and clear about weaknesses and options for how to address them. In this part, it became very clear that Kate has significant experience with consulting for applications. Her experience and approach gave me confidence that we were addressing the challenges (as noted above) in a systematic manner. Finally, Kate’s positive and constructive nature enabled us to have maintain a fluid, comfortable, and open dialogue, which felt very much like a team / partnership approach to the process. Kate was very open to working with me to develop the work together, often co-creating the way in which we would articulate something about me. It was such a great feeling to be going through the process with someone who knows me well, is invested in success, and works in a positive, constructive, and collaborative way!
So what did all of this translate into? Here were the outcomes of going through the process with Kate. First, I had confidence that I was putting my best foot forward, given that I was teaming with an experienced consultant, who knew me very well, and who was invested in me. Second, I had belief that what seemed to be an insurmountable goal could become a reality, which in turn drove my motivation. Third, I actually learnt a little about myself. By Kate getting to know me so well, she was able to help me articulate myself in a way that I had not thought of before. This in turn, helped me understand more about who I am as a person, which I will take with me to business school and beyond! For example, she connected a specific part of my childhood experience to my leadership style at work, which helped me understand why I am more effective at leading teams with a certain background (I had not reflected on this before!). While I didn’t touch upon this detail in my application, it is this level of reflection and learning that I think is so important for the admissions process (a lot of the process is about who you are and your story!) and more generally in life! Finally, we had a successful outcome on the applications, getting into my dream school directly during round 1!
If you are considering working with somebody on business school applications, I could not recommend Kate more! It was an absolute joy to partner with her! Through the ups and downs in the process, the humorous and more serious moments, and from beginning to end, she was fantastic to work with, and I look forward to keeping in touch with her!!
Joined: Aug 07, 2018
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I'm a Guatemalan who majored in philosophy. Professionally, I was trained in innovation management consulting and entrepreneurship, ending up in as dean of a liberal arts college at a Guatemalan university that functions much like a startup, since the college is radically innovating on how higher education works.
When I began exploring options to further my career, an MBA was perhaps not on the top of my list. After having a go at my first startup, I was still interested in entrepreneurship and starting my own company. After talking to friends and colleagues, I decided to pursue an MBA.
Soon after beginning the process, I realized that it was a bit overwhelming and that getting a helping hand would greatly improve my chances of getting accepted at a school I was interested. That's when I contacted mbaMission and Kate Richardson became my guide.
Throughout the process, Kate relentlessly pushed me to perfect my pitch to the schools I applied. We worked on my resume, essays and short answers many times. Kate helped me stay motivated and gently push me in the right direction. Without her feedback, I would not have been able to tell my story in such a compelling manner which even landed me a scholarship!
Working with mbaMission, and especially Kate Richardson, was a great decision. The turnaround times for the work I submitted were great: when I submitted an essay for review, Kate would have it in a day or two. I would get great all-around feedback, since Kate would know all the schools I was applying to, the story I was trying to tell and give my guidance on how to tell that story in the most compelling manner.
I am immensely thankful to Kate and the mbaMission team!
Joined: Oct 15, 2014
720 Q51 V35
I couldn't thank Kate enough for her help and support throughout the admissions process. Last summer, after speaking with a number of admissions consulting services, I decided to set up an initial 30-min call with Kate from mbaMission. On that call, Kate analyzed my profile and discussed her thoughts on my application strategy. She wanted me to put my best foot forward and be confident (and not too stressed). For the next six months, we have spent countless hours on essays, short answers, interview preps etc., and Kate has been instrumental to all that. She has been extremely supportive and always reminded me of any important deadlines or deliverables. I'd highly recommend Kate for your admissions process.
Joined: Apr 04, 2018
620 Q39 V37
Like many others, I went through the process of doing the initial 30 minute consults with many other admissions consultant firms. Right away I could tell there was something different about Kate. She didn't focus just on the raw scores but on the compelling story we could tell based on my background.
Throughout the 4 months I worked with her the process could not be smoother; timelines were established, there was constant follow-up and communication. She was also honest about feedback and made sure the essays were genuine.
With her help I made it into some of my choice schools! I would highly recommend her to anyone.
Joined: Jun 01, 2018
750 Q48 V45
I absolutely loved working with Kate, and could not recommend her more!!
I purchased 5 ad-hoc hours to start for 5 schools, intending to use them primarily for essay review. I ended up purchasing 5 more hours later in the process for more essay review / interview prep. Even though I had a good idea of my "story", we started out with brainstorming, which was actually very helpful. Kate pushed me to think of strong, personal examples and worked with me to bring them through in my essays. When editing my essays, Kate gave very tactical recommendations for what elements were essential/nice to have/missing, which I really appreciated. Kate was extremely helpful during interview prep, and she definitely asked the hard questions, which prepared me well. I got interviews for 3 schools and did a mock practice with her for each one of them.
Kate always provided quick and thorough responses to my emails, which I really appreciated during the stressful application period. Moreover, she would always get edits back to me as scheduled or even earlier.
At the end of it all, I'll be going to Wharton, which was my first choice, and couldn't have done it without Kate's help. I would highly recommend Kate for those applying from any industry or function!