|All Reviews > Katharine Lewis > Katharine Lewis Reviews|
Joined: Mar 20, 2017
As someone without a unique background, when I first started planning for my business school applications, I knew that I wanted to use the absolute best admissions consultant in the industry. I conducted extensive research, vetting senior consultants at many of the well-known admissions consulting firms, and then I found Katy. What drew me to Katy was her personal expertise with my top choice schools (Stanford, Harvard), an approach focused on deep personal reflection and thematic synthesis, and her track record of success. After our first phone call, I was sure that I had the very best thought partner available in the industry at my side.
Katy and I began working together by brainstorming a detailed framework that examined a wide range of my life experiences. From there, Katy was instrumental in helping me make connections across disparate parts of my experiences, allowing me to tease out compelling nuances that highlighted my unique decision making processes and internal motivations. As the outline of my essays took shape, Katy worked closely with me to think through trade-offs around what messages to focus on, how to succinctly and powerfully express these messages within constrained word counts, and ensure that every aspect of the application summed to whole that was more than the sum of its parts. And what was especially helpful about Katy is that she applied a rigorous intensity of feedback to not just my essays, but to all parts of my application, including my resume, preparation for my recommenders, and my interview preparation. By the end of all of our iteration and preparation together, I had confidence that I was expressing my best possible self to the admissions committees.
With Katy’s counsel, I applied to both Stanford and Harvard, and was accepted to both schools in round 1.
Looking back on these 12 months, I can say with confidence that working with Katy was one of the best professional decisions that I have ever made. I believe that Katy’s storytelling acumen, tactical experience borne from her decades of advising, and her willingness to go the extra mile for her clients quite simply make Katy the leading admissions consultant in the industry – period.
If you are seeking to be accepted into a top business school, I cannot recommend Katy enough.
Joined: Feb 18, 2020
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I spoke with many admissions consultants prior to meeting Katy from mbaMission. We clicked instantly. Two things about her stood out to me:
First and foremost, her honesty. Right from the start she was crystal clear about everything I needed to do in order to maximize my chances of getting into the top programs. Although some of things she asked me to do required a lot of work (like re-taking the GMAT), I am glad I listened to her. All throughout the application process, Katy was instrumental in helping me highlight the strong aspects of my profile, as well as address any potential weaknesses.
Second, her genuine care. Katy's unconditional support helped me get through the mentally and emotionally demanding MBA application process. In every step of the process - from GMAT preparation to final school selection - Katy was there to make sure I was OK and giving my very best. As a non-native English speaker, I found her essay reviews very helpful. She helped me articulate everything I wanted to tell admissions officers into concise messages. Interview preparation was also outstanding - many of the things she asked me during our prep sessions came up in the actual interviews!
The results speak for themselves: I applied to 5 different schools (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, and Kellogg) and received acceptances from all 5. I also received substantial fellowships from several schools. Katy was instrumental in helping me achieve this, I'm incredibly grateful for her support. If you are looking for an admissions consultant that will have your back through the ups and downs of the application process, Katy is your person.
Joined: Jan 29, 2016
I worked with Katy to prepare for my R1 HBS interview and I can't say enough about the experience. She's extremely knowledgeable about the application/interview/admissions process and knew exactly where to push me in my prep. We did two mock interviews where she drilled me on my professional experience, extracurricular activities and post-MBA goals. The mock interviews closely resembled what my actual HBS interview experience was like, with several questions / themes resurfacing during the real thing. She gave detailed advise as to how I should position myself given my background and professional experience (white male, private equity, etc.). I especially appreciated the fact that I never felt like I was "on the clock" with her - she genuinely wanted me to succeed and was willing to do whatever it took to help me prepare. Overall, Katy was extremely helpful in my MBA application process and I would highly recommend working with her.
Joined: Sep 19, 2017
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At the moment I’m writing this, I’ve just finished and sent my applications for HBS and Wharton R2, it’s still some weeks before interview invitations and a couple of months before final decisions.
Even with that said, I cannot recommend Katy enough. Ever since the free consultation she went further and beyond than what I expected and even experienced with other consultants at their respective free consultations. She was very open with me about my initial GMAT score which was not good enough for the schools I wanted to apply, furthermore given the date where I achieved a “decent” GMAT she was also very clear to me that I wouldn’t be able to land a 1R application and that we should better work towards R2. This very honest and mindful advice was key for me and I’m sure that many other consultants could have tried to seize the opportunity to rush an application and free one more client spot for R2, but not Katy.
So we started working for R2. The very first day of work she sent me all of the material I would need for the whole application process, which proved to be much more challenging and burdensome than what I had anticipated, but Katy helped me to go, firmly, one step at a time, putting attention to all details. During the first sessions she helped me define which schools I had a better chance given my profile (so I changed from Stanford and Berkley to HBS and Wharton…). As I am a Latin-American applicant coming from a family business, the differences in these programs were not very clear to me, so her insights for this initial and crucial part of the process were invaluable. Furthermore, and specially for someone coming from my background she helped me identify how should I present myself to the AdComs, what stories should I bring into my essays, and very very importantly how to choose and coach my recommenders.
Before continuing, I have to address Katy’s amazing skill to help me trim my essays, reducing a lot of clutter and to make them very clear, concise and directed specifically for the programs I had chosen.
Regarding the recommenders, given my background, it was the part of the application that I had the least idea on how to approach. Katy helped me identify my best fits given the stories I shared with them and how the fitted the rest of my application. Furthermore, she was in contact with them and guided them through the daunting recommendation writing process. If you are a Latin-American applicant, coming from a family company or even a regional company, I cannot stress on how important is that someone guides your recommenders during this process, as the very concept of Letter of Recommendation expected by the AdComs is very very different to what is/was in my recommenders heads.
Finally I have to recognize and thank Katy enormously because she went trough the whole process with me being available practically all the time, even despite all the holidays that come just before R2: Labor day, Columbus, Veteran’s, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s… And I didn’t even had to use express services nor anything like that.
Even if I don’t get admitted to any program (I applied with Katy only to HBS and Wharton, because that’s as far as my budget could go, but I applied to 3 other programs on my own) she helped me to give my best shot possible at ALL my application processes, because I learned so much about me and how to go through the application processes in general. I am sure that working with Katy was the best decision I could make, she really pours herself completely to help you; your application matters to her as much as you, as simple as that.
tl;dr: Katy is an amazing consultant, your application matters to her as much as to you. Amazing support. As LatAm applicant from family business background, LoR support was key for me. Tip: book early w/her.
Joined: Dec 29, 2019
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When I started the MBA application journey, I didn't know how necessary or valuable a consultant would be. I chose to work with Katy after reading her reviews online and chose her because she had worked in Stanford admissions, which at the time was my top choice. When we did our initial consultation, I told Katy that I was applying to Stanford, Haas, and Wharton. I didn't think I was "good enough" for HBS and didn't give it fair consideration because of this lack of confidence. Katy immediately told me that after looking at my profile she thought I should apply to HBS and having went there herself, told me about how great her experience was. I was shocked and flattered that an alumna thought I was worthy and so I decided to apply and Katy worked with me on my HBS application. We worked on about sixteen drafts of my essay, sending it back and forth to each other and it slowly came to life. Katy's help was priceless. I wouldn't have initiated a lot of the essay changes if I was working alone on it. I probably would have stuck with some of the original content that was not as strong, but when you have Katy reading it with you, she suggests ideas more objectively and challenges you to keep taking the essay to the next level. The second item that was helpful to me was organizing the information for my recommenders. Katy had an excellent template that made me a lot more confident in what I was asking my recommenders to write. She also read their letters and gave them feedback and both my recommenders said Katy was extremely helpful and appreciated the feedback as neither one of them had ever written MBA recommendation letters. I got interviews at all four programs I applied to and Katy offered to do mock interviews for all of them. Her mock interviews were very similar to my actual interviews and she had so many resources to help me prepare and feel most confident about them. In the end, I was accepted to HBS and I know for a fact that I would not have even applied if it were not for Katy saying she saw potential in me. For me, she was a true mentor. She gave me confidence and encouragement in every single email and conversation and helped keep me accountable and motivated through what can be a very long and stressful journey. I think a common struggle applicants have is always doubting if they are doing the right things in their applications and actually presenting the bet version of themselves. Having Katy there to give me that assurance and remove that doubt was invaluable. I am so thankful for Katy's help and encourage everyone to choose her as their mentor.
Joined: Dec 26, 2019
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I had an amazing time working with Katy for my business school application process. She goes above and beyond at every step, ensuring that my application reflected the best of who I am, and that the overall experience was as seamless and stress-free as possible. Aside from responding to clients at a rapid-fire pace (even if it means she has to stay up very late on many occasions), Katy made sure that I fully understood what business schools looked for and surfaced key actionable insights (e.g., helping schools understand the myriad transitions in my life, addressing my weaknesses) that I had no previous knowledge of, even after doing copious individual research and talking to other consultants / mentors. Furthermore, Katy’s vested interest in my development was clear from the get-go -- she wholeheartedly believed in what I was doing, and helped me believe in myself; ultimately, I would say I was a lot less stressed and much happier about the way my application / interview processes were going versus many of my friends undergoing the same routine, and I can confidently attribute this to Katy.
With her unique background (e.g., HBS alumni, ex-admission officer at GSB), her tenacity to help students succeed at the highest level, and her impeccable communication skills, Katy is absolutely THE business school admission consultant to work with.
Joined: Jun 26, 2019
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Katy not only read through my whole application to prepare for the mock sessions but also provided me with a great number of extremely helpful tips about selecting schools and reapplication. Katy also generously gave me a 20min call after I received my offers to help me make my decision.
Katy sincerely cares about me as a person and she is always there for me. I will definitely come back to katy if i decide to reapply to HBS and Stanford in the future! Honestly my biggest regret for my past application season is to not meet Katy early enough to have her as my admissions consultant.
Joined: Jun 09, 2019
I am an International student from India that managed to get into Harvard's 2+2 MBA program with the help of Katy. I always thought Consultants were overpriced and there wasn't much that they could do to help one get into these schools. I couldn't have been more wrong about it.
I phone screened about 10 Consultants before I decided to go with Katy. I was planning to apply to only two Schools: Stanford and Harvard. Since Katy graduated from one and was the admission officer at the other, I thought she would be great and she indeed was.
Katy made me fill out a 14-page word document to get to know me which had various questions including where I was born, my parents, incidents from my childhood, people who influenced me when I was young, my pre-MBA skills, post-MBA skills I plan on acquiring, etc. That word document made me reevaluate my whole life and after reading it, I think Katy knew more about me than most people. She guided me about what are my strong points, what the outline of my essay should be like, what points my recommenders need to emphasize, etc. She was prompt, accurate and clear in replying. What distinguished her from other consultants was her ability to relate to me and tell my own story to the admission committee in a way that made me stand out from other applicants. She also helped me a great deal with Interview preparation.
In my limited experience, I think Katy is the best Consultant for 2+2 MBA programs.
Joined: Aug 15, 2017
I phone screened many consultants prior to starting my application journey. I was the person who thought admission consultants were overrated and overpriced. Although a skeptic of the process, I trusted Katy to guide me through the application because I knew I had one chance and I wanted to get it right. I was not disappointed. Our brainstorming session gave me insights on not just the application, but my future career as a whole. She saw the pages of stories that defined who I am and crafted them eloquently into a cohesive package, which ultimately led to the HBS 2+2 program, DESPITE a much lower than average GMAT! She was always quick to turnaround essay drafts, even working on weekends when necessary. She TRULY cares deeply about each of her clients and will tell it like it is - which helped keep me grounded throughout the process.
These reviews were crucial in me deciding to pursue a relationship with Katy. As a lower GMAT, average stat 2+2 ADMIT, I trusted Katy and she delivered. She is able to find each person's unique story and package it into an effective profile. There were many hurdles especially with last minute recommendation cancellations and essay revisions. Katy was quick to call and helped plan out immediate next steps. She has experience that is, in my experience, invaluable. Reflecting on the entire process, what may seem like a large sum of money to pay to work with Katy, was in the long term, TRULY the best investment I ever made going through this process. You won't regret working with Katy.
Joined: May 30, 2019
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]
I've done a number of consultations with different coaches and Katy by far stands out. I did a free consultation with Katy after I was admitted and wanted some guidance on weighing a new career opportunity versus attending business school in the fall. She thoughtfully listened to my conflicting feelings and helped me to feel confident in either decision. She took away the feeling of now or never--I got in this year and we could work together next year to make it happen again next year. She also made me feel comfortable forgoing the career opportunity and gave me the permission to pursue what I really wanted: to attend school now. I'd highly recommend speaking with Katy--she knows admissions inside and out and is a great career coach to boot!