Hi! My name is Kim. I have worked with EXPARTUS for nine years, and I have former clients who have attended most of the top 15 programs. Throughout college, I always intended to eventually join my family business, but I wanted to take a role out of school that would be a total learning immersion. There is no better experience for that than investment banking. It is one of the most fantastic experiences you can have; there is no other job where you immediately jump into the deep end with analytics, writing, team building and managing clients. I did want to add to my skills, which is why I opted to attend Columbia for my MBA. Why EXPARTUS? I was building my family and began to focus more on work/life balance. I took a step back to really consider what I was interested in. I absolutely love hearing people’s stories, their background and seeing how the decisions they have made have shaped who they are. While at Columbia, I always gravitated toward classes that reflected that interest, that curiosity about people – such as motivating and managing teams and negotiating. I have formed unique relationships with each of my former clients during my time working in MBA admissions consulting.Throughout our many conversations, I have been able to share my thoughts on their career plans, their community involvement and their goals for their time during the MBA – and I have truly enjoyed getting to know each of them. EXPARTUS allows me to do what I love – help people reach their goals. What are some of the biggest misconceptions that people have about successfully applying to business school? The number one misconception is that people go in thinking it is a chance to regurgitate accomplishments, such as how much money they raised for their fund or the value they brought to their firm. That information is important, but the adcom is just as interested in the ‘why’ behind that. Why were you driven to do all those things? Why do you wake up in the morning? What are your passions? As part of MBA admissions consulting, the personal brand audit helps us dig into what someone has done, the choices they have made personally and professionally. Then, from that document, I can dig into their backgrounds and find those quirky things to help me understand who they are and how best to convey that to those reviewing the application. Everyone who applies is super bright but the members of the adcom arealso looking for someone they would like to sit next to for two years.That comes across by sharing those extracurricular and personal experiences that give insight into the ‘why’ and not ‘the what’ of their accomplishments. What are some of the most challenging aspects of your job? Often it is convincing people to highlight their personal brands, encouraging them to weave into their application their love for Greek food or dance or travel. It is pushing them to be a bit more emotional and introspective about the process and be personal about it. That’s a really big hurdle for a lot of people that have a professional background that doesn’t allow or reward that. I worked with a woman who came from consulting and wanted to go into the restaurant industry. As an aside, she told me that she had spent time with the CEO of a growing restaurant chain and noticed that one day he saw silverware that had been accidentally thrown away. He picked it out, washed it and put it where it belonged. She mentioned how it helped her understand all of the things that go into starting your own business. Sometimes, it is just offhand remarks that are important. That example turned out to be the intro for her essay – how that informed her fundamental approach to business: get involved, get your hands dirty and ask questions, yet it is not something she thought was important at all. I worked with an investment banker who developedthe analytics needed for a fantasy basketball program for his friends. He didn’t think it was that important, but I highlighted how it shows his focus on friendships and community, while also reinforcing the analytical side. Finding that out was the result of me poking and prodding and asking people about their interests. What is your personal brand theme? I am really an explorer. I love to explore personally and to explore professionally. On the personal side I love to travel, and I have been to 35 countries. I love to take my family on quirky, interesting vacations. I have a very deep passion about learning about other people – where they have come from, what they have done. My motivation is that fundamental drive to learn about people,and I take that information, convince clients it is important to share and provide advise on how to effectively translate in the application.