We know what it takes to get you into your dream school.

Not only is our team of experts experienced and passionate in getting people into their dream schools, we have an extraordinarily diverse team in terms of personal and professional backgrounds. It’s important to us at The Art of Applying that our consultants represent the variety of work experiences, nationalities, and lived experiences we find among our diverse clients.

When you work with The Art of Applying consultant team, you will have a primary consultant and can draw on the expertise of our entire consultant team as necessary.

Judy from Harvard Kennedy School for 33 years

Judy headshotJudy Kugel joins The Art of Applying team after a 33-year career at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where she served on the admissions committee for 25 years.

At Harvard Kennedy School, Judy directed the Office of Career Services for many years. In 1997 she became Registrar. At retirement, she was Associate Dean of Students, a position she held for several years.

As a member of the MPP, MPA2 and Mid-Career MPA admissions committee, she evaluated thousands of applications.

A graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Political Science, Judy received a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College.

In 1972, she co-founded the Boston Project for Careers, a nonprofit organization formed to develop opportunities for individuals who were seeking part-time professional positions, often after being at home with young children. The organization was one of the first to promote job-sharing in professional positions.

Judy is the author of numerous personal essays and travel articles in newspapers and magazines. Exploring transitions has been a theme throughout Judy’s career and she has taught workshops on that subject. A determined journal writer, she has been blogging twice-weekly at

She has two sons—HKS MPP, Class of 1997 “despite his mother being there” who is now The New York Times Frugal Traveler and Kellogg MBA 2000 who is CFO for a boys school.

Mario from Yale School of Management

Mario HeadshotMario holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, where he focused on asset management and economics. He was a Joseph C. McNay Fellow in Finance, Consortium Fellow, and Robert Toigo Fellow. While at Yale SOM, he co-led the Black Business Alliance and served as a student liaison for the Consortium. He was heavily involved with the Investment Management Club, Finance Club, and Yale Leadership Institute. He received a BBA from Howard University, where he concentrated in finance.

Mario works with Dimensional Fund Advisors, covering broker-dealer distribution. He works with financial advisor clients across several regions of the US, educating them and prospective clients on Dimensional’s investment philosophy and strategies, and helping them with strategic business initiatives. Much of his role involves updating clients on capital markets research, consulting on portfolio construction, and assisting with client communication.

Prior to business school, Mario worked in strategy consulting with Accenture, where he conducted analyses and provided recommendations on post-merger integration to clients in the financial sector.

Mario enjoys cross-training, travel, biking, movies, and horology. He currently resides in Austin, Texas.

Nicole from Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania

Nicole HeadshotNicole received her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating as a Palmer Scholar (top 5%). She was awarded the Isik Inselbag Scholarship for excellence in academics, leadership, teamwork, and service. She was one of 40 Leadership Fellows selected to mentor the next class in leadership and communication. She also served as a member of the MBA Program Office Advisory Board on Student Life, Cohort Social Chair, Technology Club Career Development Director, and Co-President of the Wharton Wildmen Ice Hockey Leagueof 200 skaters (despite having very little ice skating experience growing up in Hawaii!). Nicole has 8 years of experience in corporate strategy, business development, M&A, and international expansion in Ecommerce and Technology.

Following business school, Nicole spent 5 years at eBay as a founding member of the eBay Marketplaces M&A team and closed global deals totaling >$100M. She also headed her group’s MBA summer internship program and was responsible for recruiting and managing interns. Prior to business school, she was a management consultant focused on Media & Entertainment and Retail at L.E.K. Consulting in Los Angeles and Sydney. Nicole holds a BA in Psychology from Yale University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude (top 10%). At Yale, she was an Undergraduate Career Services Peer Counselor helping fellow students polish their resumes, research potential careers, and apply for jobs. She is currently a freelance business consultant, exploring the world. In her free time, Nicole enjoys teaching yoga, scuba diving, hiking (she completed the 500-mile Camino de Santiago!), and meditation.

Lin from Harvard Kennedy School & UCLA Anderson School of Management

lin-yang-headshotLin has both a MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. He was a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at Harvard and a member of the UCLA Anderson Honor Society (top 15%). He received full-tuition scholarships at both institutions. Lin received his BS from Cornell University, majoring in Policy Analysis and Management.

During his academic career, he was intimately involved in admissions. At the Harvard Kennedy School, he served as the organizer of the Public Policy and Leadership Conference (PPLC), where he worked closely with the admissions office to select high-achieving undergraduate students for a four-day crash course on how to become a public policy professional. At UCLA Anderson, he volunteered as an Admissions Ambassador and conducted 30 admissions interviews for the MBA program.

He began his career teaching high school math as part of Teach for America. Sensing a glaring hole in higher education counseling at his school, he started coaching students after hours on how to apply for college. After getting his MPP, he became a consultant for Education Resource Strategies, a non-profit that worked with public school districts to tackle their strategic and organizational challenges.

But a passion for international affairs compelled him to move to Asia and embark on a new career: journalism. What began as a 6-month stint eventually lasted three years, in which he wrote for the New York Times, South China Morning Post, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), and The Straits Times, covering politics, business, technology, cultural, and travel stories. He also produced TV news packages for China’s CCTV International. He returned to the US afterwards for business school.

Lin currently specializes in executive communications in the technology and creative industries in San Francisco.

Ritu from Columbia Business School


Ritu consultantRitu holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.  During her time there, Ritu nurtured her interest in journalism through serving as Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Bottom Line, the business school’s online newspaper, and through coursework at the Columbia School of Journalism.

Upon graduating from Barnard College in 2004 with a degree in Economics, Ritu moved to London to partake in an internship program at UBS.  After completing the year-long program, she relocated back to her hometown of New York to continue her career in financial services.  She held various roles at Goldman, Sachs & Co., Cedarview Capital, and J.P. Morgan before pursuing her graduate degreeToday she helps various companies with their marketing efforts.

During her free time, Ritu loves to explore health and fitness-related activities, and collect stamps in her passport.

Jamal from University of Chicago Booth School of Business

jamal-headshot-croppedJamal holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where his concentrations were finance and entrepreneurship. He is a 2011 Management Leadership for Tomorrow MBA Prep Fellow. At Chicago Booth, Jamal was a leading member of the Investment Management Club, the LGBT student group OUTreach, and Follies. He received a BBA from Howard University, where he majored in International Business, and minored in Finance and Japanese.

Jamal has worked at Dimensional Fund Advisors, where he interned in portfolio management and worked full-time as a consultant to financial advisor clients. His roles included advising about asset allocation and strategic planning for business development.

Prior to business school, Jamal worked in Investment Management at William Blair & Company, where he managed trade orders for all domestic mutual funds and helped launch the firm’s separately managed accounts business. He has also worked at the Northern Trust Company where he performed a daily calculation of net asset value for defined contribution and defined benefit plans.

Jamal is a thirty-something Chicago native currently loving the weirdery of Austin, TX. After completing an MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, he moved to Austin as an investment professional. Jamal is now pursuing entrepreneurship fulltime – when not reading the Economist, interrogating philosophies, or loving chai lattes.

Elisa from Cornell Johnson School of Business and School of Industrial Labor Relations

Elisa HeadshotElisa has an MBA and Masters of Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell’s Johnson School of Business and Cornell’s School of Industrial Labor Relations. Elisa focused on Marketing during her MBA and Organizational Behavior during her time at ILR, combining her interests in consumer behavior and decision making in organizations. Both of Elisa’s internships during her studies were with IBM in HR in Sao Paolo, Brazil and Enterprise Sales in New York City. Shortly after graduation Elisa joined IBM in a rotational development program, gaining experience in HR, Marketing, and Finance. Elisa decided to leave IBM to join the startup world in 2014, where she worked as both a Director of Human Resources and Product Marketing Manager for two different artificial intelligence companies.

Prior to graduate school, Elisa worked for a human resources lobbying firm in Washington, DC. She went to undergraduate at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, where she majored in City Planning and Spanish. Elisa speaks 4 languages, loves travel and international cooking, horseback riding, and spending time outdoors with her husband and two dogs.

Kharmika from Duke Sanford School of Public Policy


Kharmika holds a Master’s degree from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy with a focus on Foreign Affairs & Diplomacy and Economics. Kharmika’s attendance at Duke was supported by the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship and a scholarship from Sanford.

She also studied Economics, Management, and Political Economy through an exchange program at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany. Her master’s thesis on migrant labor reform in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries was published in the Sanford Journal of Public Policy.

Kharmika currently works for the United States Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer. She has studied Spanish, Arabic, and Dutch. She has a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she majored in International Studies and minored in Spanish. Before graduate school, Kharmika did a handful of internships including with Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) on Capitol Hill, and at the U.S. Embassy to Qatar in Doha. She also worked on Jon Corzine’s 2009 re-election campaign and at a state-sponsored public policy institute, both in Trenton, NJ.

Karina from Harvard Kennedy School

karinaKarina holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. At the Harvard Kennedy School, she was the recipient of the Center for International Development travel scholarship and the Women and Public Policy’s Roy Family Internship Program fellowship. She also co-chaired the International Bridge Builders Conference that convened grassroots leaders from developing countries to exchange experiences and gain skills.

Upon graduating from Tufts University in 2002, with a BA in International Relations, Magna Cum Laude and high thesis honors, Karina received the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award and spent one year developing the Esperanza Cultural Center in a shantytown in Santiago, Chile.

In 2008, when Karina completed her studies at the Harvard Kennedy School, she moved to Mexico and held leadership positions in diverse social change organizations dedicated to poverty alleviation. When she returned to the United States in 2012, she worked as a Program Associate at the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI), where she provided capacity-building services to the organization to strengthen its community impact programs. From 2013 to 2015, she was successively a fellow at We Are All Brooklyn and Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations (COJECO).

Currently, Karina is leading FXB USA, an international development organization, by developing a broad base of support for FXB programs, building a strong evidence base for FXB’s impact and expanding its presence in the U.S.

In her free time, Karina loves to spend her time with her two children.

Marcus from Harvard Graduate School of Design

Marcus Headshot.001Marcus is a third year student at Harvard University’s Graduate School
of Design pursuing dual masters degrees in architecture (MArch I) and urban planning (MUP). Marcus was selected as one of twelve students from graduate schools across Greater Boston to receive the Rappaport Summer Public Policy Fellowship through Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. For his fellowship, Marcus worked with the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency supporting local economic development initiatives in the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities. Recently, Marcus was a finalist for the American Planning Association’s Daniel J. Curtin, Jr. Fellowship, and will be working with the APA’s Planning & Law Division during the academic year. At Harvard, Marcus is passionate about creating a more equitable built environment and has taken courses at Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard College.

Prior to entering Harvard, Marcus graduated from Swarthmore College with a bachelor’s of art degree. He majored in art history and minored in public policy. At Swarthmore, Marcus was a Philip Evans Scholar, selected as one of six students in his class to receive summer stipends and a merit-based academic award.

In his free time, he enjoys visiting art museums, going on long bike rides, and reading the news.

Catherine from Stanford Law School & Stanford History Department

Catherine.001Catherine has a JD from Stanford Law School and is currently a PhD Candidate in the History Department at Stanford, where she studies human rights movements in the Arab world. Her studies at Stanford are supported by a five-year fellowship, and she has won research awards and scholarships from the American Society of International Law, the law firm Chadbourne and Park, the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation, and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies. She has an MA in Middle East Studies from the American University in Cairo where she was awarded a full fellowship for her degree.  After law school, Catherine worked as a judicial clerk on the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

After graduating from college and being accepted to public policy MA programs (including The Fletcher School), Catherine decided instead to move to Cairo where she worked for a research center and founded a non-governmental organization that provided service-learning programs for American college students in Egypt. She speaks three languages and has worked on human rights and development projects in Afghanistan, Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, and Jordan. She is a member of the State Bar of California.

In her free time, she likes to explore ancient cities and try out new recipes.