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.
Consultant Team at The Art of Applying
Sonia, Associate Director of Consulting
Sonia holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. At Kennedy, she received the Public Service Fellowship, a full tuition scholarship for students committed to working in the public sector, and the Harvard International Development Summer Grant for first-year students interning with development organizations in developing countries. She served as a Dean’s Ambassador and also co-chaired the HKS Latino Caucus, which works across Harvard University to connect Latino students and those interested in issues affecting the Latino communities.
In 2011, when Sonia completed her studies at the Harvard Kennedy School, she began working as a strategy and financial management consultant with Nonprofit Finance Fund in New York City. There she designed and led customized consulting engagements focused on facilitating long-term sustainability. She also served as co-initiative manager for the Mellon Loan Fund, a bridge loan program for arts and culture organizations across the United States, and co-authored a research paper on the barriers to providing high-quality early child care education in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Sonia also graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado, where she was a Jesse H. Jones Scholar and a National Hispanic Scholar.
In her free time, Sonia loves to bake yummy gluten-free goodies (yes, it’s possible!), practice martial arts, and run around with her dog Cookie.
Nicole, Mindset Coach for The Art of Applying
Nicole’s eclectic background in coaching, business, and psychology make her uniquely positioned to be your Mindset Coach. She has also served as a Consultant at The Art of Applying.
After an accomplished career in Ecommerce and management consulting, Nicole became an International Coaching Federation Associate Certified Coach to help clients create the life they want to lead. She 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 League of 200 skaters (despite having very little ice skating experience growing up in Hawaii!).
Nicole has 10 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.
Kimberly, Mindset Coach for The Art of Applying
As a Mindset Coach for The Art of Applying, Kimberly’s experience provides a unique perspective and understanding of the mindset needed to bring your best self to the application process.
As a university professor, Kimberly mentored students through the process of applying for advanced degree programs and also served on graduate admissions committees where she reviewed applications and conducted admissions interviews and played an integral role in final admissions decisions.
Kimberly’s passion for mentoring led her to become an International Coach Federation, Associate Certified Coach and she is also certified by Multi-Health Systems to deliver emotional intelligence training to help clients maximize their success. Studies indicate that while cognitive and technical skills are required for professional success, it is emotional intelligence (e.g. self-confidence, time management, effective communication) that is the best predictor of success and will set you apart.
Kimberly earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cancer Biology in 2001 and in 2007 completed postdoctoral training at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Kimberly was the recipient of several awards, including the Wellcome Trust Biomedical Research Award, the American Society for Cell Biology Young Investigator Award, and the American Cancer Research AFLAC Scholars in Training Award, which recognize young investigators for outstanding productivity and innovation in research. She was also the recipient of fellowships that provide funding to support career development in biomedical research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the California Breast Cancer Research Fund, and the Hooper Foundation.
In 2007, Kimberly was awarded a prestigious five-year grant from the NIH to build an independent research program focused on breast cancer (awarded to only the top 1% of applicants). In 2009, she joined the faculty at the University of Arizona Cancer Center where she continued her research and mentored undergraduate, graduate, and medical students for their career development.
Kimberly lives in Tucson Arizona, and in her free time loves gardening and photography as they help her slow down and enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran Desert.
Karina 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.
Selena graduated from Harvard Business School in 2015. Her background marries financial services and technology. Selena currently works in the Venture Capital and Innovation team at New York Life, where she serves both the insurance and investments businesses. Selena’s initial foray into technology came before “fintech” had a name. At UBS Financial Services Inc,she helped to iterate and launch one of the first ever electronic trading platforms for credit derivatives, the UBS Price Improvement Network (PIN). Before PIN, Selena worked on the institutional credit desk at UBS, serving a wide range of clients from hedge funds to traditional asset managers and insurance companies. After HBS, Selena worked at Gusto, a San Francisco-based HR technology company helping small businesses take care of their employees.
While at Harvard Business School, Selena was a Toigo Fellow and a proud member of section G where she was the community service chair. She was also a member of the African American Students Union (AASU), the HBS Art Society and the Venture Capital and Private Equity Club. Selena attended Howard University, graduating in 2008.
While in the Bay Area, Selena served as Regional Vice President for the Toigo Foundation alumni Associationand as a fundraising chair for the Harvard Business School class of 2015. Selena currently resides in New York City. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Alvin Ailey Young Patrons Circle. Selena enjoys traveling, art, volunteering and cooking. She is also learning (trying) to surf.
Raven holds a Masters degree in International Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Bachelors in Chinese Language and Education from College of the Holy Cross. Raven has spent the past five years living and teaching in various countries such as China, Taiwan, South Africa and Belize. She is currently the Career Program Manager at Auburn Global, Auburn University, where she designs and delivers the professional development courses and programs for the University’s international students. Prior to joining Auburn, she was the Academic Director of a summer Chinese language dual-immersion program at Qiangda Academy, where she was instrumental in launching the program’s international arm. Her background in international education is also complimented by her experience as a Corporate Contracts Translator for Jilai Law Firm, located in Beijing, China.
In her current position as the Career Program Manager, Raven coaches hundreds of international students on how to land their dream jobs, gain admission to graduate school, and win prestigious scholarships. Raven, herself, is the recipient of numerous academic awards. She is a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar, Fulbright ETA Award Recipient, and a Princeton Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow. While pursuing her undergraduate degree in Chinese language and Education, she studied abroad at Beijing University and the Beijing Institution of Education. As a stand-out among her peers, she was then selected as her school’s Presidential Scholar as well as for the ‘Senior Spotlight’, which highlighted only four of her undergraduate institution’s most outstanding senior class members.
In her spare time, Raven loves to travel and add to her collection of dolls from all around the world.
Catherine 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.
Ashley received a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law in 2011, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Pomona College in 2008. In law school, Ashley was a New York Women’s Bar Association Foundation Fellow and a Dean’s Scholar. She was an active member of the Black Allied Law Student Association, serving as Social Chairand 3L Liaison.
After law school, Ashley spent five years as a transactional associate in the New York City offices of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Sidley Austin LLP focusing on capital markets and commercial real estate finance transactions. She is a member of the New York State bar.
Ashley enjoys practicing her French language skills, recreational reading, trying new recipes and travel (and writing related reviews).
Mario 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.
Elisa 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.
Andrew is a current student at Yale finishing his M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. He is currently part of a biomaterials lab that is conducting revolutionary research on the physiology of the brain’s sub ventricular zone. His lab aims to harness the biology of the site’s native stem cells and regenerative prosperities to form minimally invasive therapies for brain traumas such as a stroke. He is also a member of the Yale Science Diplomats, whom work at the intersections of science and policy to push the boundaries of our nation’s scientific, environmental, and biomedical policies.
Before his time at Yale, Andrew was a General Engineering major at Harvey Mudd College, where he earned a B.S. with both Distinction and Honors. During his time at Mudd, he worked for the Admissions Office for three years. While he worked in Admissions, Andrew had a front row seat at the operations and discussions behind several large acceptance and financial decisions. Particular, Andrew managed several school visits for underrepresented students and the biggest merit and leadership scholarship pro-gram at Mudd. As well as being a receipt of said award, a full-tuition President’s Scholarship, Andrew also helped decide whom of the incoming students would be awarded the prestigious award next.
As well as an Admissions intern and tour guide, Andrew was an avid student leader and advocate for minority students; he was awarded four California State Assembly awards for his work in building campus community and mentoring his peers. He was involved in every branch of Student Affairs, including being a Residential Assistant/Proctor and founding a Social Justice Peer Education group. During this time, he used his connection to learn the intersection of STEM and leadership that really defines how successful a student will be in many technical programs.
Andrew also conduced world-class research during his time at Mudd. He investigated tissue-engineered therapies for treating traumatic brain injury (TBI). His work successfully modeled fetal TBI environments to evaluate the effectiveness of the engineered therapy. He has been published in the national 2015 BMES conference where he was a lead presenter for his work and was again published in 2017 at the international TERMIS EU conference where he was once again a lead presenter. He is currently wrapping up a manuscript for publication and finishing the loose ends on a successfully patented system for improving secondary intravenous infusions.
As a nationally certified peer educator, Andrew wants to use his engineering and mentoring skills to help others achieve a transformative educational experience and at the lowest possible prices. As someone who was admitted to virtually all his undergraduate institutions-including Columbia-with a full-ride scholarship, Andrew knows he can help you achieve your dreams as well.
Ritu 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 degree. Today 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.
Andrea received her JD from New York University School of Law in 2012, where she was awarded the Vanderbilt Medal for Outstanding Contribution to the School of Law after serving as a member of the Student-Faculty Admissions Committee, president of the Jewish Law Students Association, a teaching assistant, an articles editor for the Journal of Law and Business, and a producer/director of the Law Revue, NYU’s full-scale parody musical.
Before moving home to Minneapolis to practice corporate law, she worked as a transactional attorney in the New York City office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, before moving home to practice corporate law at Fox Rothschild LLP for five years. Her practice focused on emerging growth companies, corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions and joint venture real estate transactions. She now works as a nonprofit and small business consultant serving creatives, entrepreneurs, startup companies, arts organizations and nonprofits with their legal and other business needs.
Andrea’s first career after graduating cum laude from Pomona College in 2006 was in college admissions, working as an admissions officer for Haverford college just outside Philadelphia. She has read thousands of application essays and brings the eye of the admissions committee to her work with The Art of Applying clients.
Andrea performs improv comedy and coaches girls’ youth hockey in Minneapolis. She loves theater, art, and travel of all kinds, and just joined a rec volleyball league to try something new.
Rosette from Harvard Kennedy School
Rosette received a Master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 1998. Rosette has more than 24 years of experience in consulting, management, communications, information technology, policy and business development in local, state and federal governments, corporations, nonprofits, and multinational organizations.
She recently worked as the Strategic Communications Director for the nonprofit TechSoup, which provides low-cost technology and other tech-related opportunities to nonprofits in approximately 200 countries. Prior to that, she did public sector consulting and project management for 15 years. And prior to that, she worked in Europe and Africa for the U.S. State Department, U.S. Peace Corps, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. She has been a Project Management Professional (PMP) since 2003. Today, she is a management consultant for state and local government, nonprofits, and corporations.
In the volunteer space, Rosette is the Board President of the Sacramento Valley Returned Peace Corps Association, a nonprofit whose mission is to fulfill the third goal of the Peace Corps: to bring the world back home. She leads the organization in helping fund development projects and disaster relief; communicating to the 500+ returned Peace Corps volunteers in the area; and teaching the community about the culture and peoples outside of the U.S. Rosette is also the Co-Leader and Founder of the Colonial Heights Neighborhood Association, an organization that leverages her community’s assets to beautify the area; empower youth; make the neighborhood safe and clean; and, in general, transform the ‘hood’ for good. She also founded and runs the after school program, Explore and More!, which serves at-risk youth by providing them homework assistance, snacks, arts and crafts, and opportunities to play games like chess.
Rosette was inducted into the Milpitas High School Hall of Fame in 2016. She was an awardee of the Frank H. Williams Peace Corps award in 2012. And the Rosette Nguyen Health Center in Guinea, West Africa, was constructed in 1996 and still remains today to serve the citizens of Gobire, Guinea, and surrounding areas, who wouldn’t have been served over the last two decades if she hadn’t had it built.
Shayla from UC Berkley, Boalt School of Law
Shayla received her law degree from the UC Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. While at Berkeley, Shayla developed her passion for International Human Rights Law and diplomacy and participated in the California Asylum Representation Clinic and the International Human Rights Law Clinic. Shayla was also involved in the Boalt Hall Mock Trial Team and served as the National Financial Secretary for the National Black Law Students Association.
During her second year of law school, Shayla was a legal intern for Commissioner Timothy Simon of the California Public Utilities Commission. In this role, she regularly advised the Commissioner regarding the legal implications of various state regulatory issues involving energy, telecommunications, water and transportation.
Prior to attending law school, Shayla was a financial analyst for General Electric (GE) Energy in the Financial Management Program. Shayla also interned at Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers Investment Banks while earning her undergraduate degree with honors from Howard University, where she received a full merit laureate scholarship. Shayla is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. where she served as International Undergraduate Member-at-Large from 2008-2010.
Shayla is currently a partner at the Mount & Nash Law Group where she focuses on general civil and business litigation. She is also a member of the Orange County Nuisance Abatement Board and a 2017 New Leaders Council – Orlando Fellow. In her free time, Shayla enjoys spending time with her husband and reading.
Zoe from Harvard Medical School
Originally from Los Angeles, Zoe attended Vassar College for her undergraduate education where she majored in Science, Technology, and Society. During her Junior Year, Zoe received the Ann Cornelisen Fellowship which allowed her to spend time in Ecuador working in Clinics and Hospitals in the country’s capital as well as working to practice, understand and contribute to culturally competent medical facilities in more rural areas of the country. During her senior year, Zoe worked as a Pre-medical Advisor for the Office for Fellowships and Pre-Health Advising where she was able to gain experience assisting students in navigating the path to medical school. Zoe swam as a member of the Varsity Swim Team at Vassar during her senior year as well as served as President of the Class of 2015. She graduated from Vassar with honors and went on to begin her medical education at Harvard Medical School the following year.
In addition to her MD, Zoe is currently pursuing a Master’s in Bioethics from the Harvard Center for Bioethics. She currently works as a researcher for the Brigham and Women’s Department of Surgery helping to examine quality of life and patient outcomes in the Department’s Vascularized Composite Allograft Transplantation Program.
In her free time, Zoe loves jigsaw puzzles, cooking, and pretending she can still swim.
Michelle from Harvard Kennedy School
Michelle Tran Maryns holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. At the Harvard Kennedy School, she was one of three students selected to attend the Journalism in the Service of Democracy summit sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. During her time there, she was also elected as a Master in Public Policy class representative, was an intern with WBUR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook, conducted community organizing work with Bikes Not Bombs, completed a consulting project for American Abroad Media, and volunteered at Rosie’s Place (the first women’s shelter in the United States).
Prior to the Harvard Kennedy School, Michelle graduated with honors from the University of Kansas (KU) in 2007 with a BA in Slavic Languages & Literatures. During her time at KU, Michelle was awarded the 2006 Truman Scholarship, the 2005 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, the 2007 Chancellor’s Student Award: Alexis F. Dillard Student Involvement Award, the 2007 Laird Russian East European Studies Essay Competition Award, the 2006-2007 Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center KU Woman of Distinction Award, the 2006 University Scholarship, the 2004 Kansas Asia Scholarship, and the 2004-2005 Multicultural Scholars Development Program Scholarship.
At KU, Michelle served as the Student Union Activities’ Cultural Arts Coordinator and led the Lawrence Fair Trade group as an Oxfam America CHANGE Initiatives leader who was selected to participate in the Youth Exchange for Trade Justice in Hong Kong. She also worked at the Center for Russian and East European Studies, Dole Institute of Politics, Dole Media Lab, Student Recreation Fitness Center, and the Lied Center of Kansas.
After graduating from Harvard Kennedy School in 2009, Michelle became a Foreign Service Officer and a Public Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Department of State. She then conducted outreach as a Community Relations Specialist at the U.S. Department of Justice – U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Minnesota, worked as a Strategy Consultant at Rêve Consulting, led the digital team at the American Academy of Neurology, and served as the Chief of Strategic Initiatives at Meda (a nonprofit that helps minority entrepreneurs succeed as a way to encourage thriving communities through equal economic participation). Prior to being Chief of Strategic Initiatives, Michelle was Meda’s Director of Marketing.
Currently, she is freelance consulting as she pursues her dream to become a social entrepreneur. She has been working on projects with Greater MSP, Spinning Wylde, Skip Scooters, WORKSHOP, and The Art of Applying. In the past, she has worked with Zaarly, Boosted Boards, Ova Woman, and Stitch Fix. In her free time, Michelle co-founded the Service Design Network Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter and is helping to coordinate their first regional conference. Recently, she also led a group of high school students from China on a social entrepreneurship/human-centered design learning trip to Panama for ThinkImpact.
Judy, Consultant Emeritus
Judy 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 www.70-something.com
She has two sons—HKS MPP, Class of 1997 “despite his mother being there” who is now The New York TimesFrugal Traveler and Kellogg MBA 2000 who is CFO for a boys school.