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.
Judy from Harvard Kennedy School for 33 years
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
Mario from Yale School of Management
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.
Nicole from Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania
Nicole 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 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.
Ritu from Columbia Business School
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.
Humaira from the Kellogg School of Management
Humaira has an MBA with a concentration in Marketing and Strategy from the Kellogg School of Management.
She graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in English and Economics. At Wesleyan, she pursued both interests by writing for the school newspaper and interning at Merrill Lynch. After getting her BA, Humaira joined JPMorgan in New York as an Investment Banking Analyst. Upon completing the analyst program, she served as an editor at Standard & Poor’s, where she was selected to work on high-profile reports on credit rating changes. She went on to complete her MBA, during which she helped develop the marketing strategy for an energy bar start-up and served as VP of the Marketing Club. Soon after, she put her marketing education to work in a brand management role at Clorox. Today, she advises executives on branding and leads workshops on persuasive writing as an Associate Director at CEB, a consulting company.
Vanessa from Harvard Kennedy School & Relay Graduate School of Education
Vanessa holds two Masters degrees—a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education—and bachelors degree from the University of Chicago. In college, she was selected from over 1000 applicants for the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship from the U.S. Department of State, which funded her undergraduate and graduate studies and secured her a spot in the Foreign Service.
As a Foreign Service Officer, Vanessa served as a Consular and Public Affairs Officer in Indonesia and Vietnam. She then went on to serve as a U.S. Delegate to the United Nations World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, and International Fund for Agricultural Development. Vanessa is also a Teach For America alumna, having taught 6th and 7th grade Science in New York City.
Vanessa has a 100% acceptance rate for her university applications, having received acceptances from the following programs: Harvard Kennedy School, University of Chicago, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication, University of Maryland School of Public Policy, American University School of Public Affairs, Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Relay Graduate School of Education, and Hunter College Graduate School of Education.
Jamal from University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Jamal 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 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 and 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.
Karina from Harvard Kennedy School
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.
Connie from Duke Sanford School of Public Policy
Connie holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, with a focus on education policy, public finance, and evaluation. She received a half-tuition fellowship from the Sanford School, and was offered a full-tuition Dean’s Scholarship from USC’s Price School of Public Policy. At Duke, Connie led two student organizations, performed pro-bono consulting projects for non-profit organizations, and organized the EQUITY Fellowship, Duke’s first university-wide racial equity training.
In Chicago’s non-profit sector, Connie worked for the Chinese American Service League and the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Global Leaders Program (GLP). At IIT, she worked on career counseling and college applications with hundreds of Chicago-area high school students. In 2011, she was accepted to the New American Leaders Program (NALP), which prepares immigrants to run for office in the US. Connie graduated from the University of Chicago, where she received a Metcalf Fellowship. She earned a B.A. in sociology with honors, and has served for six years as an alumni interviewer for UChicago to dozens of students in the US and abroad. Connie is a proud native of Beijing, China, and has also worked and volunteered extensively in East Asia for Tsinghua University, Beijing Botanical Garden, and Taiwan Fund for Children and Families. She speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and is proficient in French.
Currently, Connie lives in Taipei, Taiwan. She works on program development, data, and evaluation for IMPCT, a social enterprise bringing early childhood education to developing countries which received the 2015 Hult Prize in global social entrepreneurship with $1 million USD in seed funding. In her spare time, Connie does swing dance and photography, and enjoys reading books by the dozen.
Marcus 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 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.