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
Selena from Harvard Business School
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 Association and 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.
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.
Tara from Harvard Kennedy School
Tara Jeyaratnam is a Corporate Social Responsibility and Supply Chain Sustainability consultant with experience in the automotive, manufacturing, retail and tech industries. Tara works with businesses with supply chains in emerging markets on sustainability training and capacity building through her consulting practice GreenDreamsE.
Tara left Jaffna, Sri Lanka, her birthplace, in 1983 and has lived in India and Botswana before arriving in the US to pursue a MS in Engineering Management from Western Michigan University. She obtained her Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Madras in India. In 2010, Tara obtained a Master in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where she was a Mason Fellow, with a primary focus on post-conflict peace building and reconciliation through development.
Tara began her career at Cascade Engineering, a certified B Corp, where she held progressively responsible staff and operations positions and designed the company’s quality management and supplier selection systems. Tara led CSR and vendor development programs as Global Compliance Manager for Sears Holdings Corporations. In this role, she was the primary liaison for the company for resolving egregious labor violations to International Labor Organization (ILO) standards that had direct impact on migrant labor issues. After graduating from Harvard, Tara joined Infosys Technologies as a Lead Consultant in social sustainability and sustainable supply chain management.
Tara’s passion for women’s economic empowerment led her back to her native Sri Lanka in 2010, which was emerging from a 30-year war, and to help the over 80,000 women headed households (among them war widows and abused women) who had no recourse to any employment. She established a 501 (c) (3) social enterprise, GreenDreamsWomen, a micro-business incubator based in San Diego, which has trained over 50 women in income generating activities in Sri Lanka. The products that the women make are now being sold in the USA.
Tara is a founding board member and COO of the Harvard Kennedy School Community of San Diego, serves on the board of the San Diego Diplomacy Council and is a frequent speaker at the World Affairs Council of San Diego. Tara was appointed commissioner from District 5 to the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women where she chairs the Homeless committee.
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.
Sonia from Harvard Kennedy School
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.
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.
Mario enjoys cross-training, travel, biking, movies, and horology. He currently resides in Austin, Texas.
Rachel from Harvard Kennedy School
Rachel comes to The Art of Applying with over 15 years experience in the non-profit sector. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin (sometimes called a Public Ivy League School) and Harvard University. However, her academic career was not a straight line, and began in her home state of Wisconsin, at a community college.
Rachel began her education at the Madison Area Technical College, where she earned liberal arts credits to transfer to the University of Wisconsin. There, she matriculated with a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies. Rachel was awarded the prestigious Hilldale Undergraduate Research Fellowship in her final year of undergraduate study to help support her research on college attainment for students of color. She was also honored with a University of Wisconsin Trustee Leadership Award, recognizing her leadership contributions to campus life.
After college Rachel worked in community organizing and volunteer management at Briarpatch Youth Services, an organization that serves runaway, throwaway, and homeless youth in Madison, Wisconsin. As a result of her community building work, Rachel was elected to be the President of Dane County Association of Volunteer Services, and also the board of the state-wide organization, Wisconsin Coordinators of Volunteer Services.
While in Madison, Rachel became involved with Wisconsin Public Television, and began managing membership and fundraising drives on live TV. This experience was critical in preparing her for her next role at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, a media advocacy organization, where she did organization and movement building work across the country. In 2009, Rachel shifted her attention to consulting, and worked with the Girl Scouts of USA to help transition statewide councils into newly created national enterprise structure.
Later that year, Rachel began her studies at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, for which she was awarded a general scholarship. Rachel’s focus was on non-profit management and leadership development. While studying there, Rachel was selected to lead the Student Public Service Collaborative (SPSC), a student-led office dedicated to promoting the ideals of public service throughout and beyond the Harvard Kennedy School community. For her work with SPSC as a teaching fellow for HKS’s most popular class, Adaptive Leadership, Rachel was recognized with a Letter of Achievement from the Center for Public Leadership.
After graduate school, Rachel served as the Deputy Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, where she served as the liaison to the global Amnesty International community and drove significant achievements in the growth of activists and diversity, equity, and inclusion within the membership in the US. She is currently a management consultant focusing on issues of non-profit structure and management.
Rachel lives in Brooklyn, NYC. She enjoys knitting, reading science fiction, watching independent films, and wandering around her neighborhood with her Puggle, Della J. Beanz.
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 & 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
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.
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.
Shayla from UC Berkeley, 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.