Junior private equity investors often pursue an MBA in order to advance in their investment careers, so the big challenge was finding a way to differentiate Jamie from the many other applicants with similar backgrounds also vying for slots at the top business schools.
HBS focuses on all-round personality rather than a single-dimensional focus. As Jamie worked with us on the Plan Ahead Service, we mapped out places for him outside work where he could start to demonstrate community involvement and show leadership skills. Jamie was passionate about immigration issues, so we worked with him to strategize ways to become involved in the field. Through our brainstorming, Jamie ended up joining a national immigration non-profit and started its Chicago chapter.
Our consultants also helped him start an internal mentorship program at his PE fund to groom junior investors into long term leaders. By starting this process early and focusing on regular check-ins and well-managed project timelines, we ensured that Jamie was able to build the perfect profile in time for his HBS application.
Taking a multi-pronged approach for the application, we focused on life stories for the main essay while relying on his resume, recommendation letters, and optional questions to focus on his work experience.
By the time we began work on the HBS application, Jamie had a wide variety of leadership experiences outside of the office as a result of the advanced planning we had done through the Plan Ahead Service. By launching the Chicago chapter for the non-profit, Jamie was able to make a substantial impact on the local community. He not only led the fundraising single-handedly but also recruited a volunteer team to scale the organization.
We helped Jamie build this community story and helped him trace incidents throughout his life on where he had gone above and beyond to support people in need. By using anecdotes, his story turned out to be powerful and emotionally affecting and brought out a real Jamie and showed his depth beyond buyout deals and leverage financing.
Jamie had applied to Harvard Business School and Wharton School. He got admits from both. He chose to go with Harvard.