Our Story

Welcome to Ivy. Our philosophy is simple but powerful: your application is our application. Or to put it another way, Ivy is the only place where you’ll be grateful to be micromanaged. We founded Ivy MBA Consulting to meet the pressing need for personalized and comprehensive admissions expertise.

How did we get here?

Because our own application process sucked.

I’m not even sure you can call it a “process.” It was mostly an exercise in haggling’s ugly cousin: begging. In 2005, admissions advisors focused mainly on grammar and vocabulary – so for anything beyond an editorial proofread, we resorted to begging: Would anyone be willing to read our essays and tell us if our messaging was on point? Were there any alumni out there who could advise us regarding school fit? Could anyone tell us if our career path makes any sense? Frankly, we had no tools – all we had was a phone and some nerve. And we made it.

Given our general cluelessness, it is no surprise that we made lots of mistakes. And not small mistakes. Gargantuan mistakes. Mistakes in defining career goals, choosing the right schools, and coming up with an application strategy to maximize chances of admission.

Thankfully, between our first and second years at, respectively, Kellogg and Tuck, we were reacquainted while hanging around the cheese table at an admissions conference. We had a lot of catching up to do, since we hadn’t seen each other since our shared service in the Air Force. But our first question to the other was, “How in the hell did you manage to get accepted to your program?” We quickly realized that we had endured the same pain points. We’d both encountered fierce competition accompanied by a sense of sheer helplessness.

 

The birth of an idea

By the next morning, the cheese was gone, and Ivy was born: end-to-end consultation for the entire application process.

Like a parent who forces their kid to practice piano, we built our business model around sticking so close to our clients that they’d get sick of us—but would thank us later. One thing we knew for sure, this would not be a “hands-off” endeavor.

In what areas would we offer help? In choosing the best job post-undergrad as a first step in your long-term career; in defining your overall application strategy; in selecting the schools that are right for you; in providing guidance, editing, and draft iterations for all your application documents, including scholarship applications; in preparing you for interviews—and, yes, even in mentoring you for your first year’s internship pursuit.

During our first year of operation, we guided 14 brave applicants—I don’t know where they got the courage to trust an unknown brand—and every one of them got accepted. To this day, with many more applicants under our wing, we still read essays until 4:00 AM. We talk to each applicant personally, even though they have a dedicated personal advisor. And when decisions are announced, we are reminded of our first year – because we feel the exact same butterflies. Your application is our application, remember?

Thanks for visiting us.

David