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Our MBA Admissions ConsultantsThe Experts

Vanessa Gil


Bachelor’s degree from Harvard, Magna Cum Laude; MBA from Wharton.

About Vanessa

Vanessa Gil is a 1997 graduate of Harvard University, where she majored in Art History, with additional coursework in Economics and Finance. She was awarded the Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Scholarship for academic excellence, and graduated magna cum laude. She was also awarded a special grant for thesis research in Florence and Siena.

Upon graduating from Harvard, Vanessa worked as a financial analyst in Mergers and Acquisitions at Violy, Byorum & Partners, a boutique firm focused on Latin America. She then worked as a media and telecom financial analyst at Communications Equity Associates’ Corporate Finance division. Following her work at CEA, Vanessa attended Wharton Business School, having been awarded a full scholarship via the Howard E. Mitchell Fellowship. Her coursework at Wharton focused on International Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

After earning her MBA, Vanessa decided to pursue the lifelong dream of becoming a playwright and novelist. She has written two novels. One of her plays was produced at the Strawberry One-Act Festival in New York, where she was also nominated for Best Director. Previously, she was been a contributor to The New York Observer and Let’s Go: New York. The opportunity to merge her writing talent with her business experience/education for the service of others is something Vanessa values highly.

Jeff Mroz



Bachelor’s degree from Yale University; MBA from Wharton.

About Jeff

Jeff Mroz worked for two years as a Graduate Assistant at the Wharton MBA Admissions office. Previously, he was a professional football player, and has experience working in private equity, investment banking, and asset management.

Shaifali Aggarwal



AB degree from Princeton University; MBA from Harvard Business School
About Shaifali
While at Harvard Business School, Shaifali was VP Admissions of the Women’s Student Association, and in this role, worked directly with the Admissions Office as a liaison between current and prospective/admitted women.

Shaifali has spent most of her career as a finance professional on Wall Street, where she worked in the asset management and investment banking industries. She recently left the world of finance to start an online media company, 24 Ours (www.24ours.com), which offers a free, edgy daily email for the busy woman with an urban mindset, featuring ideas to make her life easier across a range of categories.

Tim Hade




BS United States Air Force Academy, MBA Stanford Graduate School of Business
About Tim
Tim grew up in northern New Jersey, and attended college at the United States Air Force Academy where he was a DFM distinguished graduate and NCAA Division 1 Scholar All-American in lacrosse. He subsequently served 5 years in the active duty military, primarily with the US Air Force’s 4th Fighter Wing, and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.

Following his time in the Air Force, Tim attended Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, earning his MBA while being active in various student organizations, including the veterans club.

Michelle Kim Hall


J.D., Harvard Law School; M.F.A., New York University; B.A., U.C.L.A, Summa Cum Laude
About Michelle
After graduating law school, Michelle worked as litigation associate in the San Francisco office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP where she represented a variety of corporate clients on matters ranging from trade secrets to wage and hour class action suits. At Morgan Lewis, she also cultivated an extensive pro bono practice, including partnering with the ACLU on an investigation of disproportionate minority confinement and initiating a Clean Slate Clinic training program at the firm in conjunction with the East Bay Community Law Center.

Since relocating to the East coast, she has taught writing as an adjunct professor at N.Y.U. and as a Starworks Fellow at Maimonides Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn. She is barred in both California and New York.

Hilary Wolkoff



B.A. in English, cum laude, Dartmouth College; J.D. cum laude, New York University School of Law; MSW, Wurzweiler School of Social Work
About Hilary
Hilary is originally from New York. While a student at NYU School of Law, Hilary was active in the Employment and Housing Discrimination Clinic. She began her legal career interning at the Center for Appellate Litigation and was a summer associate at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel. Following graduation from NYU, Hilary worked for three years as a litigation associate at Cahill. In addition to her litigation practice, she was active in the firm’s pro bono work, developing skills in immigration and housing law. She also was a teacher in a firm-sponsored street law class for teenagers.

Hilary is now following her passion and is studying to become a psychoanalyst.

Elissa Jacobs




B.A. in Psychology, cum laude, Barnard College, Columbia University; J.D. cum laude, New York University School of Law

About Elissa
While a student at NYU School of Law, Elissa co-founded the NYU chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice and was active in the Community and Criminal Defense Clinic. She began her legal career interning at National Advocates for Pregnant Women. Following graduation from NYU, Elissa worked at Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton where she worked in the firms litigation and executive compensation practices. She currently works for the New York City Law Department where she defends the City in Federal lawsuits. She has also worked as a professional pastry chef.

Joshua Bruner



Yale University, Masters; Southwestern University, Bachelors
About Joshua
Joshua graduated from Southwestern University with a Bachelor’s in English. At Southwestern, he was a Paideia Scholar as well as a King Scholar. Additionally, Joshua was a Texas Governor’s Fellow where he served in the office of the Governor of the State of Texas in the Constituent Services Department.

After college, Joshua served as an AmeriCorps Member through City Year New York where he worked at a public school in the South Bronx. Following his year of service, Joshua joined City Year development staff, as the Civic Engagement Manager, directing teams that created partnerships with corporations, law firms, and community-based organizations.

For his graduate studies, Joshua decided to study religion at Yale, after also having received acceptance from Harvard University.

Amy Wang


MBA from Wharton; MA from the University of Pennsylvania (Lauder Institute); BS from Carnegie Mellon University

About Amy
Amy is an investment professional at Deutsche Bank’s Global Social Investment Funds group, where she finances social enterprises in developing countries. Prior to business school, Amy worked as an investment associate at Centinela Capital Partners and an investment banking analyst at Citigroup. While at Wharton/Lauder, Amy was an Admissions Fellow with the Wharton Admissions office.

Amy holds a MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters in International Studies from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dan Carroll


BS in Finance, University of Illinois
MBA University of Chicago Booth School of Business

About Dan
Dan has been an entrepreneur and senior executive with several early-stage, high growth companies in both technology and finance. In addition to starting two companies, he has also served in various roles in Sales and Marketing, Finance, Operations and Strategy.

Dan is an active member of the University of Chicago Alumni Association and has served as adjunct Admissions advisor and interviewer for the MBA program.

Oscar A. Ibarra



BA from UCLA in Business and Economics
MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management

About Oscar
Oscar A. Ibarra brings to Stratus Prep over 25 years of diversified executive experience in sales & marketing, strategy, finance, business development, and operations in industries worldwide. In addition to having worked at 5 large and prominent companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Nissan Motors and CITIZEN, Oscar has been involved in start-ups, where he has succeeded in driving growth and executing as an entrepreneur. Oscar has an undergraduate degree from UCLA in Business-Economics plus an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where he has been involved in recruitment and mentoring efforts.

At Hewlett-Packard, Oscar pioneered two of its newest business units from Boise, ID and San Diego, CA respectively as he made great strides as a corporate entrepreneur in the development and execution of the OEM HP worldwide business program dealing in printers, faxes, print mechs & supplies. During his tenure with HP, Oscar was actively involved in the HP-Kellogg recruitment team. Staying within the realm of his expertise, in 2004, Oscar left HP as he accepted the position of President for the Samsung mini-printer business for the Americas based in San Diego, California.

Oscar is an enthusiastic Lakers, Dodgers and Redskins fan.

Andrew Lee



BA from Cornell University

About Andrew
Andrew Lee is a master tutor and counselor that has taught and advised hundreds of students throughout his career.

After graduating from Cornell University, he joined Teach For America, a rigorous teaching program with a 10% acceptance rate, as a licensed math teacher in lower-income neighborhoods. In his first year of teaching, his statewide math exam results outmatched those of the other veteran teachers in the school.

His unique approach to teaching and admissions counseling has yielded extraordinary test results and acceptance rates among all of his students.

Prior to joining Stratus Prep, Andrew taught at various test preparation firms, and he also was Curriculum Developer of a previous test prep outlet.

Sara Hansen


B.A. in Psychology, cum laude, University of Pennsylvania; M.B.A., Harvard Business School; M.S.W., New York University

About Sara
Sara began her career in marketing at American Express. After attending Harvard Business School, where she was president of the marketing club and a career team leader, Sara went on to work as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, advising clients on marketing and organizational issues. Sara then worked at Unilever as a brand manager on well known brands, such as Dove body wash and Suave hair products. After ten years in marketing and consulting, Sara is now passionate about helping others achieve success. She is currently training to become a psychoanalyst, and is excited to combine her understanding of what makes people tick with her business expertise to focus on admissions counseling, career coaching, and executive coaching.

Jessica Bloomgarden


BA from Stanford University, MBA from Harvard Business School
About Jessica

While at Harvard Business School, Jessica the leader or the Startup Tribe and was awarded her class’s Dean’s Award and a Rock/Lebor fellowship for entrepreneurship. At HBS, Jessica also founded her own internet startup, AfterSteps. Prior to business school, Jessica worked in investment banking and venture capital.

Lauren Moses


MBA from Harvard Business School; BA from Duke University
About Lauren

Lauren A. Moses earns the right to partner with her clients by working with integrity, curiosity, perspective, and humor. Lauren was an analyst in Hedge Fund Strategies at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and ministered to the investment, banking, and credit needs of high net worth individuals while an associate at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

Lauren is an entrepreneur, recording artist, speaker, and writer. She is also a proud alumna of Duke University and the Harvard Business School. Lauren is a member of the Organization Development Network of New York and the Harvard Business School Women’s Association of Greater New York.

Salma Qarnain


BS from Stanford University; SM from MIT; MBA from Harvard Business School
About Salma

Salma Qarnain is a strategist who has worked in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. She is also an actor, earning multiple Helen Hayes Awards and Nominations, and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild.

Salma began her career at Orbital Sciences designing and manufacturing satellites. After receiving her MBA from HBS, Salma served as the Director of Strategic Planning for AOL’s $1B Member Services organization and then as the Director of International Business Development. Salma left AOL to pursue her passion for the arts and joined Synetic Theater as its Managing Director and COO. While at Synetic, she increased annual revenue over 60% and produced 20 shows, serving a total of over 35,000 patrons per year and earning 30 Helen Hayes Award Nominations and nine Awards.

Throughout her career, Salma has focused on mentoring and people development. She is always learning and genuinely enjoys helping others reach their personal and professional goals.

Samantha Merton


MA from Columbia, MBA from Columbia, BA from Harvard
About Samantha

Samantha Merton has a background in marketing research and is a former admissions interviewer at Columbia Business School. Although she enjoys the process of understanding her clients’ professional and academic backgrounds, hearing about their personal lives is the most special. She helps her clients dig deeper to find their buried, fascinating stories from their personal lives and translates these exceptional stories to paper.

One of her passions is traveling with her family. She also likes to horseback ride, solve crossword puzzles and volunteer.

JaMaar Everett

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BA from UCLA, MBA from Wharton
About JaMaar
JaMaar Everett grew up in the Los Angeles area and attended UCLA. While obtaining his MBA at Wharton, JaMaar worked with various student organizations and chaired the annual Prospective Students Conference. After business school, JaMaar worked at Deloitte as a Senior Consultant, assisting clients in supply chain and post-merger integration. He has also assisted education clients in the areas of strategy, finance, and operations. Before joining Stratus Prep, JaMaar completed a fellowship in education through the Broad Residency.

Asha Banker

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MBA, Harvard Business School

AB with Honors in Economics, The University of Chicago

About Asha

Over the past 18 years, Asha has worked across education, finance, open source software, and artisan-made textiles; and within the private, non-profit, and government sector. She has lived in the US, India, Singapore, and London. Throughout, she has focused on navigating turnaround environments and nurturing community-driven business models, both supported by analytics and transparency. 

Asha started her career at Goldman Sachs, in financial institutions banking in New York and distressed debt investing in London. After HBS, she worked in product marketing at Red Hat. She was also a Venture Director at Innosight Ventures, founded by HBS professor Clayton Christensen; and she consulted to Fabindia in Delhi and Eileen Fisher in New York.

Most recently, Asha was the Executive Director of Data & Policy for Newark Public Schools. Prior to that, she developed the school turnaround practice at Wireless Generation/Amplify and also led Strategy and Finance for Edvance Learning in India.

When not assisting clients at Stratus Prep, Asha is working on a new project in education and volunteering in a range of areas, including serving as an alumni advisor for HBS’ FIELD program for first-year MBA students. She is also active with Crossfit, running, and yoga; and is a proud former Division III athlete.

Philip Gilman




MBA from Columbia Business School

BBA from University of Wisconsin-Madison

About Philip

Philip is an entrepreneur and strategy consultant with experience in the media, apparel, and professional services industries. Prior to business school, he worked in marketing, focused on cross-border business development projects between the U.S. and China. While at business school, he concentrated on media, primarily the music industry and the digital media landscape in East Asia. Throughout his career he has been involved in counseling and mentorship, both domestically and abroad.