Ben L.

Ben L.


Stanford Graduate School of Business Logo

Studied at Stanford Graduate School of Business

McKinsey & Company Logo

Worked at McKinsey & Company

Available Monday at 4:00 PM UTC

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About Ben

• Stanford GSB Alum, Class of 2021 -- see relevant experience below: • Coaching | Advised dozens of admits into Stanford GSB, HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, INSEAD, Haas, and more (see >20 Leland reviews), while teaching multiple courses through Leland • Public Policy | Prior to Stanford, worked on the Policy Team for the Chicago Mayor's Office under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, focusing on 5G infrastructure policy, criminal justice policy, and citywide corporate/economic development deals • McKinsey | Before policy, worked at McKinsey & Co , with casework focused on job training for the formerly incarcerated and workforce development for at-risk youth • PE / VC / Startup Advising | After Stanford, worked in Bain's Private Equity Group on various due diliegences, managed deals with several venture capital firms, and advised multiple startups on growth and go-to-market strategy • Professional Writing | Speechwriting in public policy & political environments, Lead Editor for Nondisclosure (Stanford GSB's magazine) and Managing Editor for the Stanford International Policy Review • Additional Writing | Crafting op-eds, ghostwriting for major publications, developing a fictional short story collection, policy deep dives, a book on chess applications to life, and application essays of all sorts • What I'm Doing Now | Based in NYC working on a stealth, marketplace startup while continuing various forms of advisory work • GMAT / Test-Taking | Scored in the highest percentile of GMAT test-takers, but more importantly I've honed my ability to help others extrapolate top test-testing strategies in the areas they're weakest • Additional Coaching Details | 5+ years experience working with >250 individuals on essay writing and resume professionalization for top consulting firms, MBA programs, execs, and the broader job market • Interview Training | I'm interview-trained for McKinsey, allowing me to give high-quality mock interviews for MBBs and any MBA program

Why do I coach?

The main reason I coach is the profound impact a handful of mentors have had on my own life. Whether that was helping me navigate uncertainty professionally or working to overcome something personally, I have deep gratitude for those that stepped in to give me a hand. I didn't have a formal coach when applying to places like McKinsey or Stanford GSB, and only a handful of people where I grew up get those kinds of opportunities. Paying it forward comes from feeling lucky to be where I am, and knowing I have something tangible and meaningful to give. Beyond that, I genuinely love writing and helping individuals craft their narrative. It's more complicated than meets the eye, often as much psychological as anything else. Helping people find the threads that underpin their life to date and unlock their vision for the future nearly always proves much more than words on paper. By the time we've finished working together, my hope is you've not only made yourself a compelling applicant, but found a deeper source of confidence in who you are and where you're going.

Work Experience

TownSquare Chess Logo


TownSquare Chess

February 2023 - Present

• The first dynamic online marketplace set to democratize chess coaching — giving coaches a way to build a business, and players of all levels the opportunity to learn the game the right way • Partners:, URBN Playground, Marshall Chess Club, FourthWall and more

Elevate Advisory Logo

Business Owner

Elevate Advisory

August 2021 - Present

• advising startups, small businesses, funds, and individuals looking to grow • private equity advising for funds of all sizes & MBB / consulting arms with PE practices • targeted work with fast-paced startups (e.g., Linus Biotechnology $16M Series A, Peak Metrics $1 Seed, G-Filtera (Pre-Seed), Orbital Studios (Seed), Imagen Tech (Series C), and more) • contacts with VCs and alternative funds looking into new markets, particularly aerospace, health tech, and workforce development) • writing and editing services (ad hoc)

17a - Advising Logo


17a - Advising

2022 - 2023

• Advising NYC and other City agencies on large-scale government projects • Drove creation of major city government blueprint to simplify procurement processes across City agencies

Bain & Company Logo

Private Equity

Bain & Company

2021 - 2022

• Worked in Bain & Co's Private Equity Group (PEG) as an independent contractor (to significantly accelerate payoff of Stanford gsb loans) before moving back into federal policy and/or speechwriting

Beyond Capital Ventures Logo


Beyond Capital Ventures

2020 - 2020

• Venture investing in healthcare, fintech & agtech across India & East Africa

City of Chicago Mayor's Office Logo

Economic Development Policy Associate

City of Chicago Mayor's Office

2018 - 2019

• Public policy work for the Chicago Mayor's Office (Emanuel administration), spanning infrastructure (5G, real estate), transportation, crime & public safety • Corporate recruitment (amazon hq2), economic development, opportunity zones, investment mapping, SMB solutions (e.g.,, education, workforce development

McKinsey & Company Logo

Senior Consultant

McKinsey & Company

2016 - 2018

• Focused on public sector / prison reform work • Healthcare go-to-market strategy • Business development fellow for Generation (McKinsey's social sector arm) building city partnerships & city partnerships

Ben was also given offers to work at

  • BlackRock Logo


  • Beyond Capital Ventures Logo

    Beyond Capital Ventures

  • Bain & Company Logo

    Bain & Company


Stanford Graduate School of Business Logo

Stanford Graduate School of Business


2019 - 2021

• Miller Social Innovation Award | Nominated by fellow classmates • Poet's & Quants MBAs to Watch | Stanford GSB • George & Mary Lou Shott Academic Fellowship • Social Management & Innovation Fellowship (SMIF) • Editor in Chief at Stanford GSB Paper (Nondisclosure) • Managing Editor at Stanford International Policy Review • Investor @ Impact Fund (Justice Team) • Stanford Venture Capital Club • Social Innovation Club • GSB Aerospace Club • Opioid Crisis Response Fund • Design for Extreme Affordability

Washington University in St. Louis Logo

Washington University in St. Louis

Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology; Economics

2012 - 2016

• Latin honors w/ thesis in philosophy-neuroscience psychology • Honors graduate with distinction in economics (omicron delta epsilon)

Ben was also personally admitted to

  • Chicago Booth Logo

    Chicago Booth

  • London Business School Logo

    London Business School

  • INSEAD Logo


  • Harvard Business School Logo

    Harvard Business School

81 Reviews

Overall Rating










Ben has helped clients get into these schools:

Ben has helped Leland clients get into Boston Consulting Group

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Ben L.

Ben L.