Get Started

Already have an account? Log In

© Leland 2023. All rights reserved.

Why I Coach–Nina C.

Nina C., an expert Leland MBA and Management Consulting coach, outlines why she chooses to coach and what it means to her.

By Nina C.

February 3, 2023

“Why would you ever apply to an American college? Universities here are fine.”

These were the words of encouragement I received from my high school guidance counselor when I ventured to ask about applying to a few Ivy League colleges.

I was born in Beijing and immigrated to Canada with my family at the age of 6. My public high school wasn’t big on getting outside our bubble – out of the graduating class before me of ~750 people, all but one attended a local, Canadian university.

My senior year of high school found me taking hour-long train rides into Toronto on weekday evenings in order to attend American colleges’ info sessions at the prestigious private schools downtown. The weekends I spent in the library, self-studying for the SAT and trying to navigate the dizzying maze that was financial aid for international students. And most of my free time was spent on forums like College Confidential, attempting to decipher exactly what admissions committees wanted to understand about me.

My acceptance to Harvard was a small miracle. I had applied to every American college that offered need-blind financial aid to international students and was rejected from all but two. But that one acceptance to Harvard felt like a golden ticket to life.

When I made the decision to apply to business school, the process could not have looked more different than my undergraduate experience. Armed with a thick (proverbial) guidebook on MBA applications from the top management consulting firm I was working at, and supported by a dense network of former classmates and colleagues who had successfully applied to the top business schools, I knew exactly what I needed to do to put my best foot forward.

I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten where I am today, and am keenly aware of the role that luck and privilege played in my journey. I believe that no one should go through the dizzying maze of applications – business school or college – on their own. And nothing gives me more fulfillment than helping others tell their stories in all their vibrancy.

That’s why I coach.

P.S. Want to work with me on anything related to your MBA application or management consulting recruiting? Head to my profile to get started.