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Frances is a writer and editor who has vast experience helping students develop and write compelling essays. She brings extensive editorial management expertise to help students manage multiple, often-competing deadlines. She works closely with her students so that they submit polished applications that showcase their unique talents and qualifications. Frances begins her work with every student with comprehensive brainstorming and Q&A to identify their personal stories. She spends time helping students understand and feel comfortable writing in the singular style required of the college personal essay, then coaches them to develop a narrative structure for each essay. Frances loves watching her students’ stories take shape and evolve through a deadlined draft process that includes multiple readings and reviews.
Frances holds a B.A. in history and political science from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Science in journalism from Columbia University. She started her career in New York at the book publisher Bantam Doubleday Dell, and went on to write articles for and work on the editorial staffs of a variety of trade and consumer magazines.
Frances and her family have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2001, where she and her husband parented two boys, both now in college on the East Coast.
Frances’ Superpower: Essay Task Master with a Sense of Humor. Our students love working with her!
Colleen is an Independent Educational Consultant guiding students through the complex world of college admissions. Colleen is unique among consultants in that she understands admissions from both sides of the desk. At Stanford, she read thousands of applications and learned the difference between what makes a student competitive and what makes a student compelling. At the University of Michigan, Colleen interviewed prospective MBA candidates and weighed in on committee discussions. Based upon her experience working in elite admissions offices, Colleen has the insight to help her students stand out among the most competitive applicants.
Colleen earned an B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. She worked for more than a decade in brand marketing and corporate strategy at consumer products companies, including Pepsi, General Mills and Mattel. Active in her community, Colleen served on the board of the Las Lomitas Education Foundation that generated over $2 million annually for the Las Lomitas Elementary School District. She enjoys volunteering with local philanthropies through the National Charity League as well as Young Men’s Service League.
Colleen founded Magna College Consulting (previously McDonough College Consulting) to provide thoughtful, compassionate and expert guidance to students and their families. When she is not touring or thinking about colleges, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband and two college-age children, Charlotte and Alexander.
Colleen’s Superpower: College Whisperer and Mom to 17 Teenagers (15 students and 2 of my own)!
As a reader and admissions representative at UC Berkeley and Wellesley College, Moni is very familiar with the thought process behind college admissions and the often-overlooked drivers of a successful application. Moni views the college application process as a unique time of personal growth where she encourages students to look at themselves from a different lens. This process results in a richer and more introspective college application, a key hallmark of what admissions offices are looking for.
Moni has worked in management consulting at both Bain & Co and McKinsey & Co, where she helped clients with key strategic initiatives. She has also developed marketing strategies at companies including BASF, Oracle, and the DG Bank, as well as an Adobe Ventures startup.
Moni definitely considers herself a global citizen! She has lived, worked, and studied for over ten years in Germany and Norway, and came to the US from her birthplace of New Delhi, India when she was ten months old. In addition to being a native English speaker, Moni is fluent in German and Punjabi. She is familiar with many international educational systems and is happy to support students that would like to study outside of their home country.
Moni serves on several boards that support educational and community programs through the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, as well as refugee education programs in Pforzheim, Germany. She holds a BA in Economics and German Studies from Wellesley College and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. She lives with her husband in Menlo Park, CA, and has two college-aged children.
Moni’s Superpower: Master Brainstormer of the Personal Statement. We are all winning when the college admissions process is bonding experience!