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Meet Our MBA Admissions Consultants: Jonathan Harari

January 7 2014 By The MBA Exchange
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To introduce future applicants our outstanding team of admissions consultants, each month we highlight the background of one of our top colleagues.
Please meet Jonathan Harari, a senior admissions consultant for The MBA Exchange.

Jon is an MBA graduate from The Wharton School, where he served as an Admission Fellow evaluating applications and interviewing candidates. Majoring in business & public policy, he was awarded a Joseph Wharton Fellowship and organized the annual Warren Buffett Trek. Jon’s hedge fund, investment banking and asset management experience includes JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. He also co-launched an equity hedge fund in Singapore focused on Southeast Asian equities. Jon has been a guest lecturer and volunteer at non-profit Year Up helping young urban adults to attain their highest potential. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting at NYU’s Stern School of Business. A native of France, Jon has lived on three continents and traveled to more than 20 countries.

Describe your most rewarding experience as an admissions consultant?
My most rewarding experience is when a candidate looks at his/her applications right before final submission and says, “I’m so proud of what we’ve put together.” Having no regrets is a large part of the MBA application journey. So, as an MBA consultant, I strive to make sure candidates have that positive feeling and take full advantage of this opportunity to self-reflect and tell the various admissions committees who they truly are. At first sight, the MBA application process looks very binary (i.e., it’s yes or no), but applicants realize quickly that the journey is much more complex than that. As a consultant, making that journey clearer and simpler to navigate is extremely rewarding for me.

Which 3 adjectives best describe your approach to admissions consulting?
Honest, ambitious and relentless.

What do you believe is the biggest challenge faced by MBA applicants today?
Probably the same challenge as 20 years ago: self-reflection. This involves understanding the strengths to highlight and the weaknesses to carefully message. Building an MBA application is a lot like a puzzle, but in reverse: all the pieces are already together, but the challenge is to take the puzzle apart to figure out which pieces or parts to highlight. That process requires the ability to take a step back and objectively and honestly identify the right pieces. We all have our own ways of thinking, different comfort zones and biases that shape the way we think about ourselves. The challenge for MBA applicants is to step outside their comfort zone to make sure their applications fully reflect who they are and why they should be admitted. Easier said than done!

What is your most treasured memory from having been an MBA student yourself?
Sitting across from Warren Buffett for lunch at his favorite restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska with a group of fellow MBA students. I had been a fan for a while and never really believed this would happen. However, business school really was an enabler in a lot of ways and traveling to Omaha to meet Warren is just one example. For me, the MBA education was a platform to explore different areas of business and life in general. This is why choosing the right school for those two years is so critical.

To learn more about Jonathan Harari and our other consultants please check out our Consulting Team Page. If you’re interested in applying to a top business school, we invite you to submit your information for a free evaluation of your candidacy here.