Lorraine Tong

Lorraine has over a decade of experience advising MBA candidates.

While at Wharton, she was granted a valuable, behind the scenes look at the school’s admission process as an essay reader and student interviewer. This continued with her role as an alumni interviewer.

Over the years, she has evaluated hundreds of resumes and edited countless essays for MBA-bound analysts at the top-tier consulting firms she worked for, including Bain & Company and The Cambridge Group/Nielsen.

Professionally, Lorraine has 10 years of strategic marketing experience, advising Fortune 500 companies at Bain & Company and The Cambridge Group/Nielsen. Additionally, she has five years of general management and operating experience in the digital and professional services space.

Lorraine received her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where she was a first year class representative on the Wharton Graduate Association, Chair of the Buddy Program for the first Welcome Weekend, and a student member of the admissions committee. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Finance and Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin where she was Co-Founder of the Women’s Executive Conference.

In her spare time, Lorraine is an avid reader and writer and has completed various writing and film classes at Medill/Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, UCLA, and Columbia College.

Selected Testimonials

Some of Lorraine’s recent clients reflect on their experiences with Lorraine and MBA Prep School below:

Accepted to Columbia

I can’t say enough about my admissions consulting experience with Lorraine Tong at MBA Prep School. When I began the application process, I had one goal in mind – to get accepted to Columbia Business School.

I explored a few different admissions consultants before speaking with Lorraine. The 1st consultant reviewed my CV, and after sitting down with me for a few minutes, advised me that my background was not strong enough and that I not even apply to the likes of Columbia. Another consultant spoke with me on the phone for a few minutes and offered nothing more than generic feedback and a vague approach to the application process.

Lorraine, on the other hand, provided thorough and thoughtful analysis of my background and admissions prospects, laying out a specific and strategic approach to my application and how to differentiate myself among the sea of qualified applicants. Throughout the entire process, Lorraine was intelligent, insightful, thoughtful, and patient. She worked to accommodate my changing schedule and was understanding of the stress and difficulty associated with applying to business school. Most importantly, she exhibited complete understanding of the admissions committee’s mindset and the ways to successfully navigate their essay prompts. At one point I actually argued with Lorraine when she recommended that I totally rework one of my essays, thinking my response was already pitch perfect. She confidently and deftly explained why my essay was missing the mark and brainstormed with me to help come up with the right topic.

It’s worth noting that I went through the application process a few years ago without the benefit of an admissions consultant like Lorraine. Given the various costs associated with this process – i.e., test prep classes, GMAT costs, application fees – I was certainly loath to part with even more money. I completed five applications that year and came up empty.

When I revisited the process this past application season, I decided that whatever the final outcome might be, I needed to give it my all and put forth my absolute best effort. What I found was that Lorraine had an impact on every phase of the application, from my resume, to the essays, to the way I completed the actual application itself. She guided me around various pitfalls and mistakes I never would have recognized on my own, and the result was simply a much more finely tuned final product than anything I had submitted to schools in the past. Each person should obviously decide for themselves how much money they are comfortable investing into their applications, but I can attest that having Lorraine as my consultant put me in the best position to succeed.

Putting my faith in Lorraine was one of the best decisions I could have made in this process. Had I listened to that 1st consultant’s advice, I might not even have put in an application. Instead, I went with Lorraine and will be attending my dream school in the fall. I would wholeheartedly recommend Lorraine’s services to anyone applying to business school.

Accepted to Wharton

Should you apply in round 1 or round 2? If you still can’t decide after reading all the MBA blogs and forums, go with the round for which Lorraine still has capacity – she’s that good. Having applied to b-school on my own before, I’m certain Lorraine’s guidance and MBA Prep School’s systematic approach to the application process are what got me results this time around.

My background:

  • Top 10 UG business school, 3.6 GPA, 710 GMAT
  • Non-traditional career path at little-known companies, solid international exposure
  • Limited leadership experience outside of work

Never would I have thought I could get into Wharton with those credentials. Applying to Wharton was Lorraine’s suggestion. I thought she was crazy, but I’m very glad I trusted her, as I’m going there this fall.

My favorite things about Lorraine:

  1. She only takes on a few clients each round and is deeply invested in every one of their applications.
  2. She can help clients find dimensions that are truly unique to them because she 1) spends a lot of time getting to know them, 2) listens well, and 3) has good instincts. She saw value in things that seemed very trivial to me but really captured who I am and probably made me more memorable to the ad com.
  3. She has an uncanny knack for finding the common thread among seemingly unrelated bits and pieces. There were a lot of things I wanted to communicate to the ad com. Without a strategic approach, I would’ve come across schizophrenic. Lorraine helped me figure out my core identity, thus enabling me to weave the different components of each application into one compelling narrative.
  4. Her diverse experiences (corporate/nonprofit/creative) and knowledge of many different industries translate into her ability to help clients 1) best position what they’ve done and, 2) clearly define what they want to do after b-school. I struggled with the latter, but under Lorraine’s guidance, I was able to transform a vague vision into concrete goals and articulate how an MBA could help me achieve them.
  5. She gets the nuanced differences among top schools. The information I gathered on the schools were a lot to digest. Lorraine helped me isolate the unique characteristics on which each school prides itself, characteristics applicants must understand if they want to craft targeted applications that demonstrate fit, which is critical. If you work with Lorraine, you won’t be doing much recycling/copying & pasting.
  6. Like a good personal trainer, she will motivate you until the very end, past writer’s blocks, burnouts and breakdowns, and the point where you just want to submit what you have and “get it over with.”
  7. She is very understanding. As a former MBA student and seasoned consultant, she gets how exhausting it is to apply to school while working and how frustrating it is to sit in front of the computer for hours only to write two sentences. She kept me sane and focused when I wanted to pull my hair out.
  8. She is punctual with calls and quick with feedback.
  9. She is a cool person with a good sense of humor and a quirky personality. Very easy to talk to.
  10. She loves what she does.

No Lorraine, no Wharton. I <3 Lorraine!

Accepted to Tuck

I am attending Tuck School of Business in the fall thanks to Lorraine. I have no doubt that working with her gave me the competitive edge to gain admission into a top-tier business school. Lorraine helped me better understand myself and my goals, and after four months of working with her, I can confidently say I became a stronger applicant.

When I first spoke to Lorraine, I was contemplating using a consultant on an hourly basis to review essays. However, in one of her first emails, Lorraine mentioned that she was looking forward to being a part of my personal and professional development. I knew then Lorraine would take a holistic approach to helping me apply to schools, rather than merely line editing my essays. For anyone who believes they can go it alone in the business school application process, trust me when I say that the application you would put together on your own pales in comparison to the application a good consultant can help you craft. I did not write about a single essay topic I had initially considered prior to speaking to Lorraine.

Before I started filling out applications, Lorraine and I spent several weeks talking about and outlining my personal history and teasing out the best stories to use in my essays. She listened to what I wanted to write about, and then dug even deeper into my life story to pull out the best stories for each application. I am grateful that I had Lorraine to push me to write the most meaningful, and sometimes very personal, stories in my applications. Thinking back on the process, these exercises wherein I delved into my personal history helped me more completely understand me and thereby helped me better communicate my candidacy in my applications and interviews. Lorraine had a strong understanding of each of the three schools I applied to, and was instrumental in helping me create tailor-made applications for each school. Lorraine would also send me job postings related to my planned career path (brand management) in order to help me develop my career story for my applications. She even connected me with a Tuck alumnus to help me learn more about the school. Lorraine not only improved the quality of my application, she helped me become a better candidate.

Applying to business school while working in a demanding finance role was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, and I am so grateful that I had Lorraine to guide me through the process. Lorraine and I spoke or exchanged emails nearly every day. Based on numerous emails suggesting new ideas for my applications, I knew that my candidacy was always top of mind for Lorraine. We still keep in touch, and Lorraine still sends me job descriptions and other pieces of information she knows I will find interesting, holding true to her initial claim of helping me develop both personally and professionally.

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