Who We Are

Rachel Nelson

Rachel Nelson


Relevant Academic Credentials

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, MBA
Harvard College, AB

MBA Admissions/Coaching Experience

9 years

Coaching Style

Partner minded, committed, detail oriented

Exceptional Skills

  • Leveraging her strong editing and writing skills to help even the least confident writers craft a polished, concise, and consistent application
  • Being a strategic sounding board for candidates who are still exploring their career goals and struggling to explain why they need an MBA to succeed

Areas of Expertise

Financial services, venture capital, investment and asset management, family business, private equity, product management, non-US applicants

Of Interest

Rachel embodies “global.” Not only does she feel at home on both sides of the Atlantic (having lived in Boston and the Cotswolds in England), but she also jumps at any chance to visit someplace new. Her most recent travels include India, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Italy, and Greece—and Japan is next on her list. No wonder she works with so many non-US applicants; she quite literally understands where they are coming from.

More about Rachel

Rachel’s time sitting on the other side of the MBA admissions table—as an alumna interviewer for UPenn Wharton—ultimately prompted her to begin coaching. Interviewing business school candidates revealed to Rachel how increasingly complex the MBA application process had become. As a former rower for Harvard’s Radcliffe Crew, Rachel likes to win and believes teamwork is essential for doing so. With that in mind, she pivoted away from evaluating business school aspirants to supporting them in their pursuit. She loves exploring her clients’ motivations and goals, guiding them on which stories to showcase and how, and calling on her own experiences to help them increase their odds however she can. Meanwhile, her clients applaud her ability to tie disparate experiences together into cohesive stories that show clients at their best. With a liberal arts degree in government from Harvard College and an MBA from Wharton, Rachel relies on both her EQ and her IQ to be a formidable partner for MBA candidates targeting the very best schools.

Rachel divides her time between Boston and the Cotswolds in England, while working with business school applicants all over the world.

  In Rachel’s Words

As a “people person,” I really enjoy getting to know my clients deeply, and while the window into their lives is a plus for me, it’s also intentional: in getting to know them well, I can help them get to know themselves. I also love the teamwork that my clients and I embark on, reflecting on their stories and goals and strategizing together on their application. Lastly, I am competitive; I want the win of a client’s acceptance almost as much as my clients do, and I relish sharing in that final accomplishment.

What Clients Say about Working with Rachel

Rachel is the best there is. I come from a very overrepresented background of MBA applicants and did my undergrad at my generic middle-of-the-pack state school.

On paper, my resume looks very similar to many folks with my background, but Rachel was critical in helping me tell a compelling story that gave schools a deep understanding of who I am and allowed me to stand out in the ways I hoped. She guided me through all parts of each application and every single line (down to the 100 character entries on the online apps after you’ve uploaded all your essays) was thoughtfully crafted. Rachel got an incredible sense of me as a person over this process and then helped me think about the mosaic I wanted to build out with each aspect of my application (i.e. let Recommender A cover X, so you can use real estate in your essay to elaborate on Y). Most critically, she was able to see throughlines in my experiences that allowed me to have connected themes and narratives guide my essays.

She had my back every step of the way and wasn’t afraid to tell me when to pick it up (either in my quality of drafting documents or in the pace of turning them to meet my target deadlines). She is a wonderful thought partner and an especially kind and caring person. I tremendously enjoyed working with her and couldn’t recommend her enough.

  HBS, GSB, and Wharton Admit

I started relatively late on my MBA class of 2024 applications. In fact, Rachel took me in/started to work with me at the beginning of August and I submitted my first round 1 application at the beginning of September, and my second round 1 application mid October. Prior to working with Rachel, I had thought that I had a clear sense and rationale of why business school and potential careers that I could pursue after, but it was clear from initial drafts I shared with Rachel that those reasons were not strong, were not clear enough, and did not make me stand out. From there, I spent some time on Zoom with Rachel and we found a solid thread in my background helping out with my family business which ties nicely to why business school and which industry I would like to explore after, and to think that I wasn’t even going to mention any part of this experience initially (which would have been a huge mistake)! Rachel turned my applications around and helped me get into the two schools I applied to: Wharton and C.

  Wharton and Columbia Business School Admit

Get to Know Rachel

To speak with Rachel, request a free consultation with Gatehouse Admissions today.