From Stef’s Desk: Why I Wrote The Complete Candidate

Puzzles fascinate me.  As do mysteries. I was always drawn to games like Clue and those brain teaser riddles whereby you are given clues and have to figure out how the scenario transpired.  Hints, nuances, a morsel of truth here and there, all leading to a specific conclusion.  This is how I approach the competitive college application process in our country, and precisely why I developed the The Complete Candidate: A Comprehensive System for Solving the College Admissions Puzzle.

The Complete Candidate is my solution to the puzzle of how to help a wider spectrum of qualified students attain their goal of acceptance to the college of their choice. The Complete Candidate was created by my firm, the Mauler Institute, an independent college admissions consultancy. We have taken our proprietary 3-step admission strategy, and crafted a self-guided package including instructional DVD, workbook, downloadable templates, learning assessment and online application management system.

Are you puzzled by how I came to be the guru of the selective school college applications process? Here are some clues: As a freshman in 1993, I started working at The University of Pennsylvania in the undergraduate Admissions office where I gave campus tours, led information sessions, traveled to high schools to recruit students, fielded calls from prospective students and parents and hosted VIP guests on campus.  For many years moving forward I continued to work in undergraduate admissions at Penn where I met thousands of prospective students.  For every student who was accepted, there were 5 or 6 others with excellent credentials who were not offered a spot.  What distinguished the students who were accepted from the ones who were denied? I started searching for clues.  Soon, discernible patterns appeared. I developed a formula – how to build a better mousetrap, if you will – in the college application process. Several years later, I applied my technique to my own application to graduate school, and I earned acceptance to every MBA program to which I applied. Upon graduating from Harvard Business School, I went to work for a consulting firm.  All the while, I continued to help friends and colleagues who were seeking admittance to top schools in the country.

Not so puzzling, after completing a college counseling program at University of California San Diego, I eventually started my own independent educational consulting firm, the Mauler Institute, LLC, to assist qualified students gain acceptance to Ivy League and other selective schools. We have been successful beyond our dreams, and word of mouth has spread quickly about our clients’ acceptance rates to their dream schools. Our client waitlist is long and continues to grow because we can only accept a handful of students per year. So, back to the drawing board to solve another puzzle:  How can we assist a wider group of qualified students, from a larger geographical spectrum, in crafting their best college application package?  Eureka! The missing piece to the puzzle has been found:  The Complete Candidate: A Comprehensive System for Solving the College Admissions Puzzle.