Integrated Life Next Session Feb 2021.
***Want to join this Course? It’s too late to join this section but you can be added to the February 2021 list by emailing Kate. Info below.***
“Makes me wonder if she has a crystal ball….”
“ … going through random dark rooms in my brain and flipping the light switches on”
“… by far, the best instructor I’ve worked with”
“… amazing in and beyond the classroom!”
“Appreciated the collaborative, competitive environment.”
“Pushed me to focus. … turned raw talent into something.”
“I was really impressed by how well Kate could read me. There’s no hiding. She’s tough, but absolutely your advocate too.”
“Junk (advice) is like junk food, enticing but not very good for you. Kate will give you the insight you need without the extra fluff.”
Hi! I’m Kate, Founder of Prepwise and former 20-something who deviated massively from what was a pretty damn successful ticking of the early talent boxes: ivy admits, big firm strategy consulting age 19, scaling a steady, successful non profit 800% in 18 months, ranked athlete, etc. What I’ve done is only important in relating that I probably understand the pressures you’re feeling, and I have a pretty good idea of what fits your image for success for yourself and what doesn’t. That’s why my students end up doing so well. We click.
So here’s my gripe, particularly in your 20s, you are fed a steady, possibly aggressive stream of life advice. People talk about future proofing your career – skills based advice, or they extoll the virtues of following your passion – take command of your life type of advice. Both pieces of advice are absolutely meaningless. And worse, those sentiments are often shared by someone who has an agenda (even if unintentional #parents!) for you. That’s a lot of noise for you to sift through. Too much noise.
Your voice is in you already. I’ll help you connect with that voice to get past the fluff so you can understand what life choices: personal and professional, will prepare you for the challenges and joys ahead. This course is for career switchers, job hoppers, see-a-ceilingers and those of you who have discipline and drive but aren’t quite sure what to do next.
If you think you’ll figure this all out in another round of schooling or at that next job, you’re likely to be disappointed.
This course has been created for you. Join me.-Kate
Say yes 😉
My Promise to You
Think back to age 5,6. Remember being asked what you wanted to be when you grew up? How did you feel? You may not remember your specific answer, but you probably remember how you felt. Curious, excited, energized . . . not because you really had an understanding of what you were saying, but because the adults asking you that question probably beamed a sense of approval back at you.
As we get older that question becomes a bit more anxiety-inducing. You start judging the answer in your head before you say anything based on your perception of potential success. You get practical.
We want the approval we remember as kids, but we don’t want to be boxed in, and we really don’t want to make the wrong choice. It’s a mix of internal and external pressures coupled with a serious lack of information.
How much do you know about the world of work and careers?
Have you seen “meritorious” companies promote people or projects that don’t make sense? Or block ones that do?
How well do you understand the career options your parents made? How about the careers of their closest friends and your close relatives. Best case, there was diversity among the careers of your parents, their friends and your close relatives. That’s rare. And even if each one worked in a different function within a different industry – how well do you understand what they were doing and how the system they were in worked? Most families of lawyers are surrounded by lawyers. Ditto for scientists, academicians, taxi drivers, and on and on. And still, with tens of thousands of career paths that we know of already – you still have barely scratched the surface of possible.
That’s what we do here.
We will get into the guts of who you are and what is actually, ultimately important to you – without the judgment of friends and family, without the limitations of what you know today. From there we will dig deep below the surface of possible to uncover your magic. If we just do the work, we get the magic.
You will find the energy and excitement you remember from your childhood, paired with your adult possible.
Case Study: Samantha, from stuck to star
Samantha’s name has been changed, but the story is real. She was a science teacher, prestigious middle school, stuck between an urge to do something more competitive, have a family and something she just couldn’t nail down. She was doing well financially as a teacher – much better than most teachers, and felt her work was meaningful. But, she disliked the politics of the system and felt her impact was marginalized by forces beyond her control.
So she decided to go to business school. Her Consulting and Banking friends were all preparing to go and she thought that would solve her angst. Through a friend of a former student she landed on my door step for the initial GMAT evaluation. She had one particular program in mind (top 25) and wanted help getting the GMAT done and getting in.
We went through the eval and she tried to respond to my non-GMAT questions as best she could, but even she could see her case for an MBA program was flimsy. I recommended that she work through my pre-MBA workbooks (a much more intense version is part of your course homework) to get clear before she chased both GMAT and MBA applications.
She did the workbook work and prepped for the GMAT over a six(ish) month period. She submitted a few apps on her own to schools we both considered “below” her current aspirations by the time she was applying as well as the program she was originally interested in. She just couldn’t let go of the idea of the option for business school, and her soon-to-be fiance and family asked about her progress daily. #fomo
She had successful interviews.
And gained admission to the program she had most wanted initially, 9 months prior. Yeah! right?
But in that 9 months, she had exposed herself to careers she thought were closed off or hadn’t known about, people who could help her get into those careers, and she had already taken the first leap into a transitional role. That program she had wanted 9 months ago would be a step backward at this point.
Bravely, she turned down her admits.
Her family and fiance were . . . frankly not helpful. They didn’t understanding walking away from the yes. So she had to be strong enough to do it without apology. She spent the next 18 months digging into a new industry and new functional area. Then she applied to MBA programs far beyond what she originally thought she could have and ultimately got in. And now . . . with a great plan of what she was going to do during school to get herself set up for after school.
Her post MBA career plan was incredibly aggressive and would only work if she had clear focus while enrolled. It’s not the coursework that kills you, it’s the recruiting. If you aren’t clear about your path, you will get distracted with all of the “shiny objects” – it’s easy to get excited about Firm X in industry-you-weren’t-considering when they’re standing in front of you putting the best face forward. And your Career Placement staffers try to woo you to those meetings so more firms want to recruit on campus. It’s like junk tv. It can pull you in. You have to know when to shut it off.
With her background she was at a disadvantage to her peers within her industry recruiting group. She had to not just crush each interview, but map out the entire process and crush the process.
And she did.
Not out of fear or angst, but because she knew how this step could fit into her next steps and understood how it would set her up for steps 2,3,4 down the road. A multivariate challenge. It’s not that there was only one option. It’s that once she locked onto an option, she understood how that choice would feed into other choices. There is really no space in an MBA program to be unclear about your professional aims.
She understood her tradeoffs. It wasn’t chance. It was solid preparation.
That was 3 years ago.
She’s finished her MBA. Got the dream job, in the dream location – after A LOT of hustle and really primo performance on her internship. But lest you think everything is hunky-dory, here’s the rest of the story most case studies don’t share. She also managed to handle getting married (after internship, before 2nd year started – she organized), to help her parents divorce and to bury her brother after a car accident. Life continued to happen. Any one of those 3 things would have sucked up her time and energy when we first met, but the new Samantha has a clarity of purpose that helps her choose boundaries that support her physical/mental/emotional health as well as allows her to support those around her. She’s found her version of balance.
Balance is not calm or static. Spinning tops balance.
It’s easier to handle being the spinning top when it’s the choice you made rather than the choice made for you. Samantha really gets that.
Life is still messy, no one, no class can change that, but I can help you find your version of balance.
Get the Details
The course is LIVE and will be recorded just in case class time doesn’t fit your schedule well. Only current class members have access to the recordings so all of your live Q&A is in a like-minded group of true peers. That makes us as safe a place as you can get on the interwebs! We also have a 24/7 chat – like slack, but easier to use – between the live sessions. Of course you can always email me too! The live chat let’s us connect kindred spirits. You just never know what brilliance awaits!
The program is arranged in modules that we will work through together over a total of 6 months. That is both a long time and a very, very short time. Remember Samantha above? Yeah, she basically did the self study version of this working through early versions of my workbooks over 5 weeks to prepare to write her MBA apps, then again over 3-4 months once she had submitted apps, and then with me 1-1 over 9 months when she realized she was still thinking more like 2 steps ahead of where she had been, not the 6-10 she could be. It really does take some time to undo the heaps of mental overhead we – charming – adults have heaped on you for the last 25 years. #sorry
Main Program includes . . .
- Who you are
- Skills, Interests, Values
- What you need to understand
- How you work best
- How the world of work actually works
- What you can do
- Simple guidelines
- Action Plans
We will cover this material over 6 months with an extra boost at the start to get you moving vigorously. Each class night we will have a live class I lead or an Office Hour open class where it’s all your Q&A. All of these are recorded and made available for you in your student account. Re-watch on any device.
Chat Platform open 24/7, access through your student account at prepwise.com and the iphone app.
Workbooks that help you understand where you are in the process and where you’re going. Plus! You’ll have access to the workbooks as long as you need. You will probably want to redo your work once you’ve gone through the process the first time, many students do. Easy enough, print yourself a new copy of the workbook and re-watch our session on the topic you’re covering.
- 13 Live sessions (approx 1.5-2 hours each)
- 13 Live Q&A sessions (1-2 hours as needed by participants)
- Workbooks to support class time
- 24/7 open chat access
- Homework and bonus opportunities
- Mobile app access to student account
- Daily Wisdom (by sms or email) – the 300 things every adult should know
- Additional videos and workbooks for narrow interest topics
- GMAT/MBA prep
- Salary Negotiations, divided by career stages and updated often
- Benefits balance
- Future proofing your Social media
- and many more!
We go from what may seem general – understanding the values that impact your decisions – to super specific such as salary negotiation issues in the MBA recruiting process. The more general coverage fits everyone. The more specific items are more likely to get addressed live in Q&A and through bonus videos I make for you between sessions.
So the Main Program Plus (6) 1-1s with Kate includes:
Everything in the main program stuff, plus six individual sessions with me spaced as makes the most sense for your progress. With my approval, you can even drag them out past the 6 month mark if that helps you make the transitions you need (my approval required).
Of course I’m biased, but the 1-1s really help you really get through the stuff without cutting corners. That is A LOT harder than you may think today. You want someone similarly wired, but neutral, in your corner when you are going through this. You will hit icy patches. If you can swing it, get the 1-1s. Otherwise, when you add on 1-1 sessions they’re billed at normal student rates (currently $500/hr) so this is 50% off normal student rates if you commit to your process now. If you’re ready to do this, adding 1-1s is the best way to go.
You may feel like you’re changing, you are!
Evidence that not just social change from steady path to life of work, but actual biomechanical changes – synapses that stop firing, etc. exists. This impacts your Neuroplasticity, Divergent Thinking, and Creativity as you pass age 25. Clever people be aware! You ARE a different person now than when you were in college. Turns out growing up is a real thing. And it keeps going well past your teen years. I’ll help you understand yourself in context with changes in and around you based on the cutting edge knowledge we have.
Noticing these changes can cause distress particularly if you self identify as creative. So don’t fret if you feel that you’ve been losing your magic. It isn’t simply that work is boring or meaningless, you’re having some difficulty creating meaning around you where you were able to do so just a few years ago. This is good and bad. Finding meaningful work cuts depression and relieves some of this distress. Noticing the distress pushes you to find yourself a better solution.
The elements of this course are thoroughly researched and tested when possible. I do the reading you probably don’t have time to do. Consider me a smart filter. I can help you cut the noise on what works and doesn’t work, and give you the facts as we understand them today with the raw material so you can judge for yourself. You don’t (ever) have to take my word as final. I will give you the info to discover for yourself.
Is this a feeder for top 5 MBA programs?
Short answer: no.
The rest of the story: Sending top tier candidates to top tier MBA programs is what I’m known for. But this program is not officially for that. That said, I WISH!! each of my applicants for MBA programs would do this before – LONG BEFORE – they consider applying. In many cases they would make different interim decisions. *sigh*
But you are your own beasts and I was once like you. So I get it. You’ve got enough “figured out” that you don’t need help, etc. etc. But you know you really do. Lean on me. I’ve got you.
This is a more arms-length version of the Acorn Program. If the Acorn Program is too much to deal with right now and you don’t want the 1-1 sessions, this is your next best bet. It’s 20% the cost of the basic Acorn program.
Here are some recent stats. Please keep in mind, 100% of entering students claimed they were probably going to MBA programs within a year. Again, it’s a self selecting group. That’s what I’m known for. The breakdown of who did what:
72% applied to MBA programs overall, 60% applied that same year, 12% delayed for 1 or more years, 16% applied to Law School or Public Policy programs, 8% stayed in the same industry or company, but changed roles, and 4% started their own companies or PE/VC funds – have not gone to bschool (and prob won’t).
I am pre-MBA, pre-Law, pre-Med, pre-Phd, … how does this help me?
If you are about to enroll or are already enrolled, this course will help you maximize your time in school for the most desired outcome post program, both immediately and for the long haul. I’m not going to teach you how to study better. Graduate school is very barely academic. Yes, even you PhD students need to understand that. Instead, we’ll go through all the dim parts of your mind – the ones you probably dialed down ages ago when dreams became impractical – to hone in on your best version of a full life. It’s your best self as we might see it today. Then I’ll help you get that or at least start moving towards it. Even if it isn’t totally clear what or how.
That’s the big beauty of this program. You get a safe space to explore your full potential with a pretty kick-ass guide (me).
Recently finished Law School, now what?
If you’ve just finished Law School, you’ve already set several things in motion. You’ve either clerked already or are doing so now. It isn’t impossible to do after you’ve spent time in private practice, but it’s less common. You know all of this, right? But improbable does not mean impossible.
This program will help you figure out big questions that you may have already accepted (begrudgingly) as answered: do you have what it takes to make partner, do you need to do academic publishing, who do you need to be in orbit with, etc?
I’d hate to see you wasting time on frivolous activities that aren’t building you toward the best version of yourself. But it’s even worse to see you give up on the optimism you had for your law career when you first decided to pursue it. Law School and law firms just take the spit out of you. It’s what they do. We can recapture that spirit to funnel it into emotionally and economically rewarding activities. You can do well and do good.
What do you mean by peace of mind with the choices you have coming?
Real peace of mind is the ability to say no to things that are less important, no matter how pressing/urgent/important they seem and the opportunity to say yes to things that energize you even when they scare the spit out of you.
How is this different from the MBA Bootcamp?
If you are applying to business school this year (or soon), you would be well served to go through a profound introspective process. Sadly, most candidates do not do that, nor do they leave themselves with enough time pre-application to do it. MBA Bootcamp is my best attempt to get students to do the introspection on hyperdrive. It helps. A lot. But that is not this. THIS course is the Capstone course. This brings together all the bits of you and helps you amplify your best. You may decide the MBA isn’t worth your time. You may decide you have to do an MBA and it has to be at School X. This course at the very least will get you the profound introspection before you begin crafting mba application essays. This is currently the same price as MBA Bootcamp, and you’ll get massively more out of it by virtue of time to reflect. I’m not even sure I’ll continue to offer MBA Bootcamp.
Can I get my Company to pay for this?
Some companies have policies to support personal development with emphasis on communication, emotional intelligence, and other “real life” business skills. This is that. We will definitely get into real life business skills and you will definitely increase your EQ after you’ve finished this course.
Your HR department can help you understand how to frame this course expense so that it is reimbursable.
Firms recognize that school can’t possibly prepare you for a job. If you feel that your university experience didn’t prepare you for real life business skills, this will fill that gap!
Can you guarantee a salary gain?
I wish. But, I’ll give you the stats so far:
Keep in mind the only version of this prior to 2018A is 1-1 + shared course and was $25k/yr with most students needing 12-18 months – therefore spending $25-40k.
Time to recoup program expense ($25-40K): concurrent with program, 1-3x recoup rate within 18 months. How was rate recouped? Bonuses, increased base salary, and in a few cases side gig.
Student conclusion: “this is better than free”
Thank you. I agree!
Is this watered down version of 1-1?
If you read the materials, you saw that the way I’ve offered this in the past was exclusively 1-1. The base version of that was at least $2k/mo. Students were often working through these issues for 12-18 months, spending $25k-40k. Despite what may seem to be a large expense for something very amorphous, they raved about it once we were 3-4 months in. Most recouped 3x what they spent within the first 18 months – while we were still working through the program.
So it is absolutely natural to assume this is a watered down, low touch version of the 1-1. That’s rational. That’s how most people think about scaling things.
But not me!
I rethought all of the touch points through the 1-1 and measured which ones actually moved the needle for my candidates. I’m sure there will be adjustments to the program over time, but this is a very high touch program for people serious about their next steps. It’s just modified to be in a group setting. And it’s only offered once or twice a year depending on my Acorn students.
I have more questions
Email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
- First Month: weekly live class and weekly live office hours – pop in to ask your questions or to listen to your peers’ questions, 2 opportunities to meet each week (February, Mondays and Wednesdays)
- Months 2-6: Live Class or office hour session, alternating, one live opportunity to meet each week
- The 300(ish) things you need to know – dripped out daily for the next year either by email or sms, your choice
- 24/7 access to a private Q&A stream that you can use on any device – check in when you need a boost