Consultant Profile: Keith Vaughn


20 years of experience in MBA admissions, including 7 as Assistant Dean of Admissions at USC Marshall School of Business. Reviewed thousands of applications for full-time, part-time and EMBA programs. Service on GMAC and CGSM boards provides insight into all top MBA programs.

I want to work with Keith!

I bring twenty years of experience as an admissions director at USC’s Marshall School of Business, including 7 as Assistant Dean of Admissions and shorter stints as the Interim Vice Dean MBA Programs and Interim Executive Director, MBA Career Services, to your application effort. In addition to an in-depth knowledge of Marshall’s MBA program and admissions policy, I also have an insider perspective on all the top MBA programs for the following reasons:

  1. I was elected to the board of the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) for three years.
  2. I served on the board of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM for 10 years.
  3. I developed lasting relationships with my fellow admissions directors from around the globe. These relationships provide a deep understanding of what each school seeks from its applicants.

Many experiences reflect the camaraderie and respect among MBA admissions professionals in this intense and competitive business school environment. Coopetition at its finest. We dined together, traveled together, vacationed together on occasion, and sometimes spent time stuck due to the unexpected events that are simply part of travel.  

One of the more memorable of our unplanned interactions occurred during what was supposed to be a two-day, small group meeting in London. An eruption of the difficult-to-pronounce Eyjafjallajokull volcano took place in Iceland, and it stranded us for a week. With my colleagues from HBS, Michigan, Duke, Yale, UT, CEIBS, et al., we voluntarily took advantage of our extended time to meet daily and discuss how we could improve the admissions process for schools and applicants. We floated Ideas such as shared applications, a portal for recommenders, and common essay question, and although we ultimately failed to agree on any of these projects, we did agree upon the plays to see each night in London. And, comically, we all wished to join Dee Leopold (HBS) on the wait list for the Queen Mary to get us back home.

Years playing and working together with these professionals as well as those representing other top MBA programs from around the world has cemented my understanding of the challenges each faces to put together a stellar class of rising MBAs. I have been fortunate to maintain these friendships and look forward to being able to share my insights with applicants hoping to join the future classes of one of these fine institutions.

The MBA application process may appear daunting, but with the proper guidance, it is both manageable and well worth the effort.

If you are willing to work as hard and smart as the many directors who are searching for you, then you can achieve your dreams and continue on your path to a successful career.

A little more about me: I earned an MBA from the University of Southern California and B. A. in Economics from Amherst College. I currently reside in Las Vegas, Nevada. And I love to play tennis.

Please contact me if I can be of service to you.