Consultant Profile: Willie Kotas


With decades of marketing experience and deep insight into the MBA admissions process, Willie will guide you in completing your applications and prepping for interviews. Let him help you show that you have what your dream schools seek.

I want to work with Willie!

I never imagined myself applying to MBA programs until I was nearing the end of my Peace Corps service in Ecuador in 1982. Having studied social sciences as an undergraduate, I had always seen myself as a future lawyer. But after a series of meetings with business people (both locals and expats) in Guayaquil, I developed a fascination for marketing and decided to apply to Kellogg.

My two years at Northwestern were life-changing, and I still feel grateful to Kellogg (and to those business people in Ecuador who steered me away from law and into a career in marketing).

Over the next fifteen years, I zigzagged between industries (airlines, consulting, and financial services) and geographically, working in seven foreign countries. I ultimately moved to Miami, where I founded and led the local Northwestern and Kellogg alumni organizations as well as a federation of South Florida MBA alumni clubs, leading to cross-promotion of events for 20 top MBA programs including Booth, HBS, INSEAD, Wharton, MIT, Columbia and Stern.

Another club leader once termed me “instantly memorable” due to my enthusiasm to serve the collective. In 2011, I was honored as Kellogg’s worldwide alumni volunteer of the year. Two years later, Kellogg hired me to carry out projects in Brazil but my role quickly pivoted towards promoting Kellogg’s Executive MBA to candidates throughout Latin America.

In 2015 alone, I met individually with over 200 Latin American executives considering MBA studies, in sessions lasting up to two hours. The most common feedback I received at these meetings was that I had “re-energized” their interest in an MBA. My perpetual road trip in service of future MBAs also forced me to update my knowledge of Kellogg's leading competitors.

Twelve of "my" candidates applied to Kellogg’s EMBA program---all were accepted. When one later approached me on campus just to tell me that he “would not be here if it were not for me,” I was floored by just how rewarding advising candidates could be.

My work on behalf of my alma mater has given me profound insight into what Kellogg specifically seeks in MBA and EMBA applicants as well as how other top-tier programs are evolving. Let’s harness this insight to your benefit. I want to help you get into the program that you feel passionate about and will benefit the most from. After all, the campus experience might only last two years but upon graduation you will join an alumni tribe for life. Let’s make it a great one!

I am a dual citizen (US and Brazil); speak English, Spanish and Portuguese; have lived in 13 countries (11 post-MBA); and have visited 80 countries as well as dozens of college campuses.

Now that you know quite a lot about me, I look forward to learning about you, guiding you to acceptance, and assisting you in realizing your dreams.