Meet our team.
Our firm is small by design, built around a partnership model. Our partners are experts —former admissions officers and superb writers from schools like Vanderbilt, Stanford, and Harvard. Combined, we've worked in elite admissions for more than 30 years. Everyone on our team has a stake in every application. And we share a common view that our best interests lie in being obsessed with client outcomes.
Alex McNeil, MA
Ben Bousquet, M.Ed
Partner, Director of Applicant Strategy
Kylie Kistner, M.A.
Partner, Director of Essay Strategy
Irena Smith, PhD
Irena founded her college consulting practice 14 years ago, drawing on her experience as an admission officer at Stanford University, where she read and reviewed thousands of applications. Now, she helps school students find and celebrate their best stories as they navigate the application process. She works in consultation with McNeil Admissions, providing application strategy feedback to team members. Irena's writing on college admissions has been featured in The Atlantic, San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR.