Donna Bauman, Senior Admissions Counselor

Donna Bauman

Academic Background

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BS
Kellogg School of Management, MBA

Area of Expertise

Admissions, advertising, marketing, IT, hospitality, education, consulting, and investment banking.

Work Experience

Donna’s MBA Admissions clients benefit from her diverse background including 15 years working in MBA Admissions at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Additional experience in career/academic advising and program management at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, as well as brand positioning experience working on the national advertising campaigns for Maxwell House Coffee, CorningWare, Pyrex, Corelle and Hanes, and entrepreneurial experience working for two start-up food ventures all help Donna guide her clients to successful MBA admissions outcomes. Her clients have received scholarship offers totaling over $750,000. Donna has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and an undergraduate business degree with honors from UNC Kenan-Flagler.

What I like most about being a Stratus MBA Admissions Counselor

Helping clients to present the best version of themselves that positions them for success in the MBA Admissions process and for all that follows both professionally and personally.

3 Random Facts:

  • I ran in a 200-mile relay race to the NC Coast. I faced my fear of running alone in the dark and anchored a 10-mile evening leg as part of the 20 miles I covered during the 30-hour race.
  • I founded an after school math program at my kids’ elementary school that served over 250 children during the five years I ran the program.
  • I’ve been known to clear a room when opening some of my more exotic fermentation experiments. Ask me about the failed fish sauce ferment…

Blogs by Donna


If ever there was a year when MBA programs completely understand why you have not visited their school, this is the year. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, it will be very difficult for most applicants to visit an MBA program between now and Round 1 deadlines. Naturally this is not great news…but let’s look

How to Tackle Kellogg’s 2019-20 Essay Prompts

Kellogg’s 2019/2020 Application now open   Kellogg has announced its new 2019/2020 application with deadlines as follows: ROUND 1 – SEPT 18, 2019 | ROUND 2 – JAN 8, 2020 | ROUND 3 – APRIL 8, 2020 In addition to several changes in the application, there are a few other important changes at Kellogg to

Showcase Your Spike Factor for Rotman Essays

This year Rotman is all about Spike Factor, asking you to upload 1-3 of your “spikiest” pictures and select 1,000 words to explain why you chose these pictures. After visiting Rotman in June as part of the Association of International Graduate Admissions Counselors (AIGAC) Conference, I could feel the excitement and positive momentum of this

Things to Keep in Mind for the 2018-2019 Kellogg Essays

I’ve been fortunate to have returned to Kellogg twice in the past 2 months, once for my 25th year Kellogg MBA reunion and once as part of the AIGAC (Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants) Conference where Kellogg hosted us to learn even more about their outstanding portfolio of MBA programs. If you have not

Kenan-Flagler MBA Essay Tips for 2018-2019

While UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Full Time MBA application has gone live for the 2018/2019 season with slightly different essay questions, the key things that UNC Kenan-Flagler is looking for does not appear to have changed. If anything, the change to the second question about providing an example of how you upheld a core value gives UNC

Early Action/Decision and Rolling Admissions MBA Options

In the undergraduate admissions process, Early Action is a non-binding option for applicants to get an early notification of admissions, in contrast to Early Decision, which is a binding commitment to enroll if admitted. Rolling Admissions means that your application is evaluated as it arrives rather than at a scheduled date. But what about MBA

How to Overcome a Low GMAT Score

If the GMAT is just not your thing — as in your score is 30 or more points below the average GMAT for your desired MBA program — is there ANY hope of being accepted with a low GMAT score? It makes you an expensive admit because if you have a 600 GMAT and the

9 Tips to Improve Your MBA Admissions Profile on LinkedIn

While you are waiting for R1 2018 applications to go live, this is an ideal time to review your social media presence in case one of the 35% of adcom members who said they’ve checked out an applicant’s profile online looks at YOURS! When I worked on the admissions side at UNC Kenan-Flagler, LinkedIn was

8 Tips for Chinese Female MBA Applicants

There are more women from China in the MBA pipeline than from anywhere else in the world. In 2017, the Graduate Management Admissions Council reported that 46,274 women in China took the GMAT, representing a whopping 67% of all Chinese GMAT testers. Additionally, the mean GMAT score sent to MBA programs from all Chinese test

MBAnalysis Blog: MBA R1 Limbo – How to Reach Out to AdCom

(Today's MBAnalysis blog post is guest-written by Donna Bauman) The chat rooms have been blowing up these past few weeks as many top MBA programs began to offer interview invitations. All your friends got a decision, but you have not heard a thing yet. This is more common than you think, as some candidates are

5 Tips for Connecting With Your Dream MBA Program From India

Imagine sitting in your office in Mumbai at YES Bank or Wipro and thinking about how to catch the attention of your dream US MBA programs like Harvard, Chicago Booth, and Stanford. Then you realize it is more than 7,000 miles to get from Mumbai to Boston. Oh, and you have a big project due

MBAnalysis Blog: GMAT or GRE, Which Should I Take?

(Today’s MBAnalysis blog post is guest-written by Donna Bauman) Ahh… the great debate- GMAT vs GRE. Which test do you take if you are applying to MBA programs? This is a fairly recent dilemma as it has just been in the past five or so years when most MBA programs started to accept GRE scores