Meet the Founders
Jim is Managing Partner of Sell Your Story.
Raised in New Orleans, Jim developed a passion for teaching public speaking, argumentation, and writing while being an active member of the national speech and debate league. Admitted to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, Jim chose to study Ethics, Politics, & Economics at Yale and became a North American collegiate debate champion.
While in college, Jim worked as a college admissions consultant for international students in Asia, after which he decided to begin his own practice. In addition, he tutored the SAT and ACT, became a writing instructor at the New Haven Chinese school, and acted as a research assistant to multiple professors.
After graduating, Jim worked for one of the "Big 3" global management consulting firms, playing a significant role in undergraduate recruiting and improving diversity in corporate hiring.
Kyle Hietala is Head of Partnerships at Sell Your Story.
Born in rural Iowa, Kyle attended excellent public schools growing up and was named a United States Presidential Scholar in 2014. Kyle was admitted to Harvard and educated at Yale, with a B.A. in Cognitive Science.
In addition to being a peer counselor at Yale and volunteering with organizations serving urban students, Kyle was a Teach For America Corps Member in Washington, D.C. and completed advanced coursework in education at Johns Hopkins University.
Kyle is a long-time member of the speech & debate community, having won a continental championship at Yale and coached top teams including The Spence School and Sidwell Friends School. He is passionate about increasing access to educational opportunities and career pathways, and enjoys building relationships and partnerships to provide students with the resources they need to excel.
"I LIKED THAT I COULD BUY DISCRETE SERVICES, INSTEAD OF OPTING INTO AN EXPENSIVE PLAN UPFRONT. I DIDN'T NEED MUCH SUPPORT OTHER THAN TWO REVIEWS OF MY PERSONAL STATEMENT (ONE IN THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON AND ONE AT THE END), SO THE COST OF HAVING A THIRD PARTY LOOK OVER MY MATERIALS WAS ACTUALLY VERY REASONABLE."
L. Wang / Harvard (EA)
"I ENDED UP SUBMITTING 2 ESSAYS TO REVIEW, AND EACH TIME, THE CONSULTANT WHO PROVIDED FEEDBACK ON MY APPLICATION GAVE ME SOME INSIGHTS THAT NONE OF MY FRIENDS HAD MENTIONED BEFORE. IT PROVED REALLY VALUABLE TO HAVE SOMEONE WHO HAS READ THOUSANDS OF APPLICATIONS BEFORE MINE GIVE THEIR PERSPECTIVE."
E. Gould / Columbia (ED)
"TURNAROUND WAS ALWAYS ON-TIME, EVEN WHEN I SUBMITTED ALL MY REGULAR DECISION APPLICATION ESSAYS IN ONE LARGE BATCH. THE COMMENTS WERE INCREDIBLY DETAILED, AND ONCE I RECEIVED MY FILES BACK, I HAD A CLEAR IDEA OF WHAT EDITS I NEEDED TO PRIORITIZE."
S. Liu / Yale (RD)
"I ALWAYS GET ANXIETY BEFORE INTERVIEWS, SO I DECIDED TO INVEST IN SOME PRACTICE BEFOREHAND. MY MOCK INTERVIEWER, A NATIONAL DEBATE CHAMPION, WAS CLEARLY EXPERIENCED IN BOTH GIVING INTERVIEWS HIMSELF AND COACHING STUDENTS. ALTHOUGH I STILL FELT NERVOUS, I FELT MORE GROUNDED ONCE THE DAY CAME."
H. Peterson / Stanford (RD)
"MY PERSONAL CONSULTANT WAS PROFESSIONAL AND ACTED AS A MENTOR THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE SIX MONTHS I SPENT PERFECTING MY APPLICATIONS. EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, I FELT SUPPORTED, AND IT WAS NICE TO HAVE AUTHORITATIVE ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS WITHOUT SPENDING HOURS ONLINE SIFTING THROUGH QUESTIONABLY FALSE INFORMATION."
K. Mandandia / UChicago (RD)