I started thinking about working with an MBA consultant in June for round 1 applications. I had a 700 GMAT so I knew that I needed to really stand out on the essays to get into my dream school. I had lots of ideas on what I could write about but was looking for someone who can help me decide which stories are the most compelling. I was looking for thought leadership, a direct communication style and someone who really clicked with me. I reached out to friends, colleagues and even my GMAT instructor for consultants they have used and would recommend. I spoke to 8-10 different essay consultants before deciding to go with Angela Guido.
She was someone who really wanted to understand me and help present my stories in the best light instead of just treating me like a client. From the beginning, I felt like Angela was somewhat of a best friend, mentor and epic story evaluator. She was the one my GMAT instructor recommended and I was delighted that she was making time for me in her busy schedule.
Angela was very easy to work with. We spent a lot of time upfront brainstorming and talking about my entire life story. I did most of the hard work on my own (i.e. filling out brainstorming documents, writing drafts of essays/resumes, scheduling time with her to chat, bringing ideas to the table) but we did the all the creative thinking and structuring together. We started with essays for my top choice school. The first one was the toughest one. I think we had a total of 4 or 5 drafts, including one where I had to re-write the entire essay. Angela was very prompt with her feedback and her notes were very clear with thoughtful questions, insightful suggestions and a knack for keeping the big picture in mind. Sometimes, I would have ideas on what I wanted to talk about but had no idea how to approach it. This is where Angela was the most helpful. She could boil down stories to the most important essence and help me recreate it in writing. She never “wrote” anything on my behalf and she trusted that I would be on top of all my applications. I was in charge of the whole process which made our working relationship very positive.
List of what she helped me with:
- Brainstorming – thinking about who I am and how I could differentiate myself
- Essays – at the beginning we did everything together, but by the end I was doing essays on my own without too much iteration
- Applications – including short form answers, I had everything in a word document and she reviewed
- Recommender brainstorming – I ran my recommenders by her and what they were going to write about so she had the “whole application” in mind
- Interviews – we spoke about them but didn’t do a formal practice interview
Other things she can help with that I didn’t take advantage of (did it myself, but she could’ve been very helpful):
- Mock interviews
- Read recommendations from recommenders
I sincerely feel like I had a better end product because I worked with Angela. She brought out the best in me. She was so great that I referred many of my friends to her. One of my friends let me read her essays before submitting them for her round 2 application and I was pleasantly surprised that her essays were very different from mine. This was one of my fears of working with a consultant. This just goes to show that Angela really tries to stay true to her clients and does not impose any “molds” or “common guidelines” for them. Everyone remains an individual.
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