Daniel Richards

Senior Consultant/Message Board Response Team


    
Number of reviews [29]


Company: mbaMission
Packages: * School Packages   Hourly Services  
Daniel Richards earned his BA in journalism from Northwestern University and later received his MBA from Columbia Business School, with a focus on marketing and corporate strategy. Before attending business school, Daniel was a writer and editor for several print and online publications and spent three years as the retail and consumer packaged goods editor for SmartBrief, Inc., a publishing company specializing in email newsletters for trade associations. His clients at SmartBrief included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation. While at Columbia, Daniel was active in the Marketing Association, and his cluster elected him to represent the group in alumni development activities. After graduating, Daniel worked in online marketing and product development at American Express in New York City, where he developed an expertise in digital marketing and strategy, as well as social media. His accomplishments include designing and launching the first American Express social media app, managing a company-wide Innovation Challenge and relaunching a small business email newsletter reaching one million customers. Daniel also managed the online marketing strategy for the first-ever Small Business Saturday—a complex, multichannel event that is credited with having the fastest-growing Facebook page in history. Daniel relocated to Washington, DC, in 2011 to focus on growing his marketing consulting business. He has also been a member of the editorial staff at Washingtonian magazine and Moment magazine and authored the initial version of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Columbia Business School.

Source: http://www.mbamission.com/about/?display=team&name=daniel-richards


Daniel Richards's Reviews
Daniel Richards - Strongly Recommend
June 01 | 2015

       By Anonymous joined: May 31, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  Hourly Services   Consultant:  Daniel Richards
It was wonderful working with Daniel this past spring. I had completed about 75% of my R3 application when I reached out to Daniel. While I didn't know what to expect, Daniel was able to quickly step in and help me finalize my essays and resume in just three hours. He was able to provide a fresh perspective and apply his extensive experience. I felt extremely confident in my application thanks to Daniel, despite being a round three applicant with an average GRE score. I highly recommend Daniel, as he is efficient, respectful of time and extremely knowledgeable. I ultimately was accepted to my dream MBA program.
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mbaMission - Daniel (Dan) Richards
May 07 | 2015

       By Anonymous joined: April 19, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  Hourly Services   Consultant:  Daniel Richards
I have to say, I feel that I really got lucky finding a consultant like Dan. Doing a little research online I was able to find a ranking of all the MBA admissions companies out there and I came to the conclusion that mbaMission was arguably the firm with the best mix of experience (sheer volume of reviews) and acceptance rate/satisfaction. I reached out to both mbaMission and a couple of the other firms with similar stats.

Initially my goal was to be admitted into Columbia’s MBA program so I decided to reach out to Dan Richards, a CBS Alum and professional editor. I quickly found Dan’s style to be exactly what I was looking for. Unlike some of the other consultants I contacted, Dan’s feedback was very candid. He wasn't afraid to explore my application’s weaknesses and he was very straightforward.

Most of my work with Dan centered on my essays, although he also provided advice on how to work with my recommenders, how to better structure my resume, and a couple of mock interviews. In terms of the essay work, he helped me understand how I could best position myself and then helped me revise each essay into a well-polished final draft. One thing I truly appreciated was Dan’s willingness to go above and beyond and his drive for perfection.

I ended up getting into the school of my dreams, HBS. It turned out that all my research on admissions consulting firms had paid off and I’m very glad I had Dan’s help along the way. I would recommend both him and mbaMission to anyone interested in getting into a top program.
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Dan Richards Hourly Services
May 07 | 2015

       By Anonymous joined: May 7, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - got into all
This review is for:  Hourly Services   Consultant:  Daniel Richards
After a less than stellar GMAT, I was nervous about applying to business school. I was trying to decide if my time and money would be best spent retaking the GMAT (and waiting until next year to apply) or focusing on putting together the best application I could this year. I signed up for a free consultation with Dan Richards to discuss how my profile looked for my target school and decide if it would be valuable to use consulting services. After speaking with Dan, I felt much more confident about applying this year, and I ultimately signed up for 4 hours to focus on one school. I was very budget conscious and Dan was great at providing constructing feedback without using too much time for each edit. He helped me with my resume and essay. We even ended up with one hour left for a mock interview.

The first draft of my essay was all over the place. I was having trouble putting all my thoughts into a cohesive story. However, Dan was able to really help me focus my thoughts, and I was very happy with the end result.

I would highly recommend Dan and the hourly services, especially if you just need someone impartial to look over your essay and you don't have the budget for full school packages. The process was very efficient and extremely helpful.
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Strongly Recommended
April 01 | 2015

       By kiranoodleman joined: January 31, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  Hourly Services   Consultant:  Daniel Richards
It was wonderful working with Dan. He is truly talented at what he does. His support and insight during what has been an arduous journey has made all the difference.
After scoring lower than desired on the GMAT 3 days before the R2 deadline, I first reached out on advice regarding how to write my Extenuating Circumstances essay; it was a rocky moment, and his strategic input was spot-on. We later did mock interviews, which today I found out landed me a spot at a competitive school I'm very excited about. At key junctures I reached out to Dan and got exactly the support I needed, strengthening my sense of confidence and preparedness. And notably, even though Dan had 2 full days to respond to requests, he often responded within hours. It's obvious Dan cares about his clients, and genuinely wants them to succeed. I strongly recommend Dan without hesitation, and look forward to staying in touch with him throughout my career.
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Dan is the best!
March 30 | 2015

       By Anonymous joined: March 30, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Daniel Richards
I am so happy that I was able to work with Dan! Dan not only made the application process easier, but also kept me from over-stressing about the small things. I saw my writing improve by working with Dan and have applied these writing skills beyond my applications. I really don't think I would have been as successful in my application process without Dan. I appreciate how responsive Dan was throughout the process and I could tell that he really cared about helping his clients. From my small questions to larger essay reviews, Dan was there every step of the way. I would recommend Dan to anyone!
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Great Process with Dan Richards
March 09 | 2015

       By hmac joined: March 9, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Daniel Richards
Daniel Richards was very helpful through my MBA application process. To be brief, I'll list the ways he helped me and could help you:

Clear expectations: Dan was clear about my chances of getting into the schools I wanted, and at the same time respected my goals. Sometimes honesty hurts, but it helps. In my case it helped me pick schools that fit me.

Editing: coming from a culture that values redundancy in writing, his help cutting down my resumé and essays was great. He did this while maintaining the full meaning of what I wanted to express. He really is great helping you with your own words, as he does not do the work for you, and is clear about the ethics of his consultancy.

Non traditional background: He was great at understanding and using my background to strengthen my app. In this aspect, as an international candidate, he was also very understanding of the different scenarios and difficulties that international candidates face.

Promptness: Never missed a deadline.

Communication: very opened about discussing issues, even over the phone.

The best thing Dan did for me is help me get to the bottom of what I wanted to gain from an MBA. His feedback, questions, and insights really helped me reflect upon various aspects of my candidacy and this will have a lasting impact beyond being accepted.
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Take A Gun To A Knife Fight
February 10 | 2015

       By Anonymous joined: February 10, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Daniel Richards
If your intent is to get an MBA, you will present a stronger candidacy if you reserve Dan’s services.

The first thing to know about him is that he has been there. He has an MBA from CBS so he has succeeded both at getting himself into a top program and at guiding others down the path (I am headed to Columbia next year thanks in large part to Dan).

From the beginning, he will analyze you from all sides: education, work experience, personal life, interests, etc. He is very detailed and has a marketing background and thus is quickly able to identify your unique characteristics that make you more attractive to a top program.

From resumes to essays to short answer questions, he will help you find and develop your most compelling narratives. Then, he will eviscerate your work repeatedly until it flows economically within the allotted word count.

When interview time comes (and it will come of course…because you engaged Dan), he will do wonders for your interview preparation. He knows each school’s unique interview style and drills you accordingly. By the time you are interviewing live with the school, it’s like you are watching an old movie you have seen a dozen times before.

Two more things that really impressed me: First, he always seemed intensely focused and invested in my candidacy. I never felt like my candidacy had anything but his undivided attention. Second, he was always ahead of schedule. MBAmission mandates that their consultants get any work back to you within two business days hours. In my experience, Dan never kept me waiting longer than 12 hours.

In short, being a potentially strong candidate does not guarantee that you will have a strong candidacy. Dan is like The Wolf from Pulp Fiction when it comes to the latter point.
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Dan Richards - Fantastic!
January 20 | 2015

       By Anonymous joined: February 13, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Daniel Richards
I worked with Dan Richards in 2014 and was admitted to my top choice - a top 3 school – and received money at another. I owe Dan much credit for making those schools options of mine.

I used a consultant because my work experience is difficult to explain and I needed help presenting a cohesive story. And, I wanted a third party to evaluate and help me better each aspect of my candidacy. I sought to work with Dan because we’d met before and I trusted him instantly.

Dan helped hugely, first with my resume - using it to show achievements, put in layman's terms what I do, and cut the fluff; and second, with crafting my pitch by asking probing questions that made me think about how I could make myself a more appealing candidate at each of my schools. Put simply: Dan helped shore up gaps/inconsistencies in and contributed many good ideas to my applications.

What I liked most about working with Dan wasn’t his editing skills (and he's good!), but rather his honest and frank approach. That allowed us to spend our energy on what was actually important. Dan believes in doing things right and not just what’s most convenient, and that's where he added most value. Sometimes Dan gave feedback I didn't *want* to hear but *needed* to hear ("that essay topic is not optimal, how about you write about this?" or "that sentence seems forced, let’s cut that," etc.). I took Dan’s advice and am in the enviable position of choosing among many top schools.

Dan's a professional, thoughtful, and smart guy. Even better, Dan knows his MBA applications. I’m thankful Dan was on my side throughout this process.

Can't recommend Dan Richards enough!
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A Great Experience
December 30 | 2014

       By Anonymous joined: December 28, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Daniel Richards
I came into the application process knowing I wanted to work with a consultant, and chose Daniel Richards at mbamission because of his candidness and efficiency. The choice definitely paid off, I was admitted to one of my top choice schools with a significant scholarship. I would highly recommend Dan, who was especially great in several areas:

1. Condensing essays--with essays becoming shorter and shorter, it was extremely helpful to have someone streamline my writing and at times make choices to cut. After a few rounds of editing content, I would have 550 words that Dan would be able to get to 500, without losing any of the information.

2. Choosing themes--I have a rather unique personal background, and the initial brainstorming left me uncertain what to focus on. As an outsider and a expert in the process, Dan was able to hone in on things I should highlight. I ended up writing about an experience I otherwise wouldn't have.

3. General advice giving--from choosing schools, to application strategy (which round to apply), to the dreaded wait, Dan was often the voice of reason, providing insight into the opaque process and many times just reminding me of things I knew but was overshadowed by the panic and uncertainty.
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Daniel 'Dan the Man' Richards
December 22 | 2014

       By hcass joined: June 20, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Daniel Richards
My biggest concern about hiring an admissions consultant was that I would be paying $5000+ with NO guarantee of performance. If I didn’t make the cut, it didn’t affect the consultant I would never see again – he or she still got paid. However, given the importance of getting things done right the first time, I went for it.

Frankly, I lucked out with Dan. When I set up my free consultation, his availability worked better than the others. I liked what he said though and I pulled the trigger without having spoken to any others. I applied to 5 schools (1 stretch, 3 at-levels, and 1 safety) and Dan helped on 2. I got dinged on the stretch and accepted at the safety. What really speaks to Dan’s expertise is that of the 3 at-level schools I applied to, I got into 1, my dream school. Of those 3, it was the one application that Dan helped me to prepare.

Instead of just adding one more glowing review though, I’ll describe what frustrated me most about my interactions with Dan, because Dan’s strengths were most evident when I was frustrated. For instance, I had spent hours and hours working on a resume. I expected some minor edits and a pat on the back. That’s not what I got. 20 hours of work and about 5 or 6 drafts later, I finally had the finished product.

The problem with my resume wasn’t content – it was me. This was the beginning of my application process and I had spent the previous 2 years working in public accounting. In that time, I had lost sense of how to communicate. I kept drafting an accounting resume – I needed an MBA resume. Once that clicked for me, my whole application approach changed. Many would have given up on me. Dan only accepted the best possible product.

I was frustrated on another occasion when I discussed why I wanted to apply to HBS. I had a really good “connection” that I thought could give me enough of an edge to at least have a shot. I didn’t have a shot though. Dan did an excellent job of communicating this to me. He was understanding and cared enough not to crush my hopes, but he was also persuasive and saved me from wasting time and money, important resources in the application process.

Put simply – Dan is a straight shooter. If you want a friend who will coddle or babysit you, then Dan just isn’t your guy. But if you want an advisor you can trust to be honest and direct, then he is.

Though my frustrations demonstrate Dan’s expertise and skill, I really could go on and on about how many things Dan made easier on me (no frustration required!). He helped me select a list of target schools that fit my strengths as an applicant. He always answered one-off questions in a timely manner (usually no more than a couple hours). He always returned deliverables to me within 48 hours (usually 24). He always provided helpful perspectives on random questions. And perhaps most importantly, I felt confident at every stage of the application process because I knew Dan was in my corner, working to tell my story.

Again, I’m thrilled with Dan and the results he helped me to achieve. In hindsight, I would have hired him for 3-4 applications and I would have ensured that he helped on the first 2 applications to go out.
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