|All Reviews > August Academy Reviews|
Joined: Mar 11, 2017
760 Q50 V42
Having achieved my target GMAT score, I started looking at b-schools and the application process. I was of the strong opinion that I won't take help of a consultant and will navigate the entire process on my own. It didn't take much time to realise that the process is complex and overwhelming. I felt clueless and don't know where to start. I researched online for help. I found popular resources such as Applicant Lab and admission consultancies but they didn't seem like the right choice.
That's when I stumbled across a YouTube video of Karthik giving an overview on bschool application process and strategy for Indian students. The video explained in layman terms the application process, what the schools look for in applicants, and how to approach the goals and other essays. The 1 hour video helped me understand more about the application process than my 2 weeks of own research.
I then decided to schedule a 30 minute consultation with Karthik. Karthik provided a brief and transparent overview of schools I can target, goals, and the consulting process. Karthik shared his honest thoughts on schools I can potentially target, something I did not receive in my conversations with other consultants. I finally took a 5 school package and looking back, it feels like the right decision I have made.
The profile review sessions, essay edits, goals discussions, school selection - all helped me present my best application to my target schools. Karthik played the role of a perfect coach. He asked the right questions - which helped me understand my motivations behind pursuing MBA. He provided multiple examples, reviewed multiple versions of my resume, explained about highlighting impact till we finally develop a good one.
B-schools want applicants to share their authentic self in the essays, something possible only if applicants write their own story. But it is not easy to do so on our own. You need to understand what the college is looking for in that essay. You need to share your own experiences and should not copy another experience or writing style. And you need to show the impact of that experience. Enter Kartik. Karthik explains what college wants to know about the candidate through an essay and then gave a brief overview of how I should structure my essay. Then it is for me to write the complete essay. Karthik reviews the essay multiple times and provides suggestions on what to improve. However, he never wrote my essays or provided an essay template I can follow. He is committed to helping you present your true self in the application process and succeed. Working with a consultant who is committed to your success was hugely motivating for me. As consultants typically work with several applicants, it is easy to provide general advice and share a general template which everyone can follow. But kartik is genuinely interested in your success. He always spent time and provided personalised feedback even when times were difficult for him.
It was very tough in the initial stages as it is not easy to become a great writer all of a sudden.
After days of thinking, I was able to write only one impactful paragraph. However, I trusted the process kartik employed. After a few weeks, I started to see the improvement. Kartik's suggestions and the questions he asks helped me frame authentic essays. I got interview invites from 4 schools out of the 5 target schools I applied. I was able to convert my interview invite to an admission offer with 70k scholarship. I am positive this would not have been possible without guidance and motivation from Kartik.
To Summarise, the application process is strenuous. Unless you are confident and write good essays, you need a good coach who can guide you and motivate you to successfully navigate the process. You cannot ask for a better coach than Kartik to help you with the process. He is committed to your success and helps present your best authentic version to the admissions committee. Trust the process Kartik employs, follow the guidelines, and you will succeed.
Joined: Dec 19, 2012
I had been involved in dramatics during my college days. When our college was participating in an inter-college skit competition a coach was hired by the college to train the team. On the first day he gave us a situation and asked us to prepare a skit. This was repeated everyday for two weeks.
With the competition fast approaching we were getting tense and asked him about the script for the competition. To our surprise he told us that he does not have a script and we had to prepare one. We were furious and asked him if that was the case then why did he waste our time. He then asked us to prepare the skit using the best parts from all the skits that we had performed in the last two weeks. the result was a skit that eventually won us the first prize.
The methodology adopted by Karthik from August Academy is similar to the one stated above. His starter files push you to introspect deep into your life and become a ready reckoner for your essays. Karthik will show you the path and guide you when you veer away from it. His commitment can be gauged from the fact that he took a brainstorming session with me from the hospital when his father was hospitalised as the deadline for HKS was approaching.
I would be indebted to karthik especially for the selection of schools. Even though I had a decent GMAT score of 730 I was an outlier in terms of experience with over 13 years of experience. He carefully analysed my profile and suggested Harvard Kennedy school as one of the schools to me even though I had approached him for B-schools. He was pretty candid and blunt about my chances and told me about the points that did not work in my favour. And true to his prediction I was able to convert only HKS.
I would recommend August Academy to anyone looking to apply to top B-schools and I wish Karthik the very best in his future endeavours.
Joined: Mar 29, 2022
Karthik helped me prepare my masters application material on very short notice, one month before the application deadline. Thanks to his mentorship I was able to secure admission in my top target school!
Karthik was able to connect the themes of my work experience with the guidelines of the admissions essay prompt, prioritizing experiences that were unique and relevant to the program.
He provided great guidance for essays while still allowing for individual creativity. After accommodating for multiple drafts and versions, the final essay was clear, concise and read like a story. The structure he provided made the essay very compelling to read - beneficial for admissions officers who skim through hundreds of essays every day.
Joined: Dec 14, 2016
740 Q50 V40
I had first interacted with Karthik during a free profile evaluation. I had met with several admissions consultants for a profile evaluation but his feedback was very honest and helped me close some gaps. I decided to work with him post this call.
He helped me shortlist the right kind of schools that I could apply to and there was a good mix of target and stretch schools in this.
The best thing about working with him was that there was no limit on the number of reviews per essay. I had gone through several versions of essays for different colleges and the final version was always a lot more polished and convincing.
He had also helped me with the interviews for different schools and I got a lot of value from the mock interviews.
Overall, it was a great experience working with Karthik and he helped me hone my writing and interviewing skills.
Joined: Apr 11, 2020
700 Q49 V35
I had a great Experience with Karthik at the August academy. I was initially a bit hesitant since I did not feel comfortable with paying so much money for the applications process. But I think it was really worth every penny.
There was a clarity of process and thought which Karthik brought to the table- that helped to streamline my applications and eventually I did get into HEC Paris- which was one of the top 3 colleges I aspired for.
Apart from actually ensuring the correct content for the applications, this coaching helped me to work on my writing skills, resume building, interviews and develop a more linear structured way of thinking. I got to know myself as a person better.
I would recommend August academy for anyone who is aspiring to get into some of the Top B-schools and who is keen to also invest time in the applications process.
Joined: Oct 07, 2020
720 Q49 V39 (Online)
I would like to thank Karthik for his support during my MBA applications. I reached out to Karthik in December for Round 2 applications (deadlines in early January). Karthik’s structured approach helped me in submitting quality applications to 7 schools in this short time. I was invited to interviews by 4 schools and received admits to 2 schools. Karthik is very logical and was an excellent sounding board for my ideas. He encouraged me to explore various facets of my experiences and provided valuable advice on how to structure my essays. I will also advise candidates to reach out to Karthik earlier in the application process to have sufficient time.
Joined: Nov 05, 2018
After a lot of research on consulting companies, I decided to go with August Academy. It was the best decision I made in my entire MBA application journey. Karthik guided me throughout the application process - starting from the selection of B-schools to apply to - one of the steps that I dreaded the most. His approach is very professional and well educated. He helped me in putting the best of myself out there through my resume, essays and letter of recommendations. He enhanced the uniqueness of my application by helping me develop ideas for my essays from my life stories and not compose them himself. I believe that I was profoundly benefited through the extensive experience he had with his other MBA candidates over the years. If not for his ingenious counsel, I would not have been able to secure admits from such great B-schools.
Joined: Jul 10, 2017
640 Q48 V30
As I was approaching my MBA applications, I knew I needed a good strategy right from deciding on the right colleges all the way to my admissions. I wanted to do it right the first time. I attended Karthik’s free webinar and had a free call with him. After speaking to him, I was pretty sure that I would definitely benefit from his advice on my MBA journey.
Karthik always gave me the right advice at the right time throughout my tumultuous journey of the application process. His brainstorming sessions were an eye opener as I recollected my life stories and learnt to use the right stories for the essay questions. The best thing about the whole process is that I authored all my essays using his structured advice. His sound comments made a rough initial draft to a polished final draft after multiple revisions. The use of the Asana platform also made the full process organized and systematic.
Another goldmine are his MBA Masterclasses which give new applicants a foundation knowledge on various aspects of the MBA application such as crafting a proper resume, preparing elevator pitches, answering the ‘Why MBA?’ question, setting up your LinkedIn profile, goals essays, video essays.
As I worked with him, I got interview calls from Tepper, McDonough, McCombs and eventually got admits from all of them, that too with scholarships of 50k USD from Tepper, 30k USD from McDonough and 10k USD from McCombs. As I worked with him for the above colleges, I used the experience gained to write the essays for ISB and Kelley and was able to get admit from ISB and an interview from Kelley as well.
Joined: Apr 25, 2020
740 Q50 V41
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Working with Karthik and August Academy on my B-School applications was an excellent experience. Together, we worked on 5 applications out of which I scored an admit from Tuck and a waitlist from UCLA even in an extremely hard application cycle.
From the get-go I appreciated Karthik's honest and open communication style. In our first conversation, he helped me think through the range of schools that were realistic targets given my profile and GMAT score. Yet, he let me know that he was open to changing our strategy if I wanted to be more ambitious. And I did. Karthik was also open to letting me position my story the way I wanted to - he is a firm believer in authenticity and would often nudge me in the right direction when he felt that I wasn't being true to my goals and ambitious. We often brainstormed a plan B w.r.t story positioning but our priority would always be to run with what felt right.
Another thing with Karthik is that you can always know what to expect. He uses Asana as a project management tool with his clients and I found this to be extremely helpful in staying on top of all the various to-do's that an applicant needs to address. He was also prompt in his review of my essays, resume, and other documents - you could pretty much expect an in depth review within 48 hrs. This helped me manage my internal application deadlines with ease. Having said that, Karthik was always open to working on a tighter deadline if the matter was urgent and needed his review.
One thing I particularly liked about his process was his ability to ask the right questions during our brainstorming process. Often, we do not dig deep enough when trying to answer essay questions in MBA applications. We have an ongoing narrative in our head which we rely heavily on. But if you ask the right questions, there is often a much more meaningful reason and core belief that is guiding your decision making. Karthik was a pro at doing this and it massively improved the quality of the essays we worked on together.
Finally, something that really helped take my application to the next level was just the sheer number of reviews each of my essays went through. Karthik and I would often go up to as many as 5 drafts of the same essay before we froze it. Knowing that I had the option of doing multiple iterations of the essay allowed me to take more risks in the writing and craft better essays.
I will forever be grateful for Karthik's guidance throughout the process. Will 100% recommend using his services if you're looking for a good mentor to guide you through the B-school application process.
Joined: Jul 18, 2019
700 Q49 V35
I have only great things to say about working with Karthik. Firstly, Karthik took the time to understand my background, work experience, and career goals. Karthik then worked with me on selecting various schools based on my aspirations and helped set realistic targets. Karthik is extremely systematic and asked me to believe in the process as this was the only factor I controlled. He was there every step of the way and guided me through any questions or doubts that I had. Through my application journey, Karthik made me firmly believe that a good process leads to good results.
Karthik helped refine my resume to make it very effective by simplifying a lot of the industry jargon and highlighting my best accomplishments. Through the brainstorming sessions with Karthik, I was able to bring out my most compelling stories for each of the essays, and one of the biggest benefits was his ability to view my overall application. Karthik also offered an MBA Admissions Masterclass, which I found immensely beneficial in understanding all the various aspects of putting together a great application. Karthik was really a coach, a guide, and a friend. With Karthik’s guidance and expertise, I was able to get into a top business school with a good scholarship. I wholeheartedly recommend Karthik Palaniappan and August Academy to everyone looking for a top consultant to help them get into a great MBA program.