August Academy Admissions Consulting Reviews

August Academy is a venture founded by an alumnus of IIT Madras and Stanford University in 2013. Over the past five years, we’ve helped students belonging to the most competitive MBA applicant pool (Indian Engineers) get into several top 20 schools from across the world. We’ve worked with people in every time zone from Australia to California - we are extremely responsive. Several of our students have received offers from top 20 schools in the US (including Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Columbia, Yale, Duke, NYU Stern, UVa Darden, Ross, Cornell, Anderson, UNC Kenan-Flagler, McCombs, Tepper, Olin and Goizueta), top 10 schools in Europe (including London Business School, HEC Paris, IE, ESADE and Oxford), and top ranked schools in other regions (Rotman, Ivey, Schulich, the National University of Singapore and the Indian School of Business). Overall, our students have won over $3,100,000 in scholarships so far.

August Academy is a member of AIGAC - the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants. This is a reflection of our commitment to the highest levels of integrity and service to candidates.
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August Academy Admissions Consulting Reviews

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Karthik Palaniappan
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56 Reviews
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April 01, 2018

Joined: Jan 28, 2017

Posts: 34

Kudos: 119

Verified score:
700 Q49 V37

One of the Best Decision I made


In August 2017, I contacted August Academy. :) Since then Karthik has been a great mentor and support. In round 2, I received 4 interview invites out of 5 top-15 schools we applied to. I have received admit from Kellogg, UCLA with 100K USD scholarship, and Tepper. While helping me right from conceptualisation to depiction to refinement, his biggest help was to not let me settle for mediocracy. He made me do multiple iterations of some essay by providing strategic feedback and pointing out even minutest logical fallacies. I distinctly remember that for Kellogg, mistakenly, I wanted to present a story of a project from my consulting life that was grand but was not showcasing my personality. However, Karthik counselled me to present a different story, which was unique but not grand from any angle, and I believe this approach of showcasing who I am both honestly and uniquely made the difference for me.

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March 20, 2018

Joined: Sep 18, 2016

Posts: 9

Kudos: 1

Worth the investment!


I had reached a cross-road in my life, after nearly 8 years of IT experience. It’s not as if the work was not interesting, I got opportunities to perform, excel and do innovative and enterprising things. But I knew I was lacking in certain key skill and competencies, if I needed to move up the career ladder. Gaps like in finance, project management, leadership, etc. I knew I had to do an MBA, it became my goal and purpose in life.

I decided to do my MBA in USA, but was unsure if I could manage to do a decent job with the application. It’s a competitive world out there but did fancy my chances. But I needed help. That’s when I found out about August Academy, run by Karthik a great mentor and guide. He could have been in a great job, armed with top qualifications from IIT and Stanford. He held my hand and guided me. He taught me about self-realisation, how to assess my strengths and weaknesses. How to define a career goal. And went through painstakingly the SOP’s and essays, giving valuable feedback. It’s only with his help I got into UCONN in USA. I could not have managed without the inputs by August Academy, the experts in helping you to reach your learning and career dreams!

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March 17, 2018

Joined: Jul 29, 2014

Posts: 173

Kudos: 18

Self-reported Score:
760 Q51 V41

Go for it!


To all those still contemplating on the benefit of hiring a consultant, please hire one, even if you think you know what you are doing. For me, it was not until I wasted a cycle of admissions, did I realise I wasn’t doing enough. I then decided to hire August Academy to help with my admissions and it was the best decision ever. Especially given my background (Indian), I felt the need for an admission consultant even more – writing essays in a way eloquent enough and at the same time in a well-directed manner is a skill not many know.

I initially started off on my own and struggled to get any calls. I did get a call from a Canadian school, but largely due to my GMAT score and yet which dint convert. I did not realise the importance of essay writing at that point. I was then referred to August Academy by a GMAT club acquaintance. I contacted Karthik, who did a profile review and gave me some nice pointers on what works in my profile. I was a 31 year old at that time which is towards the higher end of the age range that US schools admit. However, we brainstormed to understand my profile at granular level. This later helped me in writing essays.

The entire process for large part takes place over “Asana” where Karthik creates tasks and I had to complete them within a deadline. Usually, he takes about 2 or 3 days to review the work, but for me he did give some leeway as I struggled with a few quick deadlines with schools. We had to submit the application for Stern within 10 days of submitting the app for Columbia. This was a herculean task and yet we could do it because we had it all planned out in “Asana”.

Karthik’s style of working is probably similar to other international consultants. Unlike the Indian admission consultants, he doesn’t write your essay, rather, he provides a direction. The language essentially would still be of the applicant. This is ethically and morally the right thing to do. For those who get essays written by others, a caveat for you guys – schools do check for language consistency and if it sounds like you may not have written the essays, they could reject your candidature even after getting an admit.

Where Karthik excels is his ability to pick the right story for the essay. I think I could navigate through some really difficult essays mainly because of his guidance. In the end it all bore fruit. I worked with him for 4 schools and I received interview calls for 3 of them. I got admit from two of them. He may come off as slightly on the expensive side, but be assured that the services you get would be of very high quality. 5 stars to him!

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March 15, 2018

Joined: Aug 24, 2011

Posts: 0

Kudos: 5

Verified score:
600 Q41 V32

Great experience with August Academy, Karthik is awesome!


Karthik has a very methodical approach towards B-school applications. He does not use a cookie cutter method towards different applications. I remember that we collaborated on many applications and he helped me recall instances to highlight what mattered to each school specifically. He pushed me to write a better version of my resume and really did bring out the best in me. He spent time reviewing my essays and resume in detail, that they were edited multiple times before the final draft was ready.

He differentiates himself from other service providers in the industry as he gives complete creative freedom to a candidate to highlight his/her accomplishments and life experiences and then pushes them to bring out the best version forward.

So far I have been accepted in one school, waitlisted for one and have 1 interview lined up. I have also received a scholarship for 5k per year and a GA decision is awaited.
I am very happy I approached August Academy for my B-school applications and loved working with Karthik on my applications. I will recommend him to anyone who wants to get accepted into a B school of his/her choice.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
January 17, 2018

Joined: Sep 20, 2017

Posts: 4

Kudos: 6

Verified score:
690 Q50 V32

This is the story of an engineer working very hard in a small town in Odhisa. He decides to explore a new option. Let’s dream of something big. So he starts a new journey, preparation of MBA. The first step was rigorous preparation for GMAT. Finally, he succeeded in securing a decent enough score.

Then his situation resembled a sailor set ashore towards invaluable wealth but he had no idea how to tame aggressive tides and how to encounter the difficulties in his way. A big ship helped him to steer his way through the turbulent tides. The ship had a very experienced captain. He was very efficient in figuring out the strategies for a successful venture.

Now a new journey started for the engineer guy. He learned about how to gather his thoughts efficiently in an essay. He understood the major requirements of any prime B school and their expectations from a potential applicant. Slowly all the complications were abolished. Moreover, a hardcore technical person transformed into a successful management aspirant.

Let's introduce the characters of this story. The engineer is Shatam Bhattacharyya, an Instrumentation and Electronics engineer from Jadavpur University and a victorious person in professional life at Tata Steel. The big ship is August Academy.

August Academy was an integral part of my journey of MBA applications.

This institute is unique in following ways-
1. This academy understands the candidate's profile and career aspirations in a specialized manner. Main attention is focused on this part. As a result, any potential candidate can identify the career aspirants and the role of MBA in an effective way.
2. Anyone can recognize his strengths and achievements, both at professional and extracurricular front through the unique initiative of creating Starter Files. I benefited immensely from these exercises. These were the foundations of my MBA application journey. These exercises helped me to get admission in one of the most premier Business School in India.

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July 02, 2017

Joined: Sep 21, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 5

Self-reported Score:
730 Q50 V38

August Academy made it happen for me!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

It was in September of 2016 that I decided to apply for my MBA. Since it was rather late, even by R2 admissions timelines, I had a long arduous road ahead of me. From writing my GMAT, understanding the different admissions processes, shortlisting colleges, essays, recommendations, and personal interviews, the journey to my dream college that year seemed near impossible. Looking back, I can confidently say that Karthik and August Academy made this journey possible for me.

The one thing that set Karthik apart from other consultants in the field was the amount of personal attention he was able to give me during this entire period. Though I started late, he didn’t rush me through the application process. Instead, he started with an in-depth analysis of my profile helping me identify and articulate my long term goals, strengths, weaknesses, leadership experiences, etc. Based on this detailed profile, he then helped me narrow down, short-list and prioritise colleges that best fit my profile.

While I was writing my essays, I went through multiple versions, and after every version, Karthik gave me detailed feedback and he constantly pushed me in the right direction. He clearly understood what aspects of my life and experience the admissions team would be most interested in and he played a pivotal role in helping me tell my story in the best possible way.

The entire admissions process can be very stressful, especially when you have a full-time job. In addition to all his help during the technical aspects of my application, Karthik regularly checked up on me to see how I was handling this stress and constantly motivated me right up until the finish line. I am happy to say that out of the 3 colleges I applied to, I got invited to interview for 2 and I got an admit call from the college that was on the top of my list.

If you are planning to apply this year and are looking for a consultant who not only has a deep understanding of the admissions process but also takes a personal interest in the people he works with, Karthik is the right person for you.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
June 19, 2017

Joined: Jul 07, 2016

Posts: 36

Kudos: 70

Verified score:
740 Q50 V41

An investment which was worth the money


I took my GMAT quite late last year. Round 1 of application was over for all colleges and round 2 deadlines were approaching fast. Meanwhile I had not done any research for schools and programs. During this time I came to know about Karthik from gmatclub. I approached him, but since he was busy I decided to go with another company. That was a bad decision. They did a shoddy job for few of my applications and I realized it in time. For the rest 3 applications, I again approached Karthik, since I liked his no-nonsense but wise approach from our last conversation. This really was a game changer. He goaded and guided me in my application process, especially in essays. I was finally interviewed by two of the programs and got offer from one of them. Good thing about Karthik is that he really understands the essay topics and then guides you to write accordingly in your own language. His feedback is extremely helpful. I come from a technical background and my resume reflected that with lots of technical jargon. He helped me in cleaning the clutter in my resume and bringing the significance of roles in terms of quantifiable business goals.

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May 22, 2017

Joined: Oct 31, 2011

Posts: 50

Kudos: 70

Self-reported Score:
660 Q48 V32

Overall, a great experience


I came to Karthik for my application help with limited time in hand since I had to retake my GMAT. We had about a month and ten days for the first school’s deadline. I must say the experience has been incredible.

I started with a bunch of starter files, which were more about soul searching than about anything to do with the application in specific. As I filled it in, the drive for an MBA grew in me even further. It looked like an MBA is exactly the missing piece in what I aspire to become.

We then went on with the application of each of the individual schools. Here again, he made me think of instances in my life that would be the most appropriate for the context in hand. The essays as such go back and forth for multiple edits before we arrive at the final draft. Given the limited time I had, I sometimes pushed him to get back within a day on reviews, which he obliged to as well.

Another thing that I appreciate is the high moral standards that Karthik has. He never suggests you to write something that you do not mean nor does he make significant edits by himself. If it’s a major edit, it’s for you to come back with a better version. All in all, I was extremely satisfied with the process and loved working with him on my applications.

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May 20, 2017

Joined: May 20, 2017

Posts: 1

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
730 Q47 V44

I got into my dream school!


Karthik is incredibly easy to work with, and despite the fact that we lived in completely different parts of Asia, Karthik was readily available and an absolute pleasure to work with. He makes your thought process and outline for your essays easier by helping you to get organized - once you organize your thoughts with the right frame of mind that Karthik provides you with, it will be a breeze to work on your essays.

Considering that we applied to many MBA programs in such a short amount of time (10 programs in a span of a month!), I'm impressed that Karthik and I were able to pull it off - that's how effective how he helps you to organize MBA application process and thoughts. He's also very easy to get in touch with, and considering that we lived so far apart, we were able to meet (via Skype) as often as we did, was a very pleasant surprise.

I'm always surprised by Karthik's willingness to sink in so much time to his students, and his dedication to each one of us. He really does care about your success that despite the timezone difference, he was willing to put in so much effort to helping each individual succeed. I bothered Karthik soooooo many times about being fretty and stressed during the process, and despite that, he pulled through and helped me through stressful times.

He also helped me so much through the interview process, and we completed 5 successful interviews!

I was waitlisted in Round 2 for the school of my dreams and Karthik also helped me through the WL process. I ultimately got into the Top 10 school of my dreams with scholarship and I really thank Karthik for that.

I would recommend Karthik for people who aren't really sure how to put together their story, despite having a large pool of stories to tell; Karthik will help you to navigate your narrative and ultimately to your destination.

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May 02, 2017

Joined: Mar 26, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
760 Q50 V41

Submitted my best possible applications with Karthik's help


I got to know about August Academy through their rave reviews on Gmat Club. Though I was in touch with another consultant at the time, talking to Karthik for the first time made the decision a no-brainer. With Karthik’s help, I applied to 5 of top 20 business schools and got an interview invite from each one of them. Here are few highlights from my application experience with Karthik -

• Karthik really knows his business. He is very organized and committed. This ensured that no part of the application is overlooked.
• The most important part of the application process is introspection - knowing the best and worst of you. Thus Karthik prioritized this first (through a list of starter files) before I even finalized my list of schools.
• Before starting to write any essays, we would discuss each question in the application. His thoughts on how to structure the essays based on my profile were immensely helpful while I took the first step (always the hardest).
• Karthik put emphasis on adding a personal touch to essays which I feel is essential to differentiate your essay in the herd.
• Though he didn't spoonfeed (write any part of the essays), he always pushed me (and told how) to take the essays from good to the better.
• Karthik shared great insights into the interview process as well as discussed what we can expect from each specific interviewer so that I was as well prepared as possible.

Overall, I enjoyed working with Karthik. He is a good motivator and always has a few life tips handy to make you feel better.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.