I approached Karthik late in November, cutting it quite close to the R2 deadlines. After an initial discussion, Karthik helped me shortlist the schools that I could realistically apply to - broadly classifying them as dream, target and safety. I finally applied to 4 schools - 3 in the US and 1 in India. Before starting on the applications itself, Karthik made me fill out starter files, listing out goals, achievements, extracurriculars, weaknesses etc. Having these criteria mapped out beforehand was helpful as it gave me a point of reference for the essays.
For each school, we had an initial discussion over the phone regarding how best to approach each essay, after which I would write a first draft and send it to him. He would revert with feedback about whether a certain point was coming across as intended, if certain points should be elaborated upon or left out, and how to structure the content properly. Karthik on performed very minor edits on the essays; the content was completely written by me. There were times when I was still making edits very close to the deadlines, and Karthik reverted quickly in those instances.
I received 3 interview invitations out of the 4 applications I sent. For interview prep, I once again filled out an interview questionnaire which broadly covered the different types of questions one can be asked in an interview, after which I had 2-3 calls where he conducted a mock interview and answered other questions that I had. The interview prep helped me build confidence for my interviews (which were actually easier than anticipated).
I have received 2 admits from US schools and Karthik was very helpful in helping me achieve this. The application process can be overwhelming, and he helped me navigate the process. I would recommend Karthik to anyone looking for professional help on their applications.