September 12, 2014

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Highly recommend Chris Aitken!

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A good consultant is highly adept at helping with editing essays. A great one is so much more – he is a mentor, a coach, and a friend.

I can say, without reservation, that Chris is a fantastic admissions consultant. I would recommend him without reservation. With his help, I was overjoyed to get admitted to a top 5 school. But even if my application process had been unsuccessful, I would still recommend him.

Firstly – Chris genuinely interested in *you*. I interviewed 7 other admissions consultants before selecting Chris. Unlike others that simply delivered a ‘templatized’ pitch, Chris had done his homework into my background, and seemed genuinely interested in learning more about who I was on our call. This is critical because the more interested a consultant is in digging deep into your specific story, the better his ability and desire help you craft a unique message.

Secondly – Chris is approachable and balanced. Through the process, Chris helped draw out not only my strengths, but also my weaknesses. Because he’s just such a “good guy” it’s really easy to open up to him. This is absolutely crucial in developing an authentic, self-aware application.

Thirdly – Chris pushes you – hard. Applying to business school can be a physically exhausting and emotionally draining process. While Chris sympathizes with this, he doesn’t let you off easy. He pushes you to go through every aspect the MBAPrepSchool process (which in itself is great, by the way) and constantly drives you to conduct deeper research to better understand yourself and develop more specific messages.

Fourthly – Chris is aware and nuanced in his approach. A small but telling example – every time Chris came across a blog / article that he thought could help me – he’d email me its link. Another example - some admissions consultants conveniently told me that all of the schools were “pretty much the same”. Chris believed the exact opposite and drove me to understand the unique flavor of each school. Additionally, I’m an Indian applicant – and Chris, well, isn’t Indian. But his general awareness and ability to learn quickly was so high that this didn’t matter – indeed he served as an excellent bridge between my Indian mind-set and the culture of each of my US target schools. In an environment where you’re constantly trying to differentiate yourself from peers with similar backgrounds, while simultaneously trying to demonstrate fit with your target schools, these little things go a long way.

Finally, and most importantly – Chris is highly committed and always exceeds expectations. Despite my hectic international travel schedule, Chris always figured out a convenient time for us to speak. Most importantly, I never felt like I could not reach out to him because I was using ‘too much’ of his time. Quite the opposite – he pushed me to engage with him constantly and we spoke as often as I felt necessary. His turnaround time for feedback was consistently quick – responding to multiple essays within 12 hours. As admissions deadlines approached, I expected his availability to reduce drastically given the pressures of juggling with several clients simultaneously. This did not happen. I don’t know how he managed to do so, but he always made time for me. Chris never compromises in helping me put my best foot forward, even if it meant going beyond what was ‘contracted’. When things unexpectedly get tough, you want somebody that you can rely on in your corner no matter what. Chris is that person.

The obvious outcome of my interaction with Chris was that I was able to get into a ‘dream business school’. But on reflection, I realize this engagement has had a more lasting impact – through it I learned a lot about myself. This will not only help me through business school, but life as a whole!

Thank you Chris!

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.
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