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I knew the second that I hung up from my 30-minute free consultation with Chris Aitken that I would be comparing every future consultation to his.
As a bit of a nontraditional candidate – slightly older, atypical work experience, broad range of targeted domestic and international schools – I had decided that enlisting the help of an admissions consultant would allow me to market my unique story more effectively than I could do alone.
In that initial call, Chris highlighted his extraordinary sense of perception by drilling down to the essence of my story (culled from the limited questionnaire I had completed) while offering a multitude of compelling ways to position my candidacy. He also tempered his words with a healthy dose of reality, reminding me that my profile also presented a few pinch points that would need to be addressed. Energized by the possibilities and encouraged by the direct and honest approach, I knew even before completing a round robin of free consultations that hiring Chris would be key in facilitating and complementing my admissions journey.
Four offers (and a scholarship) on four applications later, “facilitating” and “complementing” don’t even begin to describe the experience of working with Chris.
First, Chris employed an extremely successful process of self-reflection and contemplation that enabled me to think critically about who I am as a person before even completing a school selection, much less starting an application. Upon completion, I found that I was both intellectually and emotionally prepared to begin the application process, and I cannot understate the importance of the latter.
Second, and perhaps of most value, Chris placed a high premium on my ability to truly internalize my future goals, both short and long term: defining, redefining, and understanding the process to achieve them. I was continually challenged to conduct industry research and connect with the recognized leaders in my field in order to synthesize and realize my future trajectory, and can now say that I now have more clarity about the path before me than ever before.
Finally, Chris is totally and completely thorough – I once joked that he was worth his fee simply because, as an American, he called attention to my oversight in formatting an essay into A4 for one of my European schools. Nonetheless, in each of my four applications, Chris ensured that I took real pride in the final product; I never once clicked “submit” without feeling that there was nothing more that could have been done to make an application better. It was unbelievably liberating to know that even if my applications ultimately proved unsuccessful that I would find comfort in having submitted such polished work.
Ultimately, my time with Chris was a transformative and life-affirming journey of self-reflection. I am truly appreciative of his time, talent, and investment in my success, and I eagerly look forward to begin the next chapter of my life in a top MBA program with the confidence of purpose that Chris instilled in me.