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Joined: May 09, 2017
I had never used a consultant before applying to business school, but given my position as an untraditional candidate, I am not sure I would have gained entry to Columbia Business School without the expertise of Rachel Beck at mbaMission.
Despite Rachel's own standing as an alum of CBS, she knows a tremendous amount about the business school industry at large and was extremely deft at reading my own potentiality as an applicant from that first free consultation.
Before this experience, I had stereotyped consultants on being generalists under the guise of being experts, but Rachel learned my background more than any mentor even had. Even though she knew Columbia as a former student and as a consultant, she familiarized herself with minutiae of with the school's budding social enterprise club and leadership programs--two areas I was interested in.
Even though I used the "a la carte" services via mbaMission, Rachel answered my every impromptu question about the process--going beyond her job description and the services I was entitled for--and almost always she would respond within a 24 hour period to boot.
I primarily used Rachel as a consultant for honing my resume and essays, but she was instrumental in helping me prepare for informal interviews with staff and my official interview for Columbia. She was thoughtful in tailoring her responses to any question or situation for me Mollie as a candidate--I cannot emphasize this enough.
As stressful as this process is, Rachel helped me manage my own mental headspace and timeline.
Like others below, I recommend reaching out to Rachel in the early spring before your application is due. As a writer, I struggled with the composition of my written components--I was often too emotional and close to the subjects I was writing about and I was very attached to Columbia; I could not always see my deliverables objectively and that's where Rachel came in--she did not dismiss any part of my story or argument, but she helped me with an economy of language, she helped me with the "so what." We did about 7 drafts for each product and though it was humbling, I have never been prouder of an application in its completion. Speaking candidly, she can be blunt in her criticism of one's writing, but trust me: she's on the money.
In sum, Rachel Beck was a true part of my application to business school and she is part of my success in getting in.