April 17, 2015

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WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR: I reached out to SBC in November and this point had submitted 2 round 1 applications but wasn’t 100% satisfied with my essays. I was getting ready to submit my last application to HBS round 2 and knew that my essays / application as a whole needed an extra umph! I first thought of hiring a consultant to help me better position myself through the essay. Given that I was further along in the process, I opted for hourly services vs the whole package and had a better idea of how I wanted to use my time.

WHY SBC: Before deciding to work with SBC, I reached out to 4-5 other consulting services to get a better idea of which one was the right fit for me. I spoke directly with the consultants that I would be paired with and this helped me to finally settle on SBC and Paul. I definitely think it is critical that you do your homework beforehand and speak directly with the consultant you are going to be working with so that you and they have a better idea of what you are looking for and how they can help you.

WHY PAUL: My initial free 30 min conversation with Paul went over the allotted time. During this first conversation, Paul already had pointers about how I could better position myself for HBS and areas / strengths that I should focus on. This initial conversation with Paul let me know that (1) he was genuinely interested in helping me through this process and (2) was willing to put in the time and effort to do so. I cannot stress how important it is to find the consultant who is genuinely interested, is going to put in the time to really help you through EVERY step of the process and is able to give you the insights specific to your application. A few of the other consultants I spoke to came across as though they were reading from a script and applied the same "mold" to each person.

HOW PAUL HELPED ME: I had several phone conversations / emails with Paul about my background, work experience, future aspirations, etc. It was through these conversations that Paul helped me to really pinpoint certain strengths / areas that I could develop into a full essay. I wrote several different versions of my final essay and at each step Paul was there to provide me with feedback / steer me into the right direction. I also want to point out that Paul or any other consultant will not write the essay for you – you definitely have to put in 99% of the work.

Paul also helped me prepare for my mock interview – really focusing on the questions that I would be asked and how I should respond – and also reviewed my post reflection essay for HBS. Getting his sign off and help during the latter part of the process was incredibly reassuring and helpful.

WHY PAUL IS GREAT: Paul has an outstanding track record of placing people at top b-schools and is also a GSB alum. Paul’s greatest strength is his understanding of what b-schools are looking for. Through his insight, he was able to help me steer clear of sensitive / mundane essay topics and help to really broaden my perspective of what I wanted to write about. Secondly, Paul is incredibly flexible. During this period, I also used another consultant who was not as flexible and it definitely showed. My other consultant required the standard 2 business day turnaround (with time constraints) and was completely unavailable during certain periods of time. Given that this process is extremely time sensitive and time consuming, it made a world of difference that Paul was willing to hop on the phone / email day of or next day.

RESULTS: I am happy to say that I am HBS bound this fall and could not have done it with Paul’s help (seriously!!!). I know that the $$ is high, but it is 110% worth it! I can only speak on behalf of my own experience with Paul and with hourly services, but highly recommend Paul!!

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