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Joined: Apr 15, 2021
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I signed up for MER services for support for my MBA narrative and essays. Before contacting MER, I had already chosen my preferred programme but was unsure of how I should present my story. In my 5-year career, I have worked in different capacities in several sectors. I was clear on the next step I wanted to take but I was not clear on which highlights from my career I should stress and how I could tie my experiences to my post-MBA goals.
After looking at several other MBA consultants, I chose MER because I wanted to work with Poonam. Her profile as a Ph.D in English with three decades of experience helping people craft compelling stories for business school applications convinced me that she would help me define and refine my essays in a clear and comprehensive manner.
During the counseling session with Poonam, we discussed my profile, goals, and ambitions. We conducted a review of my resume and post-MBA goals. The counseling session was well-structured and productive. We discussed my overall profile and purpose for pursuing an MBA; at the end of the session, we agreed on which achievements and strengths should be highlighted to bring the two pieces together. Poonam brought a professional and disciplined approach to the session. We worked slightly over the expected session time, giving me confidence that I was working with a consultant that was invested in my success.
During the resumé building process, Poonam was patient and informative. Through helpful probing questions, Poonam helped guide me to reformat my resume to concentrate on my achievements and specific contributions to each role. Poonam’s advice helped my work experience come to life. There was a significant difference between my first and final resumé draft.
Poonam and I spent a large portion of our counseling session discussing my professional and personal profile. I proposed which stories should be highlighted and Poonam provided her feedback. Poonam’s inputs regarding story selection helped emphasize my personal values and career ambitions in my post-MBA career goals essays and additional essays. Poonam consistently provided strong technical advice to improve the structure and organisation of my essays. From Poonam’s feedback, I could better understand how the reader would interpret my essays and what questions they would ask. Poonam helped me eliminate vague and passive passages from my essays and highlight my strengths and achievements. Poonam also provided valuable guidelines, such as the STAR framework for situational questions, that helped me tell my story in a clear and fluid manner.
Poonam’s editing skills are top notch. Her input on sentence structure, grammar and punctuation helped me to craft well-structured and compelling essays that I am proud of. For the majority of my essays, we had to trim 10-20% of the words to meet the word limit. Poonam’s advice on where to trim and where to add substance to my essays gave me confidence and helped bring out the authenticity and originality in my story.
Throughout my 4-month engagement with MER, Poonam was always very prompt and professional in responding to queries via email. The tone of our email exchanges was always friendly and productive. MER’s turnarounds and response times were consistent and reliable from the start. Each question or edit was answered within 1-3 business days. Poonam is organised and possesses strong collaboration skills. From the very start of our engagement, I felt as though I was part of a team. Poonam’s set strict turnaround guidelines compelled me to push myself to meet deadlines and produce my best work. Poonam’s organisation on a tight schedule helped me to produce a final MBA package that was complementary and comprehensive.
Poonam asked me to think critically about each component of my MBA application, highlighting my strengths and addressing my weaknesses. My low undergraduate GPA was the one glaring weakness in my application I was especially concerned about. Poonam advised me to address my low GPA head on in my additional essays, describing the circumstances that led to it and assuring the admissions committee that it is not inaccurate indication of my abilities or potential. Poonam provided me with strong technical guidance to mitigate my weaknesses and highlight my strengths throughout the editing process. Both of my recommenders produced drafts of the LOR’s. Poonam’s feedback helped align my recommendations with my qualities.
I was elated when I received an invitation to interview Oxford Business School. The interview prep offered by Poonam challenged me during the interview prep to think critically about the “why” behind each facet of my application. Our mock interview lasted 45 minutes, afterwards Poonam’s verbal and written feedback pinpointed specific strengths and weaknesses in my presentation and profile, helping to better position me for success during the live interview.
It was a pleasure to work with Poonam. Poonam is a skilled storyteller and possesses expert editing skills. Throughout our engagement, I was impressed by Poonam’s professional and organised approach as well as her encouraging and warm persona. I have received an offer from the Oxford MBA:) Thank you, Poonam, for your guidance throughout this process!!
I recommend her without reservations to any prospective MBA candidate who is searching for a consultant to help tell their story in a compelling and comprehensive manner.