December 19, 2016

Joined: Jul 29, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
650 Q48 V32

My (disappointing) experience with SOP


I am still reeling from the second denial notification I received from NYU Stern (which follows the rejection from Columbia just few weeks before) two weeks ago and as such, my dream of attending an MBA in NYC has been wiped out (at least for this year). Now, if I told you that I applied with a 650 GMAT score , you may say that I should have expected such an outcome. Fair enough. But what you may not know is that I hired the consultants of SOP Advisory service to help me through the application process. I fell for their wonderful website where they brag about their incredible, high admission success-rate for their clients as prospective MBA candidates. Unfortunately, I experienced that their service was not wonderful at all: I can't know whether my poor GMAT score was the deal breaker in my application, but I can definitely say that the SOP ambition, to make your application as strong as possible and make up for other weaknesses in your profile, (among others a low GMAT score, it is one of first mentioned...take a look at their website under the most common application challenges list) has totally failed.

On top of this, every time I sounded the consultants out on any advice, I was treated with haughtiness and talked down to, both in the emails sent to me and during our Skype conversations. For example, I sent an email to my consultant last week saying that I has also been rejected from NYU and I am still waiting for his reply!!
On the other hand, the monthly payment reminders were sent like clockwork.

All in all my personal experience with SOP has been disastrous, not only for the very questionable service standard but also because of the poor customer care .
The service was very expensive and not value for money at all (LORs, essay and resume advisory for two business schools totaled 5,700 USD). Furthermore, the service should have included interview training as well. In the end I was rejected and did not benefit from the service. On top of this, I have never received even a partial refund from them.
I discourage future applicants to resort to this service: in hindsight I would never ever hire them!

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 and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
October 29, 2017

Gio, I am sorry that you failed to succeed with the process. You applied to only two programs. When we did your free consult on 6/22/2016, you explicitly said to me that you know you are taking a risk by applying to only two programs.

Your dream school was Stern, and before we started our work with you, we shared that Stern in particular is tightening up their GMAT requirements for international applicants based on what we could see empirically. Your verbal score on the GMAT was 32.; your quant score was 48. We did what we could to open your eyes to the fact that a 650 could be problematic; we also said we would do all we could with you to highlight all of your other strengths with the goal to mitigate the GMAT issue. We did do all we could. We worked heartily with you. Your advisor was extremely accessible to you, as was I. I got on several calls with you on my own. Additionally, I did calls with you and your advisor to ensure things were progressing and that we weren't making missteps. I also got on calls because we at times found it tough to compel you to take our advice. We appreciated that you had strong opinions about how you wanted to present yourself; we also were confused about why you would resist advice you were paying for. I saw that resistance when I reviewed the essays, which I reviewed 2-3 times, even getting involved with helping you re-select the topic for Columbia essay 3 because I simply did not find the topics you wanted to cover surprising or additive to your application. Your advisor cared deeply about your success and grew to care a great deal about you as a person, as did I. You were in fact one of our more memorable clients because of your effervescent personality. We did all we could to not only highlight that, but all of your other great metrics. With Stern, I have no doubt they liked you as a person - how could they not based on the video you crafted for your personal description essay? It was great, albeit long which we shared with you. That aside, the school has to believe that you are capable of excelling with the coursework and your verbal score gave them pause; it’s possible your quant did as well – in combination that is tough when you are applying at this level.

In terms of saying we were not accessible or that your advisor didn't have contact with you after Stern's rejection, that is factually untrue. Below is my email to you on 12/16/2016:

"How are you? I just reached out to James to get an update on your news from Stern and he shared that you were rejected from Stern as well. I am really sorry to learn that, especially after that powerful video you crafted for your personal description that, while long, was very effective. XXX said that you are now going to refocus on your GMAT to raise that to a 700+. We are here for you if you have other questions as you focus on GMAT prep. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us - XXX or me."

Your advisor knew what your next steps were because he was in touch with you. Further, in an earlier email to your advisor you explicitly said that you are sure the only reason you didn’t get the offer from Stern was due to your GMAT score – not our work with you.

We again are sorry that you failed with the process, and that you feel we failed you. We guided you with care and we there for you every step of the way - our phone logs, emails. and body of work with you illustrate that. We hope that with time, you will see that was the case. We understand that in the moment it can be very painful to get a rejection and that we are an easy target. We accept that. But we do not accept being factually misrepresented when we did for you what we do for all our clients. You were in the 13%, and in your case, we actually know what went wrong – as did you – that is expressly why you told your advisor that you would be focusing on your GMAT to get your score up. To be frank, in most cases you don’t know why a client doesn’t get offers because that is how subjective the process is. We hope you got your GMAT score up and are now in business school.

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