June 20, 2014

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First of all, I wanted to mention that this was my second year applying and I have used three different consultation services throughout my application experiences.

I only worked with Jeremy Shinewald and Jessica Shklar of MBAMission so I only speak for these two, but I am confident that if I had ended with any other consultant within MBAMission, I would have had just as great of an experience.

In my first year applying, I utilized the help of MBA Apply and Aringo. Alex was an experienced consultant and maybe a great fit for someone already with a solid story and background, but for me, we were not a great fit. He is one of the most knowledgeable and opinionated persons about B-schools in the business, but my experience was less than stellar. So in the middle of applying, I switched to Aringo. Aringo was good as well, and Tim, in my opinion, was a better fit than Alex and we even became friends, but again, we failed to achieve a solid acceptance into any schools on my list. With Tim's help, I did get waitlisted at Johnson, but ultimately did not get in due to lack of movement on the waitlist (I applied to Columbia, Haas, Wharton, Johnson, Yale, and Stern my first year). As with any applicant who faces this kind of statistic, I was discouraged to say the least. It took a little while to dust myself off and get back on the saddle.

Then in my second year of applying, I decided to utilize MBAMission after consulting with Jeremy AGAIN (I had consulted with him my first year but decided against my better judgement due to the high cost of packages - I come from a construction background so my paycheck was not even close to six figures). He was the most encouraging consultant I had met (yes yes I know they are a business and I did consider many other consultation services and came to a conclusion that I wanted to work with someone who was more positive than some consultant who wanted to pigeon hole me into a group of schools I did not want to attend). Sometimes, to draw out the inner story in someone who had lost confidence in their own profile, you need someone positive and encouraging and who is willing to listen to your whole story without interrupting you to tell you that he or she thinks that it will not work because of conditions A,B and C.

That is how I ended up with Jessica Shklar. I asked for a drill sergeant type to keep me in check and to keep me going when going got tough. Boy did I get placed with the right consultant. She not only put on the drill sergeant hat when she needed to, but being the passionate person she is, she was quick to pick up on hints and vibes and drew out the important stories that I had thought were insignificant from my previous year of applying. We were able to put together a complete story of me; and with complete confidence, I completed all seven applications. End result? I got accepted into two sweet sixteen schools with fellowships (Johnson and Anderson for $40K) and one top twenty-five school also with fellowship (USC $40K). I will note though that the first four were reach schools (MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and Booth) and although I put together a kick-ass application, I knew going in that it was a numbers game.

When choosing a consultant, I cannot stress enough that you need to really explore all of your options thoroughly. Consult with as many as you can stomach before putting down your money. I sure am glad I did. Some may say that I may have had a better chance with this service or that consultant, but I am completely satisfied with the services I received from MBAMission even with the higher price tag. I got what I paid for - more specifically from Jessica Shklar for my apps and Jeremy for running a tight show and helping me find Jessica. The Good news? I NEVER EVER have to apply again. I got in. I am traveling through the Balkans waiting to attend Anderson in the fall.

I sincerely wish the best of luck to all applicants. Cheers.

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