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Joined: Jun 11, 2017
700 Q47 V38
Monika was recommended to me by one of my closest friends who told me “if I hadn’t worked with Monika, I wouldn’t have gotten into HBS.” I trust my friend, so I decided to work with Monika, and I feel very fortunate to have done so.
I was a reapplicant (interviewed at my top schools but ultimately rejected). I really didn’t think there was any way to improve my application as I thought I’d crafted my apps to reveal everything there was to know about me. With that said, I sent my applications to Monika to get her thoughts, and she said that while she was impressed with what I submitted the year before, my apps left her wanting more. Monika sold me when she told me that the bullet points underneath the employment section of my resume were confusing. This was a direct feedback I’d actually gotten in my HBS interview, so I knew that Monika was the real deal. To keep the review somewhat brief, I’ll highlight three areas of the application where I found Monika’s help to be truly invaluable.
When I first applied to school, I wrote what I thought were the best essays I’d ever written. Monika, however, described the essays as “good, but predictable.” She was right. She sent me a worksheet and asked that I fill it out. The worksheet essentially was a way for me to highlight key moments in my life. She spent time digesting the information and then scheduled a phone call with me to discuss. What I really appreciated about this experience was that she didn’t take my answers at face value. She really tried to peel back the layers to get a better sense of who I was. We brainstormed potential essay topics based on our conversation and the document that I’d already filled out. We talked about our vision for each of the potential essay topics, and from there narrowed it down to one (we did this for each school to which I applied)—the one we thought would reveal more of who I was. We worked on the essays for about 2-3 months, and over the course of those months, the essays completely evolved—my first draft looked completely differ than the final draft. I sent the final draft of the essays to two friends, and the feedback was extremely positive. One of my friends, who had critiqued my HBS essay the year before (she wasn’t a fan of that essay!), simply said “wow, this is great.”
My resume was not well crafted last year, so Monika wanted to make sure that we spent a good amount of time here so that each bullet point under my employment section was not only easily understood by a layperson, but also highlighted the impact I had at the organizations of which I’ve been a part. I think Monika was excellent in helping me to put together a very solid resume. Although she graduated from HBS herself and fully understood what I’d done at my job, she asked many probing questions to see how we could better phrase each bullet to highlight impact.
Monika also found a way to make my “interests” section quite interesting. I won’t reveal her secrets in this review, but the way we structured it made it memorable for readers. In one of the admit weekends I attended, the person who interviewed me brought up one of my interests I'd listed on my resume to a group of current students,
The section is probably the first part of the application that is seen by the reader, so it’s crucial that it’s done well. Last year, I failed to give this section of the application the proper attention. Monika made sure that we changed that. We spent a few weeks drafting and refining our answers.
MBAadmissions has a timeline for turning around comments; it’s usually two days for essays and one day for the resume. Monika never missed a deadline. In fact, she was often early. She also stayed on top of me to make sure that I was putting in the time and the effort to incorporate her comments and feedback and improve whatever part of the application we were working on. Even though she was always staying on top of me, I must say that Monika was also patient. For one of my applications, we felt that the essay wasn’t quite where it needed to be. We were aiming for a Round 1 submission, but opted for Round 2, and I’m glad we did. The final output was excellent.
I feel that I could go on forever writing a glowing review for Monika, but I won’t. If you’ve continued to read up until this point, I’ll leave you with this: the service is expensive, but it’s absolutely worth it! I can say that because with Monika’s help, I was able to not only get into my top schools, but I also secures a merit based fellowship that covers my tuition and fees—that’s over $150,000!