When I considered taking the first steps in the MBA admissions process, the only word that accurately describes my feelings at the time is “intimidated.” From reading online posts about the process to talking with others who had gone through it, it felt as if everyone had some great story, some “golden ticket,” that I simply didn’t have. I didn’t come from a traditional finance or consulting background, was not sure my academics were up to snuff, and genuinely felt overwhelmed by the prospect of researching schools, writing essays, and soliciting recommendations. I decided to request a free consultation with mbaMission given that extremely positive feedback on their consultants was pretty universal.
When I met with Jen, I immediately felt at ease. I shared my general sense of trepidation, and she immediately, even during a 30-minute consultation, asked questions about my professional and personal background that forced me to understand that every person has a valuable story that is worth telling. Her natural ability to make me feel confident in the story I could tell, without creating unrealistic expectations on admissions results, was critical in my decision to work with her.
Throughout working together, from a 2.5-hour brainstorming session to (many), “Hey Jen – I’ve got a quick question” emails, Jen always made me feel like I deserved to be part of the MBA admissions process – like I deserved to participate and give it my best shot. She did this by always making time for me, by answering my questions both promptly and thoroughly and never giving the impression that I was just “one of many clients.” During our brainstorming session, for example, she asked questions that forced me to think about how very personal details of my upbringing that I had shared with her impacted the way I approached a project at work that I had mentioned. She is able to make this less-than-obvious connection and ask these types of questions because she genuinely cares about her clients as people and is committed to their success.
In terms of essay and interview preparation, Jen forced me to critically analyze each school’s essay prompts to figure out what from my story would naturally fit into what they were looking to learn about a candidate, as opposed to forcing something unnatural in for the sake of trying to impress them. Her comments on my essay and resume drafts were always precise and actionable – they allowed me to move forward and make improvements as opposed to creating additional questions for the sake of asking more questions. Her feedback on mock interviews was similar – “You discussed Topic X well – go into that more” or “Try to phrase Topic Y differently.” Her feedback was always valuable, well thought-out, and allowed me to make meaningful improvements.
Jen’s action and people-oriented approach immediately made me realize I had a worthwhile story to tell. I went into the process and applied to five schools, hoping to get interview invites from one or two at best. With Jen’s help, I received invites at each of these five, including three M7 schools. In the end, I was accepted into four of the five schools, including two M7’s (one of which was my top choice) and two others with significant scholarships. I am extremely thankful for Jen’s guidance and support and wholeheartedly recommend her for others looking to put their best foot forward in the MBA admissions process.