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Joined: Jan 15, 2020
If you want to get into a top MBA program and are willing to work hard for it, you’ll want to work with Christina Fu from MBA Prep School.
Background: I was an international applicant from Southeast Asia and worked in the public sector for >5 years. I went to a good college in the US and had a strong GPA. If extracurricular activities can be measured, mine (especially after college) were probably average – some volunteering work, but I didn’t found my own non-profit or anything like that. My GMAT score was just above the Stanford/Harvard average. Candidly, I thought I’d be a fairly decent candidate for top-20 programs, but not outstanding by any means.
Process: Like most of you reading this, I wanted to give myself the best shot at getting into b school and spoke with a number of consultants before starting my applications. Christina stood out as the most dedicated, knowledgeable, and empathetic consultant. Our “15-minute” intro call lasted about an hour as she took the time to learn more about me and share more about the process. She knew the schools inside-out and was also very experienced working with candidates with non-traditional backgrounds like myself. She was candid about the difficulty of getting into the best programs, but she was also encouraging and believed in my candidacy.
Throughout the next few months, Christina worked tirelessly to coach and support me through the entire application process. Our meetings lasted for hours as we distilled my motivations, achievements, and ambitions to build a narrative that was compelling and true to me. We poured over my experiences and ambitions, and brainstormed over ways to boost areas in my application that seemed “lacking”. It was certainly exhausting at times, but Christina was supportive, understanding, and always eager to present to the admissions committees the best (and truest) version of myself.
When interviews were released, Christina was probably even more excited than I was! She ensured that I was thoroughly prepared by sharing past questions, discussing responses, doing a mock interview, and then running through my performance in great detail. She even offered to do an additional, school-specific mock interview. By the time the final interview was done, I felt that we (as a team) had really put our best foot forward and was therefore ready to accept any outcome.
Result: Happily, the applications were a success, and I was thankfully admitted into every school that I had applied to (all with Christina’s help) – Stanford GSB; Berkeley Haas; UCLA Anderson (~half scholarship); USC Marshall (full-ride); UW Foster (~half scholarship).
Christina’s support did not end there – we continued to speak about school choices, negotiating financial aid, and even how to approach b school + the summer months before school began.
Needless to say, I am really glad that I got to work with Christina. She goes the extra mile (and pushes you to do the same!) and I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Joined: Mar 29, 2020
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Friend, mentor, confidant, coach—these are all nouns that describe Christina, and the ordering is intentional.
Coming from an overrepresented applicant pool (white/male/finance w/ a non-target undergrad -> banking -> PE resume), I was very nervous about my chances of getting into a top-5 MBA program. After talking with multiple potential consultants and hearing a similar spiel from each, I had no clear sense of my candidacy, and worse, no idea who could actually help me navigate this process. Enter Christina.
During our hour-long intro call, Christina showed genuine interest in my candidacy by asking specific questions about my accomplishments, career decisions, and life experiences that have shaped my world view. She listened to my story, highlighted the obstacles I would need to overcome without holding back (seriously, be careful what you wish for…), and outlined concrete steps that I would need to take to achieve my goals. From the start, she admitted that she is not the gatekeeper to these programs, but instead showed that she is an invaluable guide who understands the ins-and-outs of the MBA process, knows the nuances of specific programs, and mentors clients to maximize their applications. She also demonstrated her dedication to her clients by staying on our call well over our allotted 30 minutes, making sure to fully answer all of my questions and asking her own to understand my level of commitment to the process.
When our working relationship formally kicked off, I was overwhelmed by Christina’s devotion to my candidacy (and I don’t use devotion hyperbolically). A perfectionist at heart, Christina leaves nothing to chance, and in return, she expects the same level of dedication from her clients. During our time together, she pushed me beyond my expectations. Our working calls often lasted 3+ hours, and not because of a lack of efficiency, but instead because Christina continuously challenged me to unearth meaningful anecdotes that showcase my individuality and refine my stories from a lump of coal into a shining diamond. Beyond her storytelling mastery—which I would put toe-to-toe with that of any other consultant—she motivated me to improve my GMAT score, take on additional leadership roles in my community and at work, and develop career goals that were truthful and meaningful to me. She also worked expeditiously to set deadlines for me (a task I sorely needed) and to return feedback promptly—while she always delivered on her promised deadlines, I need two hands to count the number of times I was late with delivering work (sorry, Christina!).
It’s been nine months since WE (Christina will indoctrinate you to the use of collective pronouns…) kicked off our working relationship, and upon reflection, I don’t know what I did to deserve such wonderful support. I was accepted into my top choice—an M7 and top-5 globally ranked program—with a full tuition scholarship (an ROI of over 15x for those financially-inclined). Additionally, I received over $250,000 in scholarship awards across my admitted schools, which I completely credit to Christina’s guidance. Even more meaningful than the scholarships and acceptance letters though, I feel that I’ve gained a lifelong friend. Christina genuinely cares about all of her clients, and she shares in the pain of rejections and the elation of acceptances. She is both the ultimate coach, pushing you when laziness or fatigue creeps in, and hype woman, picking you up whenever the weight of the application process becomes too cumbersome. For those committed to maximizing their candidacy, you will not find a better consultant!
Joined: Jan 06, 2019
TLDR: I highly recommend working with Christina and have already recommended her to friends and colleagues alike. She is top notch in terms of both skill and effort, and will give everything in helping you do your best in the MBA process. She truly cares about her clients and I believe wants you to succeed irrespective of her own results as a consultant (though her track record is very strong).
I worked with Christina from MBA Prep and feel very fortunate to have had her guidance throughout this process. Before selecting Christina I spoke with consultants from three popular MBA consulting groups and was deciding between working with Christina and another consultant but ended up going with Christina as I felt she believed in my candidacy and would give me consistent attention throughout the process. It's hard to know who to pick for such an important role so I hope this review helps another in the position in which I found myself last year!
After working together, Christina probably knows me and my aspirations as well as my closest friends do. The sheer number of hours spent discussing my background, interests, and goals lent itself to a self-reflective process that allowed me to put my best foot forward and convey my true self to schools. If you are set on business school and planning to apply to multiple schools, working with Christina on a package basis will make sense for you and allow you to get the most out of her dedicated review process and very thorough feedback. Christina is extremely honest and you may think you can be hard on yourself but she will be tougher (in a good way!). There are times in the process I felt overwhelmed and dejected but Christina knows how to keep you motivated and encourage you to do your best work. She will push you to do more than you would have done yourself and you will be grateful for it in the long run.
Below are a few key reasons I'm very happy I worked with Christina:
-Positive results: I was admitted to five schools (HBS, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, and Darden) with half and full tuition scholarships at two of the schools
-School knowledge: you will still need to research each school's unique program yourself but Christina has deep knowledge of all the top schools and this is invaluable in saving you time and helping you to narrow down your schools of focus and then bolster your applications; additionally, Christina keeps her finger on the pulse of MBA admissions more broadly and can provide valuable strategic advice on all areas of your application
-Essays: Brainstorming essays with Christina was critical in allowing me to convey key personal values in the limited word counts allowed by schools; her comments were well beyond what I would call thorough and it's evident she spends a significant portion of time reading and re-reading your essays to provide the best and clearest feedback possible
-Candor in addressing weaknesses in your candidacy and clear, actionable suggestions to improve those
-Like a good personal trainer, Christina knows when to push you and when to console and encourage; this is a tricky balance to get right for optimized results but she does it!
-Her genuine interest in and care for you allows her to help you most effectively tell your story to schools
You will improve your candidacy with her help in ways you didn't realize possible, and it will make the difference when it comes down to where you're admitted.
Joined: Oct 20, 2018
Christina is second-to-none when it comes to MBA consultants –she's a fantastic consultant and an even better person, mentor, and professional encourager. If you're considering using an MBA consultant, I would be remiss to not sing Christina's highest praises. She was instrumental in guiding me through the application process and helping me achieve the outcomes that I was fortunate to receive. She will push you, but it is well worth it.
I approached the MBA process with some element of anxiety – I was switching jobs after a two year program (from finance to corporate finance / strategy) and came from an over-represented background (white male in finance, undergraduate business degree) with median GPA and GMAT per the top schools that I was targeting. I had spoken with several other consultants prior to speaking with Christina; I felt that Christina was able to expertly articulate my story from just my resume and our introductory conversation. Christina is very honest and evaluates your candidacy and what might need to incrementally improve in the coming months. She focuses her time on a small number of clients in order to maximize potential success – her client's admissions statistics to the top schools are staggering.
- What makes Christina different from the other consultants my friends have worked with is that she truly cares about you as a candidate and a person. I'd guess that she spends more time per client by a factor of 10. She would root for my personal and professional successes and would always ask how I was doing. Christina truly supported me over the last fourteen months and is still one of the go-to people with whom I share meaningful life updates
- Christina is also very honest. She would let me know when she didn't think a potential interview answer was up to snuff or when an essay was lackluster. She ensures that you put your absolute best foot forward
- Having attended HBS and guided clients towards other elite programs, Christina understands the rigor of the MBA process and prepares her clients accordingly. She makes a point to have the school selection process an introspective one – what you put into these initial sessions makes a huge difference. Christina has a swath of relationships among current and former admissions committee members and knows the strengths of each school and how your personality and professional aspirations may or may not fit
- Christina helps you "brand" yourself and creates an application that speaks to your strengths. Sometimes you may feel that Christina knows you more than you know yourself! Throughout this process, Christina consistently pushed me on my career goals (short- and long-term) and made sure that I had done requisite diligence on the schools, classes / professors, and extracurricular activities. She also encouraged me to speak with current students and alumni to get a better sense of what two years at a particular program might be like, which I found extremely helpful. If I failed to mention a logical class, professor, or activity, Christina would always ask why I chose to not include it. She will be your partner in research and is truly a teammate in the process
- Across my time in finance, I don't think I met anybody with Christina's attention to detail. From my resume to my applications to my essays to my interview prep, Christina left no stone unturned and would smatter my documents with thoughtful changes and suggestions – looking at the time stamps on her comments made me think back to my investment banking days. Ultimately, however, Christina guides her clients to have the final say on any changes
- Christina is truly a great writer. She has a very clear perspective on high-level structure for each essay, but she also offers stylistic changes that help your essay flow better and pack a real punch. She is a huge stickler for word choice and grammar and will lambast you if you have grammatical errors or repeat adjectives. She would never let me turn in an essay unless we both felt it was as good as it could possibly be
Over a year later, I am so fortunate to have been accepted at Wharton HCM (with fellowship), Booth, and Kellogg. I attribute a massive portion of this to Christina's patience and prudent guidance, mentorship, and encouragement, and I am forever grateful for her keen professionalism and now friendship. The absolute best.
Joined: Apr 02, 2020
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If you take anything from this review, it should be that Christina is an incredible consultant, and in my mind, she’s as good as it gets. I can not recommend her strongly enough!
Going into the MBA process I was very nervous, as it is somewhat rare for employees to leave my company for an MBA. Therefore, I knew that if I applied and asked my supervisors for recommendations, I had to get into a program in case there were negative consequences at work. On top of that, I knew that I was in a crowded category as a white male in finance, meaning it would be difficult for me to get into a top MBA program. Christina was extremely honest and transparent with me from the beginning, outlining the significant work we would need to do on my application for me to have any chance with these schools. Fast forward a year later, and I made it into Wharton and NYU (including a $60k scholarship at NYU), and am on the waitlist at Harvard. The only school I didn’t get into was CBS, but this was my fault (I stupidly didn’t follow Christina’s advice on a key part of the application). I was thrilled to get into these programs, and given my demographic/career field headwinds + pretty average GMAT score, I attribute the large majority of my success to Christina’s guidance on essays, application forms, extra-curricular activities and interviews. There is no way I’d be in my current position without her help.
A few areas where I think Christina stands out:
• Christina has incredible depth of knowledge on each MBA program. We were able to craft every single application to the identity of the MBA program based on her unique insights about the schools culture and desired candidate.
• Christina was meticulous and creative throughout the whole process - every conversation we had she took careful notes and asked follow up questions, constantly looking for a new angle/part of my life that we could use for my application. She was able to use my life/career experiences in ways I would have never thought of.
• Christina is passionate. I truly felt she cared about my future and was fully vested in my success as an applicant. The time she would dedicate to me was way, way more than I anticipated.
• Christina has a vast pool of past applicant experience to draw from. She would constantly use past successes as food for thought with my application process.
• Christina is incredibly honest. She will not hold back. While this was a bit daunting at first, it is one of her most important qualities. She will not sugar coat, she’s going to tell you the truth, which is what you need in the MBA application process!
• Lastly, she is just a kind and caring person. The MBA process is grueling, but she always took time to make sure I was doing okay/build a relationship with me.
Joined: Apr 08, 2018
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The word consultant doesn’t even begin to describe the role Christina played during my application process for business school. I am weeks away from my first day at Columbia’s EMBA program- something that felt like a distant dream before I started working with Christina.
I needed a consultant who would help me from start to finish: from researching programs, to laying out practical timelines, or brainstorming essay topics, to conducting mock interviews. I had no idea if I was months behind, or weeks ahead in the application process. Christina helped me break it all down and kept me on schedule.
Christina cares deeply about her clients’ success. We spent weeks upon weeks just on my resume. Every draft I sent over was flipped back in a timely manner, with thoughtful edits and helpful suggestions.
One of Christina’s best qualities is her candid feedback. She won’t tell you what you want to hear, she will tell you what you need to hear to get into the best school possible. I wasn’t your cookie cutter consultant/finance executive applying for an EMBA. I had flaws in my school records- she found ways for us to address it. I had limited leadership experience- Christina provided ideas for how to enhance other qualities I could emphasize.
In the end, I only applied to Columbia. With EMBA programs having different deadlines for different schools, it worked out that by the time I was ready to send off my second application (NYU Stern) I was already accepted into Columbia.
While my friends and family were great outlets for support, Christina was my coach through the application process. She truly brought out the best qualities in me- some I didn’t even knew I had.