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Joined: May 21, 2016
730 Q49 V41
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]
It was around this time last year that I decided I would apply for an MBA, preferably in Round 1, but didn't know where to start. I first reached out to Veritas Prep (VP) to understand how they could support my application. I elected to go with the two school package with Veritas Prep, and through my initial discussion with the first VP contact and my MBTI assessment, they matched me with Dakotah. I was very nervous re: whether it would be worth the money (the cost is very high, and was paid with great difficulty on my end). Having said that, at the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, it felt as though I had an old friend guiding me through the application process – she was nothing short of amazing.
Despite my constant dithering (particularly when it came to choosing which two schools I would select for my package) and pretty flagrant disorganization at the start of our working relationship (driven by the crazy hours of my job), she remained friendly, patient and supportive– but was unafraid of being direct if I was taking the piss! Dakotah balanced the professional element of her role (essentially building a project plan and timeline for GMAT, essays, etc.) and the personal (making the application process more of a fun exercise in personal reflection and intellectual challenge – as it should be!). Importantly, when it came to telling my personal story about my family and how they shaped my personal / career success in my essays, she gave me the guidance to help me tell it in the right way (i.e. without being trite or inauthentic) and ensured my essays were always that – my essays, in my voice. She was also committed to my personal goal of submitting my applications to my reach schools in Round 1; rather than delivering a boilerplate "sorry, but we need 24-48hrs to review and give feedback", she turned around my essays quickly (sometimes in the same day, which is a feat in itself given the 5hr time difference - I'm based in the UK, she in NYC!), ensuring I submitted both applications in time. In short, having entered this process wondering if I was spending far too much with VP, I reached a point where I would wholeheartedly recommend them (especially Dakotah) to anyone looking for support in their MBA application.
VP also offer specialist consultants to give you guidance re: what the schools look for in applicants, review and critique your essays, and conduct a mock interview. Andreea (HBS) was very professional, and did seem invested in my success. She was also supportive and flexible in accommodating my schedule (again, 5hr time difference). During our first call, she ensured I got full value from it despite a delay on my end at short notice. With regards to school specific support, some of it seemed relatively generic, though I will concede that perhaps that is because I'd already spent hours poring over the HBS website and their webinars. What I found most valuable were her anecdotes re: her own experience (both good and bad) and ideas re: how to package my personal 'brand' into a format that would fit the (quite vague) HBS essay. The one area where she fell short was her relative lack of communication when I was invited to interview at HBS – and given my nervousness and short turnaround time to prep, this was a tad frustrating (though Dakotah quickly arranged for someone else to interview me within 48hrs). Overall, I was pleased with Andreea, though it did feel much more transactional (at least, compared to Dakotah, so perhaps an unfair comparison given that that may simply be a stylistic difference).
Caleb was my specialist for Stanford GSB, and he blew me away. He mentioned at the start of our first call that he genuinely enjoyed hearing about applicants' plans and ambitions to help them achieve their goals, and I truly believe it. He seemed genuinely excited to hear about me, my plans, and actually listened: his follow-up email was written in a way that suggested he took the time to sit down and reflect on what we'd said during our call (vs. whipping out a template and filling it in). Not only did he capture notes re: what we agreed would be best way to align my personality / ambitions to what Stanford looks for, but he went far above and beyond what was expected, adding extensive thoughts on GSB resources & classes that I might find interesting/useful (which I did – it sent me down a rabbit hole in the GSB course catalogue!). He also had great insights on the school culture, good and bad. Finally, his feedback was thoughtful (and he was very responsive when it came to any follow up questions).
All in all, I would wholeheartedly recommend VP.