GMAT Club
Daniel Richards
Senior Consultant/Message Board Response Team

    
Number of reviews [57]


Company: mbaMission
Packages: mbaMission * School Packages   mbaMission Mock Interview Sessions   mbaMission Comprehensive School Packages   mbaMission Hourly Services   mbaMission MBA Student Services   mbaMission Profile Preparation Coaching  
Daniel Richards earned his BA in journalism from Northwestern University and later received his MBA from Columbia Business School, with a focus on marketing and corporate strategy. Before attending business school, Daniel was a writer and editor for several print and online publications and spent three years as the retail and consumer packaged goods editor for SmartBrief, Inc., a publishing company specializing in email newsletters for trade associations. His clients at SmartBrief included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation. While at Columbia, Daniel was active in the Marketing Association, and his cluster elected him to represent the group in alumni development activities. After graduating, Daniel worked in online marketing and product development at American Express in New York City, where he developed an expertise in digital marketing and strategy, as well as social media. His accomplishments include designing and launching the first American Express social media app, managing a company-wide Innovation Challenge and relaunching a small business email newsletter reaching one million customers. Daniel also managed the online marketing strategy for the first-ever Small Business Saturday—a complex, multichannel event that is credited with having the fastest-growing Facebook page in history. Daniel relocated to Washington, DC, in 2011 to focus on growing his marketing consulting business. He has also been a member of the editorial staff at Washingtonian magazine and Moment magazine and authored the initial version of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Columbia Business School.

Source: http://www.mbamission.com/about/?display=team&name=daniel-richards


Daniel Richards's Reviews
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     By Mbaclassof2021 0 0
The reviewer was admitted to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Daniel Richards

I began working with Dan after I had taken the GMAT and selected one school I wanted to apply to. I used my mbamission consult to discuss what other schools I should apply to within round 1, which was really helpful and then I decided to work with him via the hourly a la carte services.

I thought Dan was very straightforward and blunt, which was helpful to me as I tried to make a strong case for my application after a traditional career but having taken over a year off from full-time work doing travel and some freelancing. Dan helped me to focus my personal essays for the three business schools I applied to (all top 10) and let me know what areas were of most importance to each school. Throughout the process Dan had a quick turnaround and would often use a fraction of an hour to complete a review of an essay. He was also very clear about deadlines to review applications in advance of the actual round 1 deadlines.

I also worked with Dan to do a mock interview which gave me good confidence going into an unusual interview with an adcom person and a traditional interview with an alumni.

I would highly recommend working with Dan, as well as the hourly services if you have already begun some of your due diligence on schools (otherwise the school packages may be more appropriate).

Ultimately, I got into my first choice school, in no small part to Dan's assistance, and withdrew my other applications.

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     By marinos84fins 0 0
The reviewer was admitted to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Daniel Richards

I signed up for 2 schools with Dan, without having much of an idea how to get started. Dan was very helpful in structuring the entire process and working with me from start to finish. From picking schools, to crafting my story, waitlist guidance, and interview prep, Dan was immensely helpful all the way through. Although the process was stressful at times, Dan was always there with guidance and made the overall application process much easier, helping me gain admission to a top 20 program. For anyone considering applying to any of the top rated programs I absolutely recommend consulting services, and if you can definitely go with Dan. He is the best in the business.

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Highly Recommended !!
May 11 | 2018
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     By hoffg7 0 0
The reviewer was admitted to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Daniel Richards

Going into the admissions process, I was hesitant to use an expensive consulting service, but all of the schools I wanted to go to were reaches, so I knew I needed help getting in. I ended up using Dan's hourly service to apply to 3 top 15 schools and ended up getting into my second choice w / $.

Dan's style is to give you honest feedback - he won't sugarcoat anything. Because of this, Dan is great at helping candidates identify and address their weaknesses. Part of the reason I initially chose him was because of his writing background. His ability to articulate an applicant's goals succinctly is remarkable. He's also highly efficient and very responsive. Lastly, his interview prep was particularly relevant: in my real interviews I ended up being asked most of the same questions that we reviewed in our interview prep.

With Dan's help I ended up getting a scholarship with a value that far exceeded the cost of the consulting services. I would highly recommend him to any prospective B school applicant. 5 stars !!!

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Daniel Richards - 5 Stars
April 20 | 2018
2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
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     By Phineas 0 0
The reviewer was admitted to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Daniel Richards

TL;DR – I applied to all of the M7 programs. I started working on my round 2 applications on Dec. 6th, less than a month before the first few deadlines. Dan was a massive help, keeping me motivated and focused, helping me complete all 7 applications in a very tight timeframe. I ended up getting interviews at 5 of the M7 and got into 3. Dan is highly competent, a great listener, and brutally honest. 5 Stars.

Full Review
Story
I spent most of this fall trying to decide between lateralling to a bigger firm and pursuing an M7 MBA. After several interviews and no hits, I decided to go for the MBA. By that time, it was already early December, and I was intent on applying round 2 (all signs pointed to round 3 being really tough).
I interviewed 3 MBA consultants that were recommended to me by friends, and Dan was my favorite by far: He is an expert on the whole process at each school, but above all, he is a great listener. Above all, I felt that his journalism background would be really helpful for the area that was most crucial – essay editing. However, he told me that he was already booked for this season and recommended a colleague of his at MBAmission. I was not enthused with the colleague that he recommended, and asked Dan to reconsider. He agreed and promised that once he took my case he would make sure that I got over the finish line.
I booked my first 5-hour package on December 6th and got to work. After a week he sounded the alarm: My pace was too slow and we wouldn’t make it – he urged me to redouble my efforts. With his prodding, we got all of the applications done in time, and I got interviews at 5 of the top 7 schools and was admitted to 3.
Competence
Dan really knows MBA admissions. He told me where I was likely to get in, and that has largely borne out. For essay writing, his sentences have a certain polish and readability. My writing tends to be boring and pedantic (shocking, reading this review 😊!) and he made my paragraphs much more interesting!
If I have a complaint, it’s that Dan didn’t understand (or take the time to understand) some of my more insider-ey essays, and as such, some of his suggestions did not make any sense. This was easy to rectify though, as I could take his sentence structure suggestions and rework the content.
Speed
Here is where Dan really shines. He promised to get me across the finish line – and he did. We had some same day turnarounds, quick comments and replies to emails – Dan always made sure to meet the necessary timelines.
Integrity
Dan will always tell you when he doesn’t know something. We had some difficult questions that were specific to my process, and Dan conferred with colleagues and got back to me. Dan never oversold his expertise.
Dan never tried to upsell me on other services. He did not seem to think that I needed the Wharton TBD package (which turned out to be correct) and he did not think that I needed to pay him by school (which is much more expensive). With Dan you will get absolute honestly.
Value
$300/hr is a lot of money to pay, but I would note that Dan is QUICK – he can turn around a first draft in half hour (if what you are giving him is decent) and a second draft in 15 min. It can even be shorter if you are reusing material from a previously polished essay. There were a couple of times that I sent Dan a really good essay and he made very few changes, yet the time check was still significant, which can be a frustrating experience. I would note that this only happened twice (and only once was significant), so it didn’t move the needle much.
MBA consulting is expensive. I spent about $3300 on Dan’s services and feel that that was money well spent. A bit of advice: If you know what direction your essays should take, go for the hourly package and use the time for editing etc. If not, and you are totally lost on the process, it’s probably better to pay for each school.
Overall, I am really happy with the process and results, and I definitely recommend Dan to anyone considering hiring an MBA consultant!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
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     By april2018 0 0
The reviewer was admitted to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Daniel Richards

I signed up for an hourly package with Dan and was incredibly pleased with the experience. He is very professional and knowledgeable about the b-school process and I had a lot more piece of mind working with him. It was incredibly helpful to have someone I could email my random questions to (and trust me - there are a lot more of them than you will expect!).

Dan's excellent writing skills make him a wonderful editor - especially as you're trying to meet the essay word counts. He is also acutely aware of the stresses around meeting deadlines and often got edits back to me before the "technical" due date we had agreed on in our contract. I can't emphasize enough how much I appreciated this.

Dan stayed super communicative during the entire process, checking in on interview invitations and following up on open items. I highly recommend you add him as an adviser as you go through the MBA application process.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
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     By torres3062 0 0
The reviewer was admitted to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Daniel Richards

My biggest concern while applying to business school was whether I would be able to communicate my story to the admissions committee in a compelling manner. This was partially due to the fact that my story (I felt) was quite unique, having had significant leadership experience in the non-profit sector. Hence rather than looking for an editor who would help me word my essays better I was looking for a guide who would truly understand me and help me present myself holistically. I found such a person in Dan.

The amount of efforts he took in understanding me: my passions, my worries, my ambitions and me as a person were remarkable. There were times I would push him to move to the "real deal" (writing essays etc.), but Dan being Dan would figure out a compelling way to convince me that there was more introspection required. This for me was the real deal breaker.

When I got to editing my resume and writing my essays, Dan helped me "cut through the crap" and get to the point. His ability to call a spade a spade and tell me very clearly what NOT to do helped me narrow my options and stay focused on my core story. He would never shy away from giving me a "Re-do" on the essay, and I found this attribute particularly refreshing, saving a lot of precious time for me. Sometimes I would not agree with him and we would debate endlessly on a line, a phrase and sometimes even the entire idea, this however made it clear to me how invested he was in this. We were in this together!

Fun fact: One of the things we debated on was whether I should apply to Kellogg. Dan was convinced that I should, I wasn't. End result: Today I'm going to Kellogg :)

The journey of applying to b schools is quite stressful and I guess everybody needs a friend who you can rely on, who can give honest feedback and be with you through the ups and downs. I found such a friend in Dan. Somebody I'll definitely keep in touch with and somebody I would highly recommend for anybody starting the b school application process for the coming years!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
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     By dedelgado 0 0
The reviewer was admitted to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Daniel Richards

Hi,

I would like to recommend Daniel Richards from mbamission. I started working with Dan early on during the application process for top schools such as Columbia and UCLA Anderson. From the first introductory call I felt very comfortable working with Dan. He is not only a professional and expert on the MBA application process, but he was very honest from day 1 without making you feel bad for any shortcomings, to the contrary he helped me find my strengths and how to make those strengths shine through in my application. Additionally, writing essays has never been my forte, especially in English that is not my first language, Dan has a gift for ensuring that what I wanted to say came across polished and ensuring the reader felt something while reading my essays. If it wasn't for Dan and his strategic and smart advice I would not have gotten an interview invitation from UCLA, trust me my GMAT score was way below their average. I understand mba consultants services are not cheap, but working with Dan was worth every penny. Specially if you are a busy professional without any time to waste during the stressful application process. He responded promptly to all my questions, even when there deadlines nearby and he was busy with many clients. Thank you Dan for all your help during this process.

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100% worth the investment!
January 05 | 2018
5 out of 5 people found the following review helpful
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     By emilybk 0 0
The reviewer was admitted to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Daniel Richards

I used the hourly package with Dan to apply to 6 schools (2 top-15 and 4 top-10) in less than 2 months. I have a solid GMAT and GPA so I was originally hesitant to make a big investment in application prep, but Dan's help was invaluable - I wound up getting into 4 schools, with full scholarships to 2 of them!!! I really don't think I could've done it without him.

My timeline was super rushed and he was so helpful with planning, keeping me on track, and providing timely feedback. His notes were incredibly thoughtful and he's a great wordsmith. It's clear he knows what the schools are looking for.

I also really appreciated that he was thoughtful of not wasting our time together. He was very to the point on our calls and kept me in the loop on how long edits were taking him. If I sent him a draft that he thought needed significant work, he would email me to check if I wanted him to spend time on a line by line edit or if I just wanted overall feedback to try again. I had previously worked with a consultant who seemed to just run up the clock, so this really meant a lot to me and saved me a lot of money.

Compared to what I've experienced with other consultants and heard from my friends, I don't think you'll find a more professional, organized, and talented consultant than Dan. I can't recommend him enough!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
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     By aamc53 0 0
The reviewer was admitted to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Daniel Richards

At first, I chose to utilize the 30-minute free consultation with mbamission to get some pointers on application prep, and I quickly found their feedback to be incredibly helpful in the short amount of time that we had. mbamission wasn’t pushy like some of the other groups I had spoken to. Though the woman I spoke to was booked for consulting services, she strongly recommended Dan Richards (based on our backgrounds, my school choice, etc.) and I am SO happy that she did. I used hourly consulting services with Dan to receive guidance and feedback on my essays and resume for my top choice school in Round 1. I had about 2 months to improve my test score and write compelling essays. Dan exceeded my expectations. His feedback was always honest, direct and quick (usually within 1 day). If you decide to work with a consultant, I highly recommend that you first spend 20-30 minutes with Dan brainstorming your essay themes before diving into the writing- his feedback on my outline was valuable as it helped me to develop a structured set of essays. He worked with me to pull out important themes in my essays and helped me to tell a story about my short and long term goals. With Dan’s help, I was accepted to the one business school I applied to (top 10)! I couldn’t have done it without his guidance and support. I strongly recommend Dan’s services- he is a trusted professional with years of experience helping candidates get into their dream schools. It was 100% worth the investment- I strongly recommend him!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
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     By moyay4 3 8
The reviewer was admitted to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Daniel Richards

I booked an hourly package with Dan Richards because I had a pretty good idea of essay topics but needed some help putting it all together and making the essays flow together. I was hesitant to use a consultant at first, but after talking to several friends who recently went through the MBA process, and after my 30 min consultation, I was convinced this would be well worth the investment -- and it was! Dan and mbaMission exceeded my expectations and helped make the application process feel much less stressful.

Dan is an extremely gifted writer; my responses would often be verbose and all over the map, but Dan has the unique ability to cut through the weeds and say "this is what I think you're trying to say, let's try to frame it in this way...". We went through 5-7 drafts on each essay, and each was significantly better than the last thanks to Dan's feedback and guidance. I am confident I would not have submitted such strong essays without his help.

What was even more valuable was that Dan really helped me map out my career path and think through what each job (and responsibilities) meant. This was key both to my essays as well as my own, personal growth. Dan is clearly very familiar with all types of career paths and can offer many details and insights to roles, responsibilities, etc.

Going into the process, I thought my resume would need minimal work - boy was I wrong! Dan helped make it MUCH stronger and cleaner. I learned that a business school resume is different than a professional one, but I also took away some tips to use in a professional context as well.

Lastly, Dan helped me decide when enough was enough, and to just submit and stop worrying :-) I think you can go on forever refining essays, resumes, etc., but at one point that becomes more detrimental than helpful! Dan helped me decide when that point was reached.

With Dan's help, I was able to get into my top choice school!!

I felt Dan was very respectful of our time together and I would not hesitate to recommend him, or mbaMission, to a friend. Well worth the investment!

A side note about mbaMission:
I originally spoke with Katy from mbaMission during my 30 min consultation. When it turned out she was booked for hourly work, she was quick to recommend Dan based on my background and choice of schools. I get the sense that mbaMission has a lot more camaraderie than some of their peers -- which I think is great! I had several 30 min consultations and was most impressed by mbaMission's professionalism, breadth of knowledge, and superior recommendations. I would certainly use them again.

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29 Older and Non-Verified Reviews for Daniel Richards