Karthik Palaniappan
Founder and CEO

    
Number of reviews [31]


Company: August Academy
Packages: August Academy Comprehensive Package  
Karthik has scored in the top 1 percentile on both the GRE and the GMAT.  He has a B. Tech in Aerospace Engineering from IIT Madras and a Ph. D. in Aerospace Engineering from Stanford University.  He was recently selected to attend the Sloan Fellows program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. 

In his previous lives, he's worked on projects for the US Department of Defense, Air Force and NASA on topics as varied as missile control, air traffic management and aircraft survivability. He's developed cloud based software for identifying energy efficient cooling techniques for data centers. He's also worked with the world's largest automaker (GM) to improve the design of its vehicles.He is passionate about using Technology to make our lives better.  

He is also a self professed Math Geek with a new found love for big data.

Karthik Palaniappan's Reviews
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     By RKumarS 0 5
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

It was in September of 2016 that I decided to apply for my MBA. Since it was rather late, even by R2 admissions timelines, I had a long arduous road ahead of me. From writing my GMAT, understanding the different admissions processes, shortlisting colleges, essays, recommendations, and personal interviews, the journey to my dream college that year seemed near impossible. Looking back, I can confidently say that Karthik and August Academy made this journey possible for me.

The one thing that set Karthik apart from other consultants in the field was the amount of personal attention he was able to give me during this entire period. Though I started late, he didn’t rush me through the application process. Instead, he started with an in-depth analysis of my profile helping me identify and articulate my long term goals, strengths, weaknesses, leadership experiences, etc. Based on this detailed profile, he then helped me narrow down, short-list and prioritise colleges that best fit my profile.

While I was writing my essays, I went through multiple versions, and after every version, Karthik gave me detailed feedback and he constantly pushed me in the right direction. He clearly understood what aspects of my life and experience the admissions team would be most interested in and he played a pivotal role in helping me tell my story in the best possible way.

The entire admissions process can be very stressful, especially when you have a full-time job. In addition to all his help during the technical aspects of my application, Karthik regularly checked up on me to see how I was handling this stress and constantly motivated me right up until the finish line. I am happy to say that out of the 3 colleges I applied to, I got invited to interview for 2 and I got an admit call from the college that was on the top of my list.

If you are planning to apply this year and are looking for a consultant who not only has a deep understanding of the admissions process but also takes a personal interest in the people he works with, Karthik is the right person for you.

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     By abhibad 38 27
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

I took my GMAT quite late last year. Round 1 of application was over for all colleges and round 2 deadlines were approaching fast. Meanwhile I had not done any research for schools and programs. During this time I came to know about Karthik from gmatclub. I approached him, but since he was busy I decided to go with another company. That was a bad decision. They did a shoddy job for few of my applications and I realized it in time. For the rest 3 applications, I again approached Karthik, since I liked his no-nonsense but wise approach from our last conversation. This really was a game changer. He goaded and guided me in my application process, especially in essays. I was finally interviewed by two of the programs and got offer from one of them. Good thing about Karthik is that he really understands the essay topics and then guides you to write accordingly in your own language. His feedback is extremely helpful. I come from a technical background and my resume reflected that with lots of technical jargon. He helped me in cleaning the clutter in my resume and bringing the significance of roles in terms of quantifiable business goals.

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     By rajarams 52 26
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

I came to Karthik for my application help with limited time in hand since I had to retake my GMAT. We had about a month and ten days for the first school’s deadline. I must say the experience has been incredible.

I started with a bunch of starter files, which were more about soul searching than about anything to do with the application in specific. As I filled it in, the drive for an MBA grew in me even further. It looked like an MBA is exactly the missing piece in what I aspire to become.

We then went on with the application of each of the individual schools. Here again, he made me think of instances in my life that would be the most appropriate for the context in hand. The essays as such go back and forth for multiple edits before we arrive at the final draft. Given the limited time I had, I sometimes pushed him to get back within a day on reviews, which he obliged to as well.

Another thing that I appreciate is the high moral standards that Karthik has. He never suggests you to write something that you do not mean nor does he make significant edits by himself. If it’s a major edit, it’s for you to come back with a better version. All in all, I was extremely satisfied with the process and loved working with him on my applications.

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     By MikeWins 1 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Karthik is incredibly easy to work with, and despite the fact that we lived in completely different parts of Asia, Karthik was readily available and an absolute pleasure to work with. He makes your thought process and outline for your essays easier by helping you to get organized - once you organize your thoughts with the right frame of mind that Karthik provides you with, it will be a breeze to work on your essays.

Considering that we applied to many MBA programs in such a short amount of time (10 programs in a span of a month!), I'm impressed that Karthik and I were able to pull it off - that's how effective how he helps you to organize MBA application process and thoughts. He's also very easy to get in touch with, and considering that we lived so far apart, we were able to meet (via Skype) as often as we did, was a very pleasant surprise.

I'm always surprised by Karthik's willingness to sink in so much time to his students, and his dedication to each one of us. He really does care about your success that despite the timezone difference, he was willing to put in so much effort to helping each individual succeed. I bothered Karthik soooooo many times about being fretty and stressed during the process, and despite that, he pulled through and helped me through stressful times.

He also helped me so much through the interview process, and we completed 5 successful interviews!

I was waitlisted in Round 2 for the school of my dreams and Karthik also helped me through the WL process. I ultimately got into the Top 10 school of my dreams with scholarship and I really thank Karthik for that.

I would recommend Karthik for people who aren't really sure how to put together their story, despite having a large pool of stories to tell; Karthik will help you to navigate your narrative and ultimately to your destination.

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     By puchku 2
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

I got to know about August Academy through their rave reviews on Gmat Club. Though I was in touch with another consultant at the time, talking to Karthik for the first time made the decision a no-brainer. With Karthik’s help, I applied to 5 of top 20 business schools and got an interview invite from each one of them. Here are few highlights from my application experience with Karthik -

• Karthik really knows his business. He is very organized and committed. This ensured that no part of the application is overlooked.
• The most important part of the application process is introspection - knowing the best and worst of you. Thus Karthik prioritized this first (through a list of starter files) before I even finalized my list of schools.
• Before starting to write any essays, we would discuss each question in the application. His thoughts on how to structure the essays based on my profile were immensely helpful while I took the first step (always the hardest).
• Karthik put emphasis on adding a personal touch to essays which I feel is essential to differentiate your essay in the herd.
• Though he didn't spoonfeed (write any part of the essays), he always pushed me (and told how) to take the essays from good to the better.
• Karthik shared great insights into the interview process as well as discussed what we can expect from each specific interviewer so that I was as well prepared as possible.

Overall, I enjoyed working with Karthik. He is a good motivator and always has a few life tips handy to make you feel better.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
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     By Nainani 12 5
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

I availed Karthik's admission consultancy service during application cycle of 2016-2017. I applied to seven B-Schools in the US under the guidance of Karthik. Out of seven, I was interviewed in six colleges. Eventually, I got admit offers in four B-School with scholarships and was waitlisted in two Schools.

As I worked on my application with Karthik and as I got to know him better, I found Karthik brilliant and expert in the application process. He knows inside-outside of admission committee mindset, helping me to streamline my thoughts while I was writing essays and tweaking CV for B-School applications. He also trained me for interview preparations and navigated me through scholarship negotiation process with schools. I also found him very honest in his commitment and disciplined in essay review approach. He helped me to structure my story, making it very compelling to the schools. Among my four B-Schools admits, I am joining the Ross Michigan. The credit for landing up at one of the top US B-Schools, I completely give to Karthik because of his tremendous efforts he has put in my application process. The biggest factor with him was that he motivated me to apply those colleges in which I thought I have no chance of getting an admit, but eventually, I got an admit at Ross.

Overall I will say that if you want yourself to be saved from many ridiculously poor services offered by many admission consultancies available on the net and looking for real expert, Karthik is the only person for your quest. My suggestion for future applicants is that please do not go for unverified B-School admission consultancies. Also, do thorough research for the genuine person; I found Karthik after lots of pain. Many unscrupulous consultants are expert in marketing their services and are putting fake results on their websites with dubious feedbacks and reviews. If you fall for their marketing gimmick, you may ruin your application cycle

My experience says that you have to put as much as efforts in finding the right consultant as you have to put in the whole application process.

Best of Luck!

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     By nevermore 23 6
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

After pondering over half a dozen admission consultants, I finally decided to go with August Academy. My results are a testimonial to the effectiveness of Karthik's streamlined method. I applied to six schools and was invited to interview with five of those; withdrew my application from one school, and was finally waitlisted at one and admitted to two schools with substantial scholarships.

My experience of working with Karthik has been nothing but wonderful. He spends a lot of time getting to know you and your story, including your personality type. Although, to some it may sound as unnecessary, but believe me, this is a very essential part of the puzzle. This 'getting to know you' process will reveal vital character traits and revelatory anecdotes. I felt I had not much of significance to say in my essays. But Karthik's constant prodding proved me wrong. Soon I realized how true Dostoyevsky was when he wrote, "But how could you live and have no story to tell?".

Next came the essay writing part. Here, Karthik has an ethical policy that he does not change much of the language. This is a boon for us applicants. The chiefly unchanged language ensures that your own, unique voice resonates through your writing, and your narrative is much more convincing.
But this is not to say that whatever you write will do. Karthik will be constantly at your elbow, gently prodding and guiding you; urging you to go into more detail into a topic he thinks is important or asking you to cut down a long-winded narrative which he thinks does not add much value.
To top it all, I was really impressed by his turn around time, even during the extremely busy time around R2 deadlines. On top of it all, he is easily accessible, and you can seek his advice and have discussions with him on topics not strictly related to your essays, e.g. moving to a new country for education, securing visa, etc. While most admissions consultants limit the number of consultations they do, Karthik works with you on a part of your application until he feels that we had made the most out of it.

Karthik's polite honesty, his dedication, and his professionalism make him standout among a sea of admissions consultants out there. I strongly recommend him to anyone thinking of hiring an admissions consultant. You cannot go wrong with Karthik.

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     By aarencay 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

For me, the best part of the entire August Academy experience was the opportunity to make Karthik’s acquaintance and work with him. I won’t bother listing out his accomplishments as I believe his profile speaks for itself, but what it doesn’t tell you is that he is a genuine & sincere individual who has your best interests at heart. He won’t sugar-coat the truth to keep your business, but at the same time he has a nuanced way of delivering it which won’t crush your confidence.

I worked with Karthik on 4 applications to Top 10 US schools which led to 3 interviews and an offer with a significant scholarship. I was also waitlisted at one school and am awaiting the results of another. This has reinforced my opinion that Karthik has his finger on the pulse of the MBA admissions world and is usually very accurate in predicting your chances of getting in. He also enforces a process when you begin your journey with him that will allow you to examine all your priorities and what you really want to do post MBA.

He is very approachable and uses all the latest tools in tech to make your collaboration intuitive and comfortable. Bear in mind, you will still have to put in the work yourself (no consultant worth their salt will do it for you), but the tools allow for a very fast turnaround time for feedback. This was great as I was doing my applications during a fairly strenuous period at work and managed to complete them well within the deadlines, without impacting my work output.

Finally, my advice to anyone looking at August Academy would be this – if you want as yes man that will tell you how great your profile is you’ve just wasted 2 mins of your life reading this. However, if you want to be intellectually challenged and pushed by someone who is both passionate and practical, Karthik is one of the best out there.

Rahul Kanathala,

Operations Analyst, Argyle Diamonds, Australia.

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     By suhasvadyaraju 6
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

If I have to make a list of people who had a significant impact on me and who contributed the most in my life, Karthik my counselor from August Academy would be one amongst them. Coming from a highly represented pool of typical Indian IT guys with GMAT above 700, I was facing a huge competition and was totally clueless on my application essays. I had interacted with many service providers and I can confidently say my admission into HEC Paris wouldn't have been possible had it not been with Karthik and August Academy's help.


Every aspect of the services provided by August academy make one understand one's profiles at a deeper level.By just working on my starter files my idea of my strengths changed drastically and at the same time, they made me pinpoint the exact reasons why MBA and how could it help me reach my goals.Working with Karthik feels like doing a smart and a critical introspective.He has put in a great effort to understand my profile, to the minute detail, question every tall claim I made and made sure I had substantial information to back my achievements. Their approach to resume preparation using the STAR methodology brought a stunning resume that highlighted my best aspects in a way comprehensible to the adcoms who can be from diverse backgrounds. I was very bad during my mock interviews and on one occasion during my ISB interview prep, Karthik worked with me late nights back to back, taking mock interviews, giving feedback and grooming me to the best level. The mocks were so helpful that I use the same lines to pitch my experience with almost everyone. In short, I strongly recommend August Academy not just for application essays but to have a deeper change in the way one approaches to promoting oneself at any level.

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August Academy Review
January 18 | 2017
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     By priyal1991 5 8
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Initially when I decided to apply to B schools, I had no idea where to start from. I contacted a close friend of mine who had just secured admission in one of the top B schools. She recommended Karthik to me and I am glad I decided to go with him.

Why?

Because I applied to just 2 B schools and I got in both! Ivey with a $ 30,000 scholarship and Rotman with a $ 20,000 scholarship. Making the mistake of not giving my GMAT beforehand, I had limited time to study, draft essays, resumes, recommendations, video essays, prepare for interviews and deal with office work at the same time. But Karthik constantly pushed and motivated me to ensure I complete my application well before the timeline.

The best part about Karthik is that he didn’t spoonfeed me - he gave me space to come up with my own story. He acted as a catalyst, guided me in the right direction, helped me identify and highlight key points in my essay. This was really important because I needed to own my goals and essays and talk passionately about them to be able to convince my interviewer that I would achieve those goals in the future.

The advice and constructive criticism I received from Karthik while practicing my video essays and my mock interviews was extremely useful. I completely aced both my interviews - infact my Rotman interview was the best interview I had ever given in my life, even before it had ended I knew that the interviewer was really impressed and there was no way I wouldn't be selected. This was all possible because of the ample time Karthik had spent with my mock interviews - all the times he put me on the spot with really twisted behavioral questions gave a great boost to my confidence and my ability to tackle unexpected questions.

Karthik was also really organised with the to-do lists on Asana and the meeting booking on Calendly. I really liked Asana because it helped me keep a track of all the items pending on my plate and assign tasks to Karthik easily. The constant annoying reminders from Asana that cluttered my inbox kept me on my toes to finish all the tasks on time.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience working with him and I would definitely recommend him to others.

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