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Joined: Dec 14, 2013
I decided to work with an admissions consultant mainly to (1) help me tell my overall story in the best way possible, and (2) keep me on track as I was applying to 6 schools all in Round 1. Overall, I was looking for support and a formalized structure to help me through what is by and large a pretty overwhelming process.
I purchased a two-school package and prioritized my top 2 schools of the 6 I applied to. Here are the primary ways that Monica helped me:
(1) Essay brainstorming and editing / refinement process: Going into the MBA admissions process, I knew the gist of what my story would be and had a lot of possible personal and work experiences to pull from. However, where Monica played a huge role was pushing my brainstorming process and lending her admissions expertise to determining the appropriate pairing of specific school essay prompts to the right stories. She also provided very on-point feedback -- through multiple rounds of essay edits -- to sharpen each essay so that it directly answered the prompt and very distinctly highlighted particular strengths or takeaways that would shine in an MBA admissions context (which is different from what most people think is typically "good essay" writing). She would call me out when my writing could be better, but my original voice and intent were never compromised. I believe that Monica really took my essays from good to great, and that was where her guidance helped me the most.
(2) Structure and guidance throughout the entire admissions process: Working with Monica as well as MBA Mission helped to provide a very clear structure and timeline through the entire process, from brainstorming --> essay writing --> interview prep --> post-interview strategy. In addition to the standard MBA Mission resources that you're given (which are all excellent), Monica provides her own tailored guides and supports. Interview prep was also great with Monica, since she delivered necessary feedback in a way that was warm and empathetic, yet still called out clearly what improvements could be made.
(3) Overall support and positive attitude: Throughout the entire process, Monica struck a great balance of providing guidance and insightful, firm recommendations while also maintaining positivity and serving as a supportive sounding board. It was important to me to work with someone whom I could trust and who I enjoyed working with, especially given how stressful the admissions process is. She felt more like a coach and thought partner as opposed to a consultant.
Result: I applied to 6 schools (all ranked in the top 12), interviewed at 5 and was accepted at all schools that I interviewed with, including the two that Monica helped me with. I will be starting at my dream school with a full scholarship in the fall and couldn't be more thrilled. For the other 4 schools that I did not work directly with Monica/MBA Mission on, I wrote slightly different essays but was able to translate overall concepts from Monica's essay feedback and her interview preparation to those programs as well.
Overall, I really enjoyed working with Monica. She was very thorough with her feedback, responsive to all of my emails and questions, and thoughtful about her edits and advice. I'm incredibly grateful to have worked with her through the admissions process.
Joined: Jun 17, 2016
Monica helped me gain admission to a very top MBA program with scholarship. This is of course what every applicant cares about the most, but getting admitted hardly explains what I've gained through the application process with Monica.
Monica was knowledgeable, embracing, and yet never afraid to ask critical questions. Not only did she understand my goals and aspirations, she also fully appreciated my non-traditional background.
Being an older applicant with a very nonlinear career path, I needed to present my journey clearly so that the admissions would see the reasons behind my choices. Monica's patience during the process of working through so many drafts of essays really paid off for me in the end. I didn't know how it was possible to show all the turning points in my life within word count, but somehow we made it happen. After the application process, I learned a great deal about myself. This is perhaps the even bigger gift from pursuing an MBA--I felt the personal transformation had already begun before the program started. And Monica was a great counselor in this stage of my life.
Monica was the first person I emailed when I found out I was admitted. I will always remember receiving her reassuring email on the morning of the interview and the incredible day that followed.
Working with Monica during the five-month application process changed my life in many ways. Monica became a dear friend who supported me in moments of indescribable joy and anxiety with her wisdom, honesty and grace.
Joined: Mar 06, 2014
750 Q49 V42
In summary, Monica is incredible!
Back when I started looking for admission consultants to apply to HBS for Class of 2018, I spoke with over 8 different ‘top’ admission consulting firms based in the US. Given that no one can guarantee success in as-subjective-a-process-as-MBA-admissions, I was looking for the right fit, a trustworthy partner and most importantly, someone who felt confident about helping me achieve my goal.
I found all of that in Monica, during our free discussion (also came to know of how amazing her track record was). And much more once we started the process. Safe to say, working with Monica was one of the best decisions in the anxious period. She was a wall providing strength along the way, apart from paving a path to a solid application for HBS.
I also believe mbaMission has a very robust methodology to provide structure to the application process and some great reading/reference material to look at. The Complete Start to Finish Guide and individual School Guides are amazing and Monica makes additional webinars / guides to top it all.
I still remember how the first brainstorming discussion with Monica (starting point of the engagement) was so thorough and rigorous, I’m sure Monica knows me as well as anybody around me. She never shied away from going the extra mile by setting up follow-ups when she felt we were not able to complete the discussion in our original schedule. She had some excellent feedback every time she reviewed my essay versions and pushed me for ever more iterations. The final result being, I was quite happy with submitted essay.
Monica puts in a lot of effort to each aspect of the application – from the resume to the questions in application and looks for avenues to better the whole package. She’d remember such minute details from our conversations and probe me on them to build out some very integral portions of the application. And that’s the kind of person you need to guide you. Someone who can look through gaps and crevices to discover gems you wouldn’t have identified yourself.
A huge positive about Monica is that she’s candid and disarmingly friendly. One of the big issues many of my friends had with their consultants was that they couldn’t trust enough. With Monica, that will come naturally, as she clearly knows what she’s doing and will adapt herself to your personality.
Lastly, I’d like to add that unfortunately, I did not get an opportunity to interview with HBS in R1, but Monica readily offered to help with my interview prep for the R2 schools I applied to, even though I was working independently in that period. She was actually the one who helped me vet the schools I applied to in R2. At first, I bombed the mock interview with her so bad, but I was eventually accepted by Wharton, MIT Sloan and Kellogg schools. All credit to her for the interview prep! Thanks Monica for everything.
720 Q45 V44
I highly recommend Monica!
For the vast majority of the application process, I worked with another (amazing) mbaMission consultant, but Monica conducted my mock interview for HBS.
Monica thoroughly reviewed my application materials and presented challenging questions that, at the time, I was not fully prepared to answer. She adeptly drilled down into the parts of my application that the admissions department was likely to have questions about. This served as a tremendous wake up call!
Following our conversation, Monica promptly circled back with an incredibly helpful document outlining each of the questions she'd asked/wanted to ask, and which I should focus on in the weeks leading up to game day.
Having this guidance channeled my prep and significantly boosted my confidence heading into the real interview.
From start to finish, Monica was a pleasure to work with. She was diligent, engaging, and incredibly insightful!
740 Q47 V44
I decided to hire a consultant because writing was my weakness (I had done poorly in some classes in college due to my inability to complete decent enough papers on time). On top of that I was also hoping to apply to 7 schools with only 2 months left till the Round 2 application deadlines, so I was looking to add some structure to the process that would help me avoid feeling overwhelmed. I bought a two-school package and selected the toughest applications from those 7 for Monica. Here are all the ways in which she helped me:
1) Monica helped me structure the writing process. She explained the number of drafts i would need to go through to write good essays, as well as how much time she needs to get her comments and edits back to me. I planned my essay writing around that, leaving enough time for multiple drafts before the deadline. The number of drafts is not limited by mbaMission so while some essays i finished in just 3-4 drafts, other essays took me 7-8 drafts! Realizing that i would go through so many drafts lowered my stress about the first few drafts - they did not need to be perfect. I knew i just had to put some thoughts on paper and move forward in baby steps. In the end, I had some seriously good essays!
2) Monica helped me move forward when I was stuck. A few essay topics (I am looking at you, MIT Sloan!) were really confusing and hard to relate to my own experience. I felt stuck, but I knew that I had to quickly find a way to proceed in order to complete the applications by the deadline. Monica helped me think through some ideas and find themes to my essays that could relate to my experience. At other times she suggested how to re-structure my story to make it more interesting to read.
3) Monica helped me improve my essays by asking me very good questions about the details of my stories. When i expanded on some of those details, my stories came to life.
4) Monica provided moral support and for me this was the most important part! A few times during the process i panicked and doubted myself. I thought that i should apply to some lower ranked schools instead of the top schools i was targeting. I had some flaws in my background (a lower GPA, and no brand name employment). Monica told me that it was OK, and that I did not have to be perfect to make it into a top school!!! She praised my unique accomplishments since undergrad, and assured that admissions could forgive a few mistakes if the rest of the application is solid. She helped me write the optional essay to explain the circumstances. Her kindness helped me move forward.
From the beginning my own application strategy was clear to me - I knew what in my background I wanted to highlight, and what i needed to explain in my applications.
Of course I knew my stories better than Monica or anyone else, so my best essays were the ones for which I had my own creative idea. I worked with Monica on telling this story better and became a much better writer throughout the process. Just learning from Monica how to write and tell my story was worth the money. I learned more from working with Monica than in all my college writing classes!!!
I mostly used the same essays that i worked on with Monica for all schools, (adjusting them slightly to school specifics). I applied to 7 top schools, interviewed at 5 and got accepted at 3. I am starting at my dream M7 school in the fall.
Overall Monica was AMAZING to work with and I am very grateful for her hard work and for her kindness. I highly recommend her! She will be your biggest cheerleader!!!!
I read every review on GMATClub prior to deciding on an admissions consulting service, and therefore, I feel obliged to give back my share.
HBS was my dream school but without much resource or friends attending the school, I knew I needed some support. I signed up for comprehensive school packages with Monica Okrah.
I had a lot of doubts about timing of my application, story plots and most importantly, I lacked confidence. With her extensive experience with HBS admissions, Monica answered all my nitpicking questions, which really helped to calm my nerves and stay focused. Monica was instrumental in all parts of application but particularly stood out in the following three:
1) Letters of recommendations: Both of my recommenders didn’t have much (if at all) experience writing letters of rec for MBA admissions. MBA Mission’s templates really helped to guide and prep my recommenders. Monica provided directional feedbacks, which were especially critical for my recommenders and pushed them to provide deeper reflections.
2) Essay: Ultimately, I was in full charge of my own stories but Monica was a great sounding board and steered me to the right direction. I applied to two schools and first worked on the HBS essay. After about 4 draft exchanges with Monica, I started on essays for the other school and suddenly felt the urge to change my HBS essay similar to the second school essay. I’m really glad Monica stopped me from trapping myself in the wrong path. It took about 7 exchanges until we marked the HBS essay final. When I re-read my essay, I feel it truly represents who I am and I wouldn’t have made it without Monica’s guidance.
3) Mock interview: I would recommend working with Monica for interviews (especially HBS), even if you don’t work with her on the application. Her interview preparation was remarkable. We had our mock interview two weeks prior to the real one. We did 45 minutes interview with set of questions Monica prepared unique to my profile. After, we went through each question one-by-one discussing ways to improve and she gave couple extra questions to chew on. She also helped to answer my questions for the post interview reflection so there are no surprises!
With undergrad degree in business, MBA was a natural next-step. Monica and MBAMissions was the best investment I made to help me get admissions to my dream school. Wishing everyone best luck.