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My experience with Monica has simply been AMAZING and I don't think I would have been admitted to my selected schools (with fellowships) without her help! I decided to work with a consultant because as a non-native English speaker with a quantitative professional background, I knew that I needed help with my essay writing skills. Monica helped me clearly articulate, on paper, what was on my mind; and develop a strong story for my applications. She also provided invaluable feedback on my essays, always pushing me to dig deeper and get better with every single draft.
I also really appreciated her personal touch, as we really connected and I felt that she cared very much about my progress and my success throughout the entire process.
I had an absolutely amazing experience working with Monica Okrah. With her expertise and guidance, I received admission to HBS and two other premier business schools. Before Monica, the pressure was debilitating. I had just quit my New York City job to work within my family business and to pursue business school. I felt completely overwhelmed with the seemingly complicated MBA application process. The round 2 deadline was 3 months away and I hadn’t looked at a single application, but was still stumbling through a GMAT prep class. I didn’t think that I could salvage the year and meet the deadlines. I was unjustifiably confident in my writing and personal story, so I was merely looking for a comprehensive strategy to efficiently tackle the process, but I received so much more!
I participated in the free consultation with mbaMission and the initial consultant directed me to Monica Okrah. I spoke with Monica and for the first time, I actually believed that my goals were achievable. Not only was she extremely encouraging and optimistic, but Monica was also professional, knowledgeable and candid. Monica knew everything there is to know about the application process including the smallest details that could determine my success or failure. I signed up for the four-schools, all-inclusive package right away. Before we dug into the essays, Monica created a step-by-step game plan that would allow me to create my best product.
As I stated before, I was unjustifiably confident in my ability to market my story. Through many (many) iterations, Monica helped me highlight my experiences and achievements to form comprehensive, unique and focused essays. Thanks to Monica, my entire application including resume, short-answer questions, essays and even recommendations, sent a united message to the admissions committee. After I received interviews to all of my schools, Monica’s rigorous interview prep gave me the confidence to express myself and own my story. Monica knew my story and application better than I did. She was able to highlight potential areas where I needed to have sound responses to relay the right message. As far as application content, interview preparation and process management, Monica provided tremendous value and surpassed every expectation that I had for a MBA consultant. However, it’s her intangible factors that compel me to write this review. Like most applicants, I experienced ups and downs throughout my journey. Because of sub-par scores, I took the GMAT multiple times including just 10 days before the final deadlines. I was burdened by immense pressure and had gaps in my story. Monica was there and she believed in me. She always knew the next strategic move and provided the motivation to take the next step. I ultimately received admission to all of my top choices and I can’t say enough about Monica’s help. She was absolutely instrumental and I would highly recommend her to applicants that want to make their MBA dreams come true.
Joined: Apr 03, 2015
When I decided to pursue an MBA I knew I would need assistance putting together a competitive package. I was coming from a non-traditional background (higher education administration) with little to no quant experiences in the positions I've held, and a weak GMAT score (sub-600).
I applied to a program to help persons of color gain entry to top business schools and after being dinged by them, I decided to seek out admissions consultants. My method for choosing was quite simple; I called the five most popular companies and scheduled their free 30 minute calls. Given that the costs were fairly similar among companies, I decided to let my "gut" make the choice.
I spoke to Monica during my free call and knew she was who could get me into my target school. I felt at ease during our call, we laughed, and she gave me some sound advice, all before I even committed to mbaMission. This provided me with a level of trust that would be very important over the next several months.
Over several months Monica and I exchanged emails and phone calls. I would be lying if I said that her way of getting you admission ready was easy. There were many assignments that took hours to complete, however at the end of those hours was a solid product. I learned more about myself completing her assignments than I expected. These assignments were the foundation for crafting my story.
The writing process is tough for anyone applying to school. Having Monica, who is a writer by trade, there to guide me (and often times re-direct me) what invaluable. I knew that certain areas in my app were weak (GMAT, gpa, quant skills), but Monica was determined to make sure that my story was clear and left a mark to whoever read it. In addition, Monica prepped me for my admission interview which I believe was a determining factor in my gaining admission. Monica sent out notices regarding her turn-around time so there was no confusion and even returned edits to me over the holiday.
I can say with confidence that my application would not have been given a second look at even my safety schools had I not enlisted the help of Monica and mbaMission. She challenged me to be better, pushed me to think harder, and prepared me to be successful during the application cycle.
Not only did she help me get into my reach school, but I was also given a partial scholarship. I owe her more than she knows.
A former colleague of mine highly recommended Monica at mbaMission, and I'm grateful that he did. Monica worked with me, start-to-finish, on applying to HBS and Columbia for Round 2. She was an incredible resource and support system, and I got into both schools. Here are the areas where Monica was most valuable to my application process:
Essays – Monica spent a lot of time working with me before I ever wrote anything. We had multiple calls to hash out my ideas for individual essays, as well as discuss broader themes or strings to pull my whole application together. This made writing not so painful. And when it came to drafting and revising, Monica went well above and beyond textual editing. She was focused on the important things: themes, general direction, messaging. She frequently re-focused me when my essays drifted from what they needed to achieve.
Other Application Materials - Monica read through and helped me prune all aspects of my written application, including the resume and short answers. She also helped me strategically select, and approach, my recommenders.
Interview Prep – Monica's mock interviews and feedback sessions were excellent. This was particularly helpful for the HBS process. Having spent a lot of time reading my application in full (the way an admissions officer would), and having HBS-specific insight, Monica was able to hone in on the important nuances of my candidacy and ask me the tough questions.
I am an incoming student at H/S/W for the class of 2017. I felt obligated to post my amazing experience working with Monica Okrah at mbaMission.
I first contacted Monica two years ago, because I was starting to think about applying to MBA programs. Monica was recommended to me by a coworker who was leaving to attend an M7 program along with her husband, both of whom worked with Monica throughout their MBA applications. At the time, I decided to delay my applications to business school, because I wanted to gain more work experience and leadership experience in different extracurricular activities. Monica stayed in touch with me every few months providing free advice.
Last June, I officially hired Monica to work with me on applying to three MBA programs in the M7. Monica immediately began working with me on picking the right schools; strategizing around my career goals, strengths, and weaknesses; and finding the best stories I would tell in my applications once they were released later in the summer.
Once the applications were released, I worked with Monica on my essays and short answer questions on a daily basis. We held weekly calls and Monica was very responsive to all of my emails. Monica's comments were always insightful and she provided tons of examples to back up her suggestions. I significantly improved my essays thanks to her probing questions and feedback. I previously thought writing was a strong point of mine. I read all the time, I scored an 8/8 on the writing portion of the GMAT, and I previously scored 800/800 on the SAT writing exam. However, Monica repeatedly proved that I could improve with constructive criticism and helped me to think of how to make my essays come alive with interesting, poignant stories.
I soon found myself with interviews at two of the M7 programs. I was ecstatic. I honestly never thought I stood a chance at most of these schools. Monica worked with me throughout the entire interview process doing multiple practice interviews for each school. I was provided lots of helpful resources such as sample questions at each school. Both of my interviews went smoothly, because I was prepared and confident. I had rehearsed many of the questions I would be asked before. I was surprised leaving both interviews, because I had expected much worse.
In the end, I was fortunate enough to be accepted to two M7 MBA programs. Monica was instrumental in helping me tell my "story" and true career aspirations rather than trying to come up with what I thought MBA programs wanted to hear. Monica helped me to differentiate myself among the crowded white male in finance crowd. While I was initially skeptical of working with an admissions consultant, I think Monica provided tons of value to me. From crafting my story to keeping me on track to interview preparation, Monica was incredibly helpful.
I had a fantastic experience with Monica Okrah’s mock interview session. I received an interview notification from HBS and thought I had done everything in my power to prepare (bought the Harbus, wrote answers for every possible question I could be asked, prepared with HBS students.) After reading about the intensity of the HBS interviews I decided to hire a consultant a few days before my interview- Although the services are expensive, it is definitely worth it in order to be as prepared as possible for the most important interview of your life!
The mock interview session was a complete game-changer. We simulated an actual HBS interview experience – Monica asked for my application materials before the interview in order to ask questions that were relevant to my application. After we went through the questions, Monica thoroughly reviewed each of my answers, carefully pointing out strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement. More importantly, Monica made me aware of the lack of structure in my responses and gave me feedback on how I should structure my answers in order to provide context and effectively relay the message I needed to get across in a timely manner. After my conversation with Monica, I re-evaluated my story and my brand (with her feedback in mind!) and was able to reframe my responses in a way that truly reflected my best self.
Also, going into this process I was less than confident in myself given that my GMAT score is slightly lower than HBS’ average score. Monica was so incredibly positive and reassuring, which really allowed me to walk into the interview and express myself confidently and focus on all the positives instead of any perceived negatives.
My only regret is not working with Monica sooner – she is fantastic!!
I researched a lot of admission consulting companies and decided to go with mbaMission. I was initially attracted by their professional website and exceptional online school guides. I did some more exploring and discovered that all of their consultants went to top notch schools themselves, have years of experience, and do consulting full time. This makes them fully vested in your success and not distracted by other priorities (it's amazing how many other "consultants" just do MBA admission consulting work part time to make some extra money). I called them up for a free phone consultation and was very impressed by their process and strategies for getting me into a top school. After the call, I knew mbaMission was the company for me.
mbaMission lets you decide which consultant you want to work with, which I found to be a difficult decision, as they are all very qualified. I eventually chose Monica Okrah. She went to HBS and has successfully helped many students get admitted into their dream schools, but what really made her stand out was her aura of positivity and genuine enthusiasm about helping me achieve my goal.
Choosing Monica ended up being a great decision. I cannot stress enough how extremely pleasant she is to work with and I'm convinced that my essays were 3x better because of her. She did a great job helping me choose topics (which is trickier than you may think, she saved me from making some huge mistakes) and patiently helped me work through as many as 9 drafts per essay, even though she was paid a flat rate. She really cared about my success and wasn't going to give an essay the thumbs up until she thought it was 110% good to go. In the end, I was accepted to a fantastic school, but almost more importantly she help me develop a crucial life skill. She taught me how to craft my story and market myself extremely well. I've since applied many of the things she taught me to my LinkedIn profile and have been contacted by at least one recruiter per week, which is a dramatic increase for me. It's amazing what a difference telling your story in just the right way can make.
If you're considering applying to a top business school I highly recommend that you work with mbaMission and Monica Okrah. Remember that you are competing with extremely qualified candidates and that the smallest details can make the difference between being accepted and being dinged. mbaMission and Monica Okrah will ensure that you nail all of those details and ensure that you shine!
Joined: Jun 02, 2013
Looking back, it was a bold move to go after 3 out of the top 5 MBA programs with no safety schools behind, especially during a time when I just took on a challenging project at work. With 60-80 hour work weeks in addition to time needed for GMAT study, despite my strong desire for a top MBA, I would not have survived the grilling 6 months – hitting all the key milestones and finally matriculating to one of my dream schools, if it weren’t for Monica’s push, strategic guidance, and frequent encouragement along the way.
Monica is awesome, personally and professionally. With an MBA from HBS and a range of diverse and impressive experience, she speaks with credibility. On top of that, she is patient, relatable, incredibly insightful, and very compassionate, wonderful qualities of an outstanding admission consultant. The easiness to talk to her helped me open up myself and, in return, allowing her to help me identify the best examples of my life for the essays. She impressed me with her ability to introduce fresh perspectives and, more importantly, magically transform my drafts and breathe life into my stories, again and again. She tirelessly looked for ways to smartly package my life experience into persuasive and attractive presentations. Throughout the application process, Monica constantly challenged me to think outside the box, leading me to uncovered strengths and shining points I was never aware of, and helped me stay focused and on track during rough times.
Overall, for my 3 schools, she edited well over 90 iterations of my essays and applications. And I can’t remember how many my times I sought last minute feedback and she was able to quickly turn around her revisions.
From the start, I knew I needed a strategic adviser and accountability partner for my MBA application journey, end-to-end. Truth being told, I would not have got into one of the best business schools in the world, without Monica’s help. She pushed me to make my dream come true. :)
Monica played an instrumental role in my admission to the school of my dreams, HBS! Not only is she an incredibly warm, upbeat, and patient person, but she also has an uncanny knack for pulling out the "common threads" amongst various life stories - those recurring themes that bring out the "aha" moments in an essay. It probably helps that Monica is an HBS alum herself, which I felt gave me unique insight that other consultants may not have been able to provide. At first glance, I had a fairly typical applicant profile, but Monica was able to help me to convey my unique qualities and experiences that differentiated myself from other similar applicants.
I signed up for mbaMission's all-inclusive school package, which entitled me to a brainstorming session, a few school guides, unlimited essay reviews, recommender strategy, and interview prep. While this package is sizable investment, I absolutely got my money's worth, and then some. If I had gone the hourly route, I probably would have spent more.
Monica, like any good consultant, did not write my essays - rather, she provided a mix of insightful high-level and specific comments. Monica's turnaround time was excellent, and she also made herself readily available for follow up calls. It was so helpful to have Monica to bounce ideas and get that needed boost of confidence at the 11th hour. I strongly recommend Monica to all applicants!
When I made the decision to apply to business school, I knew I was not the ideal candidate. I had only two years of work experience and my GMAT quant score was not high enough for top MBA programs. To offset the weaknesses in my application I decided to use an MBA consultant. After three fit calls with various consultants at mbaMission, I chose to work with Monica. Monica is smart, passionate, and motivating. Most importantly, she brought out my best characteristics in my essays, short answers, and resume.
Monica first aided me in selecting my target business schools. We then worked on brainstorming essay topics. While I fleshed out my essays, she helped me develop my “story”. After going through 15-20 revisions on each essay, my essays were unique and truly showed who I was as a person. Monica helped me with my tone, eloquence, and bringing individuality to essays that have been answered by thousands of other applicants.
Because I purchased a three-school package, Monica worked with me on every step of the admissions process. Another part of the package I found particularly critical was the interview coaching. I was offered an interview at every school I applied to except HBS. I was nervous about the interviews, but Monica went over commonly asked questions with me. We molded answers together, and she encouraged me to research the programs extensively. As a result, I was admitted to every school I interviewed at.
I would recommend mbaMission and Monica to every person applying to MBA programs. Monica made me really think about what I wanted to tell admissions committees and how to tell my story effectively. Applying to business school was no longer a scary process- in fact, I can honestly say I had fun drafting essays and talking on the phone with Monica. mbaMission has greatly exceeded my expectations, and I will be attending my top-choice MBA program in the fall with a half scholarship.