|All Reviews > mbaMission > Hourly Services Reviews|
Joined: Jul 31, 2016
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Last year I applied to four top 15 programs in round one using hourly services with mbaMission's Heidi Granner.
I applied to programs last year following 7 years of work experience in the US military and government. While my undergrad GPA was high and my work experience was solid, my degree was from a relatively unknown regional school and my GRE score was below average for the schools I was targeting. I chose mbaMission because it had been recommended to me by several other veterans who had successfully navigated the admissions process.
Heidi was critical to my admission to my number one pick school. My work experience was a melange of jargon and acronyms that straddled both active duty military and reserve jobs--confusing to say the least. Heidi's unbiased outside perspective enabled me to make my work experience easier to understand for those outside the military/government, and to highlight my unique experience in my resume and essays.
To date, I have not met anyone with my background applying to MBA programs. Heidi gave me perspective on what schools I should target and which schools would be reaches. This greatly increased the efficiency in which I could complete my applications.
Early on in my search for admissions consultants I thought about reaching out to consultants (former military themselves) that specialize in military applicants. However, my personal opinion is that admissions consultants that are former military can sometimes be biased and assume certain work experiences are easily understood by others outside the military. Most adcom members and recruiters are not former military members, and I decided to use a consultant whose experience was the same as what I hoped to achieve after an MBA. Heidi greatly helped me "civilianize" my resume and make it easily understandable.
Ultimately, I got into my first choice and withdrew my other applications. mbaMission and Heidi Granner exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend them.
Joined: Jul 25, 2016
560 Q33 V33
My overall experience with Kate was amazing. We worked together mostly on my essays and I can say she has such a creative out of the box way of thinking that really challenged me to make sure that I was giving it my best. I appreciated all of her feedback and felt as though she kept digging deeper to get to my bigger story and helped me unravel it all in my essays. She also is very prompt and will get back to you as soon as she can with even a small question.
I had my heart set on a specific program and was concerned that my quantitative score on my GMAT and my grades throughout my undergraduate program in the quantitative classes would make it difficult for me to get into an MBA program. She helped me figure out how to express my strengths and also touch on my quantitative weaknesses. I feel as though that really helped me to be able to explain these weaknesses rather than avoid them.
Kate and I also did some work on my resume and interview prep. My resume now is very clear and concise and anyone looking at it would be able to understand what I have accomplished without having to ask follow up questions. The interview prep was very helpful because it helped to calm my nerves and keep me on track.
Overall, it was a great experience and I am so excited that I was admitted into my top school! I would recommend Kate to anyone interested in an admissions consultant!
Joined: Jul 21, 2016
I was late to the application process and was applying to only one school 3rd round, shooting for the moon knowing the odds were against me. And I honestly don't think I would have gotten in without Melissa's help on my essays.
I had the "stories" of both of my essays down, but what Melissa helped me with was to consolidate and focus/expand on what I viewed as details in the story, but actually were distinguishing factors for who I am as a person and applicant, rather than the overall "story". Her point view coming directly from the seat of the AdCom is invaluable to be able to highlight these character qualities I would have glossed over, instead focusing on the overall story. For example, my original essay said: I tried new things. Melissa helped me to turn that into: swimming across shark infested beaches, traveled to several third world countries, and signed up for new running clubs. By reframing what I was trying to say and extracting these descriptive details she was able to highlight my passion for adventure, exploration, and fearlessness and show more of who I am and what I would bring to campus. She was able to extract at least three adjectives to describe me when my original sentence gave zero.
I know my essays would not have fully shown who I am as a person and what sets me apart from the rest of the application pool without Melissa's guidance and ability to more effectively demonstrate what I was trying to convey. I would recommend her to ANYONE for any part of the process and was actually excited to work with her the following year had I not gotten accepted!
Joined: Dec 16, 2015
750 Q49 V44
I worked with Jessica for one of my applications for Round 1 of 2015. I initially selected her for my free 30 minute review because of the similar nature of our work backgrounds. After those 30 minutes, I was fully assured that she would help my story shine through in my essay.
Throughout our brainstorming and editing process, Jessica did a phenomenal job of explaining to me why she thought different elements of my background should or should not play a more prominent role. And, due to the potentially controversial nature of my essay, she took some of her own time to vett it with co-workers, eventually coming up with advice on how to better describe the learning experience I underwent. Her creativity throughout the process cannot be overstated.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with Jessica because she had (and still has) a vested interest in my success. She enthusiastically answered questions as mundane as "Is this in line with typical interview attire?" and provided a great sounding board for assuaging my initial concerns post-interview. And though Jessica is relentlessly positive, she still remains honest. She was quick to point out areas for improvement or application faux pas I was committing.
Even though Jessica and I discussed only one of my applications, I was able to use knowledge I gleaned from our talks and apply it to my other applications. As a result of our work together, I earned admittance to four of the five schools to which I applied (including the one we focused on), while earning a place on the wait list on the fifth. I have no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't have been nearly as successful without her help.
Joined: Mar 23, 2015
710 Q49 V38
I spent around 10 hours with John over the course of several months to work on application essays. John was fantastic during the application process. He was a great resource from providing a sounding board for essay ideas to guiding me during the interview processes.
Brainstorming: In the beginning, there were so many times when I was getting frustrated about finding a story. I knew I had a story, but I wasn't sure how to find a specific one. John was able to ask the right questions and probe my answers to help me come up with essay topics.
Essays: Since I had been out of touch with writing essays for years, he also gave me great feedback on ways to tighten my writing style and approach. I didn't think this was going to be an experience I would gain from the application process, but I learned how to communicate much more efficiently from John.
Interviews: I wish I had asked John for mock interview help, but he provided some great material on prepping for the interviews. I used those to structure my interview answers.
Waitlist: Despite my disappointment in getting waitlisted at one of the schools, John remained optimistic and helped me navigate the waitlist process. I used the tips he gave me to reach out to the admissions committee.
While we never spoke on the phone, John's response time over email was great. He usually responded within 2-3 days of my emails. John was such a huge help during the application process, and I couldn't have survived it without his support.
Joined: Jun 19, 2016
I contacted Jen because I was experiencing a lot of uncertainty about my resume and admissions essays. Because I come from a non-traditional business background, I wanted to make sure I was working with someone who understood my position. Jen was incredibly helpful and very efficient. She is great at both line edits and general direction edits. She was glad to answer both vague and specific questions that I had. In addition to her technical expertise, I also found her to be genuinely positive. When I heard back about interviews, she was very supportive. I would not have been able to juggle all of the applications without her.
Joined: Apr 28, 2015
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Anyone that has embarked on the B-School admissions process knows it can affect you in MANY different ways. When I finally found Kate Richardson, I had just finished an unsuccessful and incredibly frustrating year of applications. B-school acceptance was still my goal but the prior season had made me feel completely debilitated and I had no idea how to jump back in the saddle of a horse that had just finished throwing me off.
One of the first things that made me realize I’d found the right consultant was that Kate’s first priority was providing services in a way that worked specifically for me. I’m someone that can fall into laziness and passivity VERY easily and needed a consultant primarily to check-in, keep me on track, help me set and keep deadlines, as well as brainstorm how to approach each step in the process from essays to communicating with admissions departments.
Kate helped me identify realistic goals for my target schools not only in terms of which schools to apply to, but also the specific order to complete the many tasks for each program to ensure I not only worked efficiently, but had the best quality for each submission – because you do lose energy after each step.
Hourly services worked best for me because we were able to set goals at the start and check-in periodically when needed. I reached out to Kate not only for essay edits and strategizing timelines, but also when my brain would explode as it does during this process and I just needed a sounding board/cheerleader to get back on track.
I was ultimately accepted to one of my top 3 programs with a scholarship for half of my tuition based on the essays and personal statements in my application. Even better than that, with Kate’s support and feedback I realized this program was an even BETTER fit for me than the other programs I had been considering prior to our working together. I would definitely recommend that any B-school applicant sign-up for services with Kate, whether it’s your first try or you’re coming back to tackle this beast again she will absolutely help you stay on track and reach your goals.
Joined: Jun 01, 2016
740 Q48 V44
I worked with Jessica on an hourly basis on my three applications for Round 1. Jessica is sharp, honest, and really passionate about her clients. The perfect combination for a bschool admissions consultant.
She was incredibly considerate of my time and always made sure we worked on things efficiently. For example, she was honest with me about which essays she thought needed another pass, and which she thought were fine as is. She was upbeat, and was sincerely committed to getting me in to my schools.
What I personally appreciated most about Jessica was her ability to talk openly and honestly with me about the parts of my application that gave me a lot of anxiety - the GMAT and my interviews. She logically weighed the pros and cons of retaking the test, and walked me though the admission committee's mindset during interviews.
I got interviews at all of my schools, and ultimately got to choose from two of them. I cannot thank Jessica enough for her help with my applications, and for helping me remain calm (or, as much as possible) during the process.
Joined: May 17, 2016
I had finished my GMAT and was in the essay-writing phase of my application when I first spoke with Jessica. I took the 30 minute trial to see if speaking with a consultant (specifically one who had helped others get into my dream school) would help me structure some of my thoughts. It did so much more.
My call with Jessica was very warm and friendly, but we actually didn't spend time "small-talking." Instead, Jessica asked how she could help and, when I told her that I needed some help organizing my thoughts for my essay, she asked why I wanted to go to school. I spoke for a few minutes (with Jessica listening intently and asking a few questions here and there). As soon as I rambled through my explanation, Jessica matter-of-factly followed with: "Okay, here's what I would do. Make your intro about X. Take this angle or that angle, whichever feels better. Follow with points A, B, and C, and conclude saying Y. That's how I'd structure it. What do you think?"
It was the most productive half hour I'd had in my whole experience applying. I ended the call action items, to-do's, feedback, and more from someone who I had just met but who knew exactly what I needed to make my application better.
I ended up purchasing more hours so that I could get Jessica's help trimming down my very long essays. She did so much more: she called out examples that seemed weak, encouraged me to elaborate on ideas that made my essays unique, and helped me clarify the main points of each of my essays. From that phone call all the way through edits of letters while I was on the waitlist, Jessica guided me in a way that was incredibly constructive and efficient.
I am so grateful that I met Jessica and had her help. She went above and beyond with my timelines and, when I eventually got in, I could practically hear her shouting in excitement with me!
Joined: May 16, 2016
690 Q42 V42
It was so helpful to have Dan Richards' insight throughout the bschool application process. Sometimes the hardest thing is to begin writing, and it was a great motivator for me to be able to report back to him on my progress. Dan was direct and insightful - I was glad to be working with someone who has had so much experience, and came highly recommended. There were a number of times during the essay editing process that it felt like he magically knew how to phrase what I was struggling to convey. I was also impressed by the quicker than expected turn-around time on feedback. Crucial if, like me, you're up against a deadline! Mom and Dad may be the best cheerleaders, but Dan helped get me to the finish line! Was it worth the money? 100%