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I am a fairly young candidate who was applying for the Executive MBA program. I had already submitted my application to NYU Stern as a back-up school before asking Dr. Shel for her service because NYU was not my top choice and I did not feel like splurge on it. Then I narrowed down my choices to Duke, MIT and Kellogg. As a big fan of MIT and Kellogg, I decided to ask Dr. Shel for her help.
We emailed each other initially and I was requesting a quote for both schools. The price was fair comparing to other services. Then we scheduled our initialy chat on the phone to go over what needed to be done. She then sent me a word document to fill out, which included questions from my childhood throughout college and professional life. It gave her an idea of who I am, my personality, my accomplishments academically and professionally, so she could give me advise on what needed to be include on my resume, essays, and interviews.
We first worked on our Kellogg application first and because there was no word limit, imagination could go wild. She was able to narrow the content down and provided me a guidance on what should be put on the first and what should be emphasized on the second essay. She then scheduled a call with me on discussing it. After the first draft was done, I sent it to her and she was able to get back to me fairly quick within a two days turn-over rate. And she would put comments on her thoughts on the content, what needed to be clarified, what needed to be removed, etc. After the first draft, I would add and edit, emailed her the second draft. Then she would help making it more concise and to tight it up with the essay question. The on the final draft, it would be more on the grammatical error, etc.
We would also schedule a 40min. interview session before my interview going over questions that she already had in her inventory. And i was also able to ask her questions that i am concner about.
On the second application, we would be able to utilize the essays from the first school which made the work much easier.
We worked together for close to two months. I went to Kellogg's interview two days after i submitted my application and within one week, I was told that i got admitted. And shortly after I was invited to go to MIT. The experience has been amazing. Kellogg is my top choice, so I am pretty happy about the result. Highly recommended!!!
I am an older applicant from an over-represented pool. Last year, I applied to multiple top schools on my own and was devastated to discover that I did not receive a single interview invite from any school. This year, I chose to work with Dr. Shel Watts and was admitted to the first and only school that I applied for – Columbia!
As an applicant, I know how difficult it is to judge the quality of all the admissions consultants that are available to us because they all sound great on their own websites. Therefore, I took advantage of free consultations and talked to as many consultants as I could. Initially, I chose a company that featured former admissions staff who used to work at my target schools. I soon realized that I was not getting the insights and in-depth analysis that would justify the high price that I was paying. I decided to move on and search for a new consultant.
I scheduled a free consultation with Dr. Shel at MBA Admit after reading about their success with re-applicants, and I was immediately blown away by her passion and knowledge during our call. She focused on evaluating my profile and discussing potential application strategies rather than giving me generic answers to my questions or trying to hard sell her services like many other consultants do. After our conversation, I was quite excited to sign up with MBA Admit.
For our strategy session, Dr. Shel really dug deep into my background and spent time to know me as a person. She asked a lot of great questions and discovered interesting stories about myself that I had almost forgotten. She helped me come up with a detailed strategy that I truly believed would work (and it did!). Before diving into essay writing, I already had a clear picture of what I needed to highlight in each essay and how my stories would tie together to shine the best light on my candidacy.
After receiving Dr. Shel’s comments on my initial essay draft, I was truly amazed by the level of detail that she went into. She literally provided line-by-line comments that helped me remove/add/reshuffle content to improve the overall strength and flow of my essays. Her thorough analysis showed that she kept every detail of my profile on her mind while reviewing my essays. Her insistence on perfection has pushed me to improve my essays even if it was just a sentence or a phrase. There were several instances in which I felt that I had done a good job with a paragraph, but she would kick it back to me and told me to fix a word or a sentence. It almost felt like she cared about my essays more than I did. This is the type of consultant that you absolutely want. The other consulting company that I had worked with did not come close to this level of detail – they only provided generic feedback that I could have gotten from my friends.
Dr. Shel also helped me identify and approach potential recommendation writers who would most effectively add value to my candidacy. She also helped me refine and tailor my resume for my target school. In every step of the process, Dr. Shel showed her passion in helping me and provided personalized assistance that really propelled me to my dream school. Her personal experience of getting admitted to top universities (Harvard, Oxford) and top consulting firm and investment bank (McKinsey, Morgan Stanley) in the world provides precious knowledge to applicants like us who are considering working in those industries post-MBA. She even gave me career advice and guidance beyond the context of my application. In addition, she also has experience working as an admissions committee member at Harvard. Not many admission consultants can provide such rich expertise from both sides of the table.
Dr. Shel has a unique combination of perspectives that proved to be highly valuable throughout my application process. Furthermore, she charges a very reasonable price that makes me wonder why other admissions consultants charge so much. And most importantly, I was admitted to my dream school! I would absolutely recommend MBA Admit and Dr. Shel Watts to any applicant who is looking for a passionate, resourceful, and knowledgeable admissions consultant!!
I personally do not believe in wasting thousands of $ for various advisers - you should read some books on MBA admissions, write up your case, and only then ask for some help with tailoring the story and making sure your English is up to scratch. Shelly really helped to craft my story, and tailor/correct the grammar part of my essays. The service was prompt, professional, and affordable - therefore I really recommend it to others.
MBA Admit clearly stood out from the rest of the consultants for their low fees. Luckily enough, low fees did not mean low quality. Consultant was very attentive, worked quickly, stretched herself before the deadline and helped me a lot to improve my essays. I really liked that she focused on weaker essays and did not make amendments for the sake of showing that she's doing her job.
Joined: Jul 02, 2011
Working with Dr. Shelly Watts of MBA Admit was a great experience, she not only helped me with the themes and contents of my essays but also her editing services were superb. She worked very closely with me throughout the admission process/cycle and provided excellent advice throughout.
For me it was very important to hire someone who’ll work very closely with me having the knowledge and insights of the admission committee’s decision criteria/process. I discussed my case with 3 consultants during their initial assessment sessions but they were too ‘corporate’ for my liking. I decided to work with Dr. Shelly because from the very first call I could see that she was very clear on how my case should be presented to the university, what factors make it strong and issues we needed to work on. I felt confident in her abilities because she knew what she was doing and we discussed and refined the theme through several iterative cycles.
MBA Admit services were excellent, very affordable and flexible. It was an investment which later proved worth it, just as investing in a good B school is important similarly selecting a great consultant is important as well. My experience was a success story; she helped me immensely with my application at the best business school in the world so I will most definitely recommend her services to anyone targeting the top tier B Schools.
Best of luck..
Joined: Nov 28, 2010
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I am 26 years old from South Africa. I am qualified as a Chartered Accountant and have completed all three levels of my CFA. I was accepted to Columbia class of 2014 early decision.
I started preparing some of my application by myself but I quickly realized that even by being the right candidate for an MBA, I was struggling to get my application to show this. I also had a hurdle to overcome in my application as my GPA was basically nonexistent during my undergrad years so I was in desperate need of help.
I am sure a lot of you who are reading this feel the same as me when it comes to using a consultant. Is it really worth the price? Well I used my 30 min free consultation with as many of the companies as I could before deciding on which service to use.
I could not justify spending on an expensive consultant. I also believed that I did not need to overdo it with the assistance. In the end of the day if you are a good candidate you should be able to do most of the application on you’re on with some valuable assistance as a supplement.
Shelly (the owner of MBA Admit) was really great. She spent time getting to know me and understanding my whole situation. I felt that she was genuinely interested in getting to know who I was and that this wasn’t just a 9-5 job that she performs.
Shelly scheduled an initial 2 hour consultation with me where we sat and discussed my plan. This is probably the most crucial thing that can be done and Shelly really helped me create a plan that I believed would work. After the initial consultation I was ready to start drafting my essays. It took me time to get into writing the essays and any questions I had Shelly was always ready to answer. The package at MBA Admit is a substantial amount less than at one of the more popular consulting companies and thus you do not have as many contact sessions with Shelly. I was slightly worried at first with this though but realized very quickly that It made no difference. So I completed my first draft and off I sent it through to Shelly.
Shelly is relatively busy so her turnaround time does vary but on the whole I was very happy with the time it took to review my essays. When I received my essays I could see how much work she had done on them. What I really appreciated was that for one of my essays I was really stuck and had only compiled random paragraphs and I sent it through and Shelly fixed it up great. Your essays are the only way to show Adcom who you are and this is where Shelly’s service really excelled! My essays looked amazing in the end thanks to Shelly.
I also received help when approaching my recommenders. Shelly helped me compile a short list of points to tell my managers in order to get the most out of the recommendation.
Other services I received from Shelly was help with my resume as in South Africa the templates used are completely different. I also had a contact session before my interview which was very insightful and allowed me to feel relaxed and prepared before my interview.
In short I felt that using a consultant really paid off. I did not have too much exposure to the application process in South Africa and without MBA Admit I do not think my application would have been a true reflection of who I am. Shelly allowed me to express who I was and where I was going. Not once did I feel that my application was a false reflection of me. This was a concern I had prior to hiring a consultant.
I do not believe that it is necessary to spend $2500+ on a consultant. I understand that everyone wants the best application but no money is going to replace the hard work you have to put in. Shelly provides the right amount of guidance for an amazing price.
Please feel free to contact me or leave comments.
I hope this helps.
I experimented with a few editors while choosing someone to help in my EMBA application at Columbia Business School. No one was as exceptional as Shelly in helping to retain the originality of content while still bringing out the essence of my candidature in a limited within the word limits. She was instrumental in my admission. Thanks. - Investment Banker in Asia