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Established in 2011, The Red Pen provides high-quality MBA consulting to candidates around the world.
Our international team of consultants hold MBAs from top international programs such as Columbia, Wharton, INSEAD, Booth, NYU Stern, Cornell and Oxford Saïd. We draw on years of experience helping high calibre students showcase the best versions of themselves in their applications. We pride ourselves on staying informed on the evolving MBA admissions space and, as members of the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC), hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards when serving clients.
Joined: Mar 31, 2020
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Hi everyone. I am an INSEAD admit to the Class of 23D. I'd first like to thank GMAT Club for this truly insightful forum and all the great work that you do!
During my research to narrow down my target B-School list, one school clearly stood out in terms of its culture and diversity appeal—INSEAD.
For the last 18 months, it's been my dream to make it into INSEAD.
I'd highly recommend Vatsal Srivastava as a coach, mentor, and your MBA consultant. A graduate of INSEAD himself, Vatsal has had incredible success in helping candidates like me secure admissions at top schools such as Wharton, Columbia, LBS, Booth, Stern, Duke, and INSEAD. In fact, it was two of his reviews on GMAT Club [one from abhijish (INSEAD admit) & one from shounakghosh18 (Chicago Booth admit)] that convinced me to reach out to him. Here are my top 3 reasons to work with Vatsal:
1) Extremely talented storyteller & editor: Vatsal was the only consultant who advised me not to retake my GMAT, but rather to focus on building my story and essays to a high standard to make them compelling for the far reader. He developed a strong and deep understanding of my values, background, personal & professional highs & lows, and gave me a clear roadmap of how I should position my profile.
2) Committed: Vatsal made time for me almost every day! With less than a month to the R2 deadline, the fact that he onboards very limited clients in a given cycle really helped me make strong progress with my application in a short span. He doesn’t believe in allocating only a fixed number of hours per week, a trait I believe diffentiates him from most other consultants. And when he wasn't happy with even the 'umpteenth' version of my essay, he continued to push me to make the smallest of edits…he truly insists on the highest standards!
3) Coach and mentor: While working with Vatsal, I saw my own creative and critical thinking skills improve. He went above and beyond his mandate as just a consultant. He helped me build a strong connection with the core values of the school, and this prepared me to showcase great clarity of thought and confidence during my video essays & interviews.
All in all, I believe that Vatsal's helped me unlock the best of my efforts to crack the INSEAD application.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!
Joined: Jan 16, 2022
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The Red Pen group had the right resources and focus to help me apply across 4 major schools in a single round. I got in touch with them right before my GMAT and used their support and services till the end through the interview stages. Not only was their group professional throughout the engagement, they put in efforts to keep the stress levels low. They met my expectations at every stage and eventually I did get selected to all my top choices - HBS/ Wharton/ Insead/ LBS. I would highly recommend the Red Pen group to all future applicants across US and European schools.
Joined: Mar 29, 2021
740 Q50 V39
TRP is without doubt one of the best teams to have on your side while working on your MBA applications. In my case, I was quite late in the season to start the process. I would not have been able to submit my applications in time with such high quality and secure an admit at Wharton, if not for the entire TRP team coming together.
My lead consultant was Garima, who was a delight to work with. I spoke to multiple consultants and what stood out was how she believed in my story and helped me fine-tune it. Even while selecting the schools, she understood my MBA goals and pushed me not to lower the bar, even if that meant a lower success rate. Once we started working on applications, she was 100% hands-on with every small detail and was totally committed, as an equal partner, to help me produce the best possible application in a tight timeline. While extremely professional, she ensured that she was always available on calls/chats and that I was at ease speaking freely to her about my thought process. With her vast experience, she is equipped with the toolkit on what works and what doesn't and has deep insights into each school's program. Overall, I wholeheartedly credit Garima with the outcomes I was able to get.
Priti coordinated my entire MBA application journey with TRP and helped me extensively decide on the timelines. Even before signing up, she brainstormed with me on my options and advised me on how best to optimize the time available.
All in all, I would strongly recommend working with TRP for your MBA applications.
Joined: Jun 16, 2022
I signed on with The Red Pen rather late last year 2021 and picked a 2 school package - Duke and NYU. Anju onboarded me onto the system and she's absolutely fantastic. She's the reason I picked TRP to begin with despite their offering being more expensive than the others. They helped me with a past-application analysis before we had begun our review.
They then did a step-by-step analysis of my accomplishments, based on which they helped me prepare my resume and write the essays.
What I liked most about Anju and the team was that they were willing to help out even outside of my 2 schools. I applied to Georgetown as well and they supported me nonetheless. They helped me with my follow-ups from GU and Darden. I finally cracked GU.
My rec: Ask for Anju and ask her to read everything - she's got a great eye for things like these. The rest of the team is great as well.
Joined: Jun 06, 2022
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To be honest, this review doesn't fully reflect the critical role Red Pen played in my applications. I'm honoured to have been accepted to Wharton, Yale, and London Business School, and I owe it to this incredible team.
Last year: The MBA application process was one of the most daunting and time-consuming experiences I've ever had. Even though I was driven to reach great goals, juggling work, studying for tests, researching colleges, introspecting and writing my entire life was overwhelming. I'm grateful for Red Pen's presence throughout this rollercoaster, guiding, supporting, motivating, and pushing me to bring our my best.
Red Pen Team: The entire Red Pen team is passionate about assisting students. I can vouch that they are experts in their field. From the day I was onboarded until now everyone of them have been tremendously supportive, readily available and have gone above and beyond to help me.
Process: I love that Red Pen has a very structured end-to-end process that helped me introspect my career choices, identify unique stories and eventually frame them for my applications. I have a diverse background, doing this ground work was essential piece for all the applications. Also, It wasn't just one coach, my essays were reviewed by several experienced experts in Red Pen, whose inputs made the essay more impactful.
Consultant (Coach): Rashmi Sonthalia was the best coach i could ask for. She is extremely intuitive, empathetic and good at what she does . Through all of my highs, lows, and confusion this year, she has been my go-to person. It's because of her, I was able to get through a crazy number of essay versions, put all the pieces together, submit everything on time, and do my best in my interviews. I am glad that even when I thought the writings were adequate and that I was sufficiently prepared, she would not settle until she was completely convinced. She also went out of her way to accommodate my working hours. I can be a last-minute person, so Thank you for your patience.
Interview Prep: Red Pen proactively mapped me with alumus from the respective universities for mock interviews. They also organised team discussion mocks for Wharton. These formal practice mocks helped me refine my answers and be more confident in my interviews and team discussions.
Cost: Initially, I did think that they were very expensive but now having seen how much time, energy and dedication they put into my applications, I can attest that it was worth every penny. At several times, I felt they were far more invested than I was.
Highlights: Unlimited time and access with coaches(+100), Process structure, Tool for maintaining essay and resume versions, their network of mba alumnus for interviews and other inputs.
My heartfelt thanks to Rashmi Sonthalia, Anju Goele, Preeti Wadekar, Natasha Mankikar, Kimberly dixit, Mitrabina Sen and entire team for everything. Thank you for being my sherpas, without whom I might not have reached my dream summit.
Small Tip -
Please start the process as soon as possible. If you are like me you will think its easy and keep it for last min. But trust me it is not it takes lot of time, research and mental space to think and write your own story esp because you want to give your best in those 500 words. Even though I started 4 months in advance I was too late for scholarships. So please start now.. no...yesterday!
Joined: Oct 15, 2020
640 Q45 V34 (Online)
TRP is the reason I secured an MBA at my dream business school, LBS. The entire team helped me thought the process. They pushed me to explore my own story and think about my own experiences in a way I would have never been able to do myself. The MBA application process can be quite emotionally draining and frustrating although Nita, who was my lead consultant, was always encouraging and motivated me to push on.
I also feel that TRP’s process of getting feedback from a larger group of consultants was very helpful. The larger team of consultants examined each of my essays as if from a admissions committees view point and this allowed me to see how others were receiving the story I was telling.
All round I feel that I was in the best hands in the industry and I would recommend anyone looking apply to utilize TRP.
Joined: Oct 19, 2021
The Red Pen is one of the most sort out and highly professional team who are highly skilled at what they do. They not helped me in getting in my dream school but they improved how I thought of things made my thinking much clearer and objective. They not only help with essays and other requirements but also help post completion of your essays they really support on interviews as well which makes you stand out from the crowd. I recommend this to anyone & everyone who seriously seeks a B-school admit to their dream school and aims to get a good scholarship should seek their consultancy.
Joined: Apr 20, 2022
If you’re planning to go for your MBA, then I suggest look no further than The Red Pen (TRP). TRP has a very collaborative approach, with different team members working on various facets of the application which as a result helps to get in different perspectives. I applied to 4 colleges, got 3 interview invites, 2 admit offers (got a scholarship too) and 1 waitlist (which might also covert 😬).
My journey with TRP started in early December and I had barely over a month left before the R2 deadlines. Moreover, my GRE score was also on the lower side. However, inspite of the paucity of time and a low score, TRP helped me prepare a winning application and as a result I got into one of the top 10 B-schools in the world, along with offers from other schools.
I’m extremely thankful to my consultant, Jinal Sanghavi without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. Jinal really understood my story well and helped me identify and highlight my strengths, and position my weaknesses better. Throughout the iterative process she gave me valuable insights that really strengthened my application and also assisted me in articulating and refining my career goals which made my reasoning for pursuing an MBA even more compelling. She helped me craft a solid narrative that eventually helped me ace the interviews!
I’m also very grateful to both Anju and Namrata, who also worked with me on my application and were there to support me throughout the process.
Anju was instrumental in helping me develop my resume and encouraged me to really introspect to bring out my most notable achievements. Also, Namrata was always there to guide me whenever I had an query and also helped me identify prospective recommenders for the LORs.
Finally, I would definitely recommend signing-up with TRP so that they can work their magic on your application and help you get into the school of your choice!
Joined: Sep 26, 2020
730 Q51 V38
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by gmat club tests [?]
In summary, it was the best decision for me to work on my MBA applications with TRP instead of the consultants my friends have hired (2 of them got into Wharton).
I had a relatively set path I've thought out for myself both during and after the MBA, but my motive and story were a little fuzzy but was strong enough. This is where TRP came in. The first few sessions with the team were intense and they did the job - revealing the gaps. Along the journey, Dhiraj and team provided the required structure and guidance to meticulously articulate the thoughts I wanted to convey, to the best of my abilities. All elements of the applications were thoroughly covered - different form of goals, the reason to choose a particular university, identification and refinement of critical events in my life story, finally putting it together for various parts of the application, and preparation for the interview.
I am impressed most by the fact that the TRPs structured yet fluid process and guidance helped me focus on the right elements to maintain a smooth story. I'm deeply thankful to Dhiraj, Ankita and Anju who helped nail my first choice in the first attempt.
Joined: Apr 11, 2019
The entire team of TRP was extremely professional since the day I signed up with them. Their professionalism is matched only by their willingness to go over and beyond when it comes to helping aspiring candidates put their best foot forward. They were able to make sense of the jumble of thoughts and ideas that I shared with them in the first few calls and helped me craft applications that I was proud of. I received multiple MBA admits (with sizeable scholarships) in the programs that I applied for with them. I was able to use the material I created with them to receive admits with scholarships from other schools that I applied to on my own as well.
Signing up with TRP early in my applications journey is probably one of the smartest things I did! Thank you so much, especially to Preeti, Ridhi, and Anju for their endless support.