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Joined: Jun 17, 2012
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Why I chose SOP - As I was doing my due diligence, I had a initial consultations with all the major players in the Admissions Consulting business. For SOP, I discussed my aspirations and expectations with Kathryn, who also owns the firm. During that call itself, I was surprised to see how deeply involved I felt Kathryn was in assessing my needs and whether SOP could help me succeed (she really believes in this). I would really nudge anyone considering to hire admission consultants to have this free call with her and this is a benchmark the other firms need to raise themselves to.
Working with them - I worked with Manisha Shahane as my consultant. I started with just one school, but ended up working with her on all the schools that I applied to. Was this necessary? No, but she became such a trusted partner in my application journey that I wanted to involve her in any decision I took for my application and she was supportive right from Early Action till R4 dates. Manisha is highly competent and knows how to craft a compelling storyline for the top schools. Even though some of my timelines were aggressive, Manisha was always there to support me because of which I was able to put my best foot forward each time. Much of this work is creative as well as about respecting what the applicant's personal experiences are. Manisha is a thorough professional and understood where to nudge me to think deeper to bring out important nuggets of my experiences (and these are the real differentiators) as well as where to hold back so as not to influence the originality of my story. Workflow wise, she would always communicate the time-frame when she would send back the edits and I always had them back in that time. As MBA admissions have become so competitive with many variables involved, its really important to stay positive throughout the entire process. Manisha helped me there as well by keeping on motivating me throughout the process.
Another great benefit of working with SOP is their unique approach to handling LORs for multiple schools so that the process is not taxing on recommender's time. Kathryn's approach makes submitting LORs to multiple schools very straightforward and should be definitely emulated by all.
I wholeheartedly recommend SOP to everyone considering applying to M7 or even top-10 schools, as creating those schools' specific strategy is the best use of consultants like Manisha that SOP has.