Status: First-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: Medical Doctor
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 15
GMAT/GRE score: 560
Undergraduate GPA: 60/100
Graduate GPA: NA
Admitted to: Harvard Kennedy School, Sloan Fellowes Program
When I started my B school Application I had only 4 weeks time before the deadlines. And I thought it would be prudent to take help of an admissions consultant. I contacted all the top admissions consultants and most of them took their own sweet time getting back to me and when we talked they said they had set streams of processes that took a certain amount of time, no . I needed a consultant who is nimble fast and caters to the individual needs of the client rather than one type fits all. Then I called Squareoneprep after seeing some amazing Reviews on Gmatclub.
Most of the Free consults lasted for 30 min and everyone agreed with my story and said I have a great story and chances to make it into my dream school. I always felt something amiss when I heard that. They were all too fast with their assessment. When I talked to Kathryn (the talk went on for more than 80 min) she was very outright and critical of my story. She said my story is the same run of the mill story told by every other Indian B school applicant and pushed me to tell her what I REALLY want to do. She sensed I was holding back. I stated what I sincerely want to do with my life and she got excited for me, immediately helping me think through why I need B school and why this is the much stronger narrative. She took in great details of the game changing project I had done in India with all the figures statistics and results ( I still feel even my B school real interviews didn’t ask so many questions). She learned so much about me, and after doing so she suggested that I need to look into Harvard Kennedy school also along with the B Schools I was looking at. I never thought I could make it to Harvard but Kathryn’s suggestion made me look into it and I apply to it, Then she suggested I work with Julia Kurnik on my applications as she was HKS and MIT graduate. I was apprehensive about using the same consultant for all my applications. But Kathryn knew what she was doing.
Julia is one of the most patient understanding and genuine people I have ever met. She has great CV which we can only dream off. She is an entrepreneur and innovation prize winner in MIT. But she is so humble. I cherished working with her. . I often felt self doubt but Julia always kept my spirits up by saying I have a great CV and story to tell. She never overpromised but always cautioned me to be prepared for any eventuality as I was applying for only the Top 3 B schools. She spent lot of time understanding my resume, work, extracurricular activities, my life and my story. We had very little time to prepare my applications. But she gave me a detailed timeline to show me how we would get everything done. Even when I had personal issues that got in the way, Julia always persisted in getting the work done on time with me. In fact we finished all the applications well before the deadline. My resume had to be made into many versions of one page two page three page for different schools. She did it with aplomb.
The highlight of our application was the way she helped me with my essays. She metamorphosised them from a caterpillar into beautiful butterfly. That is the biggest strength of Julia. Kathryn’s inputs for my essays was also very crucial. She has an eye of a business school Adcom and looks at the essays very critically. Her inputs gave me incisive inputs to change my essays and make them very powerful and strong.
Letter of recommendations was another well guided process. Julia gave me all the questions of LOR of B schools categorised into subject wise. This made it very easy for my Recommenders to write the LORs. Getting some highly placed people with so little time to write LORs is not a easy task. My LORs also came out well due to this process. And then we submitted the applications. Till I got the results I was very apprehensive and Julia always soothed my nerves. Then I got my first interview call. The mock interview and the inputs about interview were so good that I didn’t have any issue in doing my actual interview well.
Today I got into my dream schools, HKS and Sloan, and SOP has played a great role in achieving my dream.